Political Profiles: Bill Pitts March 21, 2009

Nobody can accuse Bill Pitts of caring about what others think.

On the night the Grand Junction City Council was expected to kick him off the Planning Commission over conflict-of-interest concerns, Pitts was in San Diego for a national real-estate meeting. Then, after the City Council postponed its decision and rescheduled it another night, Pitts walked out of the hearing before council members voted to remove him from the board.

More important than that, though, according to Pitts, nobody can accuse him of lacking dedication to the Grand Valley.

He moved here more than 40 years ago after rejecting his employer’s request to relocate to either of two major metropolitan U.S. cities. He started nine different businesses ranging from a campground to an alarm company. All of his three children and eight grandchildren live here.

He served six years on the Planning Commission and has volunteered for the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce for decades.

He’s now hoping to represent the community in a new forum as a member of the City Council.

“I love this country, and I want to be a part of what it looks like 50 to 100 years from now,” he said.

One way to fulfill that goal is to help shape the comprehensive plan. Pitts identifies the plan, which will determine how the community grows in the next 25 years, as one of his top priorities.

He said he wants to see the plan implemented soon, saying the delay is preventing developers from proceeding with projects. He said three real estate transactions he’s coordinated have fallen through because of uncertainty about future land uses.

Pitts said he has been disappointed in the lack of community participation in the development of the plan. He also criticized the city’s decision to hire a Boulder firm to put together the plan, saying there are plenty of local residents who have the expertise to do the work.

“The smartest people in the world live right here,” he said.

Pitts said he wants the city to scale back a $98 million price tag on a public safety initiative, and he wants to get a close look at the city’s budget to see where it can make cuts to make that happen.


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