OWN election incumbents: Only Hughes expects to run for new term in Jan. 12 vote

       Of the two incumbents on the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) board, Dave Hughes plans to run again - although for a different seat - while Joyce Gibson says she will not seek another term in the election Thursday, Jan. 12.
       Four seats in all will be available in the election. Anyone age 18 and up who lives on the older Westside or owns property there is eligible to run for the board or to vote. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the West Intergenerational Center, with the election supervised by the current board.
       In addition to board elections, the Colorado Springs Police Department and Code Enforcement will make a presentation and be available to answer questions on code issues.
       OWN is the city-recognized volunteer advocacy group within the city's Westside Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Strategy Area.
       Hughes, a longtime Westside civic leader who helped create OWN 27 years ago, was appointed to the board to fill the District 2 vacancy in September 2004 and has been serving as treasurer. He does not live in that district, but the bylaws allow any Westsider to be temporarily appointed to a district board vacancy if no one who lives there steps forward.
       Contacted last week, he said he expects to run for either of the at-large vacancies. He said he is leaning toward the At-large 1 vacancy, which has only a year remaining (At-large 3 is for a full three-year term). Hughes, who said he already has his “hands full” as a board member/treasurer with the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS), hopes a year will be enough time for OWN to pull together the historic overlay zone that was his main reason for wanting to come onto the board.
       Gibson, presently the At-large 3 board member, has been on the board for five years, serving as president in 2003-04. She and her husband plan to relocate to a city at sea level for health reasons, she said.
       Looking back on her board time, she said she was especially proud of her work with the task force for Westside schools that recommended the “magnet” strategy that has started showing positive results in terms of test scores and enrollment. She also supports the overlay plan, which would provide voluntary, incentive-based design guidelines to encourage historic preservation. “I don't know where that's going to go, but it's got the city's attention,” she said.
       The four seats available in the election are District 2, District 4, At-large 1 and At-large 3. All but At-large 1 are for three-year terms.
       The District 2 boundaries are north of Highway 24 between 14th and 21st streets and south of Uintah Street and Manitou Boulevard.
       District 4 is north of Highway 24 between 21st and 26th streets, bordered on the north by Uintah Street and northeast by 19th Street.
       Based on the bylaws, a nominating committee, appointed by the OWN board, has been interviewing prospective board candidates and will make its recommendations Jan. 12. For more information, call Board Secretary Welling Clark at 471-4023.

Westside Pioneer article