Former Steamboat Springs City Councilman Ken Brenner was returned to the council Tuesday, winning a three-way race that was the most expensive local election.
Brenner will return to the District 2 seat after losing to Loui Antonucci in 2001. His opponents included six-year City Planning Commission Chairwoman Kathi Meyer, who also lost in 2001, and newcomer Marcus Williams. Brenner ended the night with 1,288 votes, Meyer finished with 1,106 and Marcus had 145.
"Both Kathi and I know how hard it is to run after losing an election," Brenner said. "This was a close election and for that reason, I feel obliged to work with all the constituency. There is no clear mandate here."
Brenner, who served on the council for four years, ran on the campaign promise to restore balance on the council. He said he would represent the full-time resident, working family and small-business owner, not the banking, lodging and resort industry.
Brenner raised and spent more than $3,000 in the campaign, about half as much as Meyer.
Brenner said he wants to focus on forming a growth commission to look at the rate of growth and take a harder look at the city's budget. He proposed holding brown bag lunches every Tuesday to talk to constituents.
"It's a huge time commitment, but public service is a great honor and privilege," Brenner said.
Brenner will fill a spot left open by Councilwoman Arianthe Stettner, who served for seven years.
Meyer, who lost to Steve Ivancie by just 41 votes in the race for the 2001 at-large seat, said Tuesday night's loss was more difficult.
"The last two months I have made some new friends and found some old friends," Meyer said. "The experience has been very positive. And most of all, without the support from my husband, I could have never done this."