City Council race gets more competition

July 1, 2011

Candidates file for August primary

Resident Frank Irigon and former City Councilman Gordon Bisset have filed to run for City Council Position 4 in this year’s election.

Gordon Bisset

Frank Irigon

Frank Irigon

Bisset — who served as a member of the council from 2002-2005 — and Irigon will face off against Parks Commission Chair Andrew Shelton in a primary election in August.

The top two finishers will advance to the general election in November.

Councilman Sonny Putter, who holds Position 4, announced in April he would retire from the council at the end of the year.

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Letters to the editor

July 1, 2011

Don’t let strip mall development replace pedestrian friendly downtown

In last month’s Newcastle News, City Councilwoman Carol Simpson announced her desire to be re-elected.

In that article, she expressed her concern that Newcastle was becoming too pedestrian oriented. Her solution to the problem is to modify the downtown plan and allow more drive-thru businesses, which, I believe, agrees with the goal of the current City Council.

So, if everything works for Ms. Simpson, we could be blessed with a drive-thru pharmacy on the corner where the fruit stand now sits. If you think this will improve the quality of our city, the city’s economics or your property values, relax, your interests are well represented.

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Two more candidates emerge in City Council race

June 14, 2011

NEW — 4 p.m. June 14, 2011

Resident Frank Irigon and former City Councilman Gordon Bisset filed to run for City Council Position 4 in this year’s election. Bisset — who served on the council from 2002-2005 — and Irigon will face off against Parks Commission Chair Andrew Shelton in a primary election in August.

The top two finishers will advance to the general election in November.

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Carol Simpson will seek re-election to council seat

June 3, 2011

Councilwoman Carol Simpson announced in May that she will seek re-election this fall. Simpson — who has Position 2 on the council — joins Deputy Mayor Steve Buri, Councilwoman Lisa Jensen and Parks Commission Chair Andrew Shelton on the November ballot.

None of the candidates who are slated to be on the ballot have yet picked up opponents, although candidates have until June 10 to file for election.

Carol Simpson

Members serve at large and represent the entire city, rather than specific neighborhoods or defined geographic areas.

Simpson has lived in Newcastle since 1998. She is a retired architect — although still a licensed one — and she began her work on the council in 2008. Prior to being elected as a councilwoman, she spent eight years as a member of the planning commission.

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Councilwoman Carol Simpson to seek re-election

May 18, 2011

NEW — 10:50 a.m. May 18, 2011

Councilwoman Carol Simpson announced at the May 11 Newcastle Chamber of Commerce luncheon that she will seek re-election this fall.

Simpson — who holds Position 2 on the council — joins Deputy Mayor Steve Buri, Councilwoman Lisa Jensen and Parks Commission Chair Andrew Shelton on the November ballot.

Council positions are not assigned to geographic regions of the city.

None of the candidates who are slated to be on the ballot have yet picked up opponents, although candidates have until June 10 to file for election.

Parks chair to run for City Council

May 6, 2011

Councilman Sonny Putter to retire

Parks Commission Chair Andrew Shelton announced in April that he will run for City Council this November in Position 4 — the position Councilman Sonny Putter occupies.

However, just before Shelton announced his intention to run, Putter announced he would retire at the end of the year, ending his 17-year stay on the council.

Shelton joins Deputy Mayor Steve Buri and Councilwoman Lisa Jensen on the November ballot. Buri and Jensen announced in March their intentions to seek re-election in positions 3 and 1, respectively. City Council positions are not divided geographically in the city.

Councilwoman Carol Simpson, who sits in Position 2, filed paperwork April 2 with the state Public Disclosure Commission, a precursor to running for election.

The deadline to file for election is June 10.

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Get ready for start of campaign season

May 6, 2011

If you’ve been thinking about taking on a bigger leadership role in Newcastle, it’s time to take the next step. Filing for candidates is June 6-10.

Newcastle City Council, school districts and the Coal Creek Utility District will hold elections this fall.

Many candidates are already filling out the needed paperwork with the state. Others have announced their intentions.

City Council incumbents Lisa Jensen, Carol Simpson and Steve Buri will seek re-election. Sonny Putter will opt out after serving 17 years; Parks Commission Chair Andrew Shelton has said he will seek Putter’s seat.

Council candidates must be registered voters at the time of filing and have one year of Newcastle residency. Those qualifications are the law, but candidates should also bring the willingness to devote hours every week to numerous meetings and study of the issues. An elected official’s most important attribute is the ability to listen and communicate.

The issues sure to be hot topics in City Council races this year include future city budgets, future development in the city limits and mitigation of seasonal flooding on Lake Boren. Park development and funding is sure to come up, and the relocation of City Hall will likely get rehashed.

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Councilman Sonny Putter to retire

April 11, 2011

UPDATED — 4:10 p.m. April 13, 2011

Councilman Sonny Putter announced April 11 that he will not seek re-election this year, ending his 17-year stay on the City Council.

Sonny Putter

Putter was elected to the council in 1994, and he was re-elected in 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007. He also served as mayor from 2000-2001. Putter sits in Position 4 on the council.

Putter said he decided not to run for re-election based on the direction the council is taking the city.

“We’ve got a less collegial, more corrosive atmosphere on the City Council,” he said. “Going forward, I didn’t think I could make a difference.”

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Council members Lisa Jensen, Steve Buri file for re-election

April 1, 2011

UPDATED — 1:45 p.m. April 4, 2011

Councilwoman Lisa Jensen and Councilman Steve Buri have announced they will seek re-election this November.

Jensen and Buri, whose terms expire at the end of the year, each announced the news in March. Jensen sits in Position 1 and Buri sits in Position 3 on the City Council.

All council positions represent the entire city.

Steve Buri

Lisa Jensen

Councilman Sonny Putter’s and Councilwoman Carol Simpson’s terms also expire at the end of the year, but they said they had not yet decided whether they wanted to run for re-election.

Jensen and Buri were both first elected to the council in 2007.

Jensen said she filed to continue making Newcastle an even better community.

“I believe Newcastle is a great community for a lot of reasons, but it’s the people that make it special,” she said. “I believe that Newcastle has a great future, and I want to do my part.”

She said she also wants to continue encouraging community involvement in events such as Newcastle Days, and maintain communication between city government and residents.

Jensen said she feels the biggest issues facing the city are budgetary. She said the city still has significant challenges ahead when it comes to living within its means.

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