Ingraham is the best choice

I would like to respond to the letter by Sarah Gordon and Amber Wissing published in the Post Independent on March 2, 2018. I believe that as a woman and a former City Council member, I have a unique perspective on this subject. Let me start by saying that Jim Ingraham was clearly the best choice for city council.

When I ran for City Council in 2015, the fact that there were no women seated at that time was not even a consideration in my decision. I did not run because I thought more diversity was needed – although it was frequently mentioned.   I simply saw a need for change and knew that I could help make that happen.  I am very familiar with all of the candidates that applied for the at-large position I recently left. They were excellent candidates, each bringing different skills and experience.

Both Amber and Sarah are very capable young women. They currently serve on city boards, which they have for about a year, which is a perfect way to gain experience. However, the decision about who to appoint, or elect, for a position like this should NOT be made based on the assumption that City Council needs to be diversified.  The decision of who to appoint, or elect, must be made based on qualifications and experience, not gender or race. Jim Ingraham is one of the candidates I know well and he has the perfect balance of experience and qualifications, particularly for the projects the city will be facing in the next few years.

As the letter by Ms. Wissing and Ms. Gordon pointed out, this position takes a tremendous amount of time – more than most people realize. Those of us who must work full time find it difficult to find an employer willing to allow the flexibility and sheer time commitment that is required for this position. That is why I was forced to make a choice – my financial security or serving on council. Because of the time commitment, it also takes a tremendous toll on home and family life, something that is difficult to reconcile for both men and women on council, particularly those with young families.

I would love to see more diversity in all of the city boards and commissions and on city council. However, it cannot be a forced diversity. It must be grounded and authentic. Sarah and Amber are doing exactly what they need to be doing to position themselves for a future leadership position. They are engaged in the community and cutting their teeth by serving on a variety of city boards. It takes time.  I served on several boards and commissions for over six years, chairing the Planning Commission for four, before running for council.

As far as ethnic diversity, again it is something I would love to see within the city. I would encourage anyone with an interest to apply for open positions on the city’s boards and commissions.

Jim Ingraham

Jim Ingraham being sworn in by Jill Peterson

Knowing Jim Ingraham as I do, Council made a perfect choice.  He will be a thoughtful intelligent leader as the city moves through some difficult decisions. His leadership and financial background will serve the city well as it moves through major projects including implementation of a new enterprise resource planning system (ERP), bonding, and financing of needed infrastructure. He is a visionary and has the ability to get things done.  He listens and considers all perspectives before making a decision. He can clearly and concisely state his viewpoints and works within groups to find common ground, develop unity and agreement, resulting in continued improvement and progress.  He has served on the Financial Advisory Board for a number of years and has been an incredible asset in the development of criteria by which to assess the new ERP system. Going forward, his experience planning and implementing new systems will be invaluable. He will be a true asset to the City of Glenwood.

As humorist Arnold Glassow said, “The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.”  Have patience Amber and Sarah. Your time will come.

Time Flies!

One year.

365 days.

8760 hours.

Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.

                                               -Nathaniel Hawthorne

One year ago, April 7, I was honTime Fliesored to be elected as the second At-Large City Council member for the City of Glenwood Springs.This anniversary, along with other prompts have caused me to reflect on this year, and the circumstances leading to my decision to run for office. In many ways, this year has flown by.  In other respects, it seems like a slow slog through knee deep mud.

Three words were prevalent in my campaign.


To me these words were more than an empty slogan. Although they were words that could be strung together in one sentence, they were meant to stand alone. Each word has meaning for me. They relay my values and what I hope I have brought to this position.  In looking over what I hope to accomplish while in office, words that were written as I made my decision to run, I see that some things are happening, but there is much more yet to be done.

In this series I will review some council accomplishments as well as some things yet to do.



Development Code Re-write: Among my goals in this area was a revision of the city’s development code. The need for this became readily apparent while I sat on the Planning and Zoning Commission. Most land use applications that came before the commission had at least six variance requests and some came with many, many more.Yard_sign The lack of new “attainable” housing units, is a perfect example of why not only the code but the process needed to change. This is currently underway.

City Financial Backbone: The City has been using software from 1987, with the last upgrade done in 2003.  The issues included lack of integration, resulting in hours of manual entry on the part of staff. Time and attendance reporting are not automated or integrated, which requires about 70 hours of time per month. The public cannot pay for utilities, park fees, building permits, etc., on line. Reporting is slow and requires extensive staff time. We are currently underway with a new financial backbone system and it will be implemented in phases over the next two years.

