Second-longest tenured councilman wants another shot

Reford Theodold is running again

When Reford Theobold joined the Grand Junction City Council in 1985, the Grand Valley was mired in an economic crisis brought on by the oil-shale bust. Property values plummeted and foreclosures soared.

Fast-forward nearly 25 years, and while the local housing and job outlook is not nearly as dour in the face of a recession as it was then, there are some parallels between the generations.

It’s primarily for that reason — and his handling of city finances in tough times — that the second-longest tenured councilman in the city’s history wants to start another streak on council.

“Part of the thinking is as we’re headed toward some uncertain economic times, somebody who has some experience in lean budgets from the previous bust would be useful,” Theobold said.

Theobold, who served on the council from 1985 to 2003, is one of two people who as of Thursday had picked up and returned their nomination petitions to the city clerk. The other is Bill Pitts, a longtime local resident and retired businessman who was kicked off the city Planning Commission last year.

Theobold is lined up against incumbent Councilwoman Bonnie Beckstein for District D.

He said he supports the city’s initiative to build several new public safety buildings, although he believes officials need to look at alternatives such as identifying an existing building that could be retrofitted, scaling back elements of the project or phasing the project so the most immediate needs are addressed first. He said the city should ditch any effort to exempt itself from revenue-collection limitations imposed by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

Meanwhile, local Realtor and Mesa County Planning Commissioner Tom Kenyon announced Thursday he will run for the District A seat being vacated by Jim Doody.

Standing in front of roughly 20 supporters, Kenyon said he is running because “I can’t hardly not do it” and indicated there are several issues he wants to work on.

Kenyon said the comprehensive plan the city is developing to handle growth in the next 30 years doesn’t identify enough industrial land.

“If we don’t have industrial, we don’t have jobs,” he said.

Kenyon has a mixed stance on the debate over Brady Trucking’s land in south downtown.

The former regional manager for Colorado State Parks said he believes the community should be committed to maintaining a green riverfront. But he said the oil-field services company should continue to operate at its current location.

“I understand there has to be some development,” he said.

As of Thursday, 10 people had picked up petitions: Terry Binder, Kenyon and Ken Sublett in District A; Beckstein and Theobold in District D; Councilwoman Teresa Coons in District E; and Roland Cole, Heather Lambeth, Pitts and Sam Susuras for the at-large seat.

Petitions with the signatures of at least 50 registered city voters are due back by Jan. 26.


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