McClure withdraws | SteamboatToday.com

McClure withdraws

Remaining candidates sharpen their stances at forum

Brandon Gee

And then there were 10.

Steamboat Springs City Council candidate Dave McClure withdrew from the race for the at-large seat Monday during a forum hosted by the Steamboat Pilot & Today and Steamboat tv18 at Centennial Hall.

McClure, a retired University of Tennessee librarian and self-described “political outsider,” said he decided to leave the race to devote more time to his two children and, potentially, the two additional children he and his wife are trying to adopt.

“I’m here tonight to withdraw from the race,” McClure told the audience. “This job’s going to take more time than I can give.”

McClure said he would continue to be an activist for issues he advocated throughout his candidacy, such as vocational education, support for returning veterans and a city-sponsored health care program.

McClure’s withdrawal means there are now two candidates running for each of the five City Council seats up for election.

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Council incumbent Towny Anderson and challenger Cari Hermacinski used Monday’s forum to continue their clash over the issue of executive, or secret, sessions. Hermacinski said the current City Council has met in executive session 51 times in its two years.

“The Sunshine Laws of this state allow you to go into secret session; they don’t mandate it,” Hermacinski said.

Anderson defended City Council’s right to go into executive session to discuss sensitive issues such as real estate transactions. He said such sessions protect taxpayers’ interests.

“The price is not going to get jacked up as a result of it being publicized,” Anderson said about the importance of discussing such issues behind closed doors.

In other races, candidates worked to establish their stances and differentiate themselves, possibly revealing alliances in the process.

Building on a theme that emerged at a candidates forum hosted last week by the League of Women Voters, City Council President Susan Dellinger said she would hold developers more accountable than her District 1 opponent, planning commissioner Scott Myller, who last week questioned how much City Council “entangles” developers.

“There is nothing more important than to have a community voice at the table,” Dellinger said.

Myller responded by sharpening his stance on the issue, noting that developers have a responsibility to the community.

“I know full well the development community needs to pay its way,” Myller said.

Councilwoman Karen Post, who is running against Jon Quinn for a District 3 seat, echoed Dellinger’s remarks, asking the audience whether they would want a City Council “backed by developers.” Dellinger and Post have advertised jointly for their campaigns.

“Is Steamboat a commodity or a community?” Post asked. “I will work to promote our community.”

Quinn denied claims that he is a lackey for the development community.

“Anyone that knows me, knows that I’m not in anyone’s pocket,” Quinn said. “I’m certainly not going to be a pawn of the developers.”

In the race for the open District 2 seat, Meg Bentley addressed what her opponent, Paul Hughes, has claimed to be his No. 1 advantage: experience. Hughes is a municipal government veteran and former Steamboat Springs city manager. Bentley, a professional organizer, is a political newcomer.

“Experience managing a municipality does not translate into being a really responsive member of City Council,” Bentley said.

Hughes continued his frank criticism of the current council, called this year’s election the most important in years and noted his involvement in various community organizations such as Mainstreet Steamboat Springs and the Yampa Valley Airport Commission.

In the race for the other District 3 seat, substantive differences between candidates Vince Arroyo and Walter Magill have been tough to define.

Arroyo cited his family’s five generations in the Yampa Valley and said he is “passionate” about the city’s future direction.

“We can orchestrate the future with the tools we have in place,” Arroyo said. “Creativity is the key to economic success in this valley.”

Magill said his role as a business owner and surveyor would make him a good councilman. He said he looks forward to serving and devoting his time to council but continued to criticize its efficiency, or lack thereof.

“I’m not going to work on weekends for it,” Magill said.

Candidates

District 1 (four years): Susan Dellinger (incumbent, council president), Scott Myller

District 2 (four years): Meg Page Bentley, Paul Hughes

District 3 (two years): Vince Arroyo, Walter Magill

District 3 (four years): Karen Post (incumbent), Jon Quinn

At-large (two years): Towny Anderson (incumbent), Cari Hermacinski

Not up for election: Loui Antonucci (District 2), Steve Ivancie (District 1)

Leaving council: Ken Brenner (District 2, term-limited), Paul Strong (District 3, term-limited)

For more

The Steamboat Pilot & Today and Steamboat tv18 candidates forum will be rebroadcast at 10 p.m. Mondays and 7 p.m. Thursdays until Election Day on Comcast channel 18.

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