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Saturday December 14th 2019

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That's what she said

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Council Candidate Mark Gelband


By
Candidate Mark Gelband

Candidate Mark Gelband (photo by Zane Selvans)

Mark Gelband, a 46-year-old father of a blended family, is running for a seat on the Boulder City Council. He feels strongly that the City Council needs a major overhaul.

“I feel as though as though there’s been a small, vocal group of community activists who in my estimation control way too much of the political discussion in Boulder. We need a greater diversity of voices. Eight of nine of our current council are almost 60 or older. And out of my tax bracket. And I feel like we need a voice for young families, young professionals, and the more working class of Boulder,” said Gelband.

At the top of Gelband’s list of issues to address, if elected, is the way the council runs meetings. He said, “The council has not really effectively been able to manage meetings. And their way of addressing that issue is to suggest cutting off public input, which I think is a travesty.”

Another of Gelband’s goals is to confront Boulder’s homeless problem. He thinks it is important to distinguish between the “working poor and transitionally homeless” who are from Boulder, and “the chronic vagrants” that come here from the region, who he feels have no intention of contributing to our community. He says that people with a local I.D. should get priority access to services (such as a night’s stay at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless). He also feels that we need to enforce our already existing ordinances more strictly.

As for Boulder’s housing issues, Gelband feels it’s time to step up. “We need to have a larger push towards a more flexible and inclusionary zoning that allows for a variety of housing types. And I think would help with some of the affordability issues in town.” He also wants to see more enforcement of rental conditions on the Hill and other student housing, where the laws (such as not allowing more than three unrelated people living together) are rarely enforced.

An important issue in this upcoming election is Boulder’s open space and how it should be managed. Gelband wants to have open space and a trail system that’s environmentally sensitive but also allows for shared recreational uses, “not just for someone who walks.” Gelband is not a mountain biker himself, but says, “We’re supposed to be the smartest city in America but we can’t figure out how to build one mountain bike trail from Chautauqua to Eldorado Springs? To me that seems absurd.”

Gelband has not had any previous political experience, but feels his employment as the State Director of Human Communications for the State of Colorado and as well as the same job at CU qualify him. “I’m not a politician, but I’ve worked in communicating large policy decisions over the state’s two largest and diversified work forces: the State of Colorado and the University of Colorado. These have given me diverse experience with different populations and an understanding of how to get things done.”

For additional information, see his website: http://www.markgelband.com/

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