Budget Process: Accountability and transparency are key in this area. Council must be good stewards of the citizen’s funds. As council liaison to the Financial Advisory Board, I have advocated for more involvement  by this group of financially astute individuals in the city’s budget process. Last year was spent observing the current process and the board is in the process of making recommendations to City Council on changes that could be made. Additionally, with the help of Interim City Manager Drew Gorgey, this board is revamping the city’s discretionary and tourism grant process to provide clearer direction and more accountability.


Local and Regional Partnerships: Building these relationships will enable us to collectively solve regional issues. This council and Garfield County have a good working relationship — even if we don’t always agree. Roaring Fork Transit Authority (RFTA) has also been a great partner in our work to obtain a permanent 8th Street Connection and resolving some issues for residents in the Cole Subdivision. I sit as an alternate on the RFTA Board.

Bridge Move

Pedestrian Bridge Move

I have met with fellow council members from Carbondale and Rifle to discuss issues in our communities. The City’s relationship with CDOT has been one of cooperation. We are facing a long, difficult construction period and we must maintain a good working connection with CDOT and their contractors.

The city is continuing to work closely with the Roaring Fork School District on various school projects, including a land swap which enabled Glenwood Elementary to remain a central fixture in our core. Both city and RFSD are working to resolve an issue with the designated park lands and finalize the swap.

Additionally we have been working with a group that is interested in seeing a Detox facility built in or near Glenwood. Players include Valley View Hospital, Grand River Hospital, Garfield County, Mind Springs Health, law enforcement agencies from Rifle to Carbondale. Sadly it appears that this public/private partnership is in need of a champion to carry this forward. The city is currently at capacity, as I imagine are other entities. Any volunteers?

I am participating in Garfield County’s Economic Development Partners, Club 20 and Northwest Colorado Council of Governments as well as many Department of Local Affairs and Colorado Municipal League events.

Partners4Glenwood (P4G) is another group designed to leverage local knowledge and talent to bring a fresh approach to issues impacting the city and to lend a hand when possible.


City Hall is in a transition period, which is not easy. It is not easy for staff, department heads, the public or council. City Council made some major changes in administration this year, which was not without pain. When you are dealing with real people, and making major changes it is extremely difficult. We currently have an Interim City Manager, Drew Gorgey, who is doing a great job and moving some key initiatives along. City Council is in the process of interviews for a permanent manager and we hope to have that accomplished by the end of June.

Economic Development

While we have started the ball rolling, there is still much to be done in this area. Glenwood needs to continue working to keep our local businesses thriving and those, like Meier Skis, in town. According to Place Value, a report done by the people I now work with, Community Builders, there are new trends in economic development. It is no longer about seeking and courting the big dogs. Instead it is more about Economic Gardening and knowledge based jobs. It is about training people to do the jobs that need to be done. It is about the revitalization of downtowns, the core of the city.It is about making places that people want to live and work. We know the major problem that faces many of our workers  — housing. We must continue to work to increase the amount of attainable housing for our citizens

Stay tuned for CONNECTED & COMMUNITY and thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving you.

Biting my tongue . . . or not

Blogging and writing has been more difficult these last 10 months. It is not because I have nothing to say. I actually do.  I realize that not everyone agrees with me and that is ok. But I find myself mulling over the word decorum – behavior in keeping with good taste and propriety.  I find myself walking a very thin line.  So mostly I find I bite my tongue and stay away from my computer.  For me this is painful.   

The reason for my discomfort and disconnect is simple.  I was elected to a local office. So now, rather than speaking my mind, I am trying to listen more and search for the common ground.  I now represent more than my one opinion. Sadly, sometimes I fail miserably.  But I continue to try to maintain a certain decorum fitting of one holding an elected office. 

More frequently I find myself trying to choose my words, and explain my position so carefully that I get lost in the weeds and I fail to make my position clear. I rarely put words down on paper — or in the computer — because, quite frankly, you never know where they will end up and how they may be interpreted.

While I intend to maintain decorum and seek common ground, I find I must continue to write . . . to clarify to me, my position. I need to write both sides of a situation, to more fully understand it. I need to explore the issues and my thoughts.  It will benefit me and those I serve. Some will end up here.  Some will remain on my laptop.

