|Loveland Voters Have Many Choices
In 2009 Election
|From left to right: A man who appears to be Carl Fritz covering his face from a photographer during a recent council meeting, Bob Snyder's publicity photo, Jan Brown in action
on city council, Daryle Klassen's publicity photo, Glenn Rousey, Cecil Gutierrez and finally Mayoral candidate Walt Skowron while conducting an interview with Loveland
Connection's Doug Crowl. Please send us any photos you have of the candidates in the community we can publish on this website and give you credit for the photo!
Loveland -- August 31, 2009
After a decade of often unpopular incumbents or their hand selected
successors too often running unopposed for Loveland City Council
seats -- things have changed. Across Loveland's four Wards Loveland
voters are being given a wide selection of candidates to represent them
on council and even in the mayor's seat. The 16 candidates now
competing for the mayor's gavel or one of the four open council seats
range in age between 23 and 76 years old.
Some have credited the popularly passed Loveland Measure 2C from
2007 that limited contributions by special interests for candidates
running for local offices and forced greater transparency in disclosing
the true sources of those dollars. This has pushed the existing
McWhinney financed candidates along with their challengers to seek
financial support for their campaigns from a larger number of Loveland
residents who also appear to be participating more in this year's election
cycle. Given the $100 per resident campaign contribution limit,
ordinary citizens from both the political left and right are stepping-up to
challenge the "old guard" that have traditionally tied-up these important
elected posts by leveraging money from big developers like
McWhinney and Loveland Commercial to scare off lesser funded rivals.
LovelandPolitics volunteers have assembled a list of the candidates (in
the order they submitted their paperwork to the city) that includes each
candidate's home telephone, address, age and known affiliations in the
community. Please take time to call each candidate running in your
Ward to see how they stand on the issues facing the city today. In
addition, we have provided the "McWhinney Scale" to approximately
rate each candidate for likely future support (based on past votes,
current sponsors or comments they have made) for further subsidies of
the McWhinney brother's lucrative taxpayer financed Centerra
development in east Loveland.
|To see a larger view of the "McWhinney Scale" click on the inside of the box
Shaping-up to be one of the most competitive races for Loveland's Mayor in years the crowded field has left a number of seats on the city council open. Loveland Mayor Gene Pielin
has decided not to run again after just one term in the Mayor's seat so four of his colleagues on council are now running to replace him. Particularly upset about the crowded race is
current Loveland Mayor Pro Tem and Councilman, David J. Clark. Clark is a hand-picked successor of Pielin who now appears lost in the crowd of other councilman running for the
Three of the four, David Clark, Walt Skowron and to a lesser extent Glenn Rousey have long histories of supporting McWhinney's every demand of Loveland's City Council.
Councilman Cecil Gutierrez stands alone in the race as the only candidate with elected office experience who doesn't have a history of rubber stamping McWhinney requests to the city.
Gutierrez is credited with successfully fighting a proposal by McWhinney to amend their agreement with Loveland to delay indefinitely their obligation to repair the junction at the I-25
and U.S. 34. In addition, Gutierrez has been working with the local congressional office to bring attention and relief by the federal government for the detrimental impact extra loud train
whistle regulations have had on the quality of life of many Loveland residents.
The dark horse in the race is former Olympic bicycle champion Alexi Grewal. Grewal's campaign got off to a bumpy start when a number of the 25 sponsors who signed his
candidate's petition were not eligible to vote in Loveland therefore their signatures were thrown out. Once new signatories were found to replace those disqualified by Loveland's City
Clerk, Grewal was allowed to keep his designation as the first to file therefore the first on the list of candidates.
Unlike previous elections, a 23 year-old machinist, Adam Koniecki, from Ward 1 is challenging incumbent Daryle Klassen who at 75 is among the oldest members of Loveland's City
Council. Both are registered Republicans while Koniecki is an active participant on the now 400 member strong Loveland 912 political movement. Despite the age differences both
candidates are likely to be competitive campaigners and neither is shy about working for people's votes. Klassen, who describes himself as a conservative Republican, angered the
Loveland 912 group when he voted for making a gift of public funds to "incentivize" a company. This just weeks before voting to cut police and other vital emergency services for
residents. In an email to one member of the group, Klassen stated he agreed with everyone who spoke against the subsidy he voted for but stated also he sometimes needs to commit a
"necessary evil" to apparently remain in public office. Admitting he was compromising his own principles for expediency to a group organized around making politicians stick to their
espoused principles was probably a bad political move for the senior and experienced local office holder. Klassen was also a Larimer County Commissioners years before being
elected to Loveland's City Council.
