Primer for upcoming Longmont elections

I get asked all the time things like “how do we get rid of these losers“? and “I want to recall councilmember X“, and “when’s the next chance to vote them all out“? So, in an ongoing series I’ll try to break down the current makeup of Longmont City Council and who’s up for re-election and who’s not. The recall issue, that’s a little more complicated, but I’ll get to that later.

First off, Longmont has 7 councilmembers including a Mayor. 4 are “at-large“, including the Mayor, which means everyone in the city gets to vote for those seats. 3 seats are for the 3 particular wards in Longmont. Only people who live in each ward can vote for that wards candidates. Here’s a map of the wards:

If that image is a little blurry, check out this link from the city’s website.

The current races that will be on this November’s ballot are for Mayor, Ward 2, and 2 At-Large seats. Here are the candidates, listed in order of their announcements (from our Vote! Longmont page)

Mayor
Roger Lange (incumbent) (Times-Call announcement)
Dan Benavidez (Times-Call announcement)

Ward 2
Katie Witt (Times-Call announcement)
Karen Benker (incumbent) (Times-Call announcement)

At-Large (2 positions)
Gabe Santos (incumbent) (Times-Call announcement)
Alex Sammoury (Times-Call announcement)
Kaye Fissinger (Times-Call announcement)
Jonathan Singer (Times-Call announcement)
Bryan Boothby (Times-Call announcement)
Bill Van Dusen (Times-Call announcement)

As you can see, 3 of the current councilmembers are not up for re-election, that will occur in 2 years. They are:
Ward 1 – Brian Hansen
Ward 3 – Sean McCoy
At-Large – Sarah Levison
But recall is always an option. Personally the way I feel about recalls is this: if people are stupid enough to vote these people in, well, they get what they deserve. Also, recalls are expensive. I’ve been told that to get something like this on the ballot it would cost around $75,000. That could turn out to be double that if the recall is successful and another special election is needed to fill the seat.

With all that being said, sometimes it’s cheaper on the city as a whole to get rid of a problem than to leave it in place. A good example is the ongoing very expensive litigation with Firestone, which is being allowed to continue and progress by Lange, Benker, McCoy, Levison, and Hansen. Lange and Benker will have their fate decided by the voters in November, but the other three will still be around. Might be cheaper in the long run to get rid of 1, 2, or all 3 of them to change the course of this sinking ship.

Of course it would be insane to consider putting into office any candidate who favors the continued wasting of money. Kaye Fissinger has made it more than clear she intends to continue down this road. I’d like to hear the other candidates stance on this, and will post it here. Obviously, based on his motion to end the Firestone litigation, Gabe Santos wants this all to end. Ward 2 candidate Katie Witt has expressed her disapproval of these endless lawsuits and appeals in the Times-Call and her blog. And unless Mayor Lange changes course soon (like yesterday) this issue could doom his candidacy and continuation of his role as Mayor.

Endorsements? Like I said before, an endorsement from me might be the kiss of death for some candidates, but after we get the final list of candidates (around August 24th) I might make some suggestions, and maybe even predictions later on.

About Chris Rodriguez

Chris is the editor/publisher of LightningRod Blog - as well as founder/editor of Wrongmont, Longmont Advocate, Vote!Longmont, Longmont Politics, the LightningRod Radio Network, as well as being the original Longmont Examiner. Chris is a writer and talker - whether it be blogs, podcasts, music, or public speaking. When he's not heard on Air Traffic radio, he can be heard on his podcasts or seen in the local paper causing trouble.
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