Heimlicher retains District 3 council seat by 2,000 votes

       With re-election secured April 7, District 3 City Council member Jerry Heimlicher plans to make his webmaster spend the coming weekend replacing campaign rhetoric with pure issues information.

Jerry Heimlicher

       That means Heimlicher, who does his own website, could have a busy Saturday and Sunday.
       But the six-year council member does not begrudge the time. “It feels good to have the campaign over with and to get busy and work on the real problems,” he said April 8 after his 56.8-43.2 percent victory over Dave Gardner in the mail-in election.
       The actual vote count was 8,697 for Heimlicher and 6,615 for Gardner.
       For the Westside, issues that Heimlicher has recently focused on include rights of transient campers vs. those of neighborhoods, the White Acres open space purchase (due for council approval April 14) and improvements to the “No Man's Land” area along Colorado Avenue between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs (a grant request has been submitted to the state, with an answer due this year).
       It was Heimlicher's second re-election win. He was unopposed in 2005. The election is for four years.
       His district covers the Westside north to about Uintah Street. District 1 council member Scott Hente, who ran unopposed, has the Westside north of that.
       In the election's four ballot issues, 1A (to let the city keep a .665 mill levy to promote jobs) lost; 1B (to let the city keep extra TABOR tax collections - about $700,000, according to Heimlicher) won; 1C (to increase the percent for maintenance from the open space tax proceeds) lost; and 1D (to allow the city's enterprises' revenue totals to exceed 25 percent federal funds without TABOR tax limitations) won.
       Heimlicher has not deeply analyzed his election victory as yet, but feels proud that he won convincingly in a district that has more people registered as Democrats and Independents (18,240) than Republicans (13,993) like himself. “It's obvious I got votes from all three groups,” he said. “In my opinion, that is what non-partisan elections are all about.”
       The District 3 campaign was not a friendly one, and neither candidate offered favorable comments about each other afterwards.
       Gardner's overriding focus was growth (including the allegation that Heimlicher was influenced by support from the housing industry). The challenger sent out a post- election e-mail stating that getting as close as he did “shows the citizens of our community understand the times are changing. The dialog about sustainability for Colorado Springs has begun, and I pledge to continue that conversation.”
       Heimlicher, who had said it was unlikely any council members could be thus influenced when their pay is just $6,000 a year, did offer an olive branch to those who may have voted against him. “There are no more Heimlicher and Gardner voters, only citizens,” he said. “And I'm going to serve everybody.”

Westside Pioneer article