LONGMONT — Marty Block is going to take a shot at the top spot.
The Longmont Ward 3 councilman, who is only halfway through his first term on the city's governing
board, announced to colleagues Thursday that he plans to file for the mayoral position that will be left open, thanks to term limits, by eight-year veteran Leona Stoecker.
Longtime Councilman Tom McCoy earlier this month squelched rumors that he would run for mayor. Councilmen Roger Lange and Greg Winger also ruled themselves out of the
running for the November election.
McCoy said yesterday that he will be in Block's corner for the run.
"I think it is excellent,"
he said. "I am really impressed with Marty's level-headedness, sensitivity to the issues and willingness to question hard issues."
Lange said he is excited to hear that
Block plans to run. "Marty is a pragmatic individual, he's a thoughtful individual, he makes good decisions," Lange said.
Block is known, in part, for being in favor of
controlling the city's growth.
Block said he waited until McCoy and Lange opted out of the race before deciding on his own candidacy.
"The reason I decided to run is that I just think that the position of the mayor would really best be served by somebody that was already on the council," he said
Block, 52, is the director for Xcel Energy's Fort St. Vrain station. He served six years on the St. Vrain Valley Board of Education before winning his council
Born in Denver and having lived in Longmont for about 18 years, Block is married and has three children.
He said that if elected,
he would try to pick up with the council's current initiatives such as the community benchmarks and examination of affordable-housing issues.
He said he would also like
to take a look at the council's efficiency and hopes to be a unifying factor.
"It was something I was weighing back and forth," he said.
Block won his council seat two years ago in an election in which he bested one-term incumbent Ron Gallegos, who said he's a little surprised at Block's planned run "given his
brief time on the council."
He said he couldn't evaluate what "Mayor Block" would mean to Longmont given the anti-growth vs. pro-growth camps. "Depending on your
perspective, it may or may not be good for the community," Gallegos said.
Gallegos would not rule out the possibility of his own run for mayor.
Nelson Miner, a local businessman who headed the Citizens for an Affordable Longmont, a pro-growth group, said Block's controlled-growth stance doesn't represent
the opinion of city folk. "My belief is that his voting record" is not "representative of the interests or beliefs or desires of the citizens of Longmont," he said.
members serve four-year terms, and the mayor serves two-year terms. The mayor receives a monthly stipend of $1,500, and each council member receives a $1,000 monthly stipend.
City public information officer Rae Mims said there are no planned adjustments in the stipends for the terms beginning in 2002.
Actual filing for office won't begin until August.
Bill Carlson, who also has served two years on the council so far, was surprised to
hear about Block's announcement on Friday, but said he believes that Block would do well in the position.
"Marty is a very balanced man," Carlson said. "I think he's
had a very positive response from the community so far with his two years on the council."
Carlson said he is not considering a run for mayor himself and would feel
comfortable supporting Block. Carlson said other than rumors of a McCoy candidacy, he hasn't heard about anyone else who might run. "It has been pretty quiet," he said.
Planning and Zoning Commission member Julie Pirnack said earlier she is considering a run, but she could not be reached for comment.
Pierrette J. Shields can be reached at 303-776-2244, Ext. 273, or by