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Listen to Episode 5

Join this interesting and uplifting conversation with Brian and Mayor Sweetie Marbury of Durango, CO.

About Mayor Marbury

Sweetie discovered Durango as a skier in 1974 and moved to Durango in 1975. An area teacher for over 37 years, Anita "Sweetie" Marbury graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor's degree in speech/drama and Adams State College with a master's in secondary education. She was honored to be selected to the Colorado State Thespians Hall of Fame for career achievements in 2006 and she was the featured teacher for San Juan County Kids magazine in 2010.

Sweetie has a broad range of experience serving on city boards and commissions. She has served on the City of Durango Parks and Forestry Board, the Comprehensive Land Use Code Plan Advisory Committee, the Residential Infill Design Standards Technical Committee, Established Neighborhood Design Review Board, LUDC Technical Committee on Accessory Dwelling Units. In addition, she has been a member of Durango High School Booster Club, Babe Ruth Board, League of Women Voters, AAUW, Durango Art Center Board, Kiwanis, Women's Resource Center, and a Salvation Army bell ringer.

Sweetie was instrumental in saving Brookside Park in Durango from being sold for private development. Her primary focus is improving recycling, smart growth through infill, and protecting neighborhoods of Durango. Her interests are her 1950 international pickup truck, hiking, and gardening. Her son Dru English and his family live in Durango.

Show Script

Sweetie
I always believe that democracy is a two-way street. It's up to you to pay attention. And it's been it's up to your elected officials to share as much information as they can.

Brian
Welcome to the Gov Gab Radio podcast. I am your host Brian Ondrako. Thanks again for being a part of another episode. And on this one, I'm going to introduce you guys to the Mayor of Durango, Colorado, Sweetie Marbury. I had a really lovely chat with Sweetie, just a very positive and really optimistic individual. It was really cool to hear her perspective on a lot of things. I think you guys will absolutely enjoy her stories, how she got involved in the city government many years ago, and and stayed involved throughout because she has a passion for a lot of this stuff. So really enjoyed the chat with her. I think you guys will absolutely enjoy this interview as well. So without further ado, let's jump into my chat with Mayor Sweetie Marbury. Mayor Marbury, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining today.

Sweetie
Well, thank you for the invitation. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Brian
Yeah, I'm excited to learn more about the community there. Because I know a lot from the standpoint of I think when we first connected, you know. I told you, my Dad lived out there for a lot of years. So it's kind of near and dear to my heart. And as we start talking with a lot of, you know, mayors and city administrators across the country, I'm always intrigued by, you know, how folks actually get into their local government politics and, and when that kind of sparked in their brain, so to speak, like, Hey, this is something I want to be a part of. So I'm wondering and for you, if we can start there. When did the idea and maybe it was just recently named was a long time ago, when did the idea kind of fester in your mind that you wanted to be involved in the community? Or what when did that start for you?

Sweetie
Actually, it was 1987. I lived in an older part of town. And at that moment in time, the the former City Manager wanted to sell a little neighborhood park. And I had gone down there as a single girl to play in the park, we have a beautiful creek that runs through it, and the ducks come in and land. And after I married and had a child, I took my child to that park to play in. And I thought it was a terrible idea. So I started going to city council meetings and campaign to save the park, which I did, and also raise money to refurbish it, which I did. And because I had attended so many meetings, I found that I was intellectually attracted to it and became a city council junkie. So I supported to appointed to different boards and commissions are the time I've been on land use code development and accessory dwelling units. I've been on the park and forestry board,  established neighborhood design review board, and dealing with a lot of land use code issues. And so I just kept going over the decades, and participated and went to different trips, and different all kinds of meetings. And I found that I spoke at the podium, and I was encouraged to run. And my the window of my life opened up. How's that? Because you have to have that window open up for you when you know you can dedicate the time to it. And I made that decision in 2010. And I started knocking on doors in 2010. And now I was running for city council and January, Martin Luther King Day 2011. And it's a short window for city council in Durango, you can declare like in January and the ballot hits like April the second, let's say, and it was 20 below. And I was out knocking on doors and had to get up and go to work the next day.

