A council reset

Grand Junction voters apparently turned out incumbent members of the City Council Tuesday, largely in favor of candidates endorsed by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce.

But one race, between incumbent Councilor Laura Luke and challenger Martin Chazen, was much closer than expected. A recount may still be called to contest Chazen’s very narrow victory. Former Councilor Bonnie Beckstein finished a distant third.

In the only open race, voters did not choose the Chamber of Commerce candidate, Duncan McArthur. Instead, they elected former City Councilor Harry Butler, who was defeated by Teresa Coons for the same seat eight years ago. Coons was term-limited and couldn’t seek re-election. Robert Noble came in third.

The people elected are respectable, solid citizens who should provide reliable service to the city.

But we believe Grand Junction also lost some valuable public servants in this election, notably Tom Kenyon, who was defeated by the equally qualified Phyllis Norris.

Also defeated Tuesday was Mayor Bill Pitts, who lost to challenger Rick Brainard.

The results of Tuesday’s election mean only the three members of the current council who were not up for re-election or term limited — Jim Doody, Bennett Boeschenstein and Sam Susuras — will remain on the council.

This is a significant reset of the City Council from the one that has operated the past two years. Voters in this election mostly elected council members who are less eager to spend taxpayer money on new projects and more committed to working with business than the current council was perceived to be.

Congratulations to the winning candidates, who worked to convince voters they were the right people for the City Council at this time. But thanks are also due to those members who served the city admirably over the past few years. And thanks, as well, to other candidates who ran unsuccessfully, but were willing to offer their time and talents to the city.


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