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BMA 2009 City Council Endorsements!

The Boulder Mountainbike Alliance endorses five candidates for the upcoming Boulder City Council race.

SUZY AGETON www.suzyageton.com

K.C. BECKER www.kcbecker.org

MACON COWLES http://cowlesforcouncil.net/

GEORGE KARAKEHIAN www.georgekforcouncil.com

BARRY SIFF www.siffforcouncil.com

Each elected city council member will be shaping the way our city looks for years to come. At this crucial time, it is more important than ever that we have reasonable, rational people in office. The economic, growth and open space issues that define how our city has operated in the last decades are being challenged by our current economy. These issues will immediately test the new council members and how they deal with what we value in Boulder and access to our public resources.

GO VOTE! BMA members interviewed, and really got to know the candidates running. Through this process, we selected candidates we feel represent our values and views best. Our reason for our choices is discussed below, but we encourage you to investigate our selections for yourself and make informed choices.

Being a City Council member is a tough job and the choices they make are even tougher. BMA looks at the entire candidate, but we have a fiduciary duty to look out for our members' interests. To us that means finding people who are open minded to bike access and supportive of our community. No council candidate will or should guarantee they will vote the way you want them to, but they can guarantee to give you a fair hearing, to look at the facts, and to consider basic issues of fairness and the active stewardship that the mountain biking community brings to Boulder.

We looked for people who understand that mountain bikers are not a single issue voting block. Bikers are concerned about our children, our neighborhoods, the environment, the economy, and many other issues. We were keen to identify candidates who understood that BMA members are diverse, both in interests and background and that we are primarily interested in rational, open-minded problem solvers. BMA members serve on city and county government advisory boards, we provide countless hours of volunteer labor for the maintenance and improvement of our public lands, and we have pulled together as a community to make Valmont Bike Park happen. Few other Boulder community organizations can match these accomplishments.

We believe that a diversity of perspectives is important on council. A council of nine environmental activists, nine business owners, or nine people over 65 years old impoverishes our entire community. Council needs to bring many perspectives to the table to make good decisions for all Boulderites. In our assessment, a business perspective has been sadly missing since the death of Tom Eldridge, and that played a significant role in our endorsements this year. While we are not pro "big business" or "big box", we understand that our city needs a healthy economy and that a balance needs to be maintained within the council that could be lost if new members do not understand this. Heres what we have to say about each candidate:

Suzy Ageton has proven herself through many years of service on council. BMA supported Suzy for every election that she has run in, and she has received the most votes in each of those elections. She is well informed, rational, and looks at the bigger picture. She is a smart and informed voice of reason. She clearly does her homework and brings a common sense voice to the council.

K.C. Becker is an experienced lawyer for public land agencies, and brings extensive knowledge of how government agencies and interest groups need to work to get things done. She currently serves as a member of the Boulder planning board, and is also a new mother. She would be the youngest member of council if elected and the only one raising a family. We believe council needs that perspective.

Macon Cowles has experience as an environmental lawyer. We supported Macon in his successful bid for council 2 years ago. He has been open-minded and engaged with our community in a way that many council members have not (going so far as to ride on Dowdy Draw with several BMA members as part of his interview). He has generated a lot of controversy in his time on council so far. But hes not afraid to stand up for what he believes in and to take the heat for making tough decisions. We like that.

George Karakehian has been the heart and soul of Downtown Boulder businesses. This means hes made many enemies pushing for business interests in a community that often thinks business equals anti-environment. But what would Boulder be without our flourishing downtown area? Hes also founded non-profit organizations such as Imagine! which supports people with cognitive and physical disabilities. Hes a business grouch with a big heart if you will. And one that can certainly bring the missing business perspective to council.

Barry Siff is an endurance athlete who owned and ran the 5280 triathlon series. He spearheaded efforts to make those events zero waste a first for athletic event businesses so we know his heart is in the right place. He represents mainstream Boulderites people who like to get out in nature and who care about the environment. Notably, Barry has been attending every city council meeting for months to study up on the issues and get a sense for what being a council member is all about. If elected, we know he will be an effective and energetic leader.