In a letter, Glenn said he wanted to be a part of the big decisions the city was making in the next few months — the budget, the future of Memorial Hospital, the transition to strong mayor, etc. He also did not want Council to appoint someone to fill his position — something that would have happened if Glenn had resigned earlier.
It is generally believed that an incumbent (even an appointed incumbent), has an advantage in an election.
Here is his letter:
Mayor Lionel Rivera, Member of City Council and Colorado Springs City Council District #2 Residents
RE: Letter of Resignation
Dear Mayor, City Councilmembers and City Council District #2 Residents
It’s been a privilege to serve as your colleague and City Council representative. I’m very appreciative of the support that I’ve received over the years. I’d also like to thank the residents of Northern El Paso County for providing me with the opportunity to serve as your next County Commissioner.
After a review of the City Charter, consultation with the City and County attorneys, input from Councilmembers, Commissioners, and some district residents, I have concluded that it’s in the best interest of the District to submit a notice of my intent to resign as the City Council representative for District #2 with an effective date of Friday, February 4, 2011 at 8AM.
This decision was based on a review of the following four potential scenarios:
Appointment of a new District representative by the current City Council: City Charter Article II Section 2-30 Subsection (a) states in part: If a vacancy occurs in the office of Councilmember more than sixty (60) days prior to the next general municipal election, the Council shall appoint an eligible person to fill such vacancy within thirty (30) days of the date of the vacancy and that person will serve until the next general municipal election. This scenario would be applicable if a) the effective date of my resignation occurred prior to February 4, 2011 or b) the effective date of my resignation occurred after the February 8, 2011 certification date for all candidates seeking election during the April 2011 municipal election and this date was prior to the April 19, 2011 swearing-in of the new Council.
In my opinion, there are too many potential negative impacts to the District under this scenario. Over the next few months, City Council must remain focused on making several policy decisions that will have a significant impact on the health, safety and welfare of our community. These decisions will most likely require a 9-member experienced Council. Starting this month, we will be making critical decisions regarding the approval of the 2011 budgets for the general city and enterprises, the evaluation of a potential legacy decision regarding our hospital, adopting critical land-use and licensing regulations, evaluating potential ballot questions for the April 2011 election, and strategic planning for the conversion to a Strong Mayor form of government. Furthermore, with the close proximity of the next municipal election, I strongly feel that the District is in a better position than the current Council to select an individual to represent the best interest of the District going forward.
Appointment of a new District representative by the new Council: Again, City Charter Article II Section 2-30 Subsection (a) states in part: If a vacancy occurs in the office of Councilmember more than sixty (60) days prior to the next general municipal election, the Council shall appoint an eligible person to fill such vacancy within thirty (30) days of the date of the vacancy and that person will serve until the next general municipal election. This scenario would be applicable if the effective date of my resignation occurred after the swearing-in of the new Council and the date was more than sixty (60) days prior to the April 2013 municipal election.
In my opinion, there are even more potential negative impacts to the District under this scenario. In this case, the District would be relying on an inexperienced Council to select a representative to serve until April 2013. This individual may or may not have views that are reflective of the majority interests within the District. Furthermore, this scenario also intentionally bypasses an opportunity for the District to select its representative.
No action alternative: Under this scenario, I would continue to serve out the remainder of the District term ending April 2013. This option is possible because an election to County or higher office does not require a member of Council to forfeit office. Specifically, City Charter Article II Section 2-30 Subsection (b) Forfeiture of Office states: the office of Mayor or Councilmember shall be forfeited if:
a. At any time during their term of office they lack any qualification for the office of Mayor or Councilmember prescribed by this Charter or by law;
b. Violate any express prohibition or requirement of this Charter;
c. Are convicted of a crime which constitutes a felony in the jurisdiction of which it occurred; or
d. Fail to attend three (3) consecutive regular meetings of the Council without being excused by the Council
Furthermore, City Charter Article III Section 3-40 Restrictions Upon Members of the Council states: The Mayor or Councilmembers shall not hold any other City office, position, employment, or be employed by any agency for which their compensation is directly paid by the City.
While this scenario is possible under the Charter, the interest of District is best served by having its own elected representative.
Resignation on February 4, 2011: As previously stated, City Charter Article II Section 2-30 Subsection (a) states in part: If a vacancy occurs in the office of Councilmember more than sixty (60) days prior to the next general municipal election, the Council shall appoint an eligible person to fill such vacancy within thirty (30) days of the date of the vacancy and that person shall serve until the next general municipal election. However, the Charter further states that if a vacancy occurs in the office of a Councilmember within sixty (60) days of a general municipal election, such vacancy shall be filled at the next general municipal election.
February 4, 2011 falls exactly within the sixty (60) day period prior to the April 5, 2011 general municipal election. With this effective resignation date, the District shall be able to select its representative from an open field of potential candidates free from a previously appointed Council incumbent. The Council will also be relieved of its obligation fill the vacancy.
While the February 4, 2011 effective resignation date will briefly leave the District without a representative until the selection and swearing-in of a new representative after the April municipal election, I strongly believe that this alternative will result in the selection of the best representative for the District.
In making this decision, I also felt it was extremely important to provide everyone with as much notice as possible. Based on the direction from the City Clerk, due to the fact that the vacancy for this position doesn’t occur until 8AM on February 4, 2011, potential candidate will not be able to circulate nomination petitions until this date and time. However, by submitting this notice of resignation today, potential candidates can immediately declare their intent to run for the District position instead of waiting for an indefinite period of time for a potential vacancy to occur. The Clerk has also informed me that potential candidate should also be aware that they will only have until February 9, 2011 to submit their petitions to the Clerk for verification. As of today, the City Clerk’s schedule has the Council certifying the candidate names to the ballot on February 8, 2011. Based on this scenario, the Mayor will have to postpone the candidate certification and instead schedule a Special City Council session on February 10, 2011 to accommodate the District 2 candidates.
In closing, I again want to thank everyone for their support over the years. It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve as the District 2 City Council Representative.
Colorado Springs City Councilmember