2 in District 3 City Council race... but not the incumbent
Democrat Merrifield vs. Republican Czeladtko
Two candidates have entered the City Council race for District 3 - Lisa Czelatdko (pronounced “sa-lot-ko”) and Michael Merrifield.
It is possible for other candidates to enter the race, but Jan. 5 was the first day candidates could start getting signatures on nominating petitions, which need to be returned to the City Election Office by Feb. 9.
Sean Paige, the D-3 incumbent, has decided to run at-large. (See story at right).
The seat winner in District 3 will serve until the city election of April 2013. One of four city election districts, D-3 covers southwest Colorado Springs, with Uintah Street forming the general northern boundary. (North of that is District 1, in which Scott Hente is the incumbent, elected to a four-year term in 2009.)
Although City Council is ostensibly non-partisan, the District 3 race presents candidates who have been active in opposing political parties.
Czelatdko, 40, is involved with the Republican Party - including service as a precinct leader and state delegate.
Merrifield, 64, just completed his fourth term as the Democrat state representative for District 18, which includes some of the same areas as District 3. He had to step down as state rep after Dec. 31 because of term limits.
In a written response to the Westside Pioneer, Czelatdko described herself as “fortunate to have stayed at home for the last 12 years raising four children.” In her free time, she said she has volunteered on various boards, with the belief that “citizen involvement and volunteerism are necessary for a great community.”
Asked why he was running, Merrifield said he thought “it would be a waste to not use my eight years at the Capitol finding solutions and the relations I've built with community and state leaders.” He said he also believes he has “good relations” with Westsiders: “Many know me, the majority voted for me, and most of them trust me.”
Neither candidate lives on the Westside. Czelatdko lives in the Cheyenne area, Merrifield just east of downtown.
In all, six of eight council seats are open April 5, as well as mayor. In addition to D-3, the open council positions are District 2 (where incumbent Darryl Glenn is stepping down after being elected a county commissioner in November) and all four at-large seats.
The mayor's race promises to be of particular citywide interest, because of the November passage of the “strong mayor” ballot initiative, which will increase the office's powers and pay. As of Jan. 5, there were nine candidates for the post.
Westside Pioneer article