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2009 Election Endorsements


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Some say local politics is boring. Ha! Between the lines of each ballot are mayoral face-offs, city council battles between pro-growth or anti-business, partisan trickery mapped out in hate-filled blogs, and ballot issues that are outcomes of council micromanagement and fiscal panic. One year after a historic election and a continued economic crisis, municipalities have to swim with all their might—or sink, taking residents and local businesses with them. Boring? We think not. * Candidate was not interviewed.

Plus: Tracking Seven Political pledges from 2008

BoulderBoulder Valley Board Of EducationBroomfieldDaconoFrederickLafayetteLongmontLouisvilleNorthglennSt. Vrain Board Of EducationThorntonWestminster

Boulder City Council
Five open seats. Three incumbents are running: Suzy Ageton, Matthew Appelbaum and Macon Cowles. Other candidates include Barry Siff, Fenno Hoffman, George Karakehian, Jyotsna Raj, KC Becker, Kevin Hotaling, Rob Smoke, Seth Brigham, Tim Plass, and Valerie Mitchell. We endorse:

Matthew Appelbaum
Mayor Matthew Appelbaum, wearing a T-shirt during our interview, seems more like a laid-back municipal worker-bee than a politician. And that’s why we like him. Appelbaum is a calm, honest and centered leader who has worked on various significant issues at the regional, state and federal levels, including transportation and sustainability. Appelbaum has a deliberate outlook about Boulder’s economic future and development possibilities.

Suzy Ageton
Suzy Ageton has good sense and logical thinking pouring out of her. In our conversation with Ageton, she balanced her thoughts on specific issues with a more contextual perspective. She just gets it; she knows she does not have all the solutions but she knows the right conversations to have—whether it be about development or revenue stabilization. She’s a problem solver who considers the residents of Boulder in all her decisions. As far as the compatible development issue goes, she’s been a source of measured concern.

Barry Siff
Energy is likely the most common adjective used to describe Barry Siff, a successful businessman and intrepid athlete. Siff is refreshing. He is a cut-through-the-bull sort of man, which is rare for a Boulder politician (or resident). With a strong focus on Boulder’s economy and tax revenue, Siff is bound to bring the city council some much-needed entrepreneurial spirit as well as fresh ideas. He sees Boulder becoming more of a tourist destination and supports revitalization on The Hill and a conference center.

Jyotsna Raj
We believe in equilibrium and councils that offer thoughtful discussion, representation, foresight and a wealth of perspectives. Which perfectly describes Jyotsna Raj. During our discussion with Raj, she brought forward common sense opinions on various issues—from her ideas on Boulder being “over-malled” to her thoughts on preserving Boulder’s current neighborhoods and the homes within those neighborhoods. Hers is a unsullied, academic perspective not tied to ideology.

KC Becker
It’s funny that KC Becker would add diversity to Boulder’s City Council (funny odd, not funny ha ha). Becker is a young woman and a mother of a young child, which would make her somewhat unique. This environmental lawyer and former member of the Planning Board is motivated by creating a specific and updated long-term plan for Boulder—focusing on the wants and needs of the city, determining how Boulder needs to change and where—and taking an honest-to-goodness look at creating affordable housing for middle class and low-income residents.

Boulder Valley Board of Education

Lesley Smith over John T. Kettling
Lesley Smith has a focused, innovative, data-driven view of the Boulder Valley Board of Education. She has helped the board make strides during the past several years—bringing in a new superintendent, improving community engagement and working to successfully pass the $298 million bond project for facilities enhancement. She continues to seek out mechanisms to better district funding and opportunity. Most impressively, she wants to improve relations with the Boulder Valley Education Association, looking at ways to make a professional pay schedule a future option, as well as to liaise with the state legislature about education financing.

Jim Pollicita over Tom Miers
Jim Pollicita is the type of person a school board of education dreams about, especially when current funds already seem insufficient and future funding cuts are expected. Some might even consider Pollicita over-qualified, but we think he’s exactly what the board needs. Pollicita has three decades of experience working in higher education at schools like Notre Dame and University of Colorado, and he’s worked on the District Accountability Committee. He’s focused on keeping funding cuts “as far away from the students as possible and as far away from learning as possible”—meaning, the kids and their education come first. He has an enviable balance of budgetary knowledge and know-how, experience in education, and compassionate, thoughtful consideration for student achievement.

