ELECTION COVERAGE: Our Longmont Ward I endorsement

by Boulder Weekly staff

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Longmont Ward I special election.

Tim Waters (we endorse);

Josh Goldberg;

Russ Lyman;

You can consider this Feb. 27, 2018 election for Longmont’s Ward I city council seat to be either three months late or an early warm-up for next November, but either way, it’s here and it’s time to vote. Registered voters living in Ward I — which makes up much of the northeast portion of Longmont — should have received your ballots in the mail by the time you are reading this.

As you may recall, this special election is necessary because Brian Bagley, the previous Ward I councilman, was elected Mayor of Longmont last November. Bagley had two years remaining of his four-year term in Ward I, and this election is to determine who will take his place and finish out the last two years as the Ward I representative to council.

As always, we should all appreciate the willingness of these three candidates to take time out of their busy lives to explain their positions on the many important issues facing Longmont and their willingness to serve the community as a member of council.

As was the case last year at election time, Longmont faces a pending invasion by the oil and gas industry. Like the rest of Boulder County, the city is also facing an afforcable housing crisis. And as Longmont grows, water is also a key issue on which the council will be taking action. Other important challenges facing the community include future development and annexations with none more important than the St. Vrain River corridor.

On all the issues above, Boulder Weekly has found Tim Waters to be the best candidate for the job.

Courtesy Tim Waters
Tim Waters

Waters understands that the vast majority of Longmont citizens oppose oil and gas extraction (including fracking) within city limits and underneath Union Reservoir, the city’s backup water supply. He too opposes such industrial activities in proximity to neighborhoods or under our water supply and has suggested that the city should look at regulations on oil and gas flow lines as one partial, and legal, solution to the problem. In conversations with BW he also seemed open to exploring any and all other potential opportunities to keep the drilling rigs out of Longmont, including supporting future legislation at the state level like that recently put forward by Rep. Matt Jones, which unfortunately died in committee. 

BW also found Waters to have the best understanding and position of the three candidates when it comes to the controversial Windy Gap Firming Project, which threatens the health of the Colorado River Basin while potentially costing Longmont residents tens of millions of dollars for additional water that current trends and even city staff show the city will never need.

Waters has a number of qualities that are sorely needed on council. His experience as a leader in education and as a CEO for more than two decades have been on display in every public forum held concerning this election. Unlike his opponents, he has taken clear stands on the issues and can clearly articulate why he believes what he believes. And perhaps most importantly, Waters understands that to be successful in confronting any issue facing the city of Longmont, council must set specific goals and timelines with actual progress being measured regularly along the way.

Longmont needs a Ward I leader who can effectively work with and direct staff, someone capable of challenging the status quo views too often put forward by staff and/or the development community. Waters’ extensive leadership experience will allow him to do just that.

Tim Waters has the skills, experience and temperament to follow and contribute to the quality leadership of others where it exists or to step forward and provide such leadership when absent. That is why Boulder Weekly is enthusiastically endorsing Tim Waters to be Longmont City Council’s next Ward I representative.