Tom Strand

At Wednesday’s Colorado Springs Utilities Board meeting, present board vice-chair Tom Strand received the unanimous support of the nine-member board to serve a two-year term as board chair. There were no other nominations. Present board chair Andy Pico and Bill Murray were nominated for vice-chair. In brief statements seeking the support of their colleagues, Murray and Pico offered sharply contrasting views. Pico supported a “careful, methodical” approach to the problems and opportunities of the next few years, while Murray took a different tack.

“What do you really want to do?” he asked. “Static or dynamic? It’s little different to tack into the wind. We’re not going to be a monopoly forever.”

In a 5-4 vote, council opted for caution. Board members Yolanda Avila, Richard Skorman, Murray and Jill Gaebler backed Murray, while Pico, Strand, David Geislinger, Merv Bennett and Don Knight supported Pico. As he was in Tuesday’s vote to select council president and pro tem, Geislinger was the swing vote, this time joining with
council conservatives to give Pico the edge.