Going, but not forgotten
Term-limit rules take Kasten off OCC Security & Maintenance District Committee... at least for now

       Judy Kasten, whose 14 years on the Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance District Committee is the second most ever, stepped down because of term limits this month.

Outgoing Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance District Committee Chair Judy Kasten holds a plaque she was given Dec. 15 in the shape of one of the welcome signs that the district installed on Colorado Avenue at either end of the district. Also in picture (from left) are Keith Canfield, committee member; Jim Heikes, chair for 2011; Jan Rivera, secretary; John Georgeson, member; Kathy Read, member; Dave Porter, district maintenance employee; and Dan Gieck, committee liason with City Parks.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Under the term-limit rules, the outgoing committee president and long-time Old Town accountant has to sit out for a year before City Council can appoint her again. She's not sure yet if she wants to come back, but added that she still expects to attend the monthly meetings and stay involved in a non-voting capacity. “I'm not done,” she said with a laugh.
       Using property taxes from the roughly 100 property owners in Old Colorado City, the volunteer committee works with a City Parks liaison (currently Danny Gieck) to ensure the upkeep and repair of the historic area's public amenities (chiefly sidewalks and landscaping), as well as funding new ones. Committee members also must be property owners.
       Taking Kasten's place as committee chair for 2011 is Jim Heikes, a member for about four years who has also been president of the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group. “It's unfortunate her time is up because she has such an interest in the historic district down here,” he said, adding with a chuckle, “I'd be glad if she takes it back after a year.”
       Heikes credited Kasten for “pushing through” such projects as the installation of historic-style street lights (a plan worked out with Colorado Springs Utilities in 2005), as well as the ore carts and improved signage in recent years. An upcoming amenity she's worked on is a newsbox, designed like an ore cart, that will go in at 26th Street and Colorado Avenue and contain local free and coin-paid publications.
       “It's been a nice board,” Kasten said. “No one's beating their own drum. Everyone's had the same agenda - to keep Old Colorado City pristine, nice and well-kept.”
       Before Heikes, the committee has had just four chairpeople in the district's 31-year history. One of those is current member Bill Grimes, the only one who's been on the board longer than Kasten. His exact number of years is not known - just that it's been most of those 31 years (with a couple of breaks for term limits).
       Other past chairs have been Janice Billingsley and John Crandall.
       Kasten had been on the board initally six years (two three-year terms), starting in the '90s. She took a term-limit break, then served another six. She would have been forced off two years ago, but was allowed to continue when City Council at that time extended the length of appointed terms for the committee to five years.

Westside Pioneer article