Down to last week in District 3 City Council race for Heimlicher, Gardner

       The Colorado Springs City Council election between District 3 incumbent Jerry Heimlicher and challenger Dave Gardner will reach a finale at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 7 - the cutoff for receiving ballots.
       Neither predicted victory in interviews this week. Heimlicher said he hopes people will pay attention to his record of representing Westside concerns, and Gardner continued to stress his theme of making new growth pay for itself.
       The winner in the mail-in election will serve a four-year term. District 3 covers southwest Colorado Springs, including the southerly Westside roughly up to Uintah Street.
       Registered Westside voters also get to decide on four City Council-proposed ballot issues regarding spending matters. Elsewhere in the city, elections in the other three district are also occurring. Scott Hente, the incumbent in District 1, which includes the northerly part of the Westside, is running unopposed.
       The Heimlicher-Gardner duel has been somewhat testy, with Gardner accusing the incumbent of catering to development interests and Heimlicher countering by pointing to city open space purchases he has supported (meaning fewer houses built) and efforts to upgrade olderparts of the city (such as South Nevada Avenue) to make them more commercially attractive.
       Another recent conflict has been over the issue of how many local jobs are created when new businesses move to the Springs. Gardner has cited national studies saying 4 out of 5 such jobs are filled by people who are imported here by the company, while Heimlicher provided a Colorado Springs study from 1998 to 2008 showing that number is less than 1 out of 10.
       Heimlicher criticized Gardner as a person who “complains about the way things are, but has not taken a leadership role” so far in changing anything. Gardner says he has attended more City Council meetings than most other citizens in recent years to learn about city issues.
       Asked to give an example of a city exemplifying his growth ideas, Gardner suggested Boulder, saying that with more equitable contributions from developers to government costs, Boulder has less unemployment and a higher median household income than Colorado Springs. Heimlicher believes Gardner's calls for higher developer fees fails to take into consideration the harmful effects of stifling growth and how much of the utility fees are used to fix ancient utilities in the older parts of town.

Westside Pioneer article