Paige: New D-3 councilman

       Sean Paige, appointed to the City Council District 3 seat recently vacated by Council member Jerry Heimlicher, agrees that he lacks detailed knowledge about Westside activities, but said he intends to start finding out.

Sean Paige

       “Do I know these people as intimately as I will? No. But I will make the effort to,” he said in an interview shortly after he was chosen (from 18 applicants) at a special meeting of the other eight council members Oct. 7. “And I can assure them that I will listen to what they have to say.”
       He added that Heimlicher, who represented District 3 for nearly six years, has pledged to work with his replacement before he moves back to his home state of Tennessee in November. Paige also said he expects to “hold meetings” and “get invitations from groups” as part of his learning process.
       Paige suggested that his politics in general, favoring limited government, should work in favor of the kinds of small businesses that are predominant on the Westside.
       Asked for his opinion on the Nov. 3 city election, he said he plans to vote against Question 2C, which would permanently increase property taxes over the coming five years. City Council placed the measure on the ballot in hopes of avoiding further cuts in the 2010 budget and in years to come. Paige said he could have been persuaded to support a smaller tax hike, but has problems with 2C for being “excessive” in its demands on property owners, not listing specific things to be funded and for not having a “sunset” clause.
       Jan Martin, who authored the tax-hike language, was one of two council members who did not vote to appoint Paige. The other was Mayor Lionel Rivera.
       Paige will be sworn in Monday, Oct. 12, in time to join council as the 2010 budget discussions begin.
       Regarding tax activist Douglas Bruce's initiated Measure 300, Paige said he opposes it because, unlike Bruce, he has “no objection” to the payment in lieu of taxes (PILT) money that comes to the city from enterprises. At the same time, he said, “I wasn't happy with how the Stormwater Enterprise was created. I think people would have supported it if they'd taken the time to explain it. But it caused dissension and a lot of unhappiness.”
       Paige is the executive director for two organizations, the Limited Government Forum and Local Liberty Action. A seven-year Colorado Springs resident, he was the editorial page editor for the Colorado Springs Gazette from 2002 to 2007 and previously worked at a national level for Republican leaders, including Alan Keyes and John Sununu.
       Paige will be eligible to serve the remainder of Heimlicher's four-year term, which started last April.
       District 3 covers the southwest quadrant of the city, including the older Westside and Old Colorado City.

Westside Pioneer article