If elected to Colorado Springs City Council, Glenn Carlson says he will work diligently with private and public entities to reopen a wounded economy impacted by the COVID pandemic.
“COVID is to be taken seriously. I am confident in the progress we are making and we must continue to be diligent and deliberate with our approach,” said Carlson who hopes to represent District 1 following the April 6 election.
For many voters the election will offer an opportunity to decide on numerous issues ranging from COVID-19, infrastructure, land use, repairing the economy and zoning all of which will have long-lasting impacts on the city’s future.
As a councilman, Carlson hopes to make Colorado Springs a better place in which to live, specifically in District 1 on the city’s northwest side where residents relish trails, open spaces and community involvement. “As president of the board for the Trails and Open Space Coalition, I have fought to preserve and protect these gems,” Carlson said.
The Mountain Shadows resident is no stranger to public service having sought a Colorado House of Representatives seat in 2014. He was defeated by incumbent Dan Nordberg in the general election. This is his second run for City Council. “I ran at-large nearly six years ago and although I came up just short, I was able to secure broad support in the community,” Carlson said.
Carlson believes an economy should be designed to last since relying on federal spending negatively impacts the city when federal budgets are axed. He also believes the COVID virus has greatly impacted peoples’ lives, particularly business owners, and hopes hard work and perseverance will help change that.
“Businesses have been hit hard, ours included,” said Carlson who co-owns Absolute Body Balance, a health and wellness center that focuses on therapeutic massage and associated modalities.
“We need to encourage the next batch of entrepreneurs to rise to the occasion and make sure they have a city willing to work alongside them. It always has been and always will be about the people. As a business owner, I want to work hard to ensure we get up and running quickly.”
Carlson also plans to get involved in zoning. ReToolCOS is the new zoning code that, along with proposals for infill and greenfield development, will change the landscape. “The city will be going through extensive zoning updates through PlanCOS and ReToolCOS. It will effect everything from housing to commercial real estate and our downtown presence,” Carlson said.
“Zoning is something I enjoy due to its complexity, but it can be exciting when you ‘unlock’ an area ripe for development investments. As a board president of the Trails and Open Space Coalition, I have worked countless hours to create, preserve and protect our natural environment.”
Presently, Carlson is involved in the 2424 Garden of the Gods rezoning project that could change the face of the GOG and 30th St. area. “The outpouring of opposition to the project has been enormous. We are lucky to live in areas such as Mountain Shadows, Rockrimmon and Peregrine, and maintaining our community identity is important,” Carlson said.
“I believe this development, in its current state, does not blend well into the community and I intend to stand with my neighbors in opposition.”
Carlson believes Colorado Springs is fortunate to have unified utility service that answers to the public. “City council also sits on the utility board so we will be working on important issues like the Drake power plant closure, a switch to renewable, clean energy and more,” Carlson said.
According to Carlson, City Council is a difficult, demanding job. The compensation is extremely low, he said, and that attaining diversity can be difficult. At 37, Carlson hopes his age will attract a younger audience interested in community involvement. “I would love to have younger folks involved as much as possible,” Carlson said.
Carlson believes his solutions-oriented skills are his greatest asset. He enjoys solving complex issues and ensuring community can create a solution that favors the majority, he said. In addition to his health and wellness business, Carlson also own a specialized auto tool repair company that ships high end repair tools throughout the continent.
“Prior to going into business I had a global corporate career that allowed me to understand large, complex entities all across the globe. I know how to reach across the aisle and find common solutions,” Carlson said.
Carlson graduated from Mesa Ridge High School in 2002, and from Colorado College with a bachelors in economics in 2006. He and his wife, Laura, have two children, Ellie and Archie.
Also running in District 1 are Dave Donelson, Jim Mason and Michael Seeger. For a full list of City Council candidates, visit coloradosprings.gov/city-clerk/page/candidate-and-campaign-information.
The municipal election is April 6.