So that's what you do. You know, do you want to run for city council? You never know what the weather is going to be like? That's what am i memories 20 below eight o'clock at night knocking on doors. And I loved every minute of it. That would kind of how I became involved decided to run for city council.

Brian
Yeah, and that's obviously an interesting path or as you went through where you probably had no idea. It's like I had this park. Okay, I'm going to start getting volunteer. What was in the early days that you remember me because I'm assuming and tell me if I'm wrong. You maybe had some idea? Like, you know, everyone has some idea, like what does the government do? Or what you know, what do they Why do they do this? What was the perception change for you, when you actually start to get involved in the committee's, because I think there's a lot of folks out there that you know, that want to run or want to be involved, but they're hesitant maybe because of certain stereotypes or what have you?

Sweetie
Well, there's a huge amount of personal time that you give up. Because as a city councilor, we are liaisons for different boards. And then you are asked to go to many different kinds of meetings for this city, or to represent the city. And in fact, I was just at one yesterday called build a better Colorado, and there were actively involved people from across different sectors of my community, there were probably at least 50 of us there. And so it's a lot, it's a huge time commitment. And also working with large budgets that the city has to work with, in good times and bad, you know, times and lean times, budget still has to balance and working with a different staff. We have excellent staff and Durango absolutely top quality experts in their fields, from parks, to street operations. So that when you lift the curtain, once you get on to the council, it's a huge amount of your personal time, you go to the grocery store and expect to spend hours there because people will come up and talk to you, which I encourage By the way, and phone calls at home. Tremendous amount of emails must be answered. And then working with budgets. So it's not, you know, if you went in thinking you're going to make this one item your your flagship, you're wrong. City council deals with, in Durango, a tremendous amount of different issues. And so you had to have a big picture, not just an agenda, personal agenda.

Brian
What's probably been the biggest challenge, I guess, unspoken challenge, I guess, if you will, for taking a position and it could be for the city council and the mayor, etc.?

Sweetie
Challenges come in all shapes and sizes, what you learn is that you can't please everyone, whether it's building a trail in their neighborhood, or passing a marijuana ordinance in 2014. Colorado voted for marijuana in 2000 and 2012. And so on city council, it was quite contentious, some people coming and shaking their finger at us that we're all going to go to hell, because we're going to allow, you know, marijuana stores. And then there were the marijuana supporters of opening businesses and we treated it like a business. And we did have a moratorium for about a year so that we could look at a state regulations. And of course, I you know, we're, we know that we didn't make a lot of people happy because they wanted it to open up sooner. But yet we took our time develop good regulations. And we have zero problems with the marijuana shops in Durango. And that's called good planning. And so that's that was a contentious issue. Vacation Rentals had been contentious issues, accessory dwelling unit changes, I think change is hard for some people. And they want it, they want life to stay the same. But you know, life is fluid. And when you live in a vibrant commit community, like Durango, you have all kinds of fresh ideas that come in.

But I first came here if you're from Texas, and that was a bad name. And then if you're from California, that was a bad name. And now I'm happy to say that there's such a diversity of demographics that have moved to Durango that I don't think anyone puts a label on you anymore. But I did see that in the early 70s, about where you were from. And you know, I talked funny. Okay. So I grew up in Texas, I came to ski in Colorado, and I never went home. There you go.

Brian
Well, you have a very positive attitude. So I mean, it's awesome, just refreshing talking to you. Because I like you. I like your outlook on some things. So let me ask you this. What What did it again, you might have been some that you just mentioned. But are there one or two decisions you've been very proud of, in kind of your time council there?

