Ed Ulibarri says he’s still a good fit for Montrose City Council. After two previous terms, he is again running, this time, seeking the at-large seat.
Ulibarri was born in Montrose and attended school at Northside Elementary, Columbine Junior High School (now middle school) and Montrose High School. He attended Ventura College in Ventura, California with a couple of fellow MHS graduates before returning to Montrose.
Since then, Ulibarri has served on a number of community boards, including the Delta-Montrose Electric Association Consumer Advisory Board, Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors, Colorado State Homebuilders Association and the Montrose Housing Authority Board, among others. He has also been a member of the Elks Lodge for more than 20 years and was previously a member of the Rotary Club. He currently owns the Sunnyside Homebuilders business.
Ulibarri also served on the city council from 1998-2002 and from 2004-2008.
“With all my experiences from previous years and my life’s experiences, I think I’m a good fit again,” Ulibarri said. “As far as the civic involvement, I enjoy being a member of Montrose; this is my hometown… This is where I’m going to be.”
Ulibarri feels that his experience serving on other boards with many types of people has allowed him to gain leadership skills and learn to work as a team.
“You learn to not only delegate authority but accept the responsibilities of authority. I realized that nothing in the city is fixed or static; everything’s moving,” Ulibarri said. “You have to be able to deal with [changes] in a calm, fair manner.”
One of the primary issues facing the city of Montrose is the closure of the Russell Stover factory, something Ulibarri hopes to address if he is elected to the position.
“We have a good economy right now, but to be honest with you, I’m not sure what the economy’s gonna be like after the factory closes,” Ulibarri said. “When a city starts getting in trouble, it affects everybody in the community, not just the businesses.”
Ulibarri said he believes the most important value, both as a city councilor and a human being, is to have honesty and integrity. He said that if elected, he hopes to improve communication between city council and the community and to invest more in Montrose’s permanent residents.
“I’d like to make sure that the city is more responsive to the residents and not so much to the people that just pass through on vacation,” Ulibarri said.
Ulibarri stated that getting involved and talking to people is the best way to make a decision — both in his previous experiences and his hopes for City Council. He said that in the past, he took residents’ perspectives into consideration and will do the same.
“The city council should be way more informed than the average citizen of Montrose, and I’m not sure that’s happening,” Ulibarri said. “I don’t see how anybody can make a wise decision unless they're informed, make a judgment based on what they see by getting involved.”
Ulibarri hopes to use not only his background in civic engagement but also his life experiences to enhance his understanding of the community and potentially represent Montrose residents on city council.
“About six years ago, I lost my only child and I realized from that experience that you’re only here one day at a time,” Ulibarri said. “When you make all these promises and plans, you may not be here tomorrow. All I can say is that I will do what I can to meet these challenges head on, and be open to ideas, not just my ideas, but anyone who has an idea that wants to suggest it.”
The City of Montrose Municipal Election will take place on April 7. Also seeking the at-large seat are Charli Oswald, Barbara Bynum (incumbent), Yvonne Meek and Paul Arbogast. Voters can find out more information at cityofmontrose.org under “Elections.”