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Thursday, October 17,2013

Election Guide 2013: Stolzmann for Louisville City Council Ward III

By Boulder Weekly Staff

City of Louisville City Council Person Ward III

Karen Brown
Ashley Stolzmann

There are a few warning signs we’re learning to look for in city council candidates’ statements. Karen Brown isn’t a bad candidate by any means, but she put up at least one warning sign in her statement on retail marijuana sales. Brown said, “If elected, I will review staff recommendations …” and alarm bells went off for us.

It’s a little worrisome that elected city council people would turn to unelected city staff to make a decision. Taking their recommendations is fine, but in this case Brown didn’t say whether she was in support of a moratorium, a ban or a free-for-all for retail marijuana. She said she’d “then make the determination” after hearing from the staff. Staff recommendations, in other words, had a good chance of simply dictating her position, which we feel gives unelected staffers too much power. Even without this issue, it’s not easy to endorse someone who doesn’t yet have a position on a highly visible issue.

Ashley Stolzmann, who says she’s on hiatus from her engineering career, acknowledged in her answer that every precinct in Louisville went for the amendment on retail marijuana, indicating the city is ready for those stores. It’s not ideal to base every position on polls, but Stolzmann is correct that city council shouldn’t block something citizens want. On other questions, candidates’ answers were similar. Both support increasing retail presence in Louisville, and both say federal and state governments need to take the lead on limiting fracking; Stolzmann says she supports a citizen initiative “pertaining to fracking.”

View all of Boulder Weekly's endorsements here.

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