2018 Municipal election

April 4, 2018

The votes are in

Marie Cenac (918)
Carlie Bangs (679)
Ken Zornes (640)

J Scott Webermeier (604)
Ward Nelson (500)
Barbara MacAlpine (477)
Art Messal (449)
Dave Shirk (440)
Michelle Hiland (386)
His Majesty Bob Holcomb (250)

New trustees elected to our town board will take their oath of office April 24th at 7pm.

Here's the thing. Yesterday we would have sold you on Marie Cenac then given you a half dozen reasons not to elect Carlie Bangs or Ken Zornes. Today, we hear the will of our neighbors and respect our difference of opinion, we believe in democracy and will give each of these new trustees a chance to follow through on their campaign promises. The benefit of the doubt. Negatives aside we'll listen attentively and participate in public forums and offer trustees our input. We have hope.

We expect that these new representatives will listen to the people in this community that they now represent. Even those who didn't vote for them. Your new job, Marie, Carlie and Ken- is to listen and represent.

The one thing that is most clear to us this morning is that Estes Park has just said, again, status quo is not OK. Having sent both incumbent candidates (Nelson and Holcomb) packing their bags, The People repeated the last election to say that government in Estes Park needs to change fundamentally. New candidates, read that until it sinks in. If you accept the way things go, you will have failed. Your charge by The People is to EFFECT CHANGE. Over the last 2-3 years, the trustees have thumbed their noses at The People, and what happened? Those decision makers are now gone. Take another look at their bad decisions and resist Franks lecture about 'what's done is done'. Bull. The People have the last word, and YOU ARE THAT WORD. Evaluate what has been done, evaluate what is to come, from your perspective today, as a voter.

First on our list is The Loop. How about a public vote? Then, like this election, The People would accept the will of their neighbors and trust the process, then move forward cooperatively. You'd be a hero if you made the motion to call for a public vote, and no matter what the outcome, making that motion would do more to repair the community than has been done, ever?

Without a public vote on The Loop, it will continue to divide and damage our community. $1.6m to settle up with the feds won't be that expensive when you look back in 5 years and say to yourselves- WHY did we let that happen?

March 13, 2018

Election Do's and Don'ts for the municipal ballot arriving in your mailbox any minute. Our guide is based on attending the forums, watching the videos, talking to candidates (and their foes), and LIVING IN ESTES PARK for decades. We are interested in representative trustees, preserving the feeling that makes Estes Park special (not lip service, action).

These candidates are good for Estes Park and we ARE voting for them:

Marie Cenac (business, personal and leadership experience will allow her to hit the ground running; she has hinted that she thinks the Loop is a dumb idea; she has advocated for citizen input on pending and future community shaping events- an actual representative)

Art Messal
(showed his tenacity and interest in several local interest issues over the last 2 years, before he was running for town board [unlike other candidates who started attending meetings after they said they were interested]; he advocates for community rights over visitor rights, but promises a balance of both; he sounds like he will represent, versus vote FOR US, knowing better that the citizens do)

These candidates are probably good for Estes Park, and MIGHT do a good job:

Dave Shirk (past town employee with tons of perspective; smart, listens to citizens; town admin paranoid he will be elected- which is a plus in our book)

Ken Zornes
(has been getting lots of buy in from his ambitious involvement in local groups, despite his brief 3 years in Estes Park)

Michelle Hiland (passionate about issues, short time in Estes Park)

These candidates are not a good fit for Estes Park in this election, and we will NOT be voting for them in any circumstance:

His Majesty Bob Holcomb (disregard voters, sleeps in meetings, pro-LOOP, 'better than citizens', etc etc etc)

Ward Nelson
(indifferent toward issues other than his pet projects, too narrow focused, pro-LOOP)

Carlie Bangs
(single issue candidate (The Kids), ignorance of other important local issues)

Scott Webermeier
(involvement in too many boards with scandals; not the right time for Scott with better choices)

Barb McAlpine (too little local perspective, too nice (yes, it's true, help us save Barb and don't elect her)

February 21, 2018

candidate info

Overall, we're impressed at the lack of original ideas and general regurgitation of what the already identified struggles are in our community, without specific solutions, especially from incumbents (which is why they need to go).

Also missing is the ELEPHANT in the room- THE LOOP. This highway project remains a hot community topic that makes citizens angry because it was never put before the citizens for a vote, and despite some uninformed candidates sources, the project could be stopped if the community was against it. How do we know if the community is against it? Take a public vote. Let's see if any of he candidates talk about it before the election.

Update 3/5/18: There are some better resources to study the candidates than we can provide, so we'll refer you to them and tell you after we do our own research, who we're voting for. If you read EstesTruth regularly, you know that we demand facts, standing up for the real Estes Park (not the fantasy future development) and love the place we live. So we want representatives that REPRESENT.

One candidate we're NOT voting for:


Caught here just before he jerked his head up awake, during another public meeting. Wish we had the video running.

Holcomb is even more famous for sleeping during the 5.5 hour public testimony meeting about The Loop, held at the Event Center early in his tenure.

February 6, 2018

The Election is Coming

The Town of Estes Park will hold the next regular Municipal Election Tuesday, April 3, 2018, as a mail ballot-only election for three seats on the Board of Trustees. Voters will determine who will occupy seats currently held by Mayor Pro Tem Wendy Koenig and Trustees Bob Holcomb and Ward Nelson. Mayor Pro Tem Koenig is term-limited. Trustees Holcomb and Nelson are eligible to run for an additional four-year term.

There are 10 certified candidates that will appear on the ballot, we haven't heard about any write-in candidates yet.

Carlie Bangs, Marie Cenac, Michelle Hiland, His Majesty Bob Holcomb (incumbent), Barbara MacAlpine, Art Messal, Ward Nelson (incumbent), Dave Shirk, Scott Webermeier, Ken Zornes

What a group. One person doesn't seem to know all of the candidates personally, which means there's some variety- so we can't quickly pick winners and losers based on our own experience. Therefore we will evaluate them and share what we know with you. First (because it's so easy), how long the candidates have lived in Estes Park. Being a long time resident doesn't necessarily mean you're the best person for the job. It does mean that your track record is known and if there's a chink in the armor, this is where it comes out. This should be an area to worry about for a couple of candidates, and it's never too early to say "Ah, I changed my mind"... If you're running for town trustee in 2018 you can expect that the citizens are going to do their due diligence, since there's no standard set by the town for criminal background or moral standards, which kind of hurt us at the last election, but more on that set of hidden surprises later (or in other already published articles on this site).

Being new to town isn't the right time to run for the top office- you can't mitigate being new no matter what experience you bring with you. Ruling the land requires a familiarity, and as we have seen in the last 4 years, the community suffers when arrogance (election gone to your head) takes priority over being a representative of the voters who put you there.

** Correction: Webermeier time in EP should be 58 years according to the bio he provided; Dave shirk should be listed at 18 years (per bio). Map update coming.

Lets be careful this time, voters! Here's how the years stack up: