Grand Junction City Council finally gets 7th member

Barbara Traylor-Smith

For the first time in months, Grand Junction’s City Council is populated by all seven members, now that councilors have appointed candidate Barbara Traylor-Smith to fill the vacant seat.

Traylor-Smith was chosen from among five other candidates Thursday after about two hours in a question-and-answer-type forum.

City Council had been shy two council members after the June death of former Councilor Harry Butler. Councilors appointed Duncan McArthur —  who had run in April’s election but lost to Butler — to fill that seat in late July. Traylor-Smith was appointed to fill the at-large seat vacated by former Councilor Rick Brainard, who resigned in July.

Traylor-Smith also endured the first round of deliberations, after which McArthur was appointed to the board.

Councilors said they chose Traylor-Smith in part because she has been visible at council meetings and workshops for the past month.

“I appreciate her financial background,” Councilor McArthur added.

Councilors initially split on their first choices for the seat. Councilor Bennett Boeschenstein picked Tom Kenyon; Councilor Jim Doody chose Teresa Black; Councilor Marty Chazen and McArthur chose Traylor-Smith and Councilors Phyllis Norris and Sam Susuras chose Riecke Claussen.

Candidates also included Reginald Wall and Charles Michael Elliott.

After some discussion, councilors opted to agree to appoint Traylor-Smith.

Each candidate was allowed a few minutes to answer questions, including how they would approach economic development; their thoughts on the Grand Valley Trails Master plan and the future of canal trails; whether anyone had been convicted of a crime (none admitted to a felony conviction); and the importance of private property rights.

After the unanimous vote, Traylor-Smith was sworn in. The seat is up for re-election in April 2015.


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