A Hard Loss for our Community

2015 is starting out on a rough note. The start of a new year should bring an end to the difficulties of the previous year and renewed optimism for the future.  So it is hard when the year begins with a series of events including sickness, death, roadblocks, and obstacles.  It just doesn’t seem right.

You may not agree with me, but I firmly believe that we learn and gain from  everything we go through in this life. I am not saying I like it, that I don’t get angry with it, that I don’t question why.  I am not saying it hurts any less. But it is part of this precious thing we call life.

Buzz 1Loss of a Community Leader

This year our community has lost a wonderful, very powerful, but quiet leader.  Lawrence “Buzz” Zancanella was Glenwood’s Fire Chief, but he never held an elected office.  He quietly reminded us of our history, but was not one to write letters to the editor. He created bubbles on the corner, but never climbed a soapbox. Yet, at his passing, a community mourned.  And I mean that.  For days, my Facebook account was filled with concern after learning of his heart attack. When news came that he had died, the memories of what he did for this community and what an impact this one man had on so many lives filled my inbox.

Buzz and big sis Ellie

Buzz and big sis Ellie

He cared for his family, for his nation, for his God and for his community.  He was a man of action; just not the kind of action that makes headlines.  Here are three items plucked from hundreds of comments on Facebook:

Chris Chambers: I was playing with matches near the school bus barn, I think I was around 9 at the time, and caught the dry grass on fire all along the outside wall. I did what any responsible child would do and ran as fast as I could back home. Of course everyone knew everyone in those days so I was caught having been seen fleeing the area. Buzz had my mother bring me down to the fire station and held a mock trial that scared me straight. I never played with matches again.

Kevin White: Not too long ago, Buzz invited me into his home so I could help him scan some larger images for his posts, I had known Buzz all my life, yet had never really spent any time with him. What an awesome treat it was to talk Glenwood Springs history with him that afternoon. He proudly showed me all of his GWS treasures, from bottles of hot springs water to commemorative spoons to beautifully framed pictures of the pool and Hotel Colorado. It was a true honor to share his space for even those few minutes. They will be with me forever.

Roz Eberle :The last time I saw Buzz was a couple of years ago when we were in town. I told him how much we all loved his postings. While he was pleased, he quickly asked about my mom. He was a man of great kindness, a man of generous spirit, and a man of great faith. Go well, Buzz. We will never forget you.Buzz 3

My eldest son and his friends spent many hours at Buzz and Gracie’s home, partly because of Gracie’s wonderful cooking and partly because Buzz and Gracie valued their company.  The feeling was completely mutual. They have my unending gratitude.

Buzz epitomized the word community. He raised the bar for us all in Glenwood. And while he loved Glenwood’s history and the way it was when  he was growing up, he knew that change was inevitable.  Let’s honor Buzz by looking out for each other and looking  forward to a new year, complete with its challenges.  Let’s work on making Glenwood Springs the best community ever . . . in every sense of the word.

Rest in peace Buzz.  Your community thanks you for all you have done.

2015 A Crucial Year for Glenwood Springs

I am not a huge fan of poetry. Some I get. Some I don’t.  But I remember hearing the Road Not Taken by Robert Frost for the first time in fifth grade. It clicked. It still does decades later.

two roads

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood . . . “

Both Glenwood Springs and I stand at the point where there are multiple paths before us.

Glenwood is at a crucial point. What does the future hold?  Change seems to be coming from all angles and at a pace that seems overwhelming at times. The new Grand Avenue Bridge alone could bring significant changes.  It can be exciting and terrifying at the same time.

I, too, stand at a pivotal point.  Choices must be made. Thoughtful consideration has been given, but ultimately, it is simply a choice.

“Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

So like Mr. Frost, years from now, I want to be able to say that I chose the road less traveled, and it made all the difference.

The Choice: To Run for Glenwood Springs At-Large City Council Seat

The choice I have made for 2015 is to run for the At-Large seat on Glenwood Springs City Council currently being held by Dave Sturges. Dave will be stepping down after two terms, eight years, on City Council and participation in numerous other boards and commissions throughout our area. Though not large in stature, he will leave immense shoes to fill. 

Sturges

Dave Sturges

In addition to having served as councilor, he also served as mayor pro tem, chaired the Transportation Commission, and served on the Planning and Zoning Commission for six years. He was a member of the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission and currently represents Glenwood Springs on the Northwest Council of Governments board. If that all is not enough, he is on the Garfield County Senior Services Committee, the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority and is a member of the Colorado Municipal League Executive Board. I am sure I have missed some things. See what I mean . . . enormous shoes! 

As a mediator and facilitator, Dave has tried to carefully and thoughtfully approach issues, listening to various viewpoints and then, ultimately choosing what he thought was best for Glenwood. He has worked tirelessly advocating and lobbying for what would bring the most benefit to the citizens of Glenwood Springs.  As a citizen of Glenwood Springs I am very grateful to Dave for the perspective he has brought to the table for eight years. Thank you, sir.

Four Seats Open

Todd Leahy - Glenwood Post Independent Photo

Todd Leahy – Glenwood Post Independent Photo

In this election, four of seven seats are up; those held by Todd Leahy, Ted Edmonds and Michael Gamba as well as the one held by Dave Sturges.

This is a very exciting time for Glenwood. The opportunities are endless!  There is renewed energy and

Michael Gamba - Glenwood   Post Independent Photo

Michael Gamba – Glenwood Post Independent Photo

vibrancy. Things are happening.  But we must recognize that change is not always easy.  For some of us that fondly remember Glenwood Springs as it was “when we were kids” – when there was a Christmas tree in the middle

of the intersection of 9th and Grand, a drive-in theater in West Glenwood and a tunnel formed by trees over Grand Avenue – comes the realization that our town has, and continues to grow — whether we like it or not.

Ted Edmonds - Glenwood Post Independent Photo

Ted Edmonds – Glenwood Post Independent Photo

Growth and change is natural, like birth. It is often a painful process to get to a beautiful result. The result must not only work for the present, but for the future – for my grandchildren’s grandchildren — and yours. The answers are not always as black and white as some would have you believe. But it is City Council’s job to see that policies are in place and decisions are made with the greatest care and consideration for what is best for the community.

Kathryn Trauger

Kathryn Trauger

I bring a vision for a prosperous, beautiful, dynamic Glenwood, balanced with a sense of our history and identity. I bring integrity and experience. I bring a drive to make your local government accessible, open and inclusionary.  It is time to break down silos. Glenwood no longer has the luxury to just let things happen but must have a clear direction.

I Want to Hear From You

You will hear more about me and my goals very soon, I promise.  But first, I want to hear from you.

Listening is an important part of what I do. What are the major issues facing Glenwood?  How should City Council tackle some of those problems? And maybe more importantly, what can we do to create our future — the way that we want it?  You can leave comments here or you may email me at ktrauger@rof.net or call me at 379-4849.  Please let me know. I really do want to know what you think.