Right now, three issues jump to the forefront.

Grand Ave Bridge (still)

First is the ever-present Grand Avenue Bridge. I will not belabor the point, but I, like many others, are looking forward to the possibilities a new bridge will bring, rather than looking backwards at what Glenwood was, 20, 30 or 50 years ago. I am amazed that after as long as we have been cussing and discussing this bridge that so many people don’t understand the need and don’t see the potential benefit. Yes, it will be painful. During the height of construction and closure, my 7 minute commute will likely be five times that — if I drive.  If I am practicing what I am preaching, I’d better be walking, biking or on the bus. But more than that, I need to find ways to get others out of their cars and using alternative transportation.

Snow Removal

sidewalk parking garage

Courtesy of the Glenwood Post Independent

The second deals with snow and the fact that it is still around on many of our streets, trails and sidewalks. And another storm is looming. This is when exploring both sides of the issue helps — just a little.

Viewpoint one: There is still a lot of snow on the city streets and it has been a few days since the heaviest snowfall. I don’t like it. But what I like even less is that we  have such a hard time properly clearing sidewalks and trails. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist (no laughing, please) and so it bothers me to see sidewalks that have a single shovel width haphazardly scooped, or worse yet, no attempt made. In my opinion, if it is a city code that sidewalks be cleared within 24 hours, then  they should be cleared and made safe and easily passable for anyone. I would ask that the city set the example.

This was discussed by council last week and we requested that city staff provide the protocol for clearing streets.  Public Works Director Robin Millyard provided the following Information:

As follows is a listing in order of priority for snow plowing of City of Glenwood Springs’ streets.

A. Emergency routes, school bus routes, and main traffic areas such as Alternate Route – Midland Avenue to Glenwood Park, South Grand Avenue, Pitkin Avenue, Blake Avenue and Donegan Road.

B. Downtown Commercial areas.

C. Steep streets such as Cedar Crest area, Vista Drive, Sunny Acres, Traver Trail, the North Glenwood area, the Red Mountain area, and steep streets East of Grand Avenue.

D. All remaining streets in low and/or flat areas.

Grand Avenue and U. S. Highway 6 are plowed by the Colorado State Highway Department.

Robin Millyard asked that if you have question to call Rick Turner, Streets Superintendent at 970-384-6379

I am still awaiting information from the Parks Department on trails and sidewalks.

Viewpoint two:  Within the city limits of Glenwood Springs there are 84.04 “Lane Miles” of streets that must be cleared.  There are also a significant amount of sidewalks and trails. It should be noted that clearing much of the sidewalks within the city is the responsibility of adjacent residence or business.  It is the city’s responsibility to clear snow around parks, parking garages, city buildings and city trails.  Like it or not, the city has a limited budget and a finite number of staff to carry out those duties. If money and resources are put into plowing and shoveling, it is likely that some other program will be reduced.

Hot Springs Pool Outflow Pipe Relocation

Glenwood Hot Pots

Photo Courtesy of Glenwood Post Independent, John Stroud

The third is more of a comment. I believe the city made the right decision on the location of the Glenwood Hot Springs outflow pipe for a number of reasons:

The change in the floodplain mapping has created a hardship for one of Glenwood’s largest tourist attractions.

The move farther downstream mitigates some of the flood potential and the Glenwood Hot Springs liability

The pipes (the pool outflow and stormwater drainage) would have been moved by CDOT anyway with the construction

The Hot Springs is paying to have them taken farther downstream to a more optimal location.

The location to which CDOT would have moved the pipes would have meant a greater likelihood of future hot pots and the outflow pipe would not have been buried

The outflow pipe (not the stormwater pipe) will be four feet below the low water like in faster flowing water ensuring better mixing.  The flow rate of the river will help prevent random hot pots from cropping up.

The Hot Springs intends to work with the city in making some shoreline improvements while they are in the area, hopefully moving a shoreline restoration project in that area along.

Until next time, I remain your committed public servant!

Update Sept 2015 – Budget, Homeless, and More!

I am five months into my four-year term of serving you as Councilor-at-large on Glenwood Springs City Council. It is a privilege to be a part of such a great city and I am honored to work with other city council members, city staff, local business and citizens to help guide Glenwood through the next three and a half years.  It is likely to be some of the best times that Glenwood has seen, as well as some of the most difficult. 

