The candidate list is final: Seven people are running for three spots on Durango City Council in the April 6 election.
The three seats will open when councilors Dean Brookie, Chris Bettin and Melissa Youssef end their terms this spring. Brookie, who is term-limited, cannot run again, and Bettin is not seeking re-election. Youssef is running as the only incumbent candidate among six council newcomers.
“I wish you all the best of luck. Congratulations again for getting on the ballot,” said City Manager José Madrigal during a Zoom meeting Tuesday when candidates drew lots to determine how they would be listed on the ballot.
To appear on the ballot, candidates had to submit a nomination petition with at least 25 verifiable signatures. Nine people initially started this petition process, but only seven completed it.
Candidates must be 18 years old or older by election day, a registered elector and a resident of Durango for one year before April 6. A candidate can also be a resident of a territory recently annexed into Durango.
The ballot mailing period is March 13-19, and a walk-in polling station will open at the City Clerk’s Office on March 22. The winners will serve a four-year term, which starts in late April.
Almost all of the candidates have a business background or have been involved in community leadership through boards, organizations or advocacy groups.
Here are the official candidates for City Council, in the order they will be listed on the ballot:
Olivier Bosmans, 49, is the owner of Globos Consulting LLC, where he does international project management and environmental health and safety consulting. He first moved to Durango in 2005 and serves on the La Plata County Board of Adjustment and Planning Commission.Harrison Wendt, 23, said he moved to Durango in 2017. He works as a youth camp coordinator with Durango School District 9-R’s after-school enrichment program and has been involved with the Southwest Movement for Black Lives, he said.Seth Furtney, 55, has worked as a commercial property owner and manager for Snowy River Investments LLC. A Durango resident since 2003, Furtney said he has become involved with Durango Trails and serves on the Durango Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.Frank Lockwood, 70, is retired after a 30-year career as an attorney and is a member of the Speakers Bureau of the Colorado ACLU. He has served as a La Plata County planning commissioner for four years and was the executive director of the Durango Area Tourism Office until early 2019. He moved to Durango in 2011.Jessika Buell, 39, said she is an entrepreneur who owns three Durango businesses and has lived in the city for 19 years. The mother of two has co-founded the Professional Women’s Network of Durango and was named 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year through the Durango Chamber of Commerce.Melissa Youssef, 55, joined City Council in 2017 and served as mayor from April 2019 to April 2020. She is the council liaison for the Strategy and Long-term Finance Committee and the Creative Economy Commission. She has also served as a council representative on the La Plata County Economic Development Alliance Board.Lisa McCorry is a 41-year-old landscaper with Bare Hands Landscape Maintenance in Durango. She said she is involved with La Plata Showing Up for Racial Justice, or SURJ, and the Durango School District 9-R subcommittee on culture and equity engagement.The candidates will make their cases to voters during several candidate forums in coming weeks.
For example, the Durango Chamber of Commerce will host a forum from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. March 4 via Zoom. Advance registration is required.
The League of Women Voters of La Plata County forum is scheduled for 7 to 8:30 p.m. March 22 via Zoom. The Zoom link will be available at www.lwvlaplata.org.