Sweetie
Absolutely! We work very hard to have our new source facility. And it's the largest project in the history of Durango was a bond issue. We have a sewer plant, it was in need of improvements, the state said fix it or we're going to shut you down. And that would admit no new projects for the City of Durango. We were under kind of a timeframe with the state of Colorado. So the former city council though I was on we all work very hard to bet moving it down the road or keeping it where it is. And I am I'm a believer in keeping it where where it is remodeling it at it would have been a $40 million increase to move it down the road but then that's really not acceptable in terms of what you'd have to charge your residence. So the former city council campaign we all worked hard bringing different facets to that issue and it passed. And I'm very happy about it. I'm very happy about our 2015 renewal of our sales tax or parks and trees and trails. We worked very hard on it. Just recently Lake Nighthorse opened. Lake Nighthorse was called the Animas La Plata  reservoir, and it was really initiated probably 75 years ago about a water storage for this community. We live on the Animas River, and we get our water some of it from the Animas River but also we have water rights from the reader River, which really is the water in Durango. We have wonderful water. And the pioneers recognize the water was going downstream and we needed to store it. So they worked very diligently through the seven days to get the damn built. Well, part of the promise was there would be recreation. And then the state of Colorado did not have the funding to open another state park. So there it set in limbo. And when I came on city council in 2011, one of the first things people said to me was when is like night horse going to open up? Well, it meant a lot of negotiations with the Native American tribes. And with the Bureau, and with the city, saying that we would run the recreation in there were no other agencies that stepped up. Otherwise, it would just have been a lot of water with a gate on it. And so now, it opened last year, when I became the mayor. And there's fishing, they're swimming, there's paddleboarding kayaking, sale sailing, there's a sailing club out there, and the fish or at least four feet long. So you first come fishing and go to like night horse. I'm very proud of it. And our another venture that I'm very proud of is single stream recycling. Durango had had recycling, but you put it out in different buckets. And so when I came on board, I recognize the advantages of single stream recycling. And I'm very pleased to say that it's a part of a way of life now in Durango. And that's some of it, some of the topics that I'm really pleased about affordable housing accessory dwelling units, Lake Nighthorse, there's so many issues. 

Brian
And how do you prioritize them? Knowing like, Hey, this is an initiative we want to work on now versus wait a year?

Sweetie
Well, city council sets priorities. Every year, you set your priorities we've had had because we were under the gun with the state of Colorado about the sewer plant. That was a priority. And you recognize that, you know, the remodel, you keep it where it is. And some people were not happy with that decision. But the city council vetted all the issues, looked at moving it and said, Oh my gosh, $90 million, who could afford to live here. So that became a priority. And I'm happy to say that it's on time and on budget, it will open this August. And then the park where it fits because it sits in a park Santa Rita part of that that will undergo a remodel in the next couple of years. And we'll see soccer fields and picnic areas. So it's I'm quite pleased with it. And I have to share one more thing with you that I'm really honored. In October. As a mayor, I was asked to come and address the VFW, the Vietnam Veterans, a kind of a welcome home for the boys of Vietnam. And at that moment in time, many veterans spoke about their experiences in Vietnam. It was very personal. And the one young man spoke about his father. His name was Larry Valdez. And Larry Valdez grew up in Durango. And he was Durango high school graduate. And he went to Vietnam in 1968 and won the silver star. And he came home and he races son as a single father, Bill I listened to Larry Valdez Jr. speak about his father and I was very good. They grew up in a part of town that we now call Santa Rita Park. That was where Hispanic community live and thrive. And so I went back to staff and said, I want to make this bang change from Santa Rita Dr. to Larry Valdez Way. And so the staff worked on it over the month. And that meant working with CDOT make the name change, because it does involve CDOT Highway 550 and also highway through. And just recently on March the 19th, Larry Valdez Junior in Vietnam Veterans came to city council and we we made that change. And so you know you can make a difference. So the name, the maps will be changed. See that will be installing signs probably before Memorial Day. And that's that that was really important to me that I can make a difference and honor a local boy because I believe when you honor one veteran, you honor all veterans.

Brian
There's a really nice story. Now that's a really cool that you did. That's awesome.

Sweetie
Well, I'm just saying that I'm very honored that I can make a difference.

