Thursday, April 6, 2017

UPDATE: Gaebler considering bid for Colorado Springs City Council president

Posted By on Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 2:18 PM

Gaebler: Considering a run for Council president. - COURTESY OF JILL GAEBLER
  • Courtesy of Jill Gaebler
  • Gaebler: Considering a run for Council president.
UPDATE: We just spoke with Councilor Tom Strand, who says he'll be supporting Merv Bennett to continue as Council president. Strand also says he's hoping to be elected by his colleagues as chairman of the Colorado Springs Utilities Board, a post now held by Andy Pico, who might end up as vice chair, the seat now occupied by Strand.

Councilor Bill Murray says in an email, "We need new leadership and I am available."


Just having captured a second term on the Colorado Springs City Council, Jill Gaebler is considering a bid to become Council president.

Currently president pro tem, Gaebler would replace Merv Bennett at the helm. Bennett is mid-way through his second term as an at-large Council member.

Two obvious candidates for Council president — Don Knight and Andy Pico, who also were re-elected on April 4 — say they're not interested.

The president job, which includes running meetings and helping to set agendas, generally but not always goes to the more senior members of Council.

Says Gaebler via email:
Yes, I am considering a run for Council president, as I believe I have the experience, collaborative abilities, and time to take on this role. I also believe this election was a mandate for those of us who will represent the voice of the people and are not beholden to any special interest group. I will listen and support all constituents and constituent groups and would be honored to serve in this capacity.
If Gaebler is elected by her fellow councilors, she would be the first female Council president under the mayor-Council form of government adopted by voters in 2010. Since the new form of government was put into place in 2011, the president's chair has been occupied by Scott Hente, Keith King and Bennett.

Knight says he's not a contender, because he wants to focus on "part 2" of his landslide legislation — imposing mandates for notification to potential buyers of landslide hazards. He also is in the midst of a city code update to codify duties and powers of City Council, a project he began in January 2016.

Pico now serves as chairman of the Utilities Board but new leadership for that panel is due to be chosen by Council members on April 19 when the board meets for the first time after the April 4 election.

Pico says he expects to be replaced on the Colorado Springs Utilities Board, although he would "love to continue" as chairman. His preference is to remain as chairman rather than pursuing the role of Council president, he says.

The other possible candidate for Council president is Richard Skorman, who served on Council seven years from 1999 to 2006, including a couple of years as Vice Mayor.

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