Council candidates to answer questions at
 chamber forum today

Two separate but notable forums are planned for the Grand Junction Area Chamber luncheon this afternoon — one a recognition of six local companies bucking a tough economy by expanding their businesses, and the second a chance for chamber members to grill candidates ahead of the April city council election.

The chamber says more than 80 members are expected to attend the noon event at the Clarion Inn, first to recognize six businesses that the group says have expanded by 629 jobs and more than $2.3 million in capital combined.

Call center and business outsourcing company StarTek is credited with 588 of those jobs, the chamber says, equating to $2 million in capital.

Also to be recognized are Lewis Engineering, TWI Oilfield Fabrication, Atlasta Solar, Absolute Prestige Limousine Service and Vivax Pro Painters.

Then the City Council candidate forum, scheduled for around 12:20, is being billed as “an opportunity to quiz (candidates) about their positions on business issues.”

The chamber announced their endorsements in the four races for City Council seats at the end of last month, and interestingly decided to endorse a number of candidates over others previously endorsed by the chamber.

The chamber has endorsed Phyllis Norris over Tom 
Kenyon in District A, Martin Chazen over Bonnie Beckstein and Laura Luke in District D, Duncan McArthur over Harry Butler and Robert Noble in District E, and Rick Brainard over Bill Pitts for the at-large position.

Kenyon, Luke and Pitts are incumbent council members.

Four years ago, the chamber endorsed Kenyon in District A and Beckstein in District D.

According to the chamber website, all 10 of the candidates are scheduled to attend the luncheon and candidate forum today.


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