Election April 2015
Are you tired of the election season sound and fury? I’m sure all of us are at this point, Democrat, Unaffiliated, Republican or other. At least in that we can all find common ground!
It’s mildly cruel then for me to start talking about the NEXT election when we aren’t done with the current one. However, City Council elections are rapidly approaching, only 5 months away.
Most of us are justifiably proud of our community, and by extension, our local government. The occasional overreach notwithstanding – can you say ‘bag fee,’ for example? – the City of Fort Collins is effective, competent and well-run.
However, it is big and powerful and does attract its share of do-gooders who want to use all that power to bend and shape the community into their vision of utopia. This big government activism often conflicts with the leave-me-alone independence of most business people. As a person running a business in our fair community, you already know how many ways City Hall inserts itself into your affairs – sign code, parking regulations, landscaping requirements, fees, fees and more fees, land use codes, building codes, fire codes, street projects, utility projects, zoning restrictions, etc, etc, etc.
While the interests of business and city government generally line up well most of the time, there is a class of folks that really don’t like business. They see you as either a piggy bank to pay for all their pet projects or as the enemy. Harsh? Not really. It’s a perspective earned from watching local politics for many years.
It is in the business community’s enlightened self-interest to pay attention to City Hall, especially who is serving on your City Council.
The current Council is finely balanced on a 3-1-3 knife edge. Three people routinely vote and speak against business and economic development, three routinely do the opposite and the final person is the swing vote. On the whole, the arrangement works pretty well for the community.
That could change in April and for the worse when four of the seven City Council seats will be up for election.
The four seats include Mayor, District 2 (east-central Fort Collins) where the incumbent is term-limited, District 4 (southwest Fort Collins) where the incumbent is term-limited and District 6 (northwest Fort Collins).
Five months out, a couple of the incumbents haven’t indicated what they plan to do. The key election will be District 2, so, if you know of anyone who would make a great City Council member, encourage them to look into running.
Here’s the link to a map with the City Council district boundaries. You can even type in an address to determine which district you’re in.
April’s election will be an important one for the community. We can either slam on the brakes or maintain our momentum. The caliber of the City Council will largely determine which.