Jennie Belval over Louise Benson
While we respected Louise Benson’s tenacity and “reformer” approach, we know that Jennie Belval is ready to jump into the BVSD Board of Directors. Belval has participated in numerous district groups, including the Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee and the Capital Improvement Planning Committee. She has a broad base of knowledge about the district, understands the ins and outs of its processes and has already spent years working to better local schools. Plus, she’s all about collaboration and engaging parents and community members.

Boulder Ballot Items

2A: Sales and Use Tax Extension
YES
Since 1992, a .15 percent tax has helped fund health and human services, a youth opportunity fund, parks and rec, and the general fund. This ballot issue would make the tax, which is set to expire in 2012, permanent. We feel that because the need is permanent, the tax should be as well. Boulder’s Blue Ribbon Commission has reported that if expiring taxes are not extended, the city’s budget gap would soar, with city costs outpacing revenue growth.

2B: Open Space General Obligation Bonds
YES
This would restructure several open space bonds so the city can save some money—converting them from sales and use tax bonds to a general obligation pledge, which have lower interest rates.

2C: Pensions Bond Funding
YES
The city should be obligated to pay the pensions of 104 former employees and beneficiaries of the Old Hire Fire and Police, who were hired before 1978. Because of the market, the pension plans are only about 60 percent funded and there is only one person currently contributing to the fund. Man up, Boulder, this is one of those take-one-for-the-team situations.

2D: Changes to Housing Excise Tax
NO
This would increase the housing excise tax, which funds affordable housing, on new development and take away the current housing excise tax on residential development; the taxes will be phased in over five years. We feel that A) this is not the time to add possibly large fees to development that could bring revenue into the city and B) Boulder’s affordable housing challenges are not going to be met by shifting the funding burden; a more long-term, comprehensive approach must be found.

Boulder County Ballot Issues

1A: Open Space Countywide 0.25% Sales and Use Tax Extension and $50M Bond Authorization Issue
YES
This is a 15-year extension on a current .25 percent sales and use tax (that’s 25 cents for every $100) that funds county parks and open space. While this tax is not set to expire until 2019, approval of this extension will allow the county to bond against the future tax revenue and acquire specific parcels of land for open space. We are happy to give up a few quarters here or there for the sake of keeping the land undeveloped and allowing the county to purchase the parcels at today’s prices.

1B: ClimateSmart (CEOLID) $85M Bond Authorization
YES
This is a win-win-win situation, allowing the county to continue to provide loans to individuals who want to make energy-efficiency improvements to their homes (solar panels, insulation, etc). These are extremely safe loans that about 650 individuals have taken advantage of thus far. The bond will be paid off by loan payments.

1C: $6.1M Bond Authorization for Energy Conservation Projects
YES
While the wording of the ballot language sounds like Boulder County is putting itself millions of dollars into debt—which it would be—the energy conservation projects funded with these bond moneys are expected to eventually provide the county with hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings. The $6.1 million bond authorization would fund improvements at the jail, justice center and other buildings. At the jail, for example, these projects could cut energy consumption by 40 to 50 percent.

1D: DA Term Limits Extension to Three Terms
YES
We say, why not? We favor giving voters the option of keeping the Boulder County District Attorney in office for three four-year terms; as opposed to the current two-term limit.

Broomfield City Council

Patrick Quinn over Paul Madigan
There is one thing about Mayor Patrick Quinn that is still striking: his passion for the city and county he represents. During his time in office, he has dived right into heavy transportation issues (including FasTracks and U.S. 36), has worked to improve council accessibility and has helped to reignite the Broomfield Event Center. While the city/county will cut 10 staff positions because of an increasingly tight budget, we feel that Quinn and council are making tough decisions that many cities and counties need to make (and they had a 16 percent general reserve prior to the current economic troubles). Quinn has been a solid leader and a venerable coalition builder.

Bob Gaiser over Elizabeth Law Evans
While we think Elizabeth Law Evans would make an exceptional councilor and would bring a nice boost of business savy to the group, Bob Gaiser has done a fine job in supporting transportation, senior housing and well-paced growth. Gaiser has also become involved in numerous groups and committees, making him a valuable tool to have on council, and he’s one of the few candidates who talked about a long-term fiscal plan to help the city/county thrive in the future despite economic uncertainties.

Dennis McCloskey* is an incumbent running unopposed in Ward II.
Sam Taylor* is an incumbent running unopposed in Ward III.

