City Council Members
Keith Ore- Mayor through November 2019
I was born in Wheatridge, Colorado and grew up on a ranch. I graduated from Wheatridge High School and then married, blessing me with two daughters (Christina and Emily) and 3 grandsons that are great. I built custom homes for a few years and then was hired by Denver Water where I started out repairing water mains and water services. I then moved up to the Inspection department, where I worked my way up to supervisor.
I spent 35 years at Denver Water and I retired from there at the age of 56. While I worked at Denver Water, I raised Quarter Horses on my forty-acre ranch. I then met my lovely wife Elsie in Kentucky, and have been married for 10 great years. Elsie has 7 grandchildren, two sons, and one daughter. We worked the ranch for awhile after we were married, but Elsie was really into antiques so we had several antique stores in the Denver and Parker area. We then heard about Florence and it being the Antique Capital of Colorado. We made a trip and fell in love with Florence. Nine years ago, we rented a building on Main St for Heartland Antiques, and have been here ever since.
122 W. Main St
Pat Smith - Ward 1 Councilor through November 2021
I was born & raised in Waukegan, Illinois and Graduated from Waukegan High School. I attended some college courses at Truett McConnell College in Cleveland, Georgia.
In 2000, I moved from Georgia to Florence.
Family: I have 4 awesome children, 3 boys grown, married, successful
1 awesome daughter, grown, married & successful
7 awesome grandchildren -- 5 grown, married also successful
2 only 10 & 7 years of age, but still awesome.
I worked in the Assessors Office from 1985 to 1994 in Cleveland, Georgia; worked in the Assessors Office from 1994 to 1998 in Toccoa, Georgia; at present, 15 years in the Assessors Office in Canon City, Colorado.
I have never been in politics before, but ran for City Council Ward 1 (2015). I have enjoyed representing and meeting 'my people', I find it very interesting, and want to be their voice in governmental affairs.
Richard Upton -Ward 1 Councilor through November 2019.
401 Tanner Ave
I grew up in the small town of Centralia, WA. I played the usual sports in high school: football, baseball, and track. I received an Associates degree from Centralia Junior College in Biology education. I then went on to college at Central WA State College in Ellensburg, WA. and earned a Bachelor degree in Education with a major in Biology and a minor in Industrial Arts. Met my wife (Pauline) there and married upon graduation. She also grew up in a rural area near a small town in N.Central WA. We will celebrate our 50th in Aug. 2017. We both taught in Olympia area and I went back to Central after two years and went through a Masters program in Industrial Education. We moved to Tucson in 1970 where I taught at the Arizona State School for the Deaf and the Blind for the next 28 years. Pauline was an itinerate teacher of the blind for several years but spent most of her teaching years as a high school librarian. We both graduated from the University of Arizona with Masters degrees in special education with an emphasis on teaching the blind and low vision.
We have two sons: the oldest is Robert who lives in the Houston area. His wife's name is Tiffany and they have six children (four adopted). He is the head city engineer in one of the suburbs of Houston. Our other son (Sam) graduated as an architect. He has worked as an architect and also as a maintenance man in a huge church complex.
My hobbies have centered around the Model A Ford. I grew up with antique cars, as my father collected Model T Fords. I have worked on them since about age 13. My uncle had an auto machine shop and my aunt ran a NAPA parts store. I have restored several over the years for myself and others. My wife and I have traveled from coast to coast and border to border in a stock Model A Ford woody for 30 years covering over 130,000 miles. The kids grew up in the back of the woody every summer as we traveled. Pauline's hobbies center around sewing and making quilts. She also makes kits of blankets, burp cloths, and bibs for the Pregnancy Center in Canon City.
We purchased an 1896 rundown Victorian home in Florence in 2006 and have spent the past 10 years restoring the outbuildings, clearing all the dead trees, building a large garage/workshop, pole barn and 5 years rebuilding the house. Now we are starting the landscaping and I hope this winter being able to start work on Model A's again. It has been a long dry spell.
In between all that, we have been quite involved in Florence and have enjoyed everything. What brought us here was the friendly people and the historic town.
Paul Villagrana - Ward 2 Councilor through November 2021
325 E. 2nd St
- Bachelor's Degree in Art Education from Southern Colorado University
- Master of Education from Lesley College, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Family: Paul is married to Barbara Jean Villagrana. He has two sons: Paul David Villagrana and Robert Wayne Villagrana; four grandchildren: David, Megan, Brittany and Brandy; and one great-granddaughter, Trinity.
City Council experience:
- 6 years Florence City Council
- 2 years Mayor of Florence
Larry Baker- Ward 2 Councilor through November 2019
I was born and raised in the small town of Windsor, PA and moved to Denver in 1960 to work for the original Frontier Airlines. After six years of employment with Frontier, I started a home repair business which led into owning and operating Fairfax Ace Hardware on Colfax Avenue in Denver. When we "retired", we went looking for a small town. Beryl and I purchased a commercial property in Florence at 131 W. Main St. We have 2 children, 7 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren-
I represent Ward 2 and serve on the Florence Water Committee, Regional Water Committee, City Planning Commission, Fremont County Planning and Zoning Commission, and Florence Chamber of Commerce Board. I am also active in the Florence Merchants Group and the Florence Arts Council.
Larry and his wife Beryl reside at 131 West Main Street and can be reached at 719-784-0217 or email@example.com
Mike Vendetti - Ward 3 Councilor through November 2019
I am currently enjoying my fourth career as the owner of Audio Books by Mike Vendetti. I narrate and publish audiobooks from my home studio at 501 W Main in Florence. I have over 1300 audiobook titles for sale on Audible.com, an Amazon.com company. Prior to moving to Florence, I was the owner and chief auctioneer at a rather successful auction company in San Jose, CA. I went into the auction business after a career as a sales engineer in Silicon Valley and was fortunate to be a part of the growth of the personal computer industry. Prior to the Silicon Valley, I served a bit over six years in the US Army, enlisting in 1962 after 2 years at the University of Minnesota. I graduated from Officers Candidate School in 1964 and was a platoon leader with the 1st Infantry Div in October 1965 when I encountered an antipersonnel device that necessitated the amputation of my right leg below the knee at Walter Reed. I was able to get a waiver to return to active duty and retired for disability as a Captain in 1968.
My wife Mollie and I have lived in our home at 501 W Main since 2010, but my Florence roots are deep. My father was born in Williamsburg, and we lived on the family farm in Brewster briefly after WWII.
As your representative, I want to hear from you, and the best way to do that is to send me an email. This is a link to contact me via my website www.mikevendetti.com http://www.mikevendetti.com/contact-mike.html. My phone is 719-429-6856. I like to talk, but for best results, please send an email.
Allen Knisely- Ward 3 Councilor through November 2021
1002 W. 1st St