Fountain Native Tamara Estes Seeking Election to Fountain City Council - Ward 2
Last updated 9/11/2019 at 1pm
Fountain native Tamara Estes is seeking election to Fountain's City Council this November, for the Ward 2 position that is presently held by term-limited Mayor Pro-tem Phil Thomas.
She said she is interested in what happens in Fountain and how she can participate in making this a great place to live.
"I am a firm believer in serving my community and offering my time and perspective on how to keep Fountain a great place to live. This is my hometown, so I want to do my part in continuing the legacy of this community," she shared.
Tamara currently serves on the City of Fountain Parks and Recreation Board, Fountain Valley Recreation Facility Task Force, Fountain Valley Senior Center Board of Directors, and El Paso County Community Development Advisory Board.
She is also president of the Territorial Daughters of Colorado – Southern Chapter (all members trace their ancestry to being in Colorado before 1876) and the Vice-President of the Fountain Valley Historical Society.
"Some of the many projects that I am overseeing/participating in are the preservation of Colorado's oldest school building (Doyle School), placing markers on the Taos (Trappers) Trail in Southern Colorado, and preparing celebrations for the Centennial of National Women's Suffrage in 2020," she said. She also manages the websites for the Territorial Daughters of Colorado and the Pikes Peak Coalition of Historic Museums.
Her parents, Mel and Mildred Estes, moved to Fountain in 1955 and recently celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary. Tamara was raised in Fountain and attended K-12 in the Fountain-Fort Carson School District. She started her education at East Elementary (which later became known as Lorraine Elementary). She and her brothers graduated from Fountain-Fort Carson High School. Her twin brother, Tim, lives in Tomball, Texas with his family and her older brother, Joel, lives with his family in Colorado Springs.
Her family's heritage in Colorado is something of which they are quite proud.
"My family has lived in Colorado since the 1870s, so I am very much a Colorado girl and cherish our Colorado heritage," she explained. "My dad was born in Colorado Springs in 1925 at St. Francis Hospital. He grew up on a cattle ranch near Ordway. My mom was born in small coal mining camp west of Walsenburg in Huerfano County. My family heritage is very much a snapshot of Colorado history with ranching and mining backgrounds."
She explained she was a member of the Fountain 4-H club while growing up here. She participated for many years in the El Paso County Fair exhibiting items in knitting, sewing, crochet, cooking, health and veterinary science. While in high school she was the captain of the debate team, and manager of the cross country and state champion boys track team.
Continuing her education took Tamara away from Fountain, and then she went to work at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. "But I always looked forward to the day when I would return to my hometown," she said smiling.
"I worked in the immunohematology (blood bank) reference laboratory at Mayo Clinic for many years where I performed complex testing on patients from around the world. I later moved into a management position, where I dealt with quality assurance, audits, inspections and regulatory affairs of the blood bank," she explained.
While living in Minnesota, she was a member of her church's vestry and served on many committees for the church.
"I participated and volunteered for the Rochester Area Disabled Athletics and Recreation program, where I played on the wheelchair basketball team and was on the Courage Alpine Skiers race team," she shared.
When asked what she loves the most about Fountain Tamara replied, "I love the sense of community in Fountain. The citizens of Fountain have always found ways to work together to improve our community, while honoring our heritage as a farming, ranching and military community. This is my hometown. I am proud to have been raised here."
She said she has a unique perspective on the needs of the community, since she is disabled and has such deep roots in the community.
"As a native, I grew up here and have seen the changes that occurred over the years. Fountain was a small town and now it is a small city. I think Fountain faces many of the same challenges in communities across this state and country. We need to work on our infrastructure and how we pay for those needs. I would like to see Fountain continue to grow in a controlled and planned manner," she said.
She feels one of the city's biggest needs is to better serve our military families and veterans.
"I would like to see more veterans' services-not just healthcare-provided within Fountain, so that our veterans do not have to try to get to Colorado Springs to have their needs addressed. I would like to work on getting these programs and services located/expanded to Fountain," she said.
"Additionally, we need to work on maintaining and improving Fountain's infrastructure. The citizens Road Focus Group has done some great work on trying to address the decaying roads in the community. Fountain is not unique in facing this challenge as this is a need all over the state. I strongly encourage Fountain residents to get out and vote on the road initiative in November. If the tax passes or not, we still will need to address how Fountain takes care of its roads and infrastructure needs, while planning for the growth of this community," she added.
Tamara said she is well aware of the water supply concerns at the forefront of many citizens thoughts.
"I am thankful that City Council years ago, was forward thinking enough to get involved with the Southern Delivery System. SDS access was crucial to Fountain's water needs as we faced the contamination of our wells with PFAS chemicals," she stated. "Fountain needs to keep pursuing funding from the Air Force and U.S. Government for filtering our well water. We need to continue to participate in studies related to the hazards of these chemicals and how they affect our citizens. Fountain is in a unique position to be a leader in Colorado and the United States with dealing with water contamination from PFAS. "
When asked why residents should elect her to city council she replied, "I know how to listen to our citizens and offer reasonable solutions to the challenges Fountain faces. I am from Fountain and have a vested interest in maintaining my hometown and our great city. I think the strength of a community grows when we can build consensus and learn to work together to find reasonable solutions to the challenges we face," she concluded.
Editor’s Note: Every week (as space allows) we are featuring incumbents and potential candidates for the upcoming election in November. We will be profiling those who will be seeking election (or re-election) to the Fountain City Council and Widefield School District 3’s Board of Education. Fountain-Fort Carson School District Eight is cancelling its election as there were the same number of candidates as open positions.
In the fall we will also print candidate profiles all in one issue, regarding their stances on issues of concern to local residents.