Judy Enderle over James Gregory Stokes
We really like Judy Enderle’s balance of business and fiscal know-how, community involvement and environmental passion. Plus, we appreciate her vision of a future Broomfield and her enthusiasm for engaging the residents of her ward. She’s energized by a Broomfield filled with a more diverse array of small and large business, including renewable energy companies, and filled with multi-modal transportation options; yet, her expectations are not unrealistic. Her goals focus on making council more transparent and building collaboration within.

Bill Bates over Martha Derda and David Ryan*
Ward 5 of Broomfield is a unique swatch of land: It’s almost 75 percent undeveloped. We think Bill Bates, with his experience in business, labor and water as well as serving on Broomfield’s Capital Improvement Program, will be the perfect person to help the city/county with continued fiscal responsibility and well-planned development. He’s a tell-it-like-it-is type of person who believes in finding compromise and in representing his constituents honestly.

Broomfield Ballot Items

Question 1B: Proposed Property Nuisance Ordinance No. 1891
NO
While we like our neighbors’ homes to look nice and well-maintained, we feel it’s not the time to require residents to make possibly expensive improvements to their homes and fining them if they don’t. Life is stressful enough.

Issue 1A: Services Expansion Fee Extension Ballot Question
YES
This will continue the city/county service expansion fee of $1 per square foot of new residential floor area. It would expire next year and will fund much-needed transportation improvements, parks, playgrounds, municipal and school facilities and more.

Dacono City Council

Charles Sigman, a current city council member, is running unopposed for mayor.

Two seats are open with one incumbent, Tom McCune*, running. Lori Saine and Stephen Ditlow * are also running.

Lori Saine
Lori Saine understands the long-term vision of council. We think Saine would add an important voice in the conversations that will take Dacono into the future—from development to the economy. She says economic growth is issue No. 1, and that all future activity weighs on getting the town’s finances in line. Her vision of a future Dacono is a balanced one, filled with parks and paths and a well-planned foundation on which retailers or commercial space can grow. If elected, she’ll focus on helping get the Legacy Trail completed; working to develop the economic development committee; and fostering regional participation.

Tom McCune
Elected in 2006, Tom McCune is ready to see a few projects through—including the Legacy Trail and helping the connectivity between the Sweetgrass subdivision and the rest of Dacono by paving Weld County Road 8 from the neighborhood to Colorado Boulevard. You gotta respect a man who wants to finish unfinished business.

Erie Ballot Items

Question 2A
YES
The town of Erie wants to have the option to take the old rec building/fire station/public works annex on Briggs and sell it for no less than $200,000. We feel like this space (just yards from our office) has potential and should be used in the most productive of ways…not as a warehouse or public works annex. At least one local arts organization was hoping to take up shop there, but the town hopes to bring in some sort of commercial or retail business (and cannot pick one nonprofit over another to give the building to). We support giving Erie the option of selling the building, but we strongly encourage them to sell it to someone or some company that will help bring life to our neighborhood and bolster downtown Erie as a destination—which includes arts, culture, shops, food and drink (and Yellow Scene). Downtown needs to remain the heart of Erie and should not be the sideshow to the development circus happening elsewhere.

Question 2B
YES
We like the idea of letting Home Owners Associations at least have the option of purchasing the pocket parks (or “tot lots”) that they already maintain. Especially if it only costs them one buck. “There is no hidden agenda from the town,” Erie Mayor Andrew Moore wrote on his blog about this question. “…If this is a good thing for you great, if not, no worries.”

Frederick Ballot Item
Home Rule Charter
YES
Our little baby is growing up—which means there will be a few wobbly steps before the little guy can start running and collecting taxes. In April, residents voted to once again create a Home Rule Charter Commission to once again develop a home rule charter (only about 170 residents voted). After Frederick voters turned down the home rule charter in 2005, commissioners went back to the drawing board and created a constitution that does the job. We think it’s about time Frederick asserted its independence. But as Frederick Mayor Eric Doering told the Longmont Times Call, read it for yourself and make a decision. frederickco.gov

Lafayette City Council

Four seats are up for election: Incumbents include Christine Cameron, Alex Schatz, and Carolyn Cutler. Challenging candidates are Brian Herzfeld, Kristin Richeimer, Staci Lupberger and Carole Mock. The top three vote-getters will serve four-year terms; the fourth will serve a two-year term.

