My name is Don Dezellem. Allow me to introduce myself to you. I was born in New York State, have lived in Mississippi, Wyoming, and Santa Maria, California, where I lived for 28 years
before moving to Colorado. As a youth I played violin in the school orchestra, became an Eagle Scout, and was active in high school sports. After high school, I attended Allan Hancock Community College graduating with an AA in Liberal Arts. I then attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, majoring in Recreation Administration. Professionally I worked in management for McDonald's franchisees for 30 years, 7-Eleven for eight years, the storage industry for seven years, the insurance industry for 10 years, and currently Walmart for the last eight years. My civic involvement has included serving on the school board of Christian Life School in California, past membership in the Pikes Peak Rotary Club, chairing a subcommittee on the 2030 Comprehensive Plan for Woodland Park, serving on the 2022 Charter Review Committee, and currently serving on the Woodland Park Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. I attend Dayspring Christian Fellowship, where I serve as a deacon.
Why am I running for City Council? I believe it is vital to have candidates who are concerned, knowledgeable, moral, and virtuous to represent the citizens of Woodland Park. I have attended council meetings for the last four years on a regular basis, observing a lack of transparency, respect, and integrity by our council members to the citizens of Woodland Park and to each other. When elected, I will work at fostering an environment within the council of transparency, respectfulness, cooperation, and integrity. I will work to ensure that all candidates for appointment to mayor, council, boards, and commissions shall be interviewed in public session by council prior to vote for appointment by council. I will treat citizens, council members and city staff with respect and listen to their points of view. My decisions will be based on the information provided to all council by staff, public comments, and my understanding as to whether it is the proper role of government to act upon. I will strive to avoid any conflict of interest and will disclose any such conflicts.
I intend to support current and future reviews and revisions to city charter, codes, zoning, and planning regulations to allow the city to adapt to a continually changing community. I am committed to eliminating unnecessary governmental barriers so local business owners can prosper and help Woodland Park become a shopping, recreational, cultural and event destination. We need to find creative ways to retain our valuable police officers and other city employees and reduce hiring/turnover costs. Ensuring a budget that meets the needs and not necessarily the wants of the city provides for an adequate reserve, services existing debt as quickly as possible, and provides a properly maintained infrastructure. Building mutually beneficial working relationships with Teller County, El Paso County, surrounding towns and cities, state and federal entities is essential for Woodland Park’s future.