Election 2018NewsThe Front Range

Woodland Park, Monument, Palmer Lake and Calhan to choose mayors Tuesday

Author: Rachel Riley, The Gazette - April 3, 2018 - Updated: April 3, 2018

Voters in the Pikes Peak region will choose mayors for four municipalities Tuesday. (Gazette file photo)

COLORADO SPRINGS — Voters in the Pikes Peak region will choose mayors for four municipalities Tuesday.

Elections in Woodland Park, Monument, Palmer Lake and Calhan also will decide on town trustee and city council seats. In each municipality, except Calhan, ballots were mailed to voters this month and may be turned in until 7 p.m. Tuesday. The polls also close at 7 p.m. in Calhan, where residents must vote in person at the Town Hall.

In Woodland Park, City Councilman Val Carr will try to unseat Mayor Neil Levy. Councilmen John Schafer and and Noel Sawyer will compete against four political newcomers for three open council seats. The newcomers are Kellie Case, a former city finance director; Hilary LaBarre, a Realtor who previously was Teller County’s deputy coroner; Mark Maruszak, who’s worked in banking; and George Jones, a technology consultant.

As of midday Monday, Woodland Park had received about 1,700 ballots, said the city’s lead election judge, Shirley Douthit. About 5,500 ballots were mailed out this month, and about 625 were returned as undeliverable because voters were not registered under their current addresses, Douthit said. With longtime City Manager David Buttery retiring this spring, some have called the election a potential turning point for Woodland Park’s government. Levy and his supporters have touted his work overseeing large-scale capitol projects, such as the city’s new aquatic center. But his critics have called for more fiscal accountability and criticized him for not standing up to the city manager or other council members.

In Monument, town Trustees Jeffrey Bornstein and Don Wilson are running to replace Mayor Jeffrey Kaiser. Five candidates are vying for three open board seats: Trustees Kelly Elliott and Shea Medlicott are seeking re-election, and Jeff Lampman, Ron Stephens and Laurie Clark are challenging them.

Of about 5,500 ballots mailed to Monument residents, the town had received about 780 back as of midday Monday, said Town Clerk Laura Hogan.

Water conservation and growth are hot topics in the Monument races. Bornstein, who’s running on a slate with Lampman, has proposed a moratorium on any housing developments on the west side of town until officials decide on a solution for the city’s “declining water resources,” says the pair’s campaign website.

Wilson has said that while planning infrastructure for growth is important, such a moratorium could deter developers, who would take their business elsewhere. The Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs contributed $950 to Wilson’s campaign, and Classic Homes CEO Douglas Stimple gave $200 as of March 8, campaign finance records show.

Allegations surfaced in February that Bornstein may have acted unethically by offering gifts to the town manager while pursuing a position as the town’s code enforcement officer. Bornstein has said people mischaracterized his comments to Town Manager Chris Lowe, who’s on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an apparently unrelated investigation.

Asked earlier if the trustees were considering disciplinary action against Bornstein, the mayor declined to comment.

In Calhan, another mayoral candidate has drawn some backlash after unseemly details of his past were made public. David Kline was found guilty in 4th Judicial District Court in June 2015 of disorderly conduct after he repeatedly called a black woman a racial slur at a Calhan gas station about a year earlier. Kline also has broadcast on social media his distrust of law enforcement, and he’s had run-ins with local police. Gazette efforts to reach Kline through town staff were unsuccessful.

Kline is running against Mayor Cameron Chaussee, who was a trustee until that board voted to make him mayor in January 2017 to fill a vacancy.

His cousin, Tyler Chaussee, also serves on the board and is running unopposed for re-election.

In Palmer Lake, Cimarron Hills firefighter Alex Farr and business advisor Ken Dickinson will try to unseat Mayor John Cressman. Trustees Bob Mutu, Glant Havenar and Mitch Davis are seeking re-election, competing against Lawrence Nagel and Gary Faust for four open seats.

Palmer Lake’s town clerk did not know Monday how many ballots the town had mailed out or received back.

Rachel Riley, The Gazette

Rachel Riley, The Gazette