Chris Cameron
Chris Cameron is composed and considerate as mayor. Despite the city’s economic challenges (the number of vacant big-box spots continues to grow, including a soon-to-close Albertsons), the city has fared fairly well in this economy. And this current council, with Cameron at the helm, has made several strides in community events and projects, including improvements on South Public Road. With her experience in local initiatives, her unruffled toughness and her institutional knowledge, Cameron is working hard to take Lafayette into the future—finding a balance between small town charm and economic success.

Kristin Richeimer
Kristin Richeimer is a newcomer to local politics, which is exactly why we like her. She’s a smart cookie with a fresh outlook, a propensity for walking-the-walk and an ambitious, positive vision of Lafayette. She’s ready to take on the challenges that Lafayette will face in the coming years, everything from potential redevelopment and business retention to issues of trails and open space. Plus, Richeimer has a number of ideas about bringing community engagement and council communication into the 21st century.

Alex Schatz
Alex Schatz is the type of guy who tells you how it is—and then tells you how it could be better, more efficient and more effective. This landscape-architect/attorney has become a vital voice on council since he was elected in 2007, someone who has brought a balanced, candid and considered perspective and position to the group. He’s a numbers guy who is a keen student of the Lafayette Comprehensive Plan but who’s focused on improving the city’s growth and development strategy. And Schatz is still inspired as he pursues his second term, ready to get down to the dirty work.

Carolyn Cutler

Carolyn Cutler, who recently retired after decades of working for Boulder Valley School District, seeks a second term, focusing on both community involvement and economic stability. Cutler brings a balanced perspective to council, business-minded yet socially conscious. She’s also shown she focuses on her constituency and serves as a true representative of her community.

Longmont City Council

Roger Lange over Bryan Baum
and Jeff Thompson
Longmont politics have become the most contentious, partisan and ireful in the region. That’s not just between elected officials but among interest groups and the blogosphere. We say that Longmont is a changing city struggling with its own identity—and its residents and local politicos are having a hard time coming to terms with its evolution. Mayor Roger Lange is a source of moderation and practicality who sees all council members working in the best interest of residents. He and the council are working hard to make budget cuts and increased fees painless for residents (thus far), they continue to work on legal/land issues with Firestone (“It’s important to keep Longmont a stand-alone city,” he says) and they are truly focused on getting Twin Peaks redeveloped (Lange admits that the city should have acted more quickly in pushing for phase one…we agree) as well as making positive steps on issues of transportation. As for Bryan Baum, a Longmont business owner whose wife was one of those aforementioned bloggers, we feel that he has the potential to bring a new and different energy to council. We’re just not convinced that he and current council would play nice.

Karen Benker over Katie Witt
Let’s just be honest, we’ve been strong supporters of Karen Benker even before that whole LifeBridge Church thing…and with Longmont City Council still dealing with the debris, we think there’s no time like the present to let Councilwoman Benker know we are still behind her 100 percent. We love Benker’s tenacity and her undying passion for bettering Longmont—whether it’s developing the beleaguered Twin Peaks Mall and improving downtown and creating community-building events or making municipal issues a little bit more accessible to the average resident (we know, she hasn’t done those things by herself). Benker, who is mayor pro tem, works toward outcomes and we can’t wait to see what she does with her next four years.

There are two available at-large positions with one incumbent—Gabe Santos—running as well as Alex Sammoury, Kaye Fissinger, Jonathan Singer (withdrew), Edward Dloughy* and Bill Van Dusen.

Bill Van Dusen
It’s no secret that the Longmont City Council has felt some growing pains in recent years. With political shifts and partisan squabbling, council needs someone who can work to bring our councilors together, helping create a more efficient and effective government. Van Dusen is certainly the guy. This laid-back attorney and educator has sat on and led several community organizations and groups, including the Longmont Planning and Zoning Board and the North Boulder County Environmental Health Task Force. He has a positive, hopeful view of the city’s future—looking forward as opposed to dwelling on the politics of the past—and he prides himself on being a “coalition builder.”

Alex Sammoury
Alex Sammoury is a doer. He takes ideas and makes them real (you can call it magic; we call it skills). As the executive director of the Longmont Entreprenurial Network as well as a chairman for the Chamber of Commerce and the past Chairman of the Longmont Downtown Development Authority, Sammoury is all about innovation, rationality and transparency and will be a huge asset if the whole Twin Peaks Mall redevelopment ever works out.

