Mar 172005
 
Authors: James Baetke

Four mayoral candidates have lined up for the battle to fill one seat on the Fort Collins City Council. Looking to replace Mayor Ray Martinez, the candidates will learn their fate in April when results from the municipal elections will be announced.

The following are profiles of each candidate and how he stands on the ballot issues and other concerns that directly affect the college population of Fort Collins. Each candidate is listed in alphabetical order by their last name.

Candidate: Bill Bertschy

Hometown: Colorado Springs

Current Employer: CSU

Age: 55

Previous public office: Two terms as council member for District 1

Are you in favor of:

Grocery repeal tax (ballot issue 1): No

Keeping fluoride out of the water (ballot issue 2): Neutral

Road maintenance tax (ballot issue 3): Yes

Proposed police substation in the Campus West neighborhood: Yes

Strong enforcement of the three-unrelated law as it stands today: Neutral

Bill Bertschy believes his long-standing position as District 1 council member, now term-limited, qualifies him for mayor. When asked why he was best suited for the seat he responded, "Experience, experience, experience."

At age 55, Bertschy said he cannot relate to college students at every level, but believes he has an advantage to the student vote because he works at CSU and is a "solid believer in higher education."

"At my age I cannot say I relate to everything with college students, but at least I can be empathetic," Bertschy said.

With the three-unrelated law, Bertschy would not like to see strong enforcement of it in the future and would like to get rid of it because of the way the current law is written, which he said is "unworkable."

Three major claims or platforms Bertschy holds are those associated with being fiscally responsible and to be "frugal with our resources," preserving the quality of life and the notion of moving things forward for council on a steady track.

If elected, the first goals Bertschy will work toward as mayor include developing a cultural district downtown and preserving the business sector of Fort Collins by creating a "business incubator" within the city.

Bertschy is a strong proponent of growth management and believes the city should be smart about how it expands. He said as long as the city follows its growth-management area and keeps things sustainable, the city's economy will grow wisely and annexation will be a factor.

Casting more than 4,000 votes as councilman over the past eight years, Bertschy said he is the right man for the job, with the ability to balance the community in one hand and the university in the other.

"One of the benefits I bring is the ability to wear two hats," Bertschy said.

Candidate: Mark Brophy

Hometown: Marlboro Head, Mass.

Current Employer: Self-employed

Age: 41

Previous public office: None

Are you in favor of:

Grocery repeal tax (ballot issue 1): Yes

Keeping fluoride out of the water (ballot issue 2): Yes

Road maintenance tax (ballot issue 3): Yes

Proposed police substation in the Campus West neighborhood: Neutral

Strong enforcement of the three-unrelated law as it stands today: No

Mark Brophy is once again labeled as a candidate. Brophy fought for a seat in the state Senate in District 14 in the November elections, which he lost, and now the advocate for small government is at it again for position as Fort Collins mayor.

"I am putting money in the pockets of college students by repealing the grocery tax," Brophy said.

As main sponsor for the ballot initiative to get rid of the 2.25 percent grocery tax, Brophy is a big believer in small government and wants to run for mayor to rid the corrupt government voters must deal with in Fort Collins.

"I am the only candidate who wants to restrain the growth of government," Brophy said.

Brophy said the multi-million-dollar police station the city will be building is a total scam and illegal. He wants voters to decide on the police station by a vote.

As far as growth and the economy go, Brophy would like to see the city stop using government funds to draw in businesses and opposes the idea of annexation to promote development. At the same time he favors expansion, but with the idea of less regulation

"I am in favor of strong economic growth," Brophy said.

In regards to the three-unrelated law, Brophy is not in favor of it.

"I consider the three-unrelated law a violation of privacy. People should be labeled criminals for what they do and not who they are," Brophy said.

Candidate: Doug Hutchinson

Hometown: Billings, Mont.

Current Employer: Retired Lieutenant Colonel of the Air Force

Age: 63

Previous public office: None

Are you in favor of:

Grocery repeal tax (ballot issue 1): No

Keeping fluoride out of the water (ballot issue 2): Neutral

Road maintenance tax (ballot issue 3): Yes

Proposed police substation in the Campus West neighborhood: Neutral

Strong enforcement of the three-unrelated law as it stands today: No

Doug Hutchinson has been a resident of Fort Collins since he was 4 years old, when only two stoplights lined the Fort Collins streets.

For 33 years Hutchinson served in the Air Force and permanently retired in Fort Collins, where he is proud to say he has been to more City Council meetings than any sitting council member. Additionally, Hutchinson has had a large presence at various functions concerning Fort Collins government, including boards and commissions as well as a column in The Fort Collins Coloradoan.

"I am a dedicated guy. I love Fort Collins," Hutchinson said.

Like his campaign yard signs state, Hutchinson's motto is "together we can." He wants to find common ground between CSU and the city, where issues can be addressed in a civil manner.

Hutchinson, a graduate of CSU, said the student population has a very positive effect on the community and praises CSU President Larry Penley on a job well done, mending the relationship between Fort Collins and the university.

"I would do a lot more to partner with the university," Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson's major platform is how to balance the city so it is level again. This entails the economy and jobs, transportation (today's Fort Collins is a far cry from two stoplights) and strengthening the community.

If elected Hutchinson wants to first work on the city's budget problems, which is his goal if elected.

Hutchinson on the city's fiscal crunch, "We do not need to be pessimistic about this, but realistic."

Growth and development in Fort Collins needs to find a unified presence on council, Hutchinson said. He also believes that recommendations from citizens advisory groups need to be better looked at. Additionally, Hutchinson wants a permanent economic board for the city.

"We need a council that is united, looking out for the city," he said.

Martinez and the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce have publicly backed Hutchinson.

Candidate: Scott VanTatenhove

Hometown: Denville, N.J.

Current Employer: Poudre School District; Rocky Mountain High School

Age: 27

Previous public office: None

Are you in favor of:

Grocery repeal tax (ballot issue 1): Neutral

Road maintenance tax (ballot issue 3): Neutral

Proposed police substation in the Campus West neighborhood: Neutral

Strong enforcement of the three-unrelated law as it stands today: Neutral

With only $20 to spend on his campaign ($9 of which was spent last week) and no stance on any of the issues, Scott VanTatenhove wants to teach his way onto to City Council as mayor.

A social studies teacher at Rocky Mountain High School, VanTatenhove has no platform because his premise of winning is letting the people decide the issues in a majority and feeding that to him. If elected VanTatenhove will vote how the people want him to, with his views and outside pressures put aside.

"With my ideas, the citizens will log on the Internet and make their voice heard," VanTatenhove said.

Furthermore, VanTatenhove said the students have the huge potential to be a voice on the council because the 25,000-plus students could vote online for issues. Whatever the majority may be, VanTatenhove will vote in that direction.

"I am not trying to make a direct democracy of Fort Collins," VanTatenhove said. He just wants one voice on council representing the people with no bias.

His ideas may be unconventional, but VanTatenhove thinks he is the man for the job. He encourages people to construct their own campaign signs, urging voters to post them in their yards advertising his candidacy. He refuses to spend more than $20.

"I'm trying to remove as much ego as possible for this position," VanTatenhove said.

 

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.