A mayoral applicant cradled a puppy in each arm as he berated the Woodland Park City Council, one young man seized the microphone without permission and had to be forcibly removed from the meeting, and the proceedings were delayed for several minutes when council members began to argue amongst themselves over protocol.
When it was over, the city was still without a mayor.
The foremost piece of council business at Thursday night’s meeting was a vote to fill the mayoral seat left vacant when former Mayor Val Carr died in February after being diagnosed with COVID-19. Five applicants made their respective cases and answered questions before the council took the matter to a vote.
Council members Stephanie Alfieri, Jim Pfaff and Robert Zuluaga all voted for Don Dezellem, who has waged two unsuccessful campaigns for City Council.
“I just have to give you credit,” council member Stephanie Alfieri told Dezellem. “I don’t think I’ve seen anyone work that hard, for that long, to be able to serve the citizens of Woodland Park.”
The remaining members of the six-person council — Mayor Pro Tem Hilary LaBarre, Kellie Case and Rusty Neal — voted “none of the above” instead of casting a ballot for any of the five candidates who pled their case at the meeting.
The other four applicants were George English, Michael Dalton, Gary Brovetto and Drew Christian Harris. English, the only candidate not physically present at the meeting, attended via Zoom.
Nathan Williams and David Mitchell also submitted letters of interest to the council, but withdrew their names from consideration before the meeting.
In March, the council voted to advertise the open position for 30 days and collect applications. Interested applicants had to submit a letter of intent and resume.
Each applicant was allowed five minutes to state his reasons for wanting to be mayor and his vision for the city.
Dalton, who approached the podium carrying a puppy in each hand, used his five minutes to express his disdain for members of the council.
“There are people who tune in all over the country just to watch the circus that is the Woodland Park City Council,” Dalton said.
About halfway through Dalton’s speech, someone decided to walk to the podium and begin speaking into the microphone. A security official removed him from the proceedings.
Dezellem was the only candidate who received a vote.
The tie vote means that LaBarre will retain her position as the city’s chief elected official until 90 days before the city’s municipal election on April 5, 2022, at which time the council may call a special election to fill the vacancy.
In other council business, Jeff Webb and Don Dezellem were unanimously reappointed to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Kassidi Gilgenast was appointed to the Keep Woodland Park Beautiful Committee, and Nick Abercrombie was selected at an alternate member of the city’s Board of Adjustments. Michael Nakai was denied in his bid for an appointment to the Planning Commission in a 4-2 vote.