Corey Sue Hutchinson, a 30-year resident of Durango, has announced her candidacy for City Council in hopes that she can bring broad perspective to the five-member board.
Hutchinson is the third candidate in a week to announce her candidacy for City Council ahead of the April election. Mayor Sweetie Marbury and Councilor Dick White are term-limited, leaving two seats vacant this spring.
Hutchinson hopes, if elected, to take a new look at the city’s responsibilities when it comes to various issues facing the municipality, from homelessness to budget issues.
“That’s an important thing for voters and the community,” Hutchinson said. “Really defining the city’s role.”
Durango became home for Hutchinson in 1989 when she moved to Southwest Colorado to work with the U.S. Forest Service as a fisheries biologist. She worked with the Forest Service for five years before she quit to start her own business: Aqua-Hab Inc.
“I was seeking the challenge – can I start a business and be successful at it? – and I did,” she said. “It’s been really interesting. I’ve met some great people.”
In working with residents around town, Hutchinson said she’s learned to listen and understand the perspective of people in all socioeconomic situations. She has worked with public boards that have given her perspective on how government operates.
She’s seen Durango change in the 30 years she’s been here – more businesses, more people, more density – and all of those things are good for the city, she said.
But the increase in population has put a strain on resources, especially water, something she hopes to address if elected.
She is also formulating her stance on difficult issues facing the city like homelessness and budget deficits. Her experience as a small business owner will allow her to “take a pretty no-nonsense approach for the budget woes and really try to look at what do we cut, what do we not. I think I could bring some business sense to that,” she said.
Homelessness is one issue she hasn’t quite figured out. She thinks the city needs to be involved in some capacity, but how much the city should invest is still a mystery, she said.
“I think the city needs to be involved, but we really need to collaborate with the county,” Hutchinson said. “I don’t think we have the means to build a fancy shelter, but we do have means and structure to help these people find a place to camp.”
Hutchinson said she’s looking for a challenge. She admits that she still has a lot to learn about how the city operates, but that ignorance gives her an advantage, she said.
“I want to engage my brain and be thinking and learning and stepping out of my comfort zone,” she said. “I think I have a well-balanced view of things, I’m not running to push any issue, I’m not radical on any front. I feel like I have a level head to pursue these things and figure answers out.”