ALAMOSA — Alamosa city councilors tonight will have the opportunity to interview and select the candidate from among a dozen applicants who will fill new Mayor Ty Coleman’s at-large vacancy.
Councilors will begin interviewing city residents who have submitted letters of interest at 5:30 this evening at city hall, with a special meeting scheduled immediately afterwards to discuss and select the top candidate. The session is open to the public.
The selection process is necessary because Councilman Coleman was elected last month as Alamosa’s new mayor, leaving his at-large position open. The council will select a candidate to fill out Coleman’s term.
The city began the process with 13 letters of interest, but Heather Hixson, the fiancée of newly elected Councilor Michael Carson, has withdrawn her name from consideration.
City residents expressing interest in the vacancy include, in alphabetical order:
- John Adams has lived with his wife and daughters in Alamosa since 2012, and his third daughter was born here. He has a background in education and coaching and has worked as a substitute teacher for several school districts. He has also worked in small business and currently works for the local airlines and SLV Regional Medical Center. He serves on the city recreation board. He said he is willing to work with the city council to accomplish the goals in the comprehensive plan.
- Shirley Adcock, a self-employed businesswoman, has served on the Alamosa Planning Commission for 14 years, helping the city with many projects including two comprehensive plans. She has also volunteered for the Welcome Center for five years as the brochure manager. She stated in her letter of interest that her experience on the planning commission and in business would benefit the council.
- Darrel Cooper stated he had a conflict with the meeting times of the council so should probably withdraw his name, but he will be go ahead with the interview tonight, according to City Clerk Holly Martinez. Cooper stated in his letter that he wanted to be considered for the open seat but has an obligation that takes him out of town every third week, which is one of the regularly scheduled council weeks. He serves on the planning and zoning board and Alamosa Housing Authority Board. He added that the city should not appoint those who lost their seats in the election.
- Kristina Daniel, who lost her Ward 2 seat by 1 vote, said she believed the close race spoke to a significant portion of the community wanting her perspectives to be represented on council. She has served on council for two years and said she believed her perspective, energy and commitment made her a valuable team member. She has served on numerous boards from Boys & Girls Club to Prevention Coalition and worked for organizations like SLV Behavioral Health Group and Adams State.
- Martin Diaz grew up in the San Luis Valley and graduated from Adams State University and has worked for the SLV Behavioral Health Group and on the family farm. He has also coached youth soccer and participated in city league sports. "My goals are to always help the city and community members as much as possible," he stated. He added he has a desire to help the community grow and become a better place to live, work and enjoy the environment.
- Josef Lucero, mayor for the past four years, stated many Alamosa citizens encouraged him to apply for the vacancy.
- Pete Magee has lived and worked in Alamosa since 1990. He serves as an emergency manager, county planning commission member and organizer of a live music venue. He is also a business owner and has a Ph.D. in physical geography. He is president of the GIS Colorado board. "I appreciate the issues facing our community and the need for our decision makers to be fully informed, considerate and available to the citizens," he stated.
- Rob Oringdulph has lived in the San Luis Valley most of his life and in Alamosa 25 years. He serves as president of the Alamosa County Tourism and Marketing Board and is a member of the ASU Alumni Board, Boys and Girls Club and the executive committee of the Alamosa County Economic Development. He also served in AURA, an organization devoted to promoting downtown and historic preservation. He said he believed he could contribute to the council because of his experience in business and community service.
- Leland Romero served on the city council for 14 years. He pointed to that experience as one of three main reasons he should be selected to fill the vacancy. He stated another reason he would benefit the city would be his investment in Alamosa as his home. The third reason Romero shared for his selection was his knowledge of how budgets and projects work and how they must be prioritized. He added he was encouraged to run for mayor this year but chose not to because he did not want to be blamed for skewing any votes to assist or hinder opponents.
- Lori Smith is a native of Alamosa who has served as a principal in the Alamosa School District for 14 years. She is also a business owner and property owner in all four wards of the city. She has also served as president of the Early Childhood Council. She said her strengths are exhibited in her leadership as a business owner, educator and someone who understands fiscal management. She stressed collaboration, communication, commitment and support.
- Michael Stefano, who represented Ward 4 for four years and recently lost a competitive race to Michael Carson, stated briefly that he had learned much during the past four years and believed he had much to offer the city. He said although he had not been able to make all the meetings like he wanted to, if appointed he would do his best to serve the people 100 percent.
- Josh Wehe, 26, grew up in Alamosa and graduated from the University of Denver and subsequently earned a master's degree from Yale University. He returned to Alamosa to work in the family business, the fourth generation to operate Blanca Telephone & Jade Communications. He has been a part of bringing fiber optic connectivity to several parts of the San Luis Valley. He said his problem-solving talents would make him a good candidate to address the challenges the city faces with the economy, infrastructure and drugs.