Chazen to run again for council
Grand Junction’s municipal election is still five months away, but Grand Junction councilor Marty Chazen announced his intention Tuesday to throw his hat back into the ring.
Chazen is serving in the city’s District D. That seat, and three others, are up for grabs in the April 4, 2017, city election. The other seats include District A, held by Mayor Phyllis Norris; District E ,held by Duncan McArthur; and one at-large seat held by Rick Taggart.
Chazen made his announcement amid snow flurries Tuesday afternoon in front of Grand Junction’s City Hall, to about 30 supporters.
“I promise to put taxpayers first and I promise to get into the detail, ask the tough questions and make sure the right amount of money is spent on the right things,” he said in a brief speech.
Chazen said he would focus on public safety, infrastructure, jobs and fiscal responsibility. His website, Chazenforcitycouncil.org, lists a biography and some of his key concerns, Chazen said.
Some issues facing the Grand Junction City Council include an idea to place a measure on the April ballot asking voters if the city can postpone paying off debt on the Riverside Parkway to get caught up on street maintenance projects.
Councilors also will be looking at the future of an events center and a renovated Two Rivers Convention Center. A feasibility study will be discussed in a council workshop at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the auditorium of Grand Junction City Hall.
Chazen said he wanted a ballot measure seeking to extend the Riverside Parkway debt to be taken to the voters, rather than have councilors rubber-stamp the change as the board could have done. Grand Junction city staff is working on ballot language on the measure and councilors will have a chance to approve the language to the ballot.
“It was a promise that was made to voters that this money would be set aside to appease those bonds,” Chazen said about the Riverside Parkway debt. “They are essentially voting to de-Bruce the city.”
Chazen said he is questioning the financing of a potential events center, arena and remodel of Two Rivers Convention Center with total costs and interest that could run as high as $100 million.
“If you’re going to take $100 million out of the community to bond-holders, what are we going to get out of it?” he said in an interview after the public announcement.
No other candidates have publicly announced their intention to run, and candidate packets are not available for another month, according to the city clerk’s office.
Those who want to run for open seats can pick up packets at the clerk’s office in early January.