Lorrie Worthey

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Lorrie Worthey burst onto the Green Mountain Falls political scene four years ago, when she won a bid as mayor, defeating long-time resident and civic leader Dick Bratton.

Worthey, though, isn’t a newcomer to the area, having lived in the GMF area for about 20 years. Plus, her husband, Marshall Worthey, previously served as a trustee. The two got strongly involved in GMF politics and city affairs, following the town hall arson fire of 2012.

Worthey previously served as the regional director of the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) international organization and worked as a teacher.
The mayor says she is seeking a third term because she wants to continue much of the work undertaken in the last two years, such as revamping ordinances and establishing more professionalism at board meetings. Worthey contends that her first term was marked by much in-fighting, while the last term represented a major transition period in dealing with a virtually new staff and a bevy of changes. As a result, she is optimistic that her third term could be quite productive with “the foundation laid for some good things to happen… I am very passionate about this job.” Worthey is running with a group of candidates that includes herself, Trustee Barbara Gardiner, Mayor Pro Tem Tyler Stevens and Bratton.

Main Priorities.
Worthey cites public safety as her number one priority if re-elected. With the Waldo Canyon fire and the devastating floods of several years ago and other disasters, she contends that GMF needs to prepare better for emergencies and address its public safety concerns. She wants to see GMF follow the path of Manitou Springs in completing a quality emergency plan. “We really need to go through with this,” said the mayor, who says she has established good relations with other elected leaders in the region.

The mayor also cites the steps taken to update ordinances and to bring more professionalism to the board. “We have come a long way,” said Worthey, who cites earlier meetings that nearly turned into brawls. With another term, she believes the elected leaders can complete the work they started.

Roads
The mayor admits the roads in GMF experienced hard times two years ago, with the resignation of its complete public works department and maintenance crew. “Our roads are a work in progress,” said Worthey. Moreover, she stated that the town didn’t have as much money to allocate as it did in the past because she says the previous board basically de-funded public safety. “We have to find a balance between public safety and roads.”

And contrary to the claims of her critics, the mayor believes much progress has occurred with a new public works chief, Miichael Cullinane. “We see it getting better and better,” said the mayor, who cites the improvements made by the public works director and the acquiring of a new plow/truck. She defends earlier decisions to sell much equipment at the public works facility, classifying much of this as antiquated. She also lauds the work of the trustees in taking a more hands-on-role in much of the maintenance and parks work.

Law Enforcement and Pet Projects
The mayor is a big proponent of having a town marshal and heavily supports the work of Police Chief Tim Bradley, who was re-instated following the last election two years ago. This decision irked former leaders, but the mayor stands behind this action. “We have very professional law enforcement,” said Worthey. She cites the way Bradley has worked with the community, in doing such programs as “Shop with a Cop.”

As for her pet projects, she wants to see more park improvements and continual enhancements at the pool. She said the current leaders have embarked on major improvements at the pool. “It was in horrible shape. We have restored the pool.”

Goose-gate
The mayor admits much frustration over this issue and was one of the few elected leaders that wanted to legalize the feeding of ducks and geese at the lake and Gazebo. Eventually, the leaders agreed to only permit children to do this feeding and only occasionally. But she contends this issue got “blown out of the water” by the media. Worthey said she was contacted by a Colorado Springs newspaper columnist while out-of-town, when a long-time resident was given a citation for violating the town’s ban against feeding wildlife. The mayor admits she never expected this issue to command so much attention.

She would like to improve the current situation by doing more public education through erecting signs at the lake and credits the work of Trustee Gardiner in addressing this issue.

Bringing the town together
Worthey regrets the perception of conflicting factions dominating town politics in GMF. “We need to work together more,” said Worthey. “It’s not us versus them. It is a community.”

Moreover, the mayor believes that divisive politics have too often forced the town to work “in a reactive mode.” But she believes town leaders have made improvements in creating a more civil atmosphere at meetings and having more workshops and citizen committees.

Other Issues
The mayor also says she is a big believer in transparency and more citizen involvement. “I want your input,” said Worthey, who encourages people to attend meetings.

In addition, she says the current leaders aren’t afraid to make tough decisions, citing the actions it took to terminate former town clerk and treasurer Mary Duval, who came under fire following an audit report. “We took the hard step. That was a tough decision. We listened to our people.”