Longmont Ballot Items

2A: Extension of Street Maintenance Sales and Use Tax
YES
This would extend a three-quarter cent sales tax that pays for street maintenance, repair and improvements until 2016; it sunsets in 2011. In recent years, the tax has brought in around $10 million annually.

2B: Sewer Plants Improvements Bond
YES
The city’s wastewater treatment plant needs some treatment of its own; a city plan has identified upgrades needed to meet Environmental Protection Agency regulations in the coming years. If approved by voters, the city would issue bonds to complete improvements at the plant, allowing it to increase capacity to meet growth demand and meet EPA regulations.

2C: City Telecommunications Services
YES
One of our staff members has a heck of a time getting good wi-fi in her apartment, which sits in the middle of Longmont. This would allow the city of Longmont to jump into the telecommunications game, enabling the city by itself or with a private company to provide a variety of services, including high-speed and wireless Internet. A 2005 Colorado law barred municipalities from offering advanced telecommunications services; Longmont had purchased a fiber optic network, which became pretty much null and void after the law was put in place. But if voters agree with us, maybe we can get some good wi-fi in Longmont.

LouisvilleCity Council

Larry Brassem
over Ron Sackett
Four years ago, Louisville elected three “slow-growthers.” These days, the concept of slow growth in Louisville is not even a question. It’s a fact of life. Still, with an urban renewal district near downtown waiting for development, FasTracks likely—though slowly—approaching, Conoco Phillips moving in and a Money Magazine No. 1 ranking to maintain, it does not mean growth is a moot issue. In Ward III, while we feel that incumbent Ron Sackett has done an admirable job as a council member, we think Larry Brassem would bring a much-needed boost of zeal and an ambitious desire to retain business and back successful development (but not at the expense of preserving the charm of the city). His vision includes a solid balance of support for current and future business, revitalization and redevelopment, and preservation of historic areas.

Bob Muckle over Michael Menaker
This was a tough one. In Ward I, Louisville Revitalization Commission and Business Retention and Development Committee member Michael Menaker is running against incumbent Bob Muckle. Muckle successfully pushed for the preservation tax in 2008. Menaker is running on a platform that both parallels and lacerates Muckle’s. Menaker firmly believes that the slow-growth and preservationist perspective has been taken too far and that more can be done to help downtown businesses and the URA area near Highway 42. We agree. However, we feel that Muckle has his priorities in order and is ready to balance his preservationist pursuits with helping to work toward successful development and dealing with a shrinking budget while maintaining services and the community events for which Louisville is known.

Frost Yarnell* is the incumbent running unopposed for Ward II.

Louisville Ballot Items

Ballot Issue 2A
YES
Basically, it says council is subject to a set of rules that it already follows.

Ballot Issue 2B
YES
This will allow city staff to email special meeting notices to City Council.

Ballot Issue 2C
YES
This will allow City Council to approve lease-purchase agreements without an emergency ordinance. The city has said this could help if purchasing or installing solar/green options on city projects.

Northglenn City Council

Joyce Downing over Sheri Paiz
Truly, we don’t think you can go wrong with either of these women; both are currently on Northglenn City Council; both are incredibly bright with good knowledge of the city’s serious challenges—that the city is landlocked and aging, for example; and both have the want to lead over this sometimes discordant council. But we feel that Joyce Downing is best prepared to take on the 2010 council, which will need to make some very serious decisions about the city’s future. Forward-thinking, contemplative and focused, Downing uses the word “aggressive” to describe how the city should pursue economic stabilization, development and support of current business. And she’s an incredible blend of leader, facilitator and representative.

No nomination petitions were filed for Ward I
Joe Brown* is running unopposed in Ward II
Susan Clyne* is the incumbent running unopposed in Ward III

Kim Snetzinger over Lee Brown* and Maryann Gillespie*
Kim Snetzinger admits she doesn’t have all the answers—but she is ready to look for them. “I’m hoping to work together to come up with the right solutions,” she said in our recent interview. She’s a plainspoken woman who wants to bring the community into the political process.

Northglenn Ballot Items

2A: Mill Levy Extension
YES
Northglenn is an aging city, and infrastructural improvements will be a continued theme over the next few years. It’s something we’ve heard from each and every Northglenn council member and candidate we’ve talked to: one of the biggest challenges Northglenn faces in the coming years is coming to terms with its maturing byways and boulevards. It’s needless to say that the city needs these funds, a 4.0 mill property tax, to help with rehab and improvements on city streets. The tax would expire this December if not approved by voters.

