Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Campaign roundup: A town hall, endorsements, a new voter is born

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 11:29 AM

click to enlarge 2019cityelectionbug-01.png
UPDATE:
Late yesterday, we heard from Tom Strand and share his comments:
I have checked and met with three staff attorneys of the City Law Office. Their opinion is that as long as we ( Bill and me) do not talk about the upcoming election and ballot issues, or any campaign matters , this Town Hall is an appropriate opportunity to reach out to constituents on matters of concern to them and that we, as current elected officials, can and should address. There is no violation of the Code of Ethics or the Election Campaign Regulations. As such, I plan to be there tomorrow evening.
———————ORIGINAL POST 11:29 A.M. WEDNESDAY, FEB. 13, 2019———————-

The April 2 city election is just around the corner. Here are some tidbits from the campaign trail:

City councilor town hall:
Incumbent City Councilors Tom Strand and Bill Murray will host a town hall meeting on Feb. 14 —  as nine other candidates are vying for one of three at-large seats. The meeting will take place at City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave., and deal with some issues that can be seen as talking points in the campaign. From the notice: "Topics could include - but are not limited to - City for Champions (C4C) projects, bike lanes, Homelessness Action Plan, and issues impacting Colorado Springs Utilities."

We asked the city if either Strand or Murray hosted a town hall in the first four months of 2018 and found out they did not, although they did convene town halls in September 2018, and in June and September 2017.

Campaign rules bar the use of public money for election campaigns, so we asked Strand and Murray about the timing of this event.

"Both Tom and I have been briefed on what we can and cannot say and do during this town hall," Murray said via email on Feb. 12.

Strand had more to say. "I am asking for legal advice from our City Attorney and Staff before we proceed with this Feb 14 Town Hall," Strand tells the Indy via email. "We generally have been conducting 'At Large' City Council Town Halls every 3 to 4 months during our tenure. This one will just solicit concerns from the constituents for our response and action. It in no way is intended to be a campaign speech or event."

We haven't heard back from Strand since that Feb. 12 message, but there's been no notice issued that there have been any changes in the planned town hall.

click to enlarge Council candidate Tony Gioia has his hands full with this bundle of joy. - COURTESY TONY GIOIA
  • Courtesy Tony Gioia
  • Council candidate Tony Gioia has his hands full with this bundle of joy.
Endorsements:
Val Snider, who served on Council from 2011 to 2015, is taking another run at the office after sitting out a term. He's snagged support from former Mayor Mary Lou Makepeace, former Council President Scott Hente and former Council President Pro Tem Jan Martin.

New in town:
Council candidate Tony Gioia and his wife, Sara, are the proud parents of Gabriella Marie, who was born Feb. 7. She's their first child. She's expected to go home on Feb. 14, Valentine's Day.
(Disclosure: Gioia is a former Indy's distribution employee.)

Let us know:
If you have an item of interest about the city election, which will elect three at-large Council members and a mayor, send them to zubeck@csindy.com. The Indy is interested in learning about endorsements and campaign events, as well as fact-checking campaign materials. 

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