Newsletter 7



What a week!

Are you as glad as I am that it’s over??

I think most of us would agree that it’s good to have this election behind us – time to look ahead, to roll up our sleeves and continue to work toward making our own little corner of the world – Durango – the best it can possibly be!

Welcome to this newest addition of my newsletter, where I bring you noteworthy developments and expanded context on the ever evolving local issues I cover in my blog, Your Front Row Seat.”

A Clear Message:
In the midst of a chaotic, compelling and emotionally charged election night, a clear and consistent message emerged – many Americans have lost faith in the political ‘establishment’. This was true on a local as well as national level, as La Plata County ballot issues to fund improvements in roads and bridges and a new airport – issues that were perhaps perceived as representing ‘establishment’ interests — were defeated.

What Now?
Whether or not you’re personally happy with the outcomes of the local ballot issues on the November 8th ballot, Durango spoke clearly. With close to 84 percent of active voters turning out, I am happy to say that democracy is alive and well in La Plata County.

I listen! And it’s important to me to ‘give voice’ on my blog to a variety of perspectives. In that spirit, I’ve invited Bill Zimsky, an active and informed participant in a number of Durango organizations and activities, to write a guest opinion piece for my next ‘Your Front Row Seat’ blog.

Although Bill and I don’t see eye to eye on all issues, I respect his extensive experience and service in our community. I know Bill to be a thorough researcher and a capable analyst of data. I’ve asked him to share his take on local election results and to share his recommendations for going forward.

About Bill:
Bill, an attorney with Abadie & Schill, P.C., a Durango based law firm that represents oil and gas companies operating in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota, has lived in Durango since 1994. He also practices election law and litigates civil rights actions. He’s represented the Libertarian Party of Colorado in a number of ballot access and campaign finance cases and was the Libertarian Party candidate for Colorado House District 59 in 2000.

Bill was instrumental in forming the La Plata County Energy Council in 1996, a nonprofit trade organization promoting safe and responsible oil and natural gas development in La Plata County. He served for nine years on the City of Durango’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, was a member of the Board of Directors for United Way of Southwest Colorado, and was a member and President of the Board of Directors for the Durango Running Club for several years.

Bill served a five-year term on the Judicial Nominating Commission for the Sixth Judicial District of Colorado and served in the posts of President, Vice-President and Secretary/Treasurer of the Southwest Colorado Bar Association. He is a member of the Federalist Society, the National Rifle Association and the Durango Gun Club. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Bill is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh (B.A., 1979) and Tulane University Law School (J.D., 1983) in New Orleans, Louisiana. Bill enjoys playing hockey, golf, and softball, as well as skiing, hiking, and the occasional marathon and triathlon.

My thanks to you, Durango!
As always, I appreciate all your encouraging and constructive feedback. Please keep sharing your thoughts and concerns. I promise to LISTEN with an open mind.

Here’s to post-election Durango coming together and uniting behind some exciting common goals!

Melissa Youssef, Blogger
Your Front Row Seat

Focusing on issues and initiatives significant to all who call Durango home.

P.S. Please remember that you’re invited to add your comments beneath any of my blog posts. You can also hit reply to this e-mail or contact me directly at Please don’t hesitate to let me know what you’d like to see more of and thank you so much for being an important part of my community here on “Your Front Row Seat.”


Published: November 10, 2016