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Woodland Park gets new mayor in unconventional manner

By: matt steiner matt.steiner@gazette.com
August 12, 2014 Updated: August 13, 2014 at 8:25 am
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Neil Levy, left, is sworn in as Woodland Park mayor Tuesday night by City Clerk Cindy Morse. Photo by Matt Steiner

The Woodland Park mayoral race came down to a tiebreaker.

And after two names were tossed in a bowl, Neil Levy's name was pulled out, making him the Teller County town's new mayor.

"It's amazing," Levy said just moments after the unconventional ending to the city council's vote. "I don't know if that's how it's supposed to work, but now I've got a lot of work ahead of me."

Woodland Park City Council interviewed five applicants for the job Tuesday night, and after three rounds of voting, it came down to a 3-3 tie between Levy, owner of the Swiss Chalet restaurant, and former council member Phil Mella. City Manager David Buttery had warned that a tie vote could come down to the odd ending of a drawing, because neither the Woodland Park charter nor Colorado state law outlines what to do in such cases.

"I am very pleased," Mella said. "Neil is very capable. I look forward to his stewardship."

Levy said he "isn't the smartest guy in the room," but echoed a mantra that he has passion for Woodland Park and "knows the people."

The three other candidates were Mike Maddux, Gary Brovetto and Gretchen Bundy-Ladowicz.

A new mayor had to be chosen within 30 days of the resignation of former Mayor David Turley, according to the Woodland Park charter. Tuesday marked the 29th day since Turley gave up his office on the heels of accusations that he had an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old boy. He was arrested in late May on suspicion of sexual assault against a minor after the Woodland Park Police learned more details of the accusations.

Turley denied the accusations in his resignation statement. He will be in 4th Judicial District Court on Sept. 22 for an arraignment hearing.

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