Brian
Well, so and obviously there's some things innate that you know, you want to kind of be that leadership that role model below help out, you know, around the community, what have you. Why did you ultimately decide or maybe it was just like, alright, I gotta do this from going from the city council to the the role of mayor.

Sweetie
The Charter of 1912 actually dictates how the mayor is selected. You run for city council, and you run every you can run, you are have four years, and then you can choose to run again, the top vote getters in Durango we are a home-ruled city, the top vote getters become the mayor. So the two candidates that were elected on April the second, both of those people will become a mayor of your rank up. In two years in 2020. There'll be another election, there'll be three seats open, only two of those three new counselors will become the mayor. So it's a position that you don't have to run for, you know, when you get elected, what your destiny will B and you take that you carry a lot of weight on your shoulders as the mayor because there are many, many functions you go to. and high school graduations, college graduations, middle school, academic invitations.

You're always on the go. I mean, some days I work six days a week is the mayor of Durango. And other days I just maybe work five. So it's a lot of work being the mayor of Durango. If you do it the way I do it. I'll put it like that.

Brian
Was there anything you did to prepare that knowing that you were going into that role in a period of time was a certain things that maybe predecessors kind of gave you some insight to start doing or things you saw? How did you prepare knowing what the role is going to entail?

Sweetie
Well, I had been going since 1987. And I saw a lot of mayors in Durango. I've started voting in 1976 in Durango, and I'm very pleased to say that more women have stepped up to the plate to run for city council. So Maxine Peterson, for example was a mayor, the only woman back in the 60s. I paid attention to what to what other mayors of have other women on city council and watching them and course I was very fortunate to work with Christina Renderlee, a former mayor. And you learn from your role models, man think that's how life is you pay attention. She was a champion at answering the protocol is the mayor takes all the lead on all the emails. Well, she answered all those emails you learn this is this is the role. She participated in Sunday community events as in there just as I have done. And I believe that's what you should be doing. You do the right thing, you know, champion, he said, Ask about what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country. I grew up with that. And I believe in it. And my mother raised us to be participants in our community. She was my first role model. And I'm really following in conflict steps. And there were women that came before me. And there will be women that come after me. And I have gone out and taught third grade he disappeared government at the elementary schools. I've taught me a school government at one of our local high schools. And I always try to encourage people, boys girls to think about participating in their local government. Because they can, because they can. And and I've had a little girls site of a I'm going to be as a mayor during go one day. I love it. Love that. So that's what you do.

Brian
Now, that's great. And I'm glad you're getting out there. Yes, speaking the good word on it, to kind of promote that to the youth. What are some things you talked about your obviously, you know, being almost a full-time job, right? You're there a lot? You have a lot of, you know, priorities with that. Is there anything you do to manage your time? Is there any like habits that you formed over the years to prioritize things and make your day so it's just not scattered throughout?

Sweetie
Well, thank you for asking me that. I'm an early riser. And sometimes I'm up at 3:30 or 4. And so the first thing I do is come and fire up my computer and look at emails and try to answer them in a timely manner. I am reading different reports that come in and emailing the staff when I was a school teacher for 37 years, and I believe that you've learned to structure your time as a school teacher.

And that's what I've done all my life. And so I send out emails early, get up, get ready, I read all the reports read the preparation. There's a great deal of information that comes in on Friday, from the staff preparing you for the following Tuesday. I had mayors meetings every Monday at 10:30 with the staff, and we go over issues and problems and concerns and projects. So that I believe one of our goals is communication. So we want to communicate as best we can with our residents. And also knowing what the issues are that are challenging for the city of Durango. So you just want out your day. I have a big calendar. I'm looking at it right now. And so I go I live by this calendar. And in fact that I'm only working five days this week for the City of Durango. How sad. Taking a little time off here. 

Brian
You know, there you mentioned the word challenge a minute ago. I'm curious, you know, always looking forward, kind of, you know, what do you guys feel maybe it's the biggest challenge you're anticipating in the next, you know, couple of years with the City of Durango and other measures you guys are trying to do to prepare for that or get ahead of it.

