City Council Candidates Take Part in CMU Forum
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Nine Grand Junction City Council candidates gathered on Wednesday for a forum held at Colorado Mesa University. Current Grand Junction Mayor Bill Pitts, Rick Brainard, Martin Chazen, Current Mayor Pro-tem Laura Luke, Phyllis Norris, Tom Kenyon, Duncan McArthur, Harry Butler and Robert Noble all took part in the event which was organized to get folks better acquainted with the candidates. "The city does play an intricate role in funding for the university at this time so really what we're hoping to get out of this is a more educated populous of the university," said Telbe Storbeck, CMU Student Body President. The candidates were asked if they would support the growth of the university if they were elected/re-elected and there seemed to be some what of a consensus. "When 70 percent of your graduates stay in the city that they graduate in, those are our future entrepreneurs," said Brainard. "The university is a very valuable asset to Grand Junction and it brings in funds to the city," said Butler. "CMU has been, over the years, one of our largest economic drivers," said Luke. "I believe our university needs to keep growing," said Norris. "It's pretty much a great business investment for the city," said Kenyon. The next topic focused on campus safety, which ultimately turned into a question of supporting local law enforcement. "I would encourage concealed carry on campus," said Chazen. "We need to maintain the level of staffing in the police department," said McArthur. "The city cannot afford to put additional troops in our university or in our high schools," said Pitts. "We need to take a hard look at what we're doing to adequately staff our police force," said Noble. The candidates were able to answer a few audience questions towards the end of the forum before giving their closing statements as to why they deserve votes come the April election.