Candidates for Grand Junction City Council, District D

Marty Chazen



Duke Wortmann



Name:  Martin “Marty” Chazen

Age: 64

Years in Grand Junction: 11

1. Do you support creating a community/recreation center in Grand Junction?

No. This is a nice-to-have amenity, but our community has more pressing issues to deal with. A project of this magnitude would likely include public debt supported by a tax increase, which under TABOR means a ballot measure. Voters are currently being asked to fund an event center and to use funds set aside to retire Riverside Parkway debt for deferred street maintenance. Next, voters will likely be asked for additional tax increases for public safety and school projects. At a time when we are grappling with soft tax revenues, a sluggish economy and looming tax increases, it is hard to see how a publicly funded project that competes with the private sector is a top priority.

 

2. What should City Council’s role be in promoting economic development?

Only businesses can create meaningful, high-paying jobs for our citizens and graduates. It is our city’s role to create the conditions for businesses to operate efficiently and profitably. With the right policies, we can grow the businesses we have and attract new ones. It starts with a safe city and a modern, well-maintained infrastructure. It also means supporting our economic partners and implementing policies that includes low taxes, regulatory restraint, targeted incentives, flexible land use, quick action from city departments and fiscal responsibility. I have strongly supported these policies and will continue to do so in a second term.

 

3. Do you support the presence of retail marijuana businesses in Grand Junction?

No. Look no farther than the 16th Street Mall in Denver to see the impact that retail marijuana and the drug culture can have on a community. Our vagrancy problem, some of which is driven by alcohol and drug abuse, is already straining the resources of the city and nonprofit providers. We don’t need to make the problem worse, we don’t need marijuana as a draw from surrounding states and we don’t need a reason for prospective employers to think twice before bringing jobs and investment to Grand Junction.

 

4. Identify one or two issues you feel are most important for Grand Junction.

Of my three priorities, public safety, infrastructure and economic development, the top issue is economic development. My vision is a well-diversified local economy capable of creating fulfilling jobs for our citizens and graduates. Only jobs that produce real goods and services, integrated with markets outside our area, can create wealth and security. Those jobs will open new opportunities for our citizens and grow our tax revenues. With a strong economy, we will have the funding to make our community safe, maintain our roads and make Grand Junction a great place to live, work and play.

 

5. What makes you a qualified candidate for City Council?

I earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in finance, enjoyed a successful corporate career, taught at the university level and have operational experience. I earned a technical degree from Mesa State College (2010) and taught at Western Colorado Community College. For the past four years, I served on City Council and served four years as mayor pro tem. In addition to serving on various boards and commissions, I serve as board chairman of Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado, an organization representing the interests of five western Colorado counties and their municipalities. As such, I am deeply involved with policy and legislative issues that affect our Western Slope region. I am comfortable with large, complex organizations and know how to allocate scarce resources for maximum benefit. As a retired accountant, I know how to study an issue, get into the detail, ask the right questions and make the tough decisions that put taxpayers first.

Name: Duke Wortmann

Age: 59

Years in Grand Junction: 40

 

1. Do you support creating a community/recreation center in Grand Junction?

I absolutely support the concept of a community/recreation center for Grand Junction. I believe the population would be best-served by adding some “activity centers” to our existing schools, if possible. If new schools are constructed say in Orchard Mesa, for instance, let’s piggy back and add to that project. At some point the “ask” of the public will be a grand plan, Matchett Park for instance. Let’s get these plans moving and build some better amenities that spread out across the city. Serving the many diverse regions of this valley would be awesome.

 

2. What should City Council’s role be in promoting economic development?

I have a passion for bringing economic activity to the city. Creating more jobs will grow our population who will then spend more money here, growing our tax dollars. As a councilman I would want to be involved in the ask and will dial/present/set aside funds if necessary to get jobs to the community. It doesn’t bother me to get a “no” as then we are only closer to our next “yes.”

 

3. Do you support the presence of retail marijuana businesses in Grand Junction?

I do not support legalizing marijuana in the city. Medical information is still pushing its way out. Our youth have enough to deal with, legalizing marijuana is not something I would support.

 

4. Identify one or two issues you feel are most important for Grand Junction.

How do we as a Council make education first after what we need to do for the citizens of Grand Junction?  Following the roadmap adopted in 2014 by the current City Council, let’s stay focused on that plan, we do not have to reinvent the wheel. Do not be afraid to ask. Leadership is not about having folks follow you — it is about having folks join you. The Riverside Parkway size of project is what I am referring to here. Dream bigger, be transparent and let the public be informed and maybe the entire vision will be easy to swallow. I would rather be accused of trying than not.

 

5. What makes you a qualified candidate for City Council?

Having lived here for 40 years, I want to live here forever! I think I bring a level of collaboration, perspiration and aspiration to the Council. Getting folks to join me is something I really enjoy. Let’s win this thing of being a great place for all and an example of what can be instead of being left behind. We have the horsepower here, let’s set a plan and move in a direct line towards it.


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