Sweetie
Absolutely. The next city council will face a water treatment plant. Our water treatment plant is 65 years old. And it's hanging on by a shoestring and some bubble gum. And so a few years ago, the city council had a water and a sewer rate steady. And it was very painful because the rights had not been raised in decades. The what the city council that I was on had to raise your right. And of course that didn't make anybody happy when you raise their right. And so that was difficult and challenging. And we had to raise them dramatically to play catch up. And now we're just on kind of maintenance of a schedule. And we were doing that in in anticipation for having the money to pay for this sewer plant. Because we were able to pass the bond and our sewer rights are paying for that for the sewer plant. In the future, Durango will need another water treatment plant. And as we speak, staff has been looking for a site for that water and it's coming out of late night horse which is fed by the Animas River. And so we need to be prepared for drought, we have a drought plan in the city of Durango and the next water treatment plant those secure that we will have enough water to take care of the residents. And they're growing businesses that we have in the city of Durango. Because we're growing, we're growing all the time. You know, as I said, during goes a vibrant community, people love coming here we will have on any given day 20,000 extra people at an event. And that means, you know, that means waters being consumed or the hotels are having showers or the restaurants are flushing their toilets, you have to be prepared. And you have to understand the dynamics of a vibrant town that continues to grow. The population of Durango is 18,500. But on any given day, there's probably 35,000 people in our community. Si dot has made major investments in my community. There's been a reconfiguration and 2014 when I was to fail, that James highway 550 and highway 160. And it took time, and people were kind of grouchy because oh my gosh, they had to wait in line for seven minutes. You know, traffic didn't move. But it's a it's a configuration that that intersection things about 35,000 cars moving daily through there, it's well, it's probably the biggest, the busiest exchange on the western slope. And then that means people are coming through Durango people are working in Durango, the county has green.

So it's it's part of being that challenge. And when you're on city council, because sometimes things are done to the community, from the state, for example, and you have some input into it. And sometimes you people don't understand it's not the city of Durango that's digging up the street and it's the state of Colorado, for example, we have at 17th 22nd and 32nd, the state of Colorado is investing about $600,000 to make it safer for pedestrians to cross the street, new lights, new configuration, and they were diligent working through our heavy heavy winter here. So there's because state Highway 515 run through we call it North Main. There's been major improvements into our community by the state of Colorado. It's a great place to live and come see us.

Brian
It is a beautiful place. I've been there several times and I love every minute. How do you communicate that with the citizens or even if it's, you know, tourists that are coming in for a short period of time that hey, these changes are happening but there for the betterment of the community? Is there a way that you're able to communicate that or is that just expected maybe?

Sweetie
Well, we're very fortunate that the City of Durango has DECA, our own TV station, and it being  Cortez, Delora, Toyott to Bayfield, you can pick it up on an antenna, our table and the Animas Valley right? It runs continuously at the library to our capital city council meetings. It replays about four times a day for two weeks to city council meetings. And then the mayor does a snapshot of nine minutes the very next day. So if you don't only much all a city council, I can give you a snapshot of what happened at city council. We also have Facebook pages and Twitter. And for example, during the police abstain fire, we had thousands of people paying attention to the Facebook page from all over the United States, watching what was happening when the fires were going on last summer. So we tried to do the best with we work with a newspaper. In fact, I just got off the phone from Durango, Harold recorder. And we also work with the drink of telegraph. I've been on the radio many times there's another TV station here in Durango. We've been on their TV. So we try to get out into community and share our knowledge. And you know, it's a two way street as a citizen, you have a responsibility to stay informed also. And some people do and some people don't. So I always believe that democracy is a two-way street. It's up to you to pay attention. And it's been it's up to your elected officials to share as much information as they can I write a column, the mayor right to column for the Durango Harold once a month. And he had about 750 words to share whatever you want. And as I said, I go to the grocery store, it takes me hours sometimes to get out. Because people will stop me and ask me questions, which is great. You know, that's another one on on communication. And when we were working on one A, which was are raising our sales tax to pay for our streets, curbs, gutters, alleys, and sidewalks are street projects, with door to door knocking on doors, talking to people because they live a busy life. And so not everyone watches. tv. Not everyone likes a newspaper. So that face to face communication is what I also try to do. As a mayor Durango. I was downtown yesterday with my Mayor button on shaking hands with people from Arizona that had been traveling through Durango. Last summer, I was shaking hands with anyone that looked like a tourist thanking them for coming to our country. It was a busload of seniors that unloaded at a straighter hotel from Massachusetts, I shook hands with every one of them, and to thank you so much for coming to our town. Because I believe that your elected officials around in the community, talking about issues but also sharing what a great community we live in. I feel very blessed to live in Durango. very fortunate to live here. And I want to share that with other people.

