After eight years on the Steamboat Springs City Council, former president Kathy Connell won't seek another term.
Connell, who is term-limited in her four-year District 3 seat, could have run for the two-year, at-large seat. She had picked up a candidate petition and gathered signatures earlier this month, just in case she decided to run.
"I struggled with it from the very beginning, when I took the petition. I got so much pressure from people to continue," Connell said.
Part of her decision not to run was based on former city councilman Bud Romberg's entrance into the at-large race.
"I am very excited that Bud decided to run again. He is fair, open-minded and honest," she said.
Romberg is a retired schoolteacher who spent 18 years serving on the Steamboat Springs School Board, city Planning Commission and City Council. In 2003, as an incumbent, Romberg lost the District 1 race by three votes to Susan Dellinger.
"I hadn't expected not to be part of the council," Romberg said about the last election. "At that point, we were into a lot of things I would have liked to have seen through."
Romberg said he has talked to Connell about running for the seat.
"We see things the same way on a lot of issues. She would like to see that viewpoint on council," Romberg said.
Connell, who had served with Romberg on the City Council and Planning Commission, said she admired Romberg's thoroughness.
"I have a lot of respect for Bud," Connell said.
With council candidate petitions due Monday, the at-large position is shaping up as a race among three candidates with very different views.
In addition to Romberg, Towny Anderson, a consultant for redeveloping historic properties, is running for the seat. Anderson became a prominent political figure in the past few years because of his opposition to the Routt County commissioners' decision to build a justice center west of town instead of in the downtown corridor.
Also running is Stuart Lynn, a 15-year resident and construction worker. Lynn has come before the council in the past few months to complain about tickets he received because of the bear ordinance and the plight of home--owners soon-to-be-evicted from Westland Mobile Home Park, where he lives.
Connell said it would be hard to not be involved in some of the issues she has worked with while on the council, especially the urban renewal authority and the airport.
Connell, who owns a lodging property company, said her eight years on the City Council and 1 1/2 years on the Planning Commission have taken time away from her business.
"It really had an impact on (business partner Renea Cowman) for me being involved as I was on City Council. It is time for me to give back a little bit," Connell said.
During her time on the City Council, Connell served two years as council president. She was a staunch supporter of tourism and of the city's financial involvement in bringing more flights into Yampa Valley Regional Airport, its support of Triple Crown and its role in improving the base of Steamboat Ski Area.
Connell said her absence from City Council would not mean her absence from city politics.
"I'll probably be a lot more vocal and not so much dodging targets," she said.
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