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Don Knight wins Council District 1, wants to see market-driven development in Colorado Springs

April 4, 2017 Updated: April 5, 2017 at 9:41 am
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After early results, Colorado Springs councilman Don Knight gets a supportive hug while holding his traditional box of cigars. Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette.

Don Knight, who's known for being responsive to constituents and not saying a disparaging word about fellow City Council members, has been re-elected to his seat in District 1, which covers northwest Colorado Springs, including Rockrimmon.

Voters put their faith behind Knight with 67 percent selecting the incumbent over first-time candidate Greg Basham.

"I feel joy and relief - you're never sure how it's going to turn out," Knight said at an election watch party Tuesday night.

ELECTION HIGHLIGHTS

Full results from all races.

- Stormwater and other ballot issues pass by large margins.

Yolanda Avila, with longtime roots in southeast Colorado Springs, earns surprise win.

Skorman reveals what's on his to-do list.

Knight wants to see market-driven development.

Gaebler: 'We are not divided. We can find common ground.'

Basham said Tuesday night he did not want to comment on the election results.

The new council will include a mix of veterans and newcomers.

Knight, a retired Air Force colonel with 26 years of military service and another 10 years as a space systems and satellites defense contractor, believes he can work with the new board in the same way he has for the past four years.

"We got along pretty good on the last council, even though we have complete differences of opinion," he said.

The 62-year-old strongly opposes raising taxes and says he's glad voters approved a ballot initiative that will allow the city to retain excess Colorado Taxpayer Bill of Rights dollars, which potentially could result in some $12 million.

As chairman of the council's finance committees for both the city and city-owned Utilities, Knight said the money could be used toward stormwater issues and possibly improvements to public safety.

"I don't see why we'd need to raise the stormwater fee for the next four years," he said. Knight co-chaired a task force on the continued redevelopment of North Nevada Avenue and now wants elements of a master plan carried forth.

"Some council members want to see the transit plan before they put the overlay zoning on it," he said.

Additional development will be market-driven, he said, adding that he'd like to bring in new business and industry that can take advantage of graduates from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado College and Colorado Technical University.

"We have three great higher education institutions, all within 2 miles of North Nevada, to support our workforce," he said.

Knight led a move last year to place moratoriums on expanded cannabis clubs and medical marijuana dispensaries. He has shown strong support for residents whose homes have been impacted by landslides. He's also been pushing for an "adopt-a-park" program to bring in private dollars to help maintain and improve parks without additional taxes.

Knight said he's pleased to get a vote of confidence to continue representing District 1 residents' interests.

"It's good to know voters have appreciated what I've done for the last four years," he said.

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