Brian
You know, and that's awesome. The things that you guys are doing there. I'm curious, do you have a chance to share a lot of that wisdom or things that have been working well, or vice versa? other communities around the state? Do you guys ever get a chance to get together to mindmeld? Or or share ideas? Is there any opportunity for that or you're just so busy with what you're doing that?

Sweetie
Once a year, the Colorado Municipal League puts on a conference for about a week and city councils from all over Colorado go to these meetings and go to classes and share information. I was invited last November to go to Los Angeles to present at the National League of Cities, our way of handling our accessory accessory dwelling units. I was on a panel of five mayors. And they were from all over the United States with different issues. And so about 150 people attended my particular workshop, and came back to me and mayors and city councilors because accessory dwelling units, we have a great guidelines for hours. And they were struggling with their town. And they wanted to know more information. So I shared it there. So I'm really good friends with the City Council from Cortez. And the mayor and I are great old friends and many of their city councilors. So we talked frequently. And CML also puts on workshops here in Durango as well as like prognosis brings and so it will travel or in Cortez and you will travel to different sites to get together the regional kitty councils and ask questions and share concerns. So yes, we do work regionally together, we sure do.

Brian
They ask you this, what and it's take it however you want, you can kind of go on a tangent if you want at your call. But is there any advice? Maybe it's a quote you live by anything to and almost talking to two different groups. So one is other, you know, council members mayor's across the country, maybe things that you've learned or things that could be helpful for them, especially maybe their early in their term or early in there. They're helping. And then secondly, for citizens to actually get out there and engage more and maybe again, say, Hey, you know what I'm going to, I'm going to put my hat in the ring with a volunteer, whether it's a committee Council, etc. I'm curious if you have any of them advice for either or both of those groups that you've learned in your kind of years doing this?

Sweetie
Well, for for city council's I would say once you get on, you have a steep learning curve, because you were sitting in the audience listening and maybe criticizing those folks, but the curtains lifted. And there are some challenges for every city council. Usually it's money and projects and how much staff time there really isn't the world. You have limited staff. And so you know, you can't, you can't expect a staff to do everything immediately. And that's one of the things I've learned as a city councilor, it takes a lot more time than you thought it was going to take to see projects through. And that's, again, you have to recognize that you don't know everything. You may think you know everything when you run for city council, but guess what sister, you don't, there's a lot of new information that you are absorbing. And being a good reader is a is an absolute necessity. And then for citizens, you just raise your hand and go get involved. We have boards and commissions for the city of Durango every everything from the airport to multimodal Parks and Rec the library, it many different boards. And it's a highly competitive process. Because citizens are retiring to Durango that have resumes that would knock your socks off. And so they it's very competitive, they want to get back. They have been in maybe public arena.

They've lived somewhere they've had a dynamic career. And now they want to participate in so I would say get involved and come to go to a city council meeting Sydney to have, listen, go to a study session, sit in the audience, listen, fire up that email to your local city councilors because they will respond if they're good city councilors. You may not like the message, that at least, you know, you get to put your voice out there. One man told me that we should charge more for second homes. Well, gee, that's not exactly legal, you know, charge more property taxes to second homes.

