Six residents of Grand Junction's District E who want to replace Duncan McArthur on the City Council introduced themselves as candidates for the seat and answered a prepared set of questions before a sizable crowd Wednesday night at City Hall.
The format — in which each of the six applicants for the job took the mic to say why they should be named to the seat, and then each answered a set of questions prepared beforehand — is intended to provide a neutral forum before current members of the council, who will ultimately decide on who to appoint to the seat. So, there was little in the way of foreshadowing as to whom the council might select during Wednesday night's event.
Kraig Andrews, who spends much of his time as a volunteer, said, "I have one single goal, each and every day. I try to make a positive impact in the lives around me. Some days it's as simple as smiling at somebody in the grocery store, other days it's so much more."
Daniel Fouts is a petroleum engineer with two decades in oil and gas, and said, "I've worked with some difficult people. I've worked with some amazing people. But I have not worked for the people."
Michael Gibson grew up in a military family, studied at the seminary, moved to California and took up woodworking, starting up a furniture company. "I know what it's like to be a small business owner, and all that goes along with that," Gibson said.
Abram Herman is also a small business owner, and hopes to bring some entrepreneurial spirit to the council if selected. He's also a passionate climber and volunteer at The House for at-risk young adults.
Sarah McCarthy similarly touted her volunteerism at The House, but also her background as being born and raised in District E. She grew up on Orchard Mesa and is a graduate of Grand Junction High School. "I really have a vested interest in serving this community," McCarthy said.
Andy Sweet, the sixth applicant for the job, also grew up on Orchard Mesa and highlighted his technical education and service learning at the Botanical Gardens. Now a barber, Sweet said he might not have "council" experience, but he's rich in life experiences.
In May, former council member McArthur said that he was resigning his seat due to ongoing respiratory issues that required him to move to a lower elevation.
McArthur had served District E — which covers the city south of Riverside Parkway, and part of downtown between Seventh and 12th streets north to Orchard Avenue — since June 2013, when he was appointed to the seat following the death of Harry Butler. McArthur won two unopposed elections to the seat, in 2015 and 2017.
The person appointed by the council to McArthur's seat — councilors are expected to consider the candidates over the coming weeks, then make a choice on their own timeline — will go before voters for a full four-year council term in April 2021.