How would they vote? City candidates answer

Members of Kids Voting Mesa County quizzed Grand Junction City Council candidates with several unique questions during a forum Thursday night. Nine of 10 candidates appeared. Rick Brainard was absent.

Grand Junction voters will have their say on the four open Council seats during the April 2 municipal ballot. Mail-in ballots are expected to start filling mailboxes Monday. A full video of the forum can be viewed on the Kids Voting Mesa County website at A screening of the forum also should be available on Mesa County’s Channel 12.

Candidates Phyllis Norris and Tom Kenyon are vying for District A. Candidates Bonnie Beckstein, Marty Chazen and Laura Luke are competing for District D. Harry Butler, Duncan McArthur and Robert Noble are running for District E and Rick Brainard and Bill Pitts are running for the Council’s single at-large position.

All candidates present, except Butler, said they would vote yes for Referendum A, a question of whether Brady Trucking’s property by the Colorado Riverfront should be rezoned light industrial and industrial office, on the company’s two parcels. Butler said the decision should be determined by the voters.

A sampling of questions and limited answers from candidates were as follows:

How important do you think it is to create a recreation center?

Laura Luke: “We want to see a recreation center with swimming pools and indoor skating. I think you guys want a rec center. I’m listening.”

Marty Chazen: “Before we embark on projects like this we have to ask three questions. Can we afford it? Is it financially sustainable and is it our job?”

Bonnie Beckstein: “Twice it was put before voters and twice it was voted down. We should take the schools and auditoriums and create recreation centers (during off hours) that are more accessible to the community.”

What ideas do you have to help the homeless?

Phyllis Norris: “Unfortunately the HOT (Homeless Outreach Team) was pulled because there are not enough police officers ... We do need to have the HOT team reinstated as soon as we can.”

Tom Kenyon: “This is not a new problem, this is an old problem… Many homeless are new. There are many places we can still improve on the homeless.”

What is your position concerning conceal-carry permits (for guns) in the city limits?

Harry Butler: “In certain places it’s viable, in certain places it isn’t.”

Duncan McArthur: “The right to bear arms should not be infringed.”

Robert Noble: “I worked as federal law enforcement officer. I had a problem with people carrying weapons that they were not trained for. It’s dangerous for people to be carrying weapons all the time in a community.”

What’s your stance on raising Transportation Capacity Fees for commercial development?

Bill Pitts: “If the new Duncan study (was released) the commercial businesses would be paying three times the infrastructure (costs).”


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