Delfino jumps right into council business

By: Tom Durkin
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Out of a field of five candidates, Ken Delfino was last night’s unanimous choice to replace Sharon Gieras on the Colfax City Council. Gieras resigned from the council July 2. Delfino was appointed to finish out her term, which expires at the end of November. City Clerk Karen Pierce immediately swore him in and he took his seat on the council. Although Mayor Sherrie Blackmun and council members Suzanne Roberts and Josh Alpine, had high praise for all five candidates – Delfino, William Stockwin, Donna Barkle, Stephen Harvey and Benjamin Roberts – Stockwin was the only real competition Delfino had. Stockwin made perhaps the most articulate – and impassioned – “campaign speech” to the council. Nevertheless, the council members chose Delfino based upon his “high profile” in city activities and participation in previous council meetings. As president of Colfax Pride Inc., Delfino has had many interactions with the council over the past few months regarding the Colfax Fifth of July celebration. He has also been a soft-spoken participant in city budget workshops and public hearings on the sewer rate crisis. However, he immediately became immediately embroiled in a new legal controversy involving the award of a contract to conduct an inflow and infiltration (I&I) assessment of the city’s sewer collection system. Additionally, citizens complained the council was not scheduling time early enough in meetings to allow for public input on the city’s budget deficit. They also wanted more time to debate alternatives to finance the massively expensive upgrade to the city’s wastewater treatment infrastructure. Delfino joined the other council members in deciding to set a special session Thursday, Aug. 7, to discuss the budget and decide how to handle the protest of the I&I contract award.