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Publish Date: 8/19/2005

Van Dusen enters council race
City must slow growth, attorney says


LONGMONT — Longmont native Bill Van Dusen announced his candidacy for City Council on Thursday, saying he believes the city is growing too fast and without leaders hearing the voices of all their constituents.

Van Dusen, 47, is running for the at-large City Council position that Tom McCoy will vacate in November. He said he is seeking the seat because he isn’t pleased with how the city’s current leadership has handled growth.

“We have been moving at breakneck speed to achieve buildout, and I don’t think that is the right approach,” Van Dusen said Thursday morning, just minutes after filing his candidacy paperwork. “We need a more visionary approach.”

Van Dusen, chairman of the city’s planning and zoning commission, previously ran for the Colorado House of Representatives in 1998. He was defeated by Bill Swenson.

Van Dusen said that, if elected, he wants to continue efforts to revitalize Longmont’s Main Street and downtown areas while making the city a shining star in the state as a hub for RTD’s FasTracks project.

“We could become a model community on how FasTracks should be done,” he said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

An attorney for El Comité, an Hispanic advocacy organization, Van Dusen said he would work to give Hispanics a stronger voice in government.

Mayoral and at-large council candidates must collect signatures from 50 registered city voters to qualify for the ballot.

Two at-large seats are up for election this year. The first is being vacated by McCoy, who is running for mayor against incumbent Julia Pirnack, while incumbent Roger Lange is seeking re-election to his at-large seat.

The top two vote-getters in the at-large race will win seats.

Other potential candidates who also have picked up packets for an at-large seat include Trisa Baxter of Calkins Avenue, Linda Lopez of Gay Street, Allen Croissant of 12th Avenue, Jeff Thompson of Sumner Street, Mary Blue of Spinnaker Drive and Heather Rawlins of Alpine Street.

Blue has already been certified for the mail-in ballot.

Candidates for the Ward 2 seat held by Karen Benker include Benker and Alex Sammoury of Pratt Street.

Those who have picked up packets but not declared which seat they are seeking are Richard Juday of Hawthorne Circle and Sarah Levison of Emery Street.

Ward 2 candidates must collect 25 valid signatures to secure a place on the ballot.

Candidates have until Monday to gather signatures and have their petitions certified by the city clerk.

Amanda Arthur can be reached at 303-684-5215, or by e-mail at aarthur@times-call.com.

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