What I've Learned On Council.

The Coloradoan recently published an op-ed in which I reflected on my time on Council so far. I was glad to have the opportunity to reflect and to share with constituents.


Melanie Potyondy opinion: Here's what I've learned 6 weeks into my City Council role

Recently, I was asked how long I had been on City Council and, upon checking my calendar, realized it has been six weeks since my swearing in. While working my day job, learning the ropes as a council member, campaigning for the April election, and managing life with two children (with an exceptional amount of help from my husband), the time has passed in the blink of an eye. As I near my third month on City Council, I am reflecting on what I have learned thus far.

Perhaps most importantly, I have discovered I love this job. City Council is my first foray into elected office and, despite having been an involved citizen for years, one is never fully aware of what a council member does until stepping into those shoes. I cannot understate how accommodating our city staff and existing council members have been as I have transitioned into my new role. Although I still have much to learn, I feel confident that I made the right decision pursuing this position. I have found the topics presented to me for decision-making, such as the adoption of a strategic housing plan and ballot initiatives to protect our environment, interesting and meaningful. I know time will only strengthen my effectiveness on council.

Additionally, I have been delighted by the opportunities for personal connection on council. As a school psychologist, relationships are a key factor in how I operate. Already I have had the pleasure of interfacing with many knowledgeable, passionate constituents. I have been able to engage in dialogue about topics on the council agenda, like oil and gas development, rental standards and accessibility in our city facilities, and have connected residents with resources that address issues impacting their quality of life. I have also been able to participate in forums with insightful, action-oriented community groups who are not only shedding light on areas of opportunity, such as how to better support our immigrant community, but offering concrete solutions that will make Fort Collins a better place to live. My ability to listen to and connect with people from all walks of life is one of the reasons I was encouraged to pursue a position on City Council and one that makes me a valuable ally and representative for this community.

As we approach the April municipal election, I urge you to vote in favor of me retaining my seat on City Council in District 4. I have proven, in both my personal and professional life, as well as my time so far on council, that I am a true public servant and an active advocate for positive change. As a parent, educator, mental health professional and neighbor in southwest Fort Collins, I understand city residents’ hopes, struggles and values, allowing me to be an informed, compassionate representative. It is an honor to serve this wonderful community on City Council and I am grateful for your support on April 6.

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