Political Profiles: Ken Sublett March 21, 2009

While most Grand Junction City Council candidates are focusing on popular issues such as the city’s failed public safety initiative, the controversy over industrial zoning along the Colorado River and the general economic malaise, Ken Sublett is talking about under-the-radar topics he feels need to be addressed.

He criticizes what he believes to be the City Council’s lack of communication with subordinate, volunteer boards and the public.

He thinks the planners and consultants putting together the city’s comprehensive plan have devoted too much time to land use and paid short shrift to traffic issues.

And he says the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce has it backwards when it claims that what’s good for business is good for the city.

Perhaps that perspective comes with a life vastly different from any other candidate. Sublett served 21 years with the Air Force, including two terms in Vietnam as a fighter pilot, and spent as much of his adult life in Europe and Asia as he has in the United States.

Sublett, a candidate for the District A seat being vacated by Jim Doody, has volunteered for both the Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority board and the city Planning Commission.

He said he’s running for council because he feels the group hasn’t done a good job of interacting with boards such as the Planning Commission and has made poor decisions in the past year or two.

“Making a decision isn’t tough. What’s tough is making sure you’ve acquired all of the relevant information,” he said.

Sublett said he is unhappy with how the city has gone about crafting the comprehensive plan.

He said 95 percent of the work has been devoted to land use, when the plan should focus on a multitude of other issues, including traffic circulation.

He said he moved from Lexington, Ky., and Virginia Beach, Va., because of traffic bottlenecks, and he fears the same thing could happen here if officials don’t address problem areas.

Specifically, he said he fears Patterson Road will become a “parking lot” as a result of the continued development of the Corner Square project at First Street, the expansion of St. Mary’s Hospital at Seventh Street and the likely construction of a City Market at 12th Street.


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