Meet the candidates
The race for Durango City Council begins

John Gamble/Photo by Todd Newcomer
Lee Goddard/Photo by Todd Newcomer
Michael Rendon/Courtesy photo
Dale Garland/Photo by Todd Newcomer
James Sloan/Photo by Todd Newcomer
Sidny Zink/Photo by Todd Newcomer

Six candidates have left the gates in the race to be the next members of the Durango City Council. The terms of John Gamble, Durango’s current mayor, and Amos Cordova will expire April 15. Seven people took out petitions, and six were returned and validated on Wednesday, Feb. 26. Cordova’s name was not among them. The election takes place by mail-in ballot April 1, and the two highest vote-getters will be sworn into office April 15 to serve four-year terms.

The Durango Telegraph introduces the candidates this week with a statement of why they are running for council and an explanation of Durango’s biggest challenges. In the subsequent weeks leading up to the election, the candidates will be asked to answer additional questions.

Name: John Gamble, 55

Occupation: Social worker, director of local Volunteers of America programs

Why have you chosen to run for council?

“I’ve spent 20 years in Durango, and I chose this community purposely. I want to serve on the council because I want it to continue to be a community I want to live in.”

What do you see as the biggest issues facing Durango?

“New development and growth. I do not believe we can simply stop growth and make it go away. We need to grow through management, not by default...We also need to address resources that an expanding community needs, such as water and a library. I hope new growth will incorporate affordable housing and work-force housing for people like government employees, teachers, police officers and firefighters. I’d like them to live here and be a part of the community they serve... also, addressing ridgeline development and dark sky issues.”

Name: Lee Goddard, 62

Occupation: Owner of Goddard Enterprises, buyer and seller of used construction equipment

Why have you chosen to run for council?

“I was on the council from 1992 to 1996 and mayor in 1996. I was on the Planning Commission before and after that and am now on the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee...I think the council has lost sight of everyday operations of the city. We need to bring balance to the council.”

What do you see as the biggest issues facing Durango?

“Determining what the boundaries are going to be for the foreseeable future – it seems that the county is in a better position now to talk with the city about growth patterns...also fiscal matters and treating tax money as a public trust. I feel we’re spending a lot of money somewhat indiscriminately.”

Name: Michael Rendon, 30

Occupation: Director of the Fort Lewis College Environmental Center

Why have you chosen to run for council?

“I bought a house here a year ago, and at that point, I made a commitment to Durango. Because of that, I have a vested interest in the future of this area.”

What do you see as the biggest issues facing Durango?

“Affordable housing and responsible growth are huge ones. I think there is going to be a lot of debate about water issues in the future. I’d like to secure a permanent funding source for open space. I’d also like to see the city start recycling plastics and put more emphasis on the recycling program.”

Name: Dale Garland, 45

Occupation: Durango High School social studies teacher

Why have you chosen to run for council?

“There are two reasons. The first is that I’m in a good position in my life to do this. It’s something I’ve always been interested in doing. Secondly, as a teacher, I’ve always told students to be involved in local affairs. I thought that now is the time to be the example.”

What do you see as the biggest issues facing Durango?

“Other than growth, I see affordable housing and the need to have responsible growth in appropriate areas. I also would like to see continued development of parks, open space and trails, and work on providing and fostering economic opportunities that provide livable wages...and since I’m a teacher, I would like to continue fostering educational opportunities for the community. Part of what makes this community is access to the college, a viable library and a community TV station. I would like to continue to develop them and provide these opportunities to people who want them.”

Name: James Sloan, 38

Occupation: Corrections Case Manager at Hilltop House

Why have you chosen to run for council?

“I believe that I have the ability to serve our community. Based on educational and community experience.”

What do you see as the biggest issues facing Durango?

“I believe the largest issue is controlling growth. I believe growth is almost certainly inevitable, but we can do a good job of managing it. I believe that in particular, water issues will come to the forefront, considering we’re still having quality issues based on last year’s fire and drought.

Name: Sidny Zink, 51

Occupation: Certified Public Accountant with FrederickZinkElliot

Why have you chosen to run for council?

“My hope is that I will add a better balance to the council. My background is in business, and I think that I can provide a little different perspective that will help round out the council as it deliberates over some very tough far-reaching issues. I am by no means a single-issue candidate or doggedly ‘pro-business’ no matter what. I’m always willing to learn.”

What do you see as the biggest issues facing Durango?

“I think the biggest issues are growth and affordable housing. Growth is a huge issue because it really encompasses economic development, annexation issues, water and more. Affordable housing is inextricably tied to growth as well. I’ll be looking for a balance between naturally competing forces.”









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