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GWS Council candidate profile: Charlie Willman

Courtesy of Charlie Willman

Charlie Willman is running to keep his seat on Glenwood Springs City Council. With a background as an attorney and as the longtime coach of the GSHS Mock Trial team Willman doesn’t shy away from leadership roles, including his current involvement with the boards for Mountain Valley Developmental Services and River Bridge Regional Center. When reviewing several of his interviews from the previous election, it is clear that many of Charlie Willman’s priorities in Glenwood Springs City Council are much the same as his concerns from 2019. Willman is seeking to be reelected into the Ward 3 seat, over opponent Sumner Schachter. KDNK’s News Reporter Hattison Rensberry talked with Willman about the issues facing Glenwood Springs.

Well, thanks for coming in. Mr. Willman, I really appreciate it.

Please call me Charlie.

Absolutely. What made you decide to run for another term, in Glenwood Spring City Council?

Well, I really believe in service of the community. I've been in Glenwood for over 47 years, and I've been serving on many boards of commissions and other things.
I started working with the city. 1980 as the city attorney. I was also a municipal judge for a short period of time, and then in 2008 when I, my family was growing, I started doing things again. I got involved with the Downtown Development Authority and did that for a number of years and just led in one thing, led to the other.
So I ran for office and I really enjoyed doing the work. I enjoyed serving the people of the community.

What do you think that you bring to the table that's different from your opposition in this particular race?

Well, one of the things that I think I have, it's a real strength, is a lot of experience.
I've been involved, as I said, the city government off and on for most of my career early on as a city attorney and more recently with the D DDA a and the, and the city council. I've also served on the Financial Advisory Board and Transportation Commission, and now I work with a number of boards and, and, and agencies.
I spend a lot of time every week. 10 to 20 hours a week working on city business. I know the city well, I understand the city, its operations, and I specifically really understand the budgeting and the budget itself, which is a very complex budget. You know, it's, it's not normal. It's not a normal budget.
So I think those are the strengths I really have. I work very hard at this job.

And what are your top priorities for this term on city council, If you're reelected?

Well, I think the, one of the most important things obviously is we have to find a way and it's not gonna get solved in the next four years, but you have to find a way to begin providing housing for the people who are work at Glenwood Springs so they can live there as well.
It's very important that we keep that community, young people, professionals, teachers, fire people, and our basic service workers. We have a lot of Latinos that serve our, our community in lodging and restaurants, which are part of our base of our tax, and we need to keep those. People working there because that makes it a good, solid community.
So I think that's probably the primary thing. There are other things such as, you know, obviously we need to deal with transportation. How can we reduce the impact of the traffic that's gonna come through Glenwood Springs and Grand Avenue and anything we can do, including transit, demand management, things like that are really gonna help the community become and stay the quality that it is now.

What are some current city council issues that you've worked on recently that you think. Will have some play in the next term?

Well, we just recently passed, like Carbondale had a few years ago, a Pay as Your Throw program for our trash collection, and that's gonna have a number of impacts. One of those things is it should reduce cost to most of the citizens.
The second thing is gonna increase the amount of recycling and decrease the amount of of waste that goes into the landfill. Our landfill currently has about a four year lifespan left in it. We've applied for an extension, I think it's 15 or 20 years, but we could extend it even further. If we get people to participate in this program fully, to put things in recycle, put things in compost, and only put in the landfill what we need to put in the landfill.
I think that's one of the things we just recently did that is really gonna have an impact over the next several years. A secondary of that is it approves it, it decreases the, the. We're in Tarran, our city streets right now, we have trash trucks going several times a week up and down our city streets.
They're very heavy as the nature of them. This will get that down so that they're only going over in a neighborhood once, maybe twice a week, once for trash, once for recycling. Those things really help us, one meat cost, and two, keep our. Our streets are becoming even more deteriorated than they already are.

Great. Is there anything else that you wanna talk about before we finish up?

Well, I think the other thing that's important, you know, and, and I talked about streets a minute ago and, and that's important to the community. We're gonna have a street tax that's gonna come do in about three years, and we're gonna need to renew that.
That's important to maintain what has been a really good program over the last several years in starting to fix our streets, which. We're ignored for a number of years before that. I think that's, that's very important. The second thing I think, is that I'm really learning how to listen better to the community.
I know a number of people in the community think we don't listen as a council to their needs, and I really see us doing better in listening to the community. And personally, I go out and I try to talk to the people in the community when they have a problem, try to find a solution to that problem. And I think that's really important in maintaining the credibility of council.

Tune in to KDNK’s morning and evening news next week as we profile other candidates.

[Additional note, there are mild sound issues at the top of this audio but they are resolved quickly.]

Hattison Rensberry has a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design and Drawing, but has worked for newsrooms in various capacities since 2019.
She also provides Editorial Design for the Sopris Sun.