Veteran Incumbent Not Seeking Re-election
The city of Cripple Creek will only feature one contested council race this November in a development that has taken local political insiders by surprise.
Meghan Rozell, the current Ward Four representative, who formerly sought the mayor’s position two years ago, has decided not to seek re-election. Rozell was considered the front-runner for this race. She has emerged as one of the most vocal and charismatic city council members over the last few years, especially for such issues as the push for affordable housing and employee recognition.
As a result of her exit from the competition, the only remaining candidate, Mark Green, a property owner for a number of years, will assume the position. Green briefly introduced himself at last week’s meeting, and commended the work of the Two Mile High Club in keeping the Donkey Derby Days tradition alive. In fact, he cited this event as one reason he decided to take a larger role in the community
In Ward Five, a showdown will occur between incumbent candidate Melissa Trenary and challenger Les Batson. Both candidates need few introductions.
Trenary, a long-time resident, was elected to this seat four years ago. In a rare development, she beat challenger Jeff Regester, via a card draw. The two ended up in a dead tie heat in the municipal elections of 2017, and Trenary won through a subsequent chance pick. This card draw was orchestrated by election officials, following a vote recount, a process that is authorized by the state.
In the last few years, Trenary has taken a strong stand on a variety of issues, including the Salute To American Veterans Rally and the entire special events situation and historic preservation. Trenary, who has worked in the gaming industry, is also a local history buff.
Batson, who has lived in the community for a number of years, has sought a seat on council on previous occasions. He is well known in the community. At one time, he won hands down as the Best Personality in the annual Best Of contest, sponsored by TMJ News. Batson ran for the Ward Five position before and has mulled competing for the mayoral slot in the past.
There are only two seats that will be decided this November. Even with the lean competition, the winners of these seats will have to hit the ground running, as the town faces some challenging financial decisions.
Plus, Cripple Creek will soon have a new permanent city administrator. The city has hired an outside consultant group to help them pick a new head government boss. Ray White has served as the town’s interim city administrator for the last year and a half.
According to city officials, no ballot issues are on the slate this November