One of my election promises was better communication and I have not been as good at that as I had hoped.  So, to that end, as a start I plan to provide a monthly update that will include a brief description of meetings and events I have attended as well as a bit about one or more city departments.  Sometimes it may seem like nothing is happening and things do move more slowly than we all would like. But picture a duck on the Colorado River.  On the top, the duck looks calm and seems to be floating along, but below the surface, that duck’s feet are paddling like crazy.  So goes it with city hall.

Finance Department

Charles KeltySince we are deep into budget season, the first department I would like to highlight is the Finance Department, headed by Charles Kelty. Charles took over the reins from Mike Harman who retired earlier this year after 24 years as the Finance Director. Charles spent nine years as the finance director in Rifle and had a Master’s Degree in Accounting. Finance handles all of the city’s payroll, utility billing, tax administration, purchasing and building maintenance as well as making sure the city’s bills are paid and collecting funds owed to the city.

Staff includes Yvette Gustad, Assistant Finance Director; Ricky Smith, Purchasing Agent; Karen Bender, Janice Palacio, Linda Millyard and Candie Vandermark, all Senior Accounting Techs and Martha Gonzales and Elida Trujillo Solano the ladies who keep city hall sparkling clean. When you come to pay your utility bills or pick up a bus pass, these are the staff you see and are often the main contact for people dealing with city hall.

Taking the city through the budget process is no easy task and involves hours of the finance department’s time as well as a great deal of time from City Manager Jeff Hecksel and all department supervisors. Beginning Sept 29, the city will begin holding meetings with City Council, the Financial Advisory Board, and department heads to review the proposed budget, line by line. A schedule of these meetings is provided below. These are public meetings and the public is encouraged to attend.  A preliminary draft budget should be available on the City’s website when the budget work sessions begin.

Budget Work Session Schedule:

Sept 29 – 5pm -7 pm

Oct 8Special Meeting, DDA & Budget 6pm-9pm

Oct 154pm – 6pm

Oct 20Special Meeting 6pm-9pm

Oct 29Special Meeting 6pm-9pm

Nov 5if needed

All budget work sessions will be held in council chambers at city hall.

Monthly Update – meetings and events I attended

Grand Ave Bridge:  Met with representatives from Glenwood Springs Chamber, CDOT, DDA and city staff to discuss public information plans for the Grand Avenue Bridge Project August 27 2015.

Transportation Commission Sept 1, 2015:  I serve as the alternate council liaison to this commission.  Mayor Mike Gamba is the liaison.  Discussion items included the Blake Avenue Gate between Walmart and the RFTA BRT station on 27th as well as traffic calming measures on the residential streets in the downtown area.  Terri Partch, City Engineer and Geoff Guthrie, City Transportation Manager discussed the proposed multi-use path along Midland, from Lowes to Interchange 114, 27th Street Bridge and touched on RFTA’s Access Control Plan.  They updated on the Grand Avenue Bridge and 8th Street extension projects as well as discussing who will represent this commission on the Acquisitions and Improvement (A&I) tax working group.  The Transportation Commission is finalizing the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and determining next steps.  This commission always has a great deal to discuss and it seems like never enough time!

Ride-along with GSPD Sept 4, 2015:  I was privileged to be able to ride and walk with several officers from the police department  from 6 p.m. to about 2:30 a.m. It was a great experience, one I hope to do again. You can read more about my thoughts here.  My thanks to Officers Noel, Crawford, Cole, Gobbo, Miller, Dietrich, Yorty,  and Lawson as well as Code Enforcement Officer Springer, Detective Sergeant Hassell, and Patrol Sergeant Prough for putting up with all of my questions and taking the time to talk with me.

Colorado Municipal League (CML) District 11 Meeting in Silt Sept 9, 2015:  CML provides  training and information on issues of concern to counties and municipalities.  It is also a great chance to talk with other staff and elected officials from other communities in our area. Mayor Rick Aluise presented a wonderful powerpoint on the accomplishments that have taken place in Silt in the recent year.

