Longmont Candidates and Ballot Measures

Our 2023 Vote Guide endorsements



We sent questionnaires to each of the candidates running for Longmont City Council in 2023. Visit this page to see each candidate’s answers.

Mayor (choose one)

Ethan Augreen 

Joan Peck 

Terri Goon 


Longmont Mayor Joan Peck has two years under her belt as mayor and an additional six years on Council. Boulder Weekly has endorsed Peck in years past, (every year she’s run since her election to Council in 2015, except for the 2021 mayoral election), particularly because of her focus on environmental protection. 

Our initial support for Peck stemmed from work she did prior to her election to Council. Peck co-led the successful effort to get a ban on fracking on Longmont’s ballot in 2012, a move that ultimately led to a Colorado Supreme Court decision giving municipalities the right to prohibit the practice. She was instrumental in bringing air quality monitoring to Longmont. Peck also has a pre-Council track record of advocating for better transportation, and currently serves on the board of the Front Range Passenger Rail District. 

She says her top priority heading into a new term would be to find alignment with RTD to bring a commuter rail to Longmont, or to simply “have an exit plan” for the long-languishing RTD FasTracks deal if it’s not going to come to fruition. Creating affordable and attainable housing is another prime concern for Peck, something she’s worked for during her time on Council and where she feels she still has unfinished business. For people experiencing homelessness, Peck has remained against encampment sweeps, and has supported Boulder County’s first “safe lot,” where people can sleep in cars or RVs in the undisclosed parking lot of a Longmont church.

Peck’s tenure on Council has not been without conflict: She’s drawn ire from fellow Council members for everything from limiting discussions during meetings to hashing out public business through her private email. Her answers to Boulder Weekly’s candidate questionnaire were less robust than one would imagine from someone who has sat on Council for eight years.

Still, Peck has the experience in the job that her competitors on the ballot simply do not. 

At-Large (choose one)

Beka Venturella 

Steve Altschuler  

Sean McCoy (incumbent) 

Sean McCoy is a lifetime Longmont resident, a U.S. government teacher at Monarch High School and a father of two. He’s also the current Longmont City Council member at-large with three decades of public service experience in the books. If elected, this will be Sean McCoy’s third term on Council. His first was 2007 to 2011 as the Ward III representative, and he was reelected in 2022 in a special election. He’s also served on a number of boards and commissions, including the Housing and Human Services Board, the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission, to name a few. To address homelessness, McCoy first wants to find ways to keep people in their homes through rental- and bill-assistance programs and accessible treatment for mental and physical illnesses. He’d also like to see a short-term RV park complete with services to help people get on their feet. He joins the rest of us in Boulder County in wanting the commuter rail between Longmont and Denver to get built — something he says will reduce emissions, lead to increased wages in Longmont and enhance the community overall — and proposes hiring City-paid grant writers to make it happen. McCoy has realistic goals and plans to achieve them. That, combined with his wealth of experience, make him a good pick for Council. 

We also think first-time council candidate Beka Venturella shows passion for making change and has already proven herself successful at building relationships at the local and state level, particularly around the issue of gun control. While she doesn’t get our endorsement this year, we hope to see her name on the ballot in future elections.

Ward I (choose one)

Diane Crist

Nia Wassink 

Harrison Earl

With a background in nonprofit work, DEI consulting, and campaign management, Nia Wassink brings political know-how and knowledge across sectors that we believe will make her successful on Longmont City Council. While it’s clear Harrison Earl takes a similarly progressive approach to pressing issues like affordable housing and sustainability, we appreciated the specificity and depth to Wassink’s answers to our questionnaire. She has actionable, multi-pronged plans to work with City staff to address Longmont’s housing issues and cares deeply about making sure all community members’ voices are heard — not just those who can show up for Council’s public comment. She understands how Council, City staff, nonprofits and other entities can work together to affect positive change for Longmont. Endorsements from two sitting Council members (Aren Rodriguez and Shiquita Yarbrough) also bode well for Wassink’s ability to work well with the current Council. 

Ward III (choose one)

Ron Gallegos 

Gary Hodges

Susie Hidalgo-Fahring (incumbent)

Spencer Adams

An educator of 30 years and a Council member of four years, Susie Hidalgo-Fahring brings both experience and a working class perspective to the dais. When we endorsed her in 2019, we called her a doer and problem-solver who has a heart for people who are struggling, and that still holds true. During her time on council, she worked on the creation of an Attainable Housing Fund and supported the Zinnia Project, a development that will provide 55 permanent units and wraparound services for residents experiencing homelessness. She also helped navigate the challenges of the pandemic by working with the City and school district to help get residents access to internet, housing and mental health care. She’s a native Spanish speaker and one of the only people on the Longmont ballot who pays rent, something we believe allows her to connect with and advocate for a range of Longmont residents. Her answers to our questionnaire reflected an understanding of local processes and a strong motivation to approach issues with an equity lens. Her top priorities include affordability, community mental health support and wraparound services for the unhoused. Because of her track record on Council and her ability to get things done, we strongly endorse Hidalgo-Fahring for a second term.

