ALAMOSA — Alamosa welcomed new leadership and thanked outgoing officials as newly elected Mayor Ty Coleman moved into his new position Wednesday night.
Joining Coleman on council are new City Councilors David Broyles and Michael Carson as well as returning Councilor Jan Vigil, who was re-elected with no opposition.
The council will be filling Coleman’s remaining term as an at-large councilman, and the discussion of how that will be handled took up some of the Wednesday agenda.
Those in attendance also recognized Councilors Kristina Daniel and Michael Stefano for their service as well as Mayor Josef Lucero who was not able to attend Wednesday’s meeting because of the recent death of his father.
Lucero, Daniel and Stefano have all submitted letters of interest for the now-vacant at-large seat on council in addition to 10 other applicants.
Daniel, who lost her Ward 2 seat by 1 vote to Broyles, congratulated the new council members and specifically Broyles. “I look forward to the contributions you are going to make,” she told him.
Daniel thanked the community for “two terrific years” and reflected on some of the city’s accomplishments during that time including the comprehensive plan, zoning code, utility rate adoption that will provide for infrastructure upgrades, new judge and the multipurpose facility. She said she felt strongly about not increasing the city’s debt any more than necessary and hoped that trend would continue.
“Alamosa is a wonderful city. I am looking forward to our continued growth and development,” she said.
“Our team with city staff is wonderful and dedicated,” she added.
“I thank the community for the opportunity to serve. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege.”
Stefano congratulated the new council members and mayor and said, “I think we are going to move the city forward.” He added that it had been his pleasure to serve the city and he had no regrets.
Vigil said he had learned much during his first four years on council and was still learning. He specifically mentioned councilors like Greg Gillaspie and Rusty Johnson who taught him about professionalism and how to debate and Stefano and Daniel who showed him how dedicated they were to youth and mental health issues, and Mayor Lucero who taught him about attention to detail.
He also thanked the voters of Alamosa for the opportunity to continue serving them. He said when he was first elected four years ago it was one of the biggest political upsets in Alamosa’s history, and he accomplished what he could in that first term but would continue working hard in this term. He said the new council is diverse, “and I think that’s a great thing. We are going to get a lot of things done.”
Mayor Coleman also thanked outgoing councilors and Mayor Lucero. “There’s no greater gift you can give to your community than your community service,” he said.
Coleman said people encouraged him to seek a vacant seat when he first got on the council and he was grateful they saw something in him he did not even see in himself at that point. He thanked his campaign team for its help and encouragement in this election and his family, particularly his mother who was not able to attend his swearing in ceremony because of a recent stroke and community members for their support.
The new mayor also acknowledged the hard work of the city staff and their efforts in keeping the city operational and safe.
“I am looking forward to working with the new council and existing council to move Alamosa forward and make this a place where people want to come and live,” Coleman said.
Broyles added his thanks to the outgoing mayor and council.
“I look at it as building blocks,” he said. “You have done a great job so far.” He added that his goal was to build on those building blocks. He said he looked forward to working with the mayor and fellow councilors.
“As I look at Alamosa, it’s all about jobs and families,” Broyles said. “If we could have better jobs, better relationships in our families, I think that’s the key.”
Broyles thanked his friends and family and said it was a tough election, much closer than he expected. He said the close election was a tribute to Councilor Daniel and what she had accomplished on council.
Carson said he looked forward to working with everyone who remains on council and thanked those who were leaving for their service. He thanked “our eternal Father” and his fiancée Heather, parents and other family members and the voters in Ward 4 for their support and confidence in him.
“I will strive to do the best job possible,” he said.
Dan McCann, who has run for city office four times in his 23 years in Alamosa, told the newly elected and outgoing councilors, “you get the credit for nothing and the blame for everything and when you look in the mirror say ‘I did a good thing’.”
“As a citizen of Alamosa I thank those councilors that are leaving us tonight for your service,” Darrel Cooper told the council. “I have never been in that position, but I am sure it’s a tough job.” He congratulated the new councilors and urged them as they filled the vacancy, for which he is an applicant, “to consider the wishes of the voters in this past election.”
Caption: The City of Alamosa recognized outgoing council members during its December 6 meeting. From left are Councilor Liz Thomas Hensley, outgoing Councilors Kristina Daniel and Michael Stefano, City Clerk Holly Martinez, Councilman Jan Vigil and Mayor Ty Coleman. Courier photo by Ruth Heide