Political Profiles: Sam Susuras March 21, 2009

At a time when the economy is struggling to gain its footing and people are searching for work that doesn’t exist, Sam Susuras believes he can put his professional background to work and offer some stability as a member of the Grand Junction City Council.

Susuras spent 30 years in the banking and finance industries. He worked during the past three years for the Colorado Office of Economic Development, helping communities on the Western Slope create jobs and plot future economic development, before quitting recently so he could focus on running for the council’s open at-large seat.

That’s why he’s closely watching how the controversy over Brady Trucking’s efforts to expand its industrial operations along the Colorado River in south downtown unfolds and cringing at the thought the battle could deter other businesses from growing or relocating here.

“It concerns me when I see folks wanting to take industrial land and change it to something else,” he said, adding he wishes the primary opponent of industrial operations along the river, Western Colorado Congress, had put more effort into attempting to buy the property.

Susuras noted he wouldn’t have a problem with changing the zoning of the property as long as it doesn’t lose value. But he doubts that could happen.

“I wish (Western Colorado Congress) would put the broom down and stop sweeping that issue,” he said. “People moving their business here are looking at that.”

Susuras, who serves on the Mesa County Planning Commission and has previously served on planning commissions in Pueblo and Delta, also is pushing for the city to reconfigure its public safety initiative. He said he wouldn’t object to taking the issue back to voters but said any proposed tax increase would have to be shrunk.

“Do we really need all of the frills that they were including in that (first tax increase)?” he said.

He said any new, proposed, public safety buildings should be designed so they can be built onto in the future.


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