Roaring Fork Transit Authority Board Meeting (RFTA) Sept 10, 2015:  I serve as the alternate council liaison to this board.  Mayor Mike Gamba is the liaison.  Discussion items included a presentation of the first draft of RFTA’s 2016 budget and an update of the Rio Grande Corridor Access Control Plan.  License for access to the Rio Grande Trail was granted to ACES Rock Bottom Ranch

Take Back Your Power Sept 10, 2015:  At the invitation of Marilyn Shettel, I attended a screening of a documentary “Take Back Your Power.”  It raised some interesting questions and I will be talking more with Ms. Shuttle in the near future.

We’ve Got Your Back!  Sept. 11, 2015:  This was a hastily thrown together “thank you” to area law enforcement and first responders in our region from Aspen to Parachute.  For being planned in less than 36 hours, it was well attended.  I have received requests from community members to turn this into an annual event and make it bigger. We’ll work on that!

Club 20 Fall Meeting Sept. 12, 2015:  This was my first Club 20 meeting and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing U.S. Congressman Scott Tipton and U.S. Senator Michael Bennet on things happening statewide and nationally. I also received lessons from Henry Sobanet, Governor Hickenlooper’s Budget Director on Colorado’s fiscal challenges and from Mark Hermundstad on water regulations and impacts on Colorado’s Western Slope. The networking was also wonderful!

Garfield County Economic Development Partners Sept 16, 2015:  This is a group of staff and elected officials from various entities throughout Garfield County that meet quarterly to review what is happening in Garfield County. RFTA presented their 2015 Travel Plan Study.  The roundtable is particularly useful to know what other communities are working on and to provide opportunities for partnership and coordination.

In addition we have had two City Council meetings which included a work session on the Confluence Area and a work session with the Planning and Zoning Commission.


Community Discussion: The Effect of the Growing Homeless & Vagrant Population in Glenwood Springs

Monday, October 5, 2015

6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Glenwood Springs Community Center

Coming up this week: 

Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting Tuesday, Sept. 22

City Staff Employee Picnic Friday, Sept 25 – City Hall closed from Noon to 2 p.m.

Fire Department’s Open House Saturday Sept 26!  The Fire Department’s Open House is always fun for all ages so come on down from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the downtown fire station at 8th & Cooper.

Board and Commission Openings:  apply here!

Planning and Zoning:  1 Alternate

River Commission: 1 Alternate

Victims and Witness Assistance & Law Enforcement Board (VALE): 1 Alternate

Board of Appeals: 1 Alternate

Parks and Recreation: 1 Alternate

Celebrating July 4th – Let’s Do This Glenwood!

1403209861july_4_fireworksWhat’s more American than mother, apple pie and fireworks on the 4th of July?  To many it seems unpatriotic to forego fireworks on Independence Day. There is a certain adrenalin rush with the first boom reminiscent of the “bombs bursting in air.”  No doubt, it can be an awe inspiring 15 minutes.  The City of Glenwood Springs has recently received sharp criticism for shifting fireworks to Ski Spree in February. So, what is the solution?

For many fireworks on July 4th is a tradition that is hard to break.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am absolutely for a big celebration on Independence Day. We need to  celebrate our freedom, and be thankful for the freedom we still have! We need to honor those who have fought for that freedom.  I simply think there are other options than thousands of dollars going up in smoke in 15 minutes. kids-fourth-of-july Stay with me for a minute and see if that money might be better spent in others ways that bring the community together, actually honoring those who have served,  and coming together as a community rather than staring at the sky.

First let me start with some suggestions for things the city could work on for next year, because Glenwood cannot simply ignore this holiday any longer  These have been suggested by residents, business owners, friends, neighbors and family as a way that we could observe this great holiday.  I know there are many more possibilities, too! 

We could have an Old-Time Theme Fourth of July complete with pancake breakfast, parade, old time games and crafts for adults and kids, old-time baseball game, BBQ, marching bands, band or orchestra concert, ice cream social.Old_Time_Base_ball Period costumes could be encouraged with willing volunteers playing roles (Teddy Roosevelt, Doc Holliday, Carrie Nation, etc.) and wandering through town interacting with guests and creating photo ops. costume_1How about a vintage swim suit show at the Hot Springs or Iron Mountain Hot Springs? Would the Hotel Colorado be willing to give tours or “ghost tours”? Could the Frontier Historical Museum haul out its Linwood Cemetery Ghost Walk for a couple evenings?  Maybe even bring the Vaudeville players on stage at 2 Rivers or show old movies in the band shell;  how about Tom Mix and the Great Train Robbery?

