A community needs sound infrastructure, public safety, small businesses, and trails and open spaces if it hopes to thrive and be successful.
If elected to City Council, candidate David Donelson said he will ensure these four issues receive the attention they deserve. Donelson hopes to represent District 1 following the April 6 Municipal Election.
A desire to serve inspired Donelson to run for City Council. He brings 21 years of military service and 30 years of public service to Colorado Springs, and wants to continue serving the community, he said.
“I would bring the leadership of an Army officer, the problem-solving approach of a Green Beret and the business experience of a clinic director to City Council. In this time of COVID, I would also bring the medical experience and knowledge of a physician assistant who practiced medicine for 19 years,” Donelson said.
Donelson said public safety is city government’s most important service as it is difficult to enjoy trails and open spaces if residents discover their car windows have been smashed and property stolen.
He said citizens should feel safe anytime, anywhere. Without public safety, a community is a dangerous place for families and businesses — and infrastructure, small business, and trails and open spaces will fail, he said.
“When I went to our local pet supply store at Austin Bluffs and Academy, one of the panes of glass in the door was replaced with plywood. I asked one of the employees what had happened and she informed me it had been shot out the day before during a fight and shooting in the parking lot. Public safety is an issue that can’t be second,” Donelson said.
As for improving infrastructure, Donelson believes city government is responsible for developing and maintaining roads and bridges, and that citizens who pay taxes deserve quality roads and bridges without lengthy traffic delays.
Donelson said he will listen to constituents’ concerns and recommendations regarding this issue. Also he will work with Travis Easton and his Public Works team to ensure infrastructure is well funded, and meets family and business needs.
Small businesses also are important as they create jobs and pay taxes that fund the other three priorities, he said. In general, city government must establish an environment in which small businesses can thrive.
Donelson also is passionate about preserving trails, open spaces and parks. Prior to his Army service, Donelson spent two seasons working in Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness, where he planned and built routes, and assessed trail damage. Trails, open spaces and parks is a great resource that improves quality of life and attract quality business, he said.
“I will listen to citizens of D-1, meeting with the leadership of Parks, Forestry and other advocacy groups for trails, parks and open spaces, and work closely with them to maintain and improve this great resource,” Donelson said.
Donelson said he will work with city Mayor John Suthers, County Commissioners and El Paso County Department of Public Health for rapid COVID vaccination rollout. He will work to improve vaccine availability communication with citizens, he said, and believes tax breaks should be offered when COVID-impacted businesses are forced to decrease service.
“I would bring my knowledge of medicine and medical issues, along with small business and military experience to city council. I would work … to ensure vaccination occurs as quickly as possible so we can get our businesses completely open again as soon as possible,” Donelson said.
Donelson believes his Army experience will pay dividends during his City Council service. He deployed to Iraq for three individual one-year deployments, served a year in South Korea and six months in the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan for six months.
He later attended the Inter-service Physician Assistant Program, was commissioned an officer and became an Army physician assistant. “In that role, I was responsible for medical readiness of my battalion, and leading and training the medical section,” Donelson said.
Donelson, his wife, Holly and their then-two-week old daughter arrived in Colorado Springs 30 years ago and resided in District 1 for 20 years. In 2010 Donelson retired from the Army with the rank of major after 21 years.
“I believe my values and priorities align with those of residents of D-1. I care about this community and want to serve it as I served our country,” Donelson said.
Also running in D-1 are Glenn Carlson, Mike Seeger and Jim Mason. For a full list of City Council candidates, visit coloradosprings.gov/city-clerk/page/candidate-and-campaign-information.