That's not legal. But we have issues like affordable housing that everybody's concerned about. You want your kids to be able to live here to work here. And by getting involved, you never it's never a mistake. It's never as a mistake to participate. And whether it Jamie or local school, in your neighborhood at a nonprofit, you become so much richer, I believe when you give back. You know, I go back to that motto of what john kennedy said when I was probably a sophomore in high school. Ask not what your country can do for you. But ask what you can do for your country. And I think a lot of times young, we get so busy with life, you know, go hiking, go kayaking, whatever, that you forget that. And the cities and the counties, they all need you. So your opportunities there. But you have to maybe that window hasn't opened up for you yet. But when it does, take it, go for it. That's what I found out. I was going to city council meetings since 87. And I was on different boards and commissions, you know what days participate at night. And I did that for several decades, showing up at meetings and raising my hand and going to the podium and speaking. And that's the way to participate?

Brian
Yeah, I think that's great advice for everyone. Can I ask you one last question. And just my curiosity. I'm curious if there's a story behind here. How did you get the nickname Sweetie?

Sweetie
I'm glad you asked. My mother and father married in 1940. And we know the world war came along. And my dad was shipped a was a in a tank and he went to France and Germany. And so nobody, nobody's. And then they came home he was being is going to be sent to Japan when the war was over. Thank goodness. And so I was born in 1947. So they had been married seven years. And my dad was so excited about that unborn baby, that he started calling that baby his little sweetie. And my dad was a big baseball player, the big athlete. And so I had a baby small uniform with Sweetie embroidered on the back of the uniform. And I have a legal name. But no one in the world ever called me that legal name.

So I grew up with that name through high school through college to work through relationships. And if you call and you ask her that other girl with the legal name, and you're a stranger. So my brother's name is Bubba, and he's six foot three. So I named him and my granddaughter calls my grandson Bubba. So we have big Bubba and little Bubba, in my family, you know, and everybody has a story about their names. And so I've always encourage people to look at your own family and discover your, your own personal history about how did you get your day? And that's how I got a name from my father. 

Brian
That's really neat. That's a cool, that's a cool story. That's awesome.

Sweetie
Well, I mean, I would have liked to have the name Ann, for example, you know, I mean, there's a lot of names out there. I really like that. This is my name. And it sometimes it defined you. It's hard to be bitchy with a name like Sweetie, you know.

I try. My mother raised me to have the advantage. And even if you come at me, which as a mayor, yes, you can be highly in the last six months, you talk about challenges. I would say in the last six months, there had been a lot of personal attacks from people. And I've always responded with facts. That's all I can do. I don't. My mother raised me better to be not polite to people. Even when they're being ugly to you, I would I would not want to dishonor the way I was raised. So that is a world My sister says you asked for her when you ran for city council. So there you go. I guess that's the way of the world right now. It wasn't always this way. It wasn't this way in 2014. And people would call and complain about the construction.

They were frustrated, but they were neighbor, ugly. And that's what I would call it in. So that is a challenge. You do become a target for some people. Don't ask me why I was always raised to be polite. You can have a disagreement on issues, but you don't attack people personally. And that's what I have seen is happening at my level. And certainly it happens at the state level. And it certainly happens at the national level. So that's been disappointing. And I don't live my life that way. If you want to criticize me, go ahead. You know, but I will only respond with facts, issues. That's what really city council's about. It's about policy and issues. And as I said, I've learned that you can't please everyone. It's called growing up.

Brian
Yeah, you're exactly right. Well, may have already it's been an absolute pleasure to have you on and chat through kind of your journey and some of your insight into local government and what you guys are doing there in the in the great city of Durango, Colorado, so it's awesome to have you on. Thank you so much for taking time out.

Sweetie
And thank you for the opportunity to speak with you.

Brian 
Hey, everyone, thanks for joining in this episode. And we really appreciate if you head over to iTunes, leave us a quick review. Give us a rating. We certainly appreciate any feedback you can share so we can make this podcast better each and every episode. Thanks again for listening and I hope you guys have a phenomenal day. Take care.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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