Merrifield seen as ‘proven leader’
       District 3 Candidate Michael Merrifield is a proven leader with distinct plans for the breadth of issues facing Colorado Springs. I especially admire his succinct vision for our natural resources, our trails and open space and cultural activities. Vibrant parks, recreational and cultural activities build community by bringing families together, enhancing our quality of life and attracting economic development; all of which are essential to sustain the vitality of Colorado Springs.
       As the founder of the “Friends of Julie Penrose Fountain” and mother of four, I've spoken repeatedly to the City Council and Board of County Commissioners regarding the value of parks, recreation and cultural activities in our community. I've begged them to build my neighborhood park and water it, maintain fountains and keep community centers and pools open for children; and I've urged them not to sell county parkland, such as Bear Creek Park. Merrifield recognizes and protects the beauty of our region and values its sustainability.
       Merrifield is an avid outdoor enthusiast and serves on the Board of the Trails and Open Spaces Coalition. As a Colorado legislator, he sponsored legislation that gave local governments and communities the first opportunity to purchase public lands from the state government for parks and open space. This new law allowed Colorado Springs to purchase and preserve Section 16, a beautiful and important connecting open space on our Westside. If elected as the District 3 councilmember, Michael has a plan to “capitalize on our outdoor resources to attract investment and be known as a place for culture, for livability, for sustainability and for adventure.”
       I urge you to visit www.michaelmerrifield.org, which outlines his entire vision for Colorado Springs and attend candidate forums. You will undoubtedly see the unparalleled level of commitment he has already proven in our community.

Kristen R. Downs