St. Pat’s parade sure to draw pols

From the campaign trail: City candidates expected to march in parade, mayor candidate touts transparency, forums
News  /  Civics/Politics

Ah March. It’s a time when you hope to see the emergence of crocus, daffodils and politicians.

Roland Rainey is running for City Council. (Photo courtesy of the candidate.)

Politicians? They’re sure to be in ample supply this Saturday, March 11, at the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, which kicks off at noon on Tejon Street from East St. Vrain and extends to Vermijo Street.

The timing is perfect. Ballots are due to go in the mail on Friday, the day before the parade, and the city election results are tallied April 4.

Voters will choose three at-large City Council members, and a representative from the Westside District 3 to fill Richard Skorman’s unexpired term. They’ll also select the city’s third strong mayor since the form of government changed in 2010.

With a total of 25 candidates vying in those races, the parade is sure to be packed with candidates, although Roland Rainey Jr., seeking an at-large Council seat, and mayoral candidate Sallie Clark are the only ones to notify Sixty35 of their participation.

“Come and celebrate St. Pat’s day with me this Saturday.  I am in the parade and hope you will join me for a Imagenice walk downtown,” Rainey’s release says. “The parade is not very long and begins at noon with staging at 11am-11:30am.  If you’d like to walk in my entry, please respond to this email.  We’ll get you all the information you need.  Basically, a nice, late morning walk, waving, passing out candy and carrying Roland‘s signs.  Sounds like fun!”

A retired Air Force officer, Rainey has served as an adjunct professor at CSU-Pueblo and founded the Colorado Springs Cyclones Semi-Professional football organization (2009-2018). Among his community activities, he’s served on boards for the Colorado Springs World Affairs Council and Banning Lewis Academy, was a commissioner for the 4th Judicial District Nominating Commission and is a former vice-chair of the El Paso County Citizen’s Outreach Group. He’s worked for a defense contractor with top secret clearance and as commander of the National Reconnaissance Office Operations Squadron.

Mayoral candidate Sallie Clark has put out a news a release touting her support for government transparency, saying, “My past experiences as a government outsider, places me in a unique position as our Mayor, to improve communications with you.”

She served 12 years as an El Paso County commissioner and served on City Council for a short time before that. From her release:

“I was just a small-business owner in 1997 when politicians proposed the closure of my neighborhood fire station. Throughout our neighborhood fight to save our fire and emergency services, we were refused public documents, response time data and were threatened with paying thousands of dollars for public information. The city even imposed a ‘gag order’ on our local firefighters to prevent them from discussing the fire station closure proposal. Our neighborhood association was forced to file numerous open record requests and finally, under pressure from the media, the city released the information. I tell this story, because no citizen should be treated as our neighborhood was, denied important documents on a matter of public concern.”

She goes on to say she’s “passionate” about transparency and believes that technology can bring government closer to the people. She’s critical of some current city practices which is characterized by “glitches” and limit citizen participation. As a commissioner, she pushed to have county budgets available online and they remain so today, she says. “As a commissioner, I led the effort to televise and broadcast meetings for public access to keep residents informed of county meetings,” she says.

Clark is hosting a meet & greet on Sunday, March 12, from 1 to 3 p.m. at 780 Vondelpark Dr.

Clark is in a 12-way race for mayor. The winner will succeed two-term Mayor John Suthers, who already has his retirement planned.

Sixty35 news magazine now has podcasts with the candidates available. Check it out here.

Upcoming forums sponsored by the League of Women Voters and Sixty35 Media:

Thursday, March 9,  5 – 6:30 pm – At-Large City Council Candidate Forum

Sixty35 Editor in Chief Bryan Grossman moderates, KRCC, 720 N. Tejon St.

Monday, March 13,  5:30 – 7 pm – Mayoral Candidate Forum

Library 21C event room, 1175 Chapel Hills Drive

Thursday, March 16,  6 – 7:30 pm – City Council District 3 Candidate Forum

KRCC, 720 N. Tejon St.

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