Loveland's Independent News Source
March 31, 2017

Loveland - The special mail-in ballot election to replace former Loveland City Councilman Hugh
McKean (elected to State House last November) is coming towards a close as Loveland residents
residing in Ward III have until April 11, to return their ballots.  You must mail your ballot by April 8,
to arrive on time, or deliver them by hand to the Loveland City Clerk’s office by close of business
April 11, 2017.

The stakes in this special municipal election are quite low.  The victor has the privilege of serving
the remaining six months of McKean’s four-year term on the nine-member council before facing
re-election this November along with three other members of the city council.  Contrary to much
of the speculation leading up to the race, two of the three candidates are surprisingly similar on
most local issues despite local media coverage attempting to cast both as traditional rivals from
the left and right.

Rev. Howard Dotson is primarily a one issue candidate whose favored ballot measure, funding a
mental health facility in Larimer County, was rejected by voters last November.  He is openly
campaigning to resurrect the measure while also promising to steer additional city funds towards
programs for substance abusers and the mentally ill.  While Dotson has certainly tried to push
every button of those on the right by even promising to bring Syrian refugees to Loveland, on the
more relevant issues he can influence as a member of the Loveland City Council his positions
are quite status quo.

Steve Olson, who is retired from 29 years of service in the U.S. Navy, is a Loveland Chamber of
Commerce activist who has been portrayed to his fellow Republicans as the conservative in the
race.  Nevertheless, his positions are hardly different than Dotson on nearly every major recent
vote of Loveland’s City Council.  In addition, Olson has been using some retreaded McWhinney
talking points leaving little doubt as to who is sponsoring his candidacy.

During the March 14,
League of Women Voter’s candidate’s forum, Dotson and Olson were
lockstep on recent boost in funding for government subsidized housing, incentives for developers
and even the “to big to fail” South Catalyst project (re-branded the Foundry) where literally
millions of dollars in public monies will likely never be recovered as the city pushes ahead on a
program twice rejected by downtown voters.  Both candidates revealed that had they been on the
city council this past year their votes would not have differed from those recommended by staff
and adopted by a majority of the Loveland City Council.

Voters hoping to see either Dotson or Olson push for change or propose creative solutions for
traditional problems will be disappointed as both appeared as status quo apologists disguised in
the costumes of challengers from the left and right.

This may be due to the fact each candidate is seeking support from incumbent councilors who
they will  need to run with in the city’s regularly scheduled election this coming November.

John Keil Stands Alone

Standing alone in the race is 25 year-old John Keil whose Libertarian ideals mixed with a “live-
and-let-live” 1960’s governing philosophy is attracting support from Hillary loathing Bernie
Saunders supporters along with Loveland's growing Libertarian party members.  Ward III voters
may witness a curious coalition of laissez-faire capitalists, anti-G7 “feel the Bern” movement
supporters along with the odd mix of millennial peers of Keil distributing literature for their
candidate who appears to have built a coalition President Trump would envy.  Unlike Olson and
Dotson, Keil's campaign is critical of the council's current direction and thus proposing new
solutions to old problems.

Keil has been critical of the foundry project which he wants halted and brings a uniquely
millennial perspective to the so-called “affordable housing” crisis in Loveland.  Keil articulated
both at the candidate’s forum and in meetings with Ward III voters his view that 3D printing of
concrete houses may be the solution.  At a cost of less than the used travel trailers some on
council wanted the city to purchase for the homeless, Keil proposed allowing high-density zones
where traditional building codes could be reformed to allow for cheaper permanent transitional
housing built using a 3D printer.  On nearly every current city issue Keil’s positions have been
different and certainly worthy of thoughtful debate.

Unfortunately, the League of Woman Voters forum is not a debate so none of the candidates was
challenged or forced to defend their positions on any issue.  If he loses this special election, Keil
promises to be back again in November but with new recruits looking to fill the other seats on
Loveland’s City Council with candidates who "
want to get big money and special interests out
of local politics"
according to Keil.
Loveland's Ward III Surprising
Options for Voters
City of Loveland Municipal Elections
For 2017

April 11 -

Ward III,
(balance of McKean's term until Nov)

November 7, 2017

Office up for election:

Mayor:  Cecil Gutierrez

Ward I:  Councilman Troy Krenning

Ward II:  Councilwoman Joan Schaffer

Ward III: (Successful candidate from April)

Ward IV:  Dave Clark

The City Council meets the first and third Tuesday of
each month for regular meetings at 6:00 p.m. and
the second Tuesday of each month for a study
session at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers,
500 E. Third Street.

Candidates must meet the following qualifications:

1) A registered Elector in the State of Colorado, City
of Loveland and Ward III

2) Must have lived in Ward III for a period of at least
12 consecutive months immediately preceding the
election;(If your residence has been annexed into
Ward III within the last 12 months, please contact the
City Clerk to see if you still meet the qualification,

3)  Not have been convicted of: embezzlement of
public funds; bribery, perjury, solicitation of bribery,
subordination of perjury,
or a willful violation of the
City Charter
. (a back ground check will be

4) Council members shall continue to meet the
requirements throughout their term.
John Keil
Rev. Howard Dotson
Steve Olson