Ballots for the April 6 municipal election will soon be arriving and The Daily Sentinel this week has been covering the city council races that voters will be deciding.

Profiles of the eight candidates running for City Council can be found online at gjsentinel.com along with their complete answers to questions asked by The Daily Sentinel.

Included in those surveys to candidates were questions about some of the biggest issues currently facing the city. Should Grand Junction buy Glacier Ice Arena? What about converting downtown parking to a plaza or a community center at Lincoln Park? The Daily Sentinel tried to pin candidates down on a yes/no answer, but allowed room for elaboration.

Here is a selection of what the candidates had to say:

Building a Community Center at Lincoln Park“Yes, Lincoln Park is the ideal location for a Community Center, however an appropriate funding mechanism needs to be determined” — Kraig Andrews, At Large

“Yes, our community is by far the largest Colorado city without a community center and it has been the top priority for residents for years” — Randall Reitz, At Large

“Yes, if it can be built within the current budget but no if a new tax is needed” — Mark McCallister, District A

“Yes, but it is important to note that we have yet to identify the funds that can support this endeavor” — Rick Taggart, District A

”I think it’s important to let the voters decide if that’s where they want their tax dollars to go” — Greg Haitz, District D

”No. This historic neighborhood should not be inundated with traffic” — Dennis Simpson, District D

“I support a ballot question to ask the voters if they wish to invest in this project” — Jody Green, District E

“No… I absolutely do support a community center for Grand Junction; Lincoln Park may be the right place for it, but I’m not quite ready to say it absolutely is the right place” — Abe Herman, District E

Purchasing the Glacier Ice Arena

“Yes, I think it is a great addition to our community, however I would like to see it become self-sustaining” — Andrews

“No, this is a private asset that is being offered at very low price and could easily be purchased and preserved privately” — Reitz

“I believe it would be a great joint venture with the current owner and CMU” — McCallister

“Yes, this is a cost-effective investment for the youth of our community” — Taggart

“It has proven to not be sustainable so far in the private sector” — Haitz

“No. We need full disclosure of the financial commitments involved before proceeding with this deal.” — Simpson

“No. It is a great business for our community. I think it should stay a private business to meet the needs of its customers better with flexibility, responsiveness, and innovation” — Green

“No. I want to see it stay open, but I would like a nonprofit organization created for its purchase and management, possibly with assistance from the university, city, and/or private donors” — Herman

Renovating the Orchard Mesa Pool“No, If a Community Center is established with a new pool I would not support the OM Pool” — Andrews

“Yes, Orchard Mesa is a neglected area of Grand Junction, the pool is already a public asset, and a 2018 study estimated it would only cost $2.4 million to renovate the pool” — Reitz

“No, the asbestos abatement is too costly for the taxpayer” — McCallister

“Yes, with the support of both District 51 and Mesa County” — Taggart

“If the Community Center does not go through, then renovating the Orchard Mesa pool could be a fiscally prudent option” — Haitz

“Yes. People living on Orchard Mesa sometimes get short-shifted, and this commitment will emphasize that they are important to the success of the City” — Simpson

“Yes. Orchard Mesa is currently in care of the Grand Junction City Parks and Recreation. We should care for and update the facilities under our management” — Green

“Yes. I am committed to keeping it open; it’s important that the community members I’ll represent in District E maintain access to this valuable amenity, especially in the absence of a larger community center” — Herman

Supporting the plaza at Las Colonias with public funding“No, I voted against the money given to Bonsai. I believe the each business should build their own” — Andrews

“No, the city shouldn’t provide further incentives to businesses in Las Colonias, but could still assist with funding for the park elements” — Reitz

“The city should not be using taxpayer dollars to compete with the private sector” — McCallister

“No, the city through the DDA has invested over $11m in park, road, and utility infrastructure for the development of Las Colonias” — Taggart

“I think it’s best when the city stays out of funding and subsidizing what should be a private venture” — Haitz

“No. The last thing our businesses need is City subsidized competition” — Simpson

“No. I support the City of Grand Junction creating public parks and would look for ways for business to operate without public funding associated with the Las Colonias development.” — Green

“No. The city should not be competing with private businesses, and it should not be picking winners and losers” — Herman

Allowing half the parking lot on the corner of Fifth Street and Colorado Avenue to be converted into a plaza spacE“No … Per the traffic report done by the DDA, this parking lot is over 90% full during the noon hour” — Andrews

“No, without better parking management first, a plaza would hurt downtown businesses” — Reitz

“This should be a ballot issue for the public to decide” — McCallister

“No, not until I am convinced that the members of the DDA agree on a concept” — Taggart

“If the city chooses to sell off this property and a private entity wishes to develop it into a plaza/shopping space, that could be a good option” — Haitz

“No. The lack of parking is already having a negative effect on downtown businesses” — Simpson

“No. I am concerned that the City of Grand Junction is spreading itself too thin with additional public plazas” — Green

“No … Let’s find another, better place to make this happen!” — Herman

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