2015-07-07_1233Or we could have something like a “Taste of the Valleys”   Everything from locally produced fruits and veggies, wine, honey etc., as well as local restaurants at Two Rivers. Maybe we could have a giant yard sale or craft fair featuring items made by people from Aspen to Vail to Parachute.  Perhaps we could include a laser light show, rather than fireworks. How about a giant slip and slide to cool off on a hot July 4th. What about an old fashioned street dance and bring back the classic car show!  In years past the downtown merchants had gigantic sidewalk sales that seemed to draw people along Grand Avenue.


Another idea would be to make it truly a patriotic celebration to honor our current military, veterans, firefighters, hot shots, State Troopers and police officers, including those that lost their lives defending Glenwood Springs on Storm King.

We could do any assortment of these things and more!  Yes, we would need to budget for it and yes, we would need assistance, both monetary and volunteers.  The Chamber is just recovering from Strawberry Days, so to put this burden on them is not feasible. The city cannot do this on its own, but it sounds like there might be enough interest in having something that we could get some willing volunteers.laser_light_show

With or without fireworks, Glenwood is in a unique position to put together a wonderful way to celebrate July 4th, honor those who have served and who continue to serve our nation and provide a great experience for residents and visitors alike. Again, Glenwood cannot simply ignore this important holiday.

The current City Council has been raked over the coals in social media for not having fireworks.  Some have argued that we had a much wetter spring than normal and therefore should have had fireworks now.  However, this decision was made during the last budgeting and grant cycle and the budget was approved in late 2014.   Additionally, although I am new to Council, having been elected in April,  I understand it takes lead time of longer than a few weeks to find a purveyor of fireworks that can put something together on the magnitude that Glenwood would like to see.

firefighter_memorialHaving been a Glenwood resident through both the Storm King and Coal Seam fires, I will admit that I don’t want to do anything that could possibly cause something like that devastation again.

Yes, fireworks is the go-to tradition.  But lets give folks more reasons to celebrate our nation’s independence in Glenwood Springs. Next year, July 4th is on a Monday – lets begin now to make a new tradition in Glenwood.

Interested?  Let me know. The city will be starting the budget process for next year soon!  And if you absolutely cannot do without your fireworks on July 4th in spite of some different possibilities — let me know that too. I am listening – really. Comments welcome on this blog or  email me at or call me at 379-4849. 

The CHOICE for a new Mayor

As I took my place on the dais, a new greenhorn council member, I was immediately faced with a tough choice. Who should be our next mayor? Three of our seven member council volunteered or were nominated; Stephen Bershenyi, Leo McKinney and Michael Gamba.

For me this was a choice, not a decision. That made it no less easy or awkward, particularly as a new council member. For me, the choice was between Bershenyi and Gamba. McKinney has fulfilled that role for the last two years and it was just time for a change.

Webster defines choose as,” to select freely and after consideration” Last fall, I attended a Mastering Performance seminar with Jonathan Clark. We spent some time on the concept of choice vs decision. This one was hard for me to grasp. Tonight I get it.

Michael Gamba - Glenwood   Post Independent Photo

Michael Gamba – Glenwood Post Independent Photo

Both Bershenyi and Gamba would have made excellent mayors. Bershenyi is intelligent and very well spoken. It is obvious that he loves Glenwood and acts consistently in the best interest of Glenwood and her citizens. Gamba is also intelligent and a straight shooter. He too is a champion for Glenwood and a visionary. Both are outspoken, but who on council isn’t. Because of my involvement on the Transportation Commission and the Victims and Law Enforcement Board, I have gotten to know Gamba.

But in a matter of a few moments, Council must make a choice that could affect the direction and set the tone of this Council for the next two years, at least. So that is what it came down to, a simple choice. In this instance I chose Gamba. I made this choice after consideration – brief as it was. The choice I made belongs to me, not to my reasons for choosing Gamba. I am completely comfortable with that choice.

This process still begs the question: is this best way to choose a mayor? I am not so sure, although there are some advantages. What I do know is that this is an awkward process and does nothing to enhance relationships and cohesiveness among City Council members. And to a greenhorn council member, it is a sensitive choice. My hat is off to anyone who is willing to serve in this position.

Thank you, Leo McKinney, for your service as Mayor for the last two years. Michael Gamba, best of luck to you in your new role.