Crews work to clear downed power lines from the east end of Manitou Avenue on Wednesday morning. The aftereffects of high winds forced the closure of Manitou Avenue from the eastern arch to Beckers Lane. The winds also toppled a large tree in a residential area. According to Colorado Springs Utilities, only one customer lost power, but not for long.
Photo by Travis Lowell
The official results are in, and they confirm that Nicole Nicoletta is Manitou’s next mayor.
Nicoletta captured 878 of the votes cast for mayor in the Nov. 2 election, winning by a 10-vote margin over Coreen Toll. Nicoletta won 50.29 percent of the total votes cast, while Toll pulled in 49.71 percent of the votes.
Although the vote was close, it did not trigger an automatic recount, and Toll has not requested one.
“I am honored to be elected the next Mayor of Manitou Springs,” Nicoletta said. “The campaign was a true grassroots effort and I wholeheartedly thank all my supporters. For those of you who walked the neighborhood as my advocate, held gatherings in your home, put signs in your yard and sported bumper stickers on your car, you made the campaign a success!”
Nicoletta said she is excited to begin working on priorities including Incline management, proactive strategies addressing panhandling, continued economic progress and innovative development of the Tajine Alami lot, as well as flood and fire mitigation, attention to aging infrastructure and efforts to enhance code enforcement.
“I was elected as your next mayor through a campaign that focused on community engagement, not just input but true engagement to where folks feel heard and are willing to keep coming to the table in an effort to elevate all of our capabilities and build community resilience,” she said.
“I will continue to host open dialogue gatherings around town so your voices can be heard on a variety of platforms. It is with gratitude that I embrace this opportunity.”
Toll, who will continue serving on City Council, congratulated Nicoletta and said that “with a margin of only 10 votes in our mayoral race, collaboration seems more important than ever for representing the whole community.”
As Manitou works to create multiple, long-term master plans, Toll said, “our past plans, successes and vulnerabilities are being examined and our future needs, possibilities and strengths are being identified. Both are being held up to the light for a more resilient future. As we all, through our public processes, select which paths to take, which projects to fund, which new ideas to embrace, I will work passionately and tirelessly to make these a reality.”
Councilor Gary Smith led the polling among seven candidates for three City Council at-large seats with 1,041 votes.
“I would like to thank everyone who supported me,” Smith said. “I will continue to be your voice on council.”
Councilor Becky Elder placed second in the polling, winning 937 votes. Elder has served since March as the Ward 1 representative on Council after being appointed to fill the seat vacated by Kevin “Sarge” MacDonald.
Elder said during her campaign that she sought an at-large seat because she thought it would give a better reading of the community’s support for her service on Council.
“Thanks to those who support me being on the Council and being a Lorax for the natural world in our area,” Elder said. “It is exciting and challenging. I will do my best for Manitou Springs, for the Manitoids here now and for the Manitouans of the future.”
Jay Rohrer garnered 686 votes to take the third at-large seat. He has served on the Parking Authority Board since 2008 and is the current chair.
Councilor Randy Hodges, who ran unopposed for the Ward 1 Council seat, thanked the 401 Ward 1 residents who voted for him.
“I was a bit discouraged by the number of unregistered voters I encountered when I was gathering my ballot petition signatures,” Hodges said. “This number encourages me greatly. Do not hesitate to contact me with problems in the ward and I will see what I can do to help. Going into my second Council term I have learned a thing or two about how to get things done for you.”
The final election results included military and overseas ballots and verified ballots which were “cured” of deficiencies such as illegible signatures.
Complete election results are available at www.elpasoelections.com.