OP-ED: Alisa Pappenfort, Council Candidate Ward 3

Dear Salidans,

My decision to be a candidate for Ward 3 was motivated because I was saddened by the tone our community discourse has taken. We live in a small town with values that I deeply respect. I love that we rely on each other in times of need. At our best we are kind and compassionate and rally around to support complete strangers in need or efforts to strengthen our community. However, as our community has grown and changed, our social fabric has weakened. Divides have been created that over the past few years brought out the worst in us. I want to help heal this divide.

No community at war has ever prospered. One side simply winning the majority will not heal it. We need a greater culture change and it will take all of us working together as a team to make that happen. Respect does not mean we will always agree. There will surely be differences. No one will always get their way. But we can be kind, listen to each other, and talk to each other. As a long term resident of Salida, I want to make sure there is always a heart in the Heart of the Rockies. Let’s be hard on ideas, but not our neighbors. This is my guiding principle.

I believe elected officials have a responsibility of stewardship. Good governance requires individuals who have integrity, who put the interest of the community over their own, and who can model the same values we want to see in all of our children. But our democracy is a three-legged stool that includes community members, elected officials and government staff. Break any leg and the stool topples.

I believe a well-functioning government includes effective management, including budgeting and fiscal responsibility. However, it is also so much more. It requires leadership where elected officials are focused on the future – where people will live, how they will work, support for a safe family-friendly place, and protecting our quality of life. These are the things I hope we can talk about. In addition to my years of financial management experience, over the past few years I’ve been educating myself on governance, planning, and community development. I am ready to help lead these community conversations.

Openness is a hallmark of transparency. I invite you to learn more about me via my website, contact me via Facebook or email, or better yet, let’s chat in person if we see each other on the street. Because openness builds trust, I agreed to participate in both candidate forums being organized in Salida. The first was to be hosted by the League of Women’s Voters, a respected national non-partisan non-profit with a 12-year tradition of hosting candidate forums in Salida. Unfortunately Mike Bowers and Bob Gleason refused to participate on grounds the LWV is biased. The second will be sponsored by the Mountain Mail. Regardless of the sponsor, I strongly believe that Salidans have the right to learn about their candidates’ values, their experience, and how they propose to build a brighter future for our community.

Elections offer a choice. I respectfully request that you join me in making our community stronger.

Alisa Pappenfort, Council Candidate Ward 3


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  • edited October 2015

    Wonderful rhetoric.

    Objective facts, however, indicate that Ms. Pappenfort had no apparent interest in council until her daughter's wages and benefits became an issue.

    She also commenced her campaign talking about how people wanted their streets fixed. She never disclosed that she led and organized the opposition to Carlisle-Farney. She was the filer and money handler for the political committee opposing Carlisle-Farney. She ran the Facebook Page for the Baker-Schmidt alternative.

    Wanting streets fixed yet so arduously opposing an initiative that would do so ... they're contrary positions.

    Over the last couple - few months, I have observed numerous post-meeting "huddles" between Pappenfort, Kovacic-Brown, Whitmann and MacDonald / Yerkey et al, an administration that has focused on serving the interests of a narrow band of our population, with little regard for the "social fabric."

    Given the foregoing, it's really hard to take too seriously what she now proclaims.

    I don't always agree with Mr. Bowers as he is more conservative than me. I find him, however, as honest as the day is long, and always concerned about accountability, transparency and ethics. He always carefully considers issues, usually asks some pointed questions of staff, and then votes his conscience, not his interests.

    He had the moral and mental fortitude to stand up to the rubber-stamp council of 2011-2013 and was often the lone dissenting vote on controversial issues.

    Mr. Bowers has earned and deserves the vote of every person in 3rd Ward. I cannot help but think that he will protect their interests better than Ms. Pappenfort.

  • Ah Jeff, there you go again with your truthiness. The Baker-Schmidt alternative would have fixed streets without creating an operating deficit. So saying she was opposed to fixing streets is not true. Ms Pappenfort was opposed to Carlisle-Farney. There are many financial avenues to fix streets. In my opinion Carlisle-Farney seemed to be more about limiting government than fixing streets. Baker-Schmidt would have done a better job at fixing streets.

    As for your comment that Mr. Bowers always carefully considers issues and usually asks some pointed questions of staff is not the Bowers I have seen in Council meetings. At the most recent meeting I attended he talked about changing Carlisle-Farney when that was not the tax initiative that was being discussed. He also obviously confused Mr. Brown's request to fund an advisory CPA with the requirement for an annual audit. Even Mr. Brown smiled at Bowers' confusion and attempted to clarify the issue for Bowers. Brown was unsuccessful. The answers to his questions are generally fully covered in the meeting packet. I often wonder if Bowers reads the packet.

    Mr. Bowers seems like a very nice man who cares about his community, but he does not appear to have the knowledge and comprehension to be a City Councilman.

    Jeff why do you continue your divisive comments?

  • Yours are the words of a bully Jeff Auxier. They grasp at manufacturing faults with someone who is hard working, loves Salida and has good ideas. We live in a small town where many of us have close friends and relatives barely an arm’s length away from us in their work, business and interests. This now tired anti-Alisa script holds no water and serves to tell us more about your fears than about the objects of your denigration (“huddlers” included).
    There are many things to fear and be angry about in the world which deserve forceful energy and strong words. Alisa Pappenfort is not one of them. Please consider talking about visions that will benefit and inspire our community versus repeatedly costing our community in emotional angst (and dollars). Your considerable intelligence and perseverance could be put to better use.

  • edited October 2015

    Well, Lawton, there's not much to say.

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