Next Tuesday a new city council member will fill the vacancy former council member Roy Anderson left when he stepped down.

Anderson had filled the city council seat for District III but resigned April 7 for family reasons. Montrose City Council accepted applications for a new council member and will be voting on eligible candidates during its regular meeting May 4.

Most of the current councilors have been serving together for the past couple of years, securing a working relationship throughout COVID-19.

Throughout the change in council dynamics, council members are optimistic about the newcomer.

“I’m not sure it will affect things because it’s been a virtual council this past year,” said Councilor Barbara Bynum. With the risks of COVID and following safety guidelines, Bynum said the council hasn’t had the opportunity to get to know one another before, after and between meetings like past council members have.

“Normally council brings in new members every two years anyway, so we’re not worried about them [the new member] being able to jump in. We’ll certainly miss Roy.”

Bynum was in a similar position as the newcomer in 2018, when she ran against David Stockton for the at-large seat she currently holds until April of next year. Bynum had been previously appointed to fill a vacancy for the at-large seat in 2017.

Mayor Doug Glaspell was also voted onto the city council in 2018 for the District 1 seat, which he will also fill until April of next year, when it will again be up for election.

Glaspell expects the city council to continue running smoothly with the new member. “We’ve always had a good group of candidates that have come from the community, so I don’t see there being any problems,” said Glaspell.

“I think most of the people who we’ve had run have had the community’s best interest at heart.”

A total of seven applications were submitted for a seat on the city council, but only two were eligible to move forward in the process.

The applicants

Jeff Rice - District II

Anthony Russo - District II

Edward J. Ulibarri - District II

Charlane (Charli) Oswald - District III

J. David Reed - District III

Richard (Rick) L. Fellabaum - District IV

Kevin Moore - District IV

Because Bynum opted to remain in the at-large seat, only the two candidates residing in District III are eligible for appointment next week.

Applicants J. David Reed and Charli Oswald meet all requirements to be considered for appointment to the vacant seat and will be administered the oath of office by City Clerk Lisa DelPiccolo next Tuesday.

Q&A: Meet the candidates

To be eligible for appointment, the applicants must be a qualified elector and have resided within the City of Montrose and/or applicable city council district for 12 consecutive months preceding April 7, 2021. In the event that the at-large seat was vacated, city council opened up applications for qualified electors residing anywhere within the city limits. The deadline to submit an application was April 22.

Oswald

Please tell us about your qualifications to serve on the city council:

Growing up on a farm gave me some of the best foundations for my life, but also insight into the agricultural world that established our community. After graduating from high school, and then Legal Arts of Arizona, my first career was in the legal system working as a free-lance court reporter, and later a legal secretary.

In 1982, I moved back to Colorado and became chief operating officer of a start-up company, tasked with creating the various departments and ultimately overseeing production of 50 employees. In time I set myself up in real estate and gained experience in sales, marketing and development in both residential and commercial property.

During this time, I also was sponsored and graduated from the Leadership Program of the Rockies, an education that led to the opportunity to serve as assistant to one of our state legislators.

Since moving to Montrose I have immersed myself in the community by attending forums, council meetings, joining committees and serving on boards.

In 2018, I graduated from the Montrose Leadership Program. In 2019, I spent most of the year with a partnership, attempting to convert one of the largest buildings downtown into an indoor marketplace in an effort to increase downtown foot traffic and create a venue for small business incubation.

This provided experience working with the railroad, our city government, and Opportunity Zones. In 2020, I ran as a candidate for the at-large city council position.

Why are you interested in serving on city council?

After discovering Montrose about 17 years ago, I made it a goal to relocate here. I fell in love with the friendly, caring people, and was in awe of the many amenities of the community and surrounding area.

Since moving here and becoming an official member, my feelings have only become enhanced with all I have learned and experienced. I believe my involvement has given me a significant understanding of what has built this community, what is inspiring it’s growth, and what challenges are ahead.

Being able to contribute my time and efforts to solutions and enhancements would be an honor.

Will you have any conflicts with the service required of the city council?

No.

What volunteer boards have you served on?

Otter Pond Home Owners Association: September 2015 — February 2020; Montrose GOP: October 2015 — February 2019.

What are the most significant issues facing Montrose?

In talking with local citizens, overwhelmingly the top issues include shortage of “affordable/attainable” housing and short-term rentals; needed infrastructure repair/replacement/installation; jobs and professional/labor/service; and downtown stimulation.

What else can you tell us about yourself?

I am a self-starter, and believe myself to be a thoughtful, fair and creative thinker. I enjoy working with people and believe I have created a reputation of trust and respect. I have two married children, one grandchild, and immediate family in Ridgway and Ouray.

Oswald has resided in Montrose for six years.

Reed

Tell us about your qualifications to serve on the city council:

B.A. University of Louisiana; J.D. South Texas College of Law-Houston (magna cum laude); Montrose School Board; president of Montrose Chamber of Commerce; Montrose mayor/city council; San Juan Healthcare Foundation, President; Montrose Community Foundation, vice-president; CMU Montrose Advisory Council, chairman; CMU Board of Trustees, chairman; Montrose Public Safety Committee; 25 years experience as a municipal attorney and special districts attorney.

Why are you interested in serving on city council?

As a long time resident of the city, I have always felt an obligation to step forward and offer my services in those areas where I felt I could offer positive input for the betterment and continuing development of our community.

I would like to be a part of that leadership that will help guide our community through the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Will you have any conflicts with the service required of the city council?

No.

What volunteer boards have you served on?

Montrose Community Foundation, 2013 — present; San Juan HealthCare Foundation, 2012 — present; Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club — initial board.

What are the most significant issues facing Montrose?

Affordable housing; development of employment opportunities resulting in a livable wage; crime reduction; homelessness; diversity.

What else can you tell us about yourself?

I love this community. Debbie and I have lived here for most of our adult lives and we raised our daughter here. This is our home and we are proud of it.

I believe that my experience in municipal government both as an attorney and elected official will serve me well in discharging my duties as a member of city council. I believe that my history reflects my ability to accept challenges and successfully address them.

If chosen, I look forward to utilizing my skills to continue the positive progress of our community and helping to make this an even better place to live for today’s citizens as well as those who will follow.

Oswald’s and Reed’s full applications can be viewed online in the May 3 City Council work session packet.

Cassie Knust is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press.

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