Alamosa hires new judge


ALAMOSA — Gunnison Municipal Judge James McDonald will soon also be serving in Alamosa’s municipal court.

The City of Alamosa announced on Thursday that the Alamosa city council offered the position of municipal judge to McDonald who agreed to fill the vacancy of Judge Daniel Powell who opted to not renew his contract with the city at the end of the year.

McDonald said he would continue serving in Gunnison’s municipal court and would be adding the Alamosa court to his schedule.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to help your community and work in your community,” McDonald said Thursday evening.

McDonald has lived in Gunnison since 2001 and served as the city’s judge since 2005. He grew up in Los Angeles, California and received a political science degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989 followed by his Juris Doctor degree in May 1996 from the Vermont Law School.

McDonald said he lived in a very small town in Vermont, with a population of about 500 — “not even a single traffic light” — and he enjoyed the small town life but wanted to move to Colorado. After spending a few years in Denver, he and his family moved to Gunnison where he and his wife have raised their two daughters, ages 14 and 18.

In addition to serving as city judge, McDonald has operated his own general practice law firm in Gunnison and served as an adjunct professor at Western State Colorado University.

“I like the small communities,” McDonald said. “I am hoping I can serve the community. If I can make a change for one person in a positive way, that’s a great thing.”

He commended Alamosa for changes in its municipal court system.

“There’s been some meaningful changes in the last couple of years. Hopefully we can continue that trend.”

McDonald will formally be introduced during the December 6th city council meeting.