Former city council member Bonnie Beckstein's term on the council would have expired this year, but in March of 2011 she unexpectedly resigned citing personal reasons.
Now, Beckstein is hoping to gather enough votes to get back on the council. KKCO 11 News was the first to break this story, sitting down with Beckstein to learn why, as there were many questions surrounding her resignation, she wants her old seat back.
"We need to make sure we stay focused on what's really important in this community, which as the city provided, a strong infrastructure on behalf of the taxpayers," she said.
For more than five years, she was what her colleagues called a productive member of the Grand Junction city council. Beckstein said she still has unfinished business on the council and wants to pick up where she left off, and while her exit from city council two years ago was controversial for some, she said that part of her life was personal and unrelated to the council, saying it is now behind her.
"I was going through some personal changes that I felt that my focus needed to be redirected on my family and my business," she said.
Just after her resignation, KKCO 11 News learned that the Mesa County Sheriff's Office was investigating the accounting firm Baker and Associates where she worked, involving a financial discrepancy.
When asked if any of that was any reason for her leaving the job, Beckstein answered, “To a point it did, like I said there was so much going on in my life and I needed to re-prioritize, but it was not the main instrument."
Tuesday, The Mesa County Sheriff's Office confirmed to KKCO 11 News that the case was closed and no charges were ever filed, but that a civil case may have followed.
Beckstein said as far as she knows that issue has been resolved and shouldn't be a reason for her not to serve on the council this time around.
KKCO: "What would you say to a voter who would say that you left under a cloud of controversy, how would you convince that person that, A, that wasn't the case or, B, it would be different this time around?”
Beckstein: Well I'm not going through that situation now, and the controversy was personal, it wasn't part of my running for city council or being on city council."
Beckstein said she's better focused at this time than back in 2011, and if she wins her council seat back, she plans to address needs in redevelopment, and will look at Horizon Drive and continuing to improve downtown.
She will be challenging current council member Laura Luke, who took over Beckstein’s seat when she resigned.
So far, Beckstein said she has about half of the required 50 signatures to get on the ballot.
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