Eric Drummond moved to Manitou Springs in 2003 in search of a slower pace. Four years later, he still hasn't found it.
In addition to being the newest Manitou Springs City Council member, Drummond, 47, is the founding partner of Sifuentes & Drummond, LLP, a law firm based in Drummond's home of Austin, Texas, for more than 20 years. Thanks to technology, Drummond still manages the majority of his clients from Manitou Springs.
"It's the nature of the practice," he says. "Moving to Manitou just extended my reach."
Shortly after arriving in Manitou Springs, Drummond joined the town's Economic Development Council, a volunteer organization dedicated to improving quality of life for Manitou's 5,000 residents. Citing his volunteer work throughout his career, coupled with the nature of his law firm, Drummond feels he brought something different to the EDC. Kitty Clemens, EDC director, agrees.
"Whether it was selecting consultants, reviewing contracts or working with the local utility companies," she says, "[Drummond] was an incredible asset to the EDC."
The limited life cycle of volunteers usually three years, according to Clemens makes the need for fresh ideas and new enthusiasm constant.
"Manitou needs to attract more Eric Drummonds," Clemens says. Though he stepped down as EDC chairman to join city council, Drummond will stay on the board as a council liaison.
Drummond's city council appointment came after Mark Morland stepped up to fill the position of mayor, vacated after Marcy Morrison left in January to become the state insurance commissioner.
"I bring to the council a real desire to help the town take advantage of the good people who are volunteering for their community," Drummond says. "We need to give them a voice so we can coordinate our efforts."
Drummond expects to focus on issues important to residents, such as the downtown streetscape project, an effort aimed at preserving Manitou's history while still attracting private investments.
"There are so many good things going on in Manitou Springs," he says. "A sense of community is important, and enhancing physical structure can enhance diversity."
Drummond, a father of two, involves himself with the community on a personal level as well. He and his wife, Elizabeth, helped create a reading program at Manitou Springs Elementary, focusing on hands-on parenting. The program was an immediate success and the school now plans several events a year. Drummond also finds time to take advantage of the outdoors, running at least four times a week with plans to conquer the Pikes Peak Ascent in August.
His political career also might be just beginning. Drummond has been approached by residents and business owners to run for mayor of Manitou in November.
"I'd like to spend more time as a council member," he says. "But it is something I'm seriously considering."