Clark seeks 4 more years as El Paso County commissioner

       Sallie Clark has a simple answer, when asked why she's running for a second four-year term as El Paso County's District 3 commissioner: “There's so much still to get done.”
       Two of her main Westside concerns are transportation-related. She wants to move the Cimarron/I-25 interchange closer to the top of the metro priority list (see story on Page 1) and to carry out proposed upgrades to the “No Man's Land” segment of West Colorado Avenue.
       The election will be next November.
       A longtime Westside resident and bed-and-breakfast owner, Clark serves a district that covers western Colorado Springs from south of the Air Force Academy to north of Fort Carson. She is the only one so far from either the Republicans (her party) or the Democrats who has filed candidate papers.
       She can point with some success to the Westside goals she defined in an interview before the 2004 election. These were, as follows:
       The Pen-rose Equestrian Center, which was struggling financially under county control. Now called the Norris-Penrose Event Center, it was bought in 2005 by the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Foundation.
       The state's increasing costs for the county to lease Section 16. Colorado Springs Parks is now leasing it and plans to buy it (with some financial help from the county).
       The plan-ned expansion of Highway 24 through the Westside. Since the start of the state's planning effort, Clark has pushed for a project more sensitive to the existing neighborhoods and businesses.
       During the first three years of her term, she's also been active in a pot-pourri of areas, including child welfare, restoration of a grafitti-riddled Manitou waterfall area, support of an organic weed control effort in Bear Creek Park, implementation of individual commissioner phone numbers to make them easier to contact, a push for a new Cimarron bridge (now being built over Conejos Street and the railroad tracks), successful advocacy for west-of-Bijou-bridge improvements in the COSMIX project, and creation of the Spirit Awards for the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN).
       Clark has served on various local and state organizations and committees. These include the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) and Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) boards (representing the county on both), the State Travel and Tourism Authority, School District 11 Business Sounding Board, the Westside Schools Task Force, the National Fire Protection Association's 1710 Committee, Council of Neighbors and Organiza-tions, Springs Community Improvements Program's Public Safety Committee, the Dr. Lester L. Williams Fire Museum Board, the Colorado Restaurant Association - Pikes Peak Chapter, National League of Cities Public Safety Committee, the American Heart Association's “Go Red for Women” Committee and the United Way campaign. She and her husband Welling founded the Colorado Bed and Breakfast Association in 1987.
       Clark especially likes being known as someone that citizens can call with an issue and get help. “I get a lot of calls from Westside residents,” she said. Having started her political career as a neighborhood advocate - leading the successful battle 11 years ago to save Fire Station 3 - “I know how the public process affects citizens, because I was in that position once and I felt left out by government,” she commented.
       She followed the fire station effort by serving several years with OWN, then being elected to City Council from 2001 to 2003. After a failed effort to become mayor in '03, she ran for commissioner in 2004, defeating another Republican in the primary and having no Democrat opposition in the election.
       She is the fourth woman county commissioner in El Paso County history.
       Not knowing what sort of opposition (if any) she will have this time, Clark said she anticipates (at least for now) a “lower-key” campaign than in '04.

Westside Pioneer article