Colorado Springs City Councilman Andres Pico won an easy victory Tuesday over three challengers to be re-elected to his District 6 seat covering a part of northeast Colorado Springs and the Banning Lewis Ranch.
Pico, who also serves as chairman of the Colorado Springs Utilities board, outraised all of his opponents by more than a three-to-one ratio and ran on a record of a council that accomplished much, from addressing neglected roads and stormwater infrastructure to eliminating the business personal property tax and offering tax breaks at the Colorado Springs Airport through a commercial aeronautical zone that lured employers and airlines.
He beat his three challengers with 52.14 percent of the vote, ahead by more than 3,000 votes.
Pico said he "rather pleased" and called the results "good." He credited his apparent victory to a straightforward approach and said he planned to emphasize economic development to expand the city's business base to fund basic services. He also will pursue more long-range planning for utility and city infrastructure.
He also was part of a majority of utilities board members, who are all council members, who rejected making any change in who serves on that board. Colorado Springs Forward, which has backed a slate of candidates in Tuesday's election, sought a board that would be a combination of elected and appointed officials. Pico believes the board should be elected to maintain its independence.
Pico also opposed Issue 2, which would let the city keep $6 million in each of the next two years to be spent on stormwater projects. He also opposes imposing a stormwater fee or tax. His highest priority now is finding a way to finance the widening of Interstate 25 from Monument to Castle Rock.
He faced Melanie Bernhardt, Robert Burns and former state Rep. Janak Joshi.
Bernhard heads a nonprofit that trains service dogs and is best known for a recurring guest-star role in the television sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes" in the late 1970s, where she played "Kathy," the wheelchair-aided friend of "Arnold," played by the late Gary Coleman. She said she sought the seat because she was "unhappy with how things are going in general."
Burns, a retired Army reservist who works as a recruiter for cable giant Comcast Corp., said he would quit his job to devote full time to serving on council, a job that pays $6,250 a year.
Joshi, a former doctor, said he wanted to use his connections with legislators to help the city work on state issues.
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