Ballot Issues

Ballot issues 3C, 3D, and 3E each ask residents to vote on proposed property and sales tax increases to fund public amenities like a performing arts center, library branch and recreation centers  — seven taxes in total. We think each of these proposed projects would be positive contributions to Longmont’s economy and culture, but we also understand that with inflation and rising costs of living, it’s a tough time to ask residents to increase their taxes — especially when we could characterize most of these projects as “wants,” not “needs.” Though we support each of these measures, we understand if voting for all of them would be too much stress on your bottom line. 

Ballot Issue 3C: Construction of a new library branch


This ballot measure asks residents to approve the construction of a new branch library which will cost an estimated $27.7 million. Approving the measure will increase sales tax by 0.15% and increase property taxes by $35.75 a year for a $500,000 home, for no more than 20 years. In addition to the new branch, those funds would go toward ongoing maintenance and operations of all Longmont libraries. The ballot issue doesn’t specify a location, but Council members have indicated that the preferred site would be at Dry Creek Park with the proposed new rec center on the ballot (see Ballot Issue 3E). 

The resolution to support the issue notes that the current library was built in 1993 to serve a population of 63,000 and as of 2022, Longmont has more than 100,000 residents. This is the least expensive of the tax increases being put before Longmont voters — and all of the services offered would be free and accessible to everyone, which isn’t the case with the amenities offered in the other two ballot issues. In addition to free books, the library provides digital resources, homework help, meeting rooms and a full slate of programming that includes bilingual story time for kids and conversation groups to practice English or Spanish. We’re all for expanding access to information and education, so we endorse a yes/for vote on Ballot Issue 3C.

Ballot Issue 3D: Funding for a performing arts center 


This ballot issue asks residents to approve the funding of a new performing arts center that will cost the City $45 million, paid for by a property tax increase that amounts to about $76 annually for a $500,000 home for no more than 20 years, and a 0.09% bump in sales tax. The nonprofit Longmont Performing Arts Initiative has pledged to raise $35 million through a capital campaign if the measure is passed, making it a good deal for the City. The property tax will only kick in if the money is raised and donated to the City, which Council member Marcia Martin has stated would take at least three years. The sales tax will begin six months prior to the center’s projected completion date. 

The location isn’t specified in the ballot measure, but Council has indentified two possible locations: an original plan at Boston Avenue and Main Street or, more likely, at the city’s long-defunct sugar mill. The former beet pulp shed on the mill property would be transformed into two back-to-back theaters: one a 5,000 standing-capacity amphitheater, the other a 1,000-seat formal auditorium. The downtown location would only include one formal concert hall.

According to the resolution to support the issue, the center could host between 500 and 600 events per year and include rehearsal rooms, classrooms, back-of-house support and parking. The potential sugar shed plans sound pretty cool. The center also has the potential to generate economic activity in Longmont through job creation and entertainment tourism — though Mayor Joan Peck in a Sept. 5 Council meeting voiced caution against putting too much stock in potential economic boosts from the center as arts centers close around the state. Boulder Weekly has a long history of supporting the arts, and this center is a good opportunity to do that again. 

Ballot Issue 3E: Rec Centers and Land Swap


This one was tricky for us because it asks a lot of voters and bundles multiple projects into one issue. Essentially, this issue is asking voters to support three taxes: 1) A property tax increase of nearly $100 on a $500,000 property for 20 years starting in 2024 to fund the construction of a new recreation center at Dry Creek Park that will have a lap pool, fitness center, gymnasium, childcare, youth and senior activities, multi-purpose meeting rooms and outdoor spaces; 2) a sales tax increase of 0.11% for ongoing maintenance and operations of the Dry Creek center beginning in 2025; and 3) approve a land swap with the YMCA of Northern Colorado that will trade the current Y location land for the Centennial Pool land. The Y will construct a new facility with affordable housing, a pool, an ice rink and childcare and the City will contribute $12 million for the affordable housing portion funded through a property tax increase of $71.50 per year on a $500,000 home for three years once the Y receives a low-income housing tax credit award. While it’s not in the ballot language, Council members have said this ballot issue will also fund renovations to the existing rec center on Quail Road. 

We wish that Council had broken these into separate issues for voters, as we think the land swap and the new Y are distinct from building and maintaining City-owned rec centers. Putting them all into one issue creates an all-or-nothing decision for voters that we don’t think is quite fair. That being said, Longmont is in desperate need of affordable housing stock, and in addition to the 100 units the Y says it will build, the City also plans to build affordable or attainable housing on the old Y property. Fixing the ailing Centennial Pool would be costly — $8 million to fill it with basketball courts or $23 million to repair it. So: $12 million to get an upgraded Y, with a pool, access to which the nonprofit and City say will be subsidized for rec pass holders, plus expanded childcare and affordable housing is a good deal. We also understand that putting each of these into the same ballot measure ensures that, if passed, three different areas of the city will have access to improved recreation facilities: the northeast with the YMCA, the southeast with renovations at Quail Road and the southwest with the Dry Creek facility. We give this measure a weak yes/for

Judicial Retention: Judge Robert J. Frick


Judge Robert Frick was first appointed in 2008 as the presiding judge of the City of Greeley, and in the years since he’s served as an associate, assistant, substitute, or special judge for the communities of Edgewater, Elizabeth, Frederick, Greeley, Lakewood, Loveland, Nederland, and Wheat Ridge. He’s been Longmont’s presiding judge since 2016, and Boulder Weekly supports his retention, as we did in 2019 and 2021. 


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