Mar 252007
Authors: James Holt

Mayor Doug Hutchinson is running for re-election.

He initially tried to get citizens to “pay attention and vote” by writing a political column for a local newspaper and eventually decided to run for mayor in 2005.

“I never intended to run for office,” the retired Air Force lieutenant colonel said.

In his first term, Hutchinson wanted to “push a new course,” reform the city budget and get Fort Collins City Council members to work together. This term, he hopes to focus on “sustainable progress,” continuing the work he started in the last four years.

Hutchinson has supported a program called “UniverCity Connections” which aims to partner the city with CSU.

“I have a very strong connection with CSU,” he said. “I consider students in Fort Collins to be citizens of Fort Collins. They are due all of that respect.”

Hutchinson said he sees a healthy environment, a vibrant community and a robust economy as the most important concerns for Fort Collins and wants to create a balanced plan to improve all three.

Born in Billings, Mont., on March 2, 1942, Hutchinson moved to Fort Collins when he was 4 years old. In seventh grade, he was elected to the student council and he graduated from Fort Collins High School in 1960.

Hutchinson graduated from CSU in 1965 with a degree in physical science before entering the Air Force in 1966. For five years he did non-degree graduate work and created a program called “Mission Linkage Planning” that changed planning and budgeting systems throughout the Department of Defense.

After retiring from the Air Force, Hutchinson moved back to Fort Collins in 1999. He and his wife, Cathy, have three children and six grandchildren. His hobbies include woodworking, backpacking and amateur radio. He has been licensed for radio since he was 31 and his call is KODTK.

To read more about Hutchinson’s campaign visit

Staff writer James Holt can be reached at

Headline: An outsider tries to break in

Driven by his belief that “$20 and an idea can still make a difference in America,” high school teacher Scott VanTatenhove is running for mayor of Fort Collins.

VanTatenhove garnered 4 percent of the vote in 2005 when he ran with only $20 on the platform of using classical Athenian democracy.

“People are not really keen on direct democracy,” he said. “My whole platform now is that with an honest and true argument, I can be swayed to either side on an issue . I will not have vested interests.”

VanTatenhove outlines a decision-making procedure based on listening. This system serves to implement effective change rather than reactive change, he said.

“If I wasn’t running there would be no choice,” VanTatenhove said. “As a teacher of U.S. history, no choice means no liberty.”

He was born in New Jersey in 1977 and graduated from Fort Collins High School in 1995.

He received a degree in history and education from Saint Olaf College in Minnesota and studied abroad in the Middle East.

After graduating, VanTatenhove taught for two years at Fort Collins High School. During that time he led a Fulbright study trip to India through CSU.

Since getting his master’s from Columbia University in 2002, VanTatenhove has been teaching world humanities at Rocky Mountain High School. He also teaches History of Rock and Roll, a class of his own design. He has a three-year-old daughter, Mia Marie.

Though he has no prior political experience, he says being an “outsider” can be an asset because it means he is not engrained in the system.

“If there’s one thing I think I’ve proven it is that I know how to learn – and that’s by listening.”

VanTatenhove wants the students of CSU to know that they are not guests in Fort Collins.

“You are more than a noise issue; you are more than a nuisance. You are citizens .We should respect you as citizens.”

To read more about VanTatenhove’s campaign go to

Staff writer James Holt can be reached at

Elections are set for April 3.

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