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Salida City Council Ward 2

The City Council is elected to serve four-year terms. Individuals to fill positions vacated before the end of the term or for which no candidates chose to run are appointed by the seated council to complete the remainder of the term.The City Council and the Mayor work together to create ordinances and laws for the City. There are three wards in the City of Salida and two council members represent each ward. City Council appoints and directs the work of the City Administrator and is responsible, by a majority vote of all members, for appointing the City Attorney, Municipal Prosecutor and the Municipal Judge.
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    Justin Critelli (N) Self Employed

  • Richard Leavitt (N) Retired science teacher

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Biographical Information

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Background I, Justin Critelli was born and raised in the Hudson Valley of New York. After graduating from massage school and volunteering at children's hospitals abroad I returned to the states to embark on a tour of our great country. It was chance, just under 5 years ago, that brought me to the Arkansas River Valley but it was the unique charm of Salida that kept me. I remember being blown away by the holistic health presence, as well as the fact that from a New Yorker perspective, I didn't think it was possible for a fast food place like Burger King to go out of business. I knew right then that I could build and grow my massage and bodywork practice in Salida's health conscious and welcoming environment. I found rather quickly after that Salida had a economic climate that was less accommodating or welcoming than most mountain towns I had encountered previously, but I was determined to maintain my business and life here. As a result I have worked booths at the farmers market, rafting photography jobs on the river and small farming projects in the county while massaging at local spas, fitness centers and hot springs. These experiences allowed me to meet and befriend many vibrant and involved members of Salida. I eventually met my now fiancé, Melanie Garr, in town and not long after that we were blessed enough to purchase The Simple Lodge & Hostel from our good friends and previous owners Jon and Julia Fritz. One week after becoming official owners the hostel was broken into by a local known meth abuser and after the altercation I was badly wounded and incapacitated for months. It was in that dark time when I thought I would need to return to my family in New York to be taken care of. However, in my toughest times the beautiful and amazing people of Salida stepped up. I am still and will forever be in awe by that experience. Citizens from every corner of Salida showed up to contribute. Whether it was a meal, medicine, volunteering time in our business or just offering their company, Salida once again proved to me that it does not shy away when called to action. As soon as I healed I wanted to do everything I could to give back to this community and return the favor. I joined the Chaffee County Mentors so I could make sure a Salida youth didn't slip through the cracks. I lent my acting prowess to Shakespeare in the Park and a Stage Left performance at the SteamPlant. Salida brought out so many amazing aspects of me that I was previously completely oblivious to. Salida has changed me for the better and continues to make me a stronger, more resilient, more refined, fun loving and outgoing individual. Now that I have heard the call of Salidans for a candidate with a different more open perspective to join the ranks of the council I am more than happy to answer!
Contact phone 719.966.9317
My years of experience as a Licensed Massage Therapist has offered me a vast scope of tools when working with people in need. I have developed sharply honed listening skills, great attention to detail and a heartfelt unselfish perspective to clients problems. As the co-owner of the Simple Lodge and Hostel I cater to guests needs and requests everyday and in doing this, I problem solve for an array of individuals from different backgrounds in a fast pace service setting. In my experience working with high risk youth with Chaffee County Mentors I have also been able to experience a culture that is often underrepresented in Salida, offering a unique perspective of our community. These jobs have allowed me to hear many citizens voices, accept their different outlooks and work toward solutions with optimism. I believe there is no such thing as a solution less problems and if elected, I intend to use the skills I have gained to work towards solutions for Salidans.
If elected I would like the city to first and foremost address the Housing Crisis in an effort to work towards keeping a year round presence in Salida. While tourism is our main industry, we must be sure to not over cater to people visiting our town, but to put Salidans first. Secondly, I would like to see the city work towards a more collaborative, accepting and transparent environment. We need to work together with respect and dignity. By doing this we can make sure all voices and opinions are heard with civility. Lastly, amidst the divisive climate the city government can continue to work with locals of all backgrounds and affiliations to support the arts, youth recreation, community centers, elderly care, trail development, health and wellness, and local involvement as a whole. As we address these three things, we can work to preserve the character and charm of our amazing mountain town.
Background 75 years old, resident 53 years, previously on city council, business owner many times over, married, 2 children 1grand child. Taught high school Biological Sciences 30 years Taught Biological Sciences at Colorado Mountain College 15 years. AA, BA, MA, Biochemistry and Environmental Sciences.
Contact e-mail
Contact phone 719-539-8990
A true Colorado Native, born in Denver in 1942. Grew up in rural Arapahoe County. Graduated from Englewood High School, Lived in Salida in Ward 2. For 53 years. Served on Salida City Council for 6 years Planning and Zoning, Crime stoppers.
Maintaining the integrity of our small town and neighbor hoods through clear ordinances and through strong planning and zoning enforcement

Open and transparent government through easily available records and clear accounting of city expenditures.

Cleaning up the Vandivere problems. logo


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