Former Councilwoman Jan Brown who lost to Councilman Cecil Gutierrez's in a land-slide upset just two-years ago is now running again in Ward 1 with hopes of returning to council.
Whether the same Ward 1 voters who booted her out only two-years ago are willing to now support her bid for public office remains to be seen. Brown hired minimum wage day
laborers to hold her campaign signs at street corners during the last election and stirred controversy by loosing her temper during a council meeting.
While only two candidates are running in Ward 2 the race promises to be lively. Former head of Loveland's Chamber of Commerce and local insurance broker Bob Snyder is using the
campaign slogan "What about Bob?" to propel a campaign where Bob is carefully avoiding taking positions on issues. One frustrated Loveland 912 member told LovelandPolitics he
had mixed reactions to Snyder's recent interest in attending the group's meetings. When asked about where he stood on the proposed Lodging Tax on this year's ballot, Snyder asked
the voter how he felt about it before answering. Such tricks work well for clairvoyants and soothsayers but voters are normally reticent about supporting a politician who appears to be
tailoring his beliefs for his audience.
Joan Shaffer is also seeking to represent fellow Ward 2 residents on Loveland's City Council. Shaffer was instrumental in organizing the Measure 2C effort and is a well known
entrepreneur in downtown Loveland. Shaffer worked as a para-legal in her husband's law practice in Loveland, sublet commercial office space in downtown Loveland and is now
running a public relations firm in town. Unlike her opponent, Shaffer has taken a stand on a number of issues by speaking before Loveland's City Council in support of efforts to
re-develop downtown and is also an advocate for spurring infill development along highway 34 in West Loveland.
Councilman Walt Skowron's longtime friend and neighbor, Joe Hertwig, is running to take Skowron's seat as a representative of Ward 3 on Loveland's City Council. Skowron has
been taking Hertwig to various community events and meetings in an attempt to promote Hertwig's candidacy among people who know Walt Skowron. Some expressed concern that
Hertwig appeared too dependent on Skowron to assist him when trying to answer questions about city issues.
Also in the race is a real estate broker, Janet Bailey, who is reported to be considering not running an official campaign or raising any money. Bailey appears to be an independent
candidate motivated by her convictions to bring integrity to the council. She doesn't seem to be associated with any particular special interest in Loveland.
Hugh McKean, a newcomer to city politics, is a local contractor who performs landscaping and "handyman" services to area property owners. During an interview with
LovelandPolitics, McKean said he liked the job Skowron has done and is happy with the status quo on council by and large. However, he did offer that he believes there are alternative
methods the city should employee in facing its current economic troubles but didn't elaborate.
Another interesting race will be Ward 4 and specifically candidate Teri J. Volk. Current Mayoral candidate and councilman, David Clark, has been bragging that Teri is "his girl" who
he single handedly recruited to run for council. He expects she will be a vote he can count on for support if he becomes Mayor and she is elected to represent Loveland's Ward 4 on
the city council. Clark has been working to assist Volk in her campaign for Ward 4 but that kind of "assistance" is often detrimental especially for a candidate who wants to run on their
own merits. Volk served on Loveland's construction advisory board and is well regarded for her knowledge of the building trades.
Cathleen "Cat" McEwen is another candidate for Ward 4 which includes the oldest built-up parts of Loveland including downtown where she lives and maintains her offices. A
practicing attorney who manages her own firm, McEwen will be a tough candidate for the others to beat. Articulate and accustomed to thinking on her feet McEwen is an aggressive
advocate for her clients as she would likely be for the residents of Ward 4 on Loveland's City Council.
Carl Fritz, also running to represent Ward 4, is an elderly gentleman who unlike Volk doesn't have a sponsor on city council or in the Loveland Chamber of Commerce who recruited
him to run. Fritz is a regular contributor to the Loveland Herald Letters to the Editor when he opines on numerous national issues. Fritz appears to be an independent candidate not
looking to serve any special interest but instead represent the ordinary residents in the community by ensuring their voices are heard during the deliberations of the council.
Note: Any candidate who feels any information in this story is not accurate is welcome to email us their corrections at Guchwale@aol.com. In addition,
LovelandPolitics will print an unedited essay or statement by any candidate on their candidacy and city issues (unedited so please check your spelling) to insure voters
have direct access to your viewpoints. Also please include a jpg photograph with your essay. Entries will be linked to your name in this story.
Alexi S. Grewal
Cecil A. Gutierrez
David J. Clark
Walt A. Skowron
Glenn C. Rousey
Andrea J. Brown
Adam A. Koniecki
Daryle W. Klassen
Joan T. Shaffer
Robert E. Snyder Jr.
Joseph L. Hertwig
Carl B. Fritz
Teri J. Volk