Congratulations due City Council victors

Grand Junction voters didn’t stick to one personality type when electing people to the Grand Junction City Council this month. In fact their selections represent a very diverse set of personalities.

Take the at-large seat, for instance. In that three-way race, long-time local businessman Bill
Pitts apparently defeated two more recent transplants to the city, Sam Susuras and Roland Cole. Pitts defeated Susuras by a very narrow margin that could result in a recount, while Cole was a distant third.

In addition to being a resident of this community for decades, Pitts is known for speaking his mind. In fact, his refusal to remain silent about a development proposal in his neighborhood got him kicked off the Grand Junction Planning Commission.

We disagree with Pitts on several issues, especially how planning decisions should be reached. But we believe he, like all of the candidates, sincerely wants to do what he believes is best for this city. And, we trust, he will continue to speak his mind as a member of the City Council.

In the District D race, however, voters went in the opposite direction. They chose incumbent Councilwoman Bonnie Beckstein over former Councilman Reford Theobold.

Beckstein is an accountant and a capable person. But she is known for being a relatively quiet member of the City Council. Theobold, on the other hand, voices his opinion frequently and sometimes vociferously, as those who remember the 18 years he spent on the City Council previously can attest.

But Beckstein put her more recent experience and understanding of the city’s current needs against Theobold’s past experience and won. She deserves credit for running a strong race.

We expect she will continue to represent her constituents well and hope she will do more to make her views known in public meetings.

In the District A race, city voters gave a substantial victory to Thomas Kenyon, a pragmatic man with a reputation for working with people on various sides of an issue and thereby getting things accomplished.

Kenyon’s decades-long association with this community was interrupted by a stint in Denver, where he was in the leadership of the state Division of Parks. In that capacity, he helped Grand Junction and Mesa County develop their riverfront trails and parks.

Kenyon defeated Ken Sublett, a relative newcomer to the area with substantial experience in the military but little of Kenyon’s knowledge of this community and Colorado politics in general.

Finally, in District E, incumbent Councilwoman Teresa Coons was unopposed. But she has shown herself to be a thoughtful, engaged member of the council and she deserved to be re-elected.

Congratulations to all of Tuesday’s winners, as well as to all of the other candidates who offered their time and talents to serve this city.


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