Council winner Brainard off hospital board

Grand Junction City Councilor-elect Rick Brainard has resigned his position as a member of the Community Hospital Foundation’s board of directors.

Chief Executive Officer Chris Thomas told The Daily Sentinel on Thursday Brainard decided to resign to focus “on his life and City Council and career.”

“We have appreciated all his help and we wish him well,” Thomas said by phone Thursday.

Thomas said Brainard served on the foundation board, the hospital’s separate fundraising arm, for about the past two years.

Board members serve three-year terms and can be eligible for up to three, three-year terms, Thomas said.

Separately, the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce released a statement Thursday saying the organization has not advised Brainard on how to proceed with his term on City Council and that voters “have every right to determine whether he will continue to serve.”

In light of two misdemeanor domestic violence charges, some residents and five of the seven current city councilors have asked Brainard to step down before being sworn into office May 6.

Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Diane Schwenke said her group released its statement after Brainard issued a lengthy letter to the chamber and to some media outlets Wednesday.

“Somehow it got out that we were involved in guiding him,” Schwenke said by phone Thursday. “We have not. I can tell you that leadership of the organization has not. That covers the administration and the board.” 

Brainard’s statement included an account of the events that occurred prior to his arrest involving his then-girlfriend the night of April 6. He said in his statement he was attempting to control his girlfriend’s rage by separating himself from her; that he now is in counseling; that he will not resign from the council without a recall; and that he will use his platform on the council to address domestic violence issues.

“And my first priority on Council is to take the domestic violence problem in our community out of the shadows and into the light; to take it from the angry lynch mobs on the courthouse steps to focused problem-solving sessions for developing prevention strategies,” Brainard said in his statement.


COMMENTS

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Brainard can take a positive step toward reducing domestic violence in the community by leaving town.

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