2B: Eliminate Obsolete Language Within Section 3.4 of the Charter
YES
Who likes obsolete language?

2C: Eliminate Obsolete Language Within Section 3.5 of the Charter
YES
Once again.

2D: Amend Section 4.2 of the Charter regarding Notice of Special Meetings
by Electronic Means

YES
Again, like other municipalities making similar changes to their charters, this will allow staff to notify council about special meetings through email—as opposed to horse-drawn carriage.

2E: Amend Section 6.11 of the Charter regarding the Municipal Court
YES
This will clean up the language of the charter, changing the use of “he” when describing the judge to “the judge” and so on. This also takes out a provision that sets the judge’s salary by ordinance.

2F: Amend Article 11 of the Charter regarding Elimination of Voter Approval
for Public Utility Franchises

YES
This would change the city charter to allow council to approve public utility franchises without voter approval—mostly because if voters fail to renew a franchise, the city has to become the public utility and thus buy a ton of equipment.

2G: Eliminate the Citizens’ Affairs Board
YES
Why, you ask, would you want to eliminate a Citizens’ Affairs Board when local politicians continue to push for increased public engagement and residents continue to push for governmental accessibility? Basically, it comes down to this: Northglenn has the Citizens’ Affairs Board written into its charter, which ends up limiting the group’s abilities. Currently, the board takes in complaints from residents and works to solve those problems. But because most residents go straight to their elected officials with complaints, the board hasn’t been very busy. This would allow council to take the group out of the charter and create a citizen board that can work on engagement. We very strongly encourage the council to use this as an opportunity to develop an effective board to motivate and glean resident involvement and voice.

2H: Transfer of Governance of Northglenn Urban Renewal Authority to City Council
NO
City council and the Northglenn Urban Renewal Authority work together “to achieve the same goals.” They work with the same staff. Council even approves the appointment of all NURA councilors. It’s not a broken system, and there is no need for council to take over NURA. We feel that NURA should be an independent board that is held accountable to council.

St. Vrain Board of Education

Bob Smith over Strider Benston
Bob Smith, who was appointed mid-term to the St. Vrain Board of Education, is looking forward and ready to make solid progress. Our favorite part about Smith is that he has learned from his first few years on the board, and he’s focused on taking St. Vrain into the next stratosphere of success, like tracking student improvement, encouraging community engagement, and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the board itself. Smith sees student achievement as his top priority and will work to further earn the trust of parents and the community.

Debbie Lammers over Alexander Sharp
No one in Niwot is surprised that Debbie Lammers is running for SVSD Board of Education. And we aren’t either. She’s a natural choice—a woman who led the charge in the district’s successful mill levy override and bond campaign, a resolute volunteer and an active parent. She’s a powerhouse who gets things done, and she has solid knowledge of district issues, challenges and history. As for the future, Lammers is focusing on building community confidence in the board and bettering district accountability.

Dori Van Lone,* an incumbent, is running unopposed for District D.
Rod Schmidt,* an incumbent, is running unopposed for District F.

Thornton City Council

Jan Bach over JJ Dove, Mary Payne, and Mack Goodman*
This one came down to incumbent Jan Bach, who is currently on the county’s Community Development Advisory Board and the Blue Ribbon Commission for Healthcare Reform, and Jenice Dove (or JJ, as she is known), a resident who is on the city Revitalization Task Force and who feels current council has not engaged enough with residents. While we know that Bach has become an involved and productive councilor, Dove has a fresh, honest and determined view of the ward, its challenges and its residents, many of whom are unaware that the city has programs and services that can help them. Ward I in Thornton faces many challenges. It’s an older area with a higher population of lower-income homes. Still, when it comes down to it, we’ll support Bach for another term because she has a focused and impassioned view of bettering Thornton—but we encourage her to be proactive in her engagement with residents and in council’s efforts to help out those who are struggling.

Ralph Moore* and Val Vigil*
Neither candidate responded to our offer for an interview, and Yellow Scene does not endorse those races in which candidates have not interviewed. We can tell you that candidate Val Vigil was a two-term Colorado state congressman who lost a bid for state senate in 2006. Ralph Moore is an IT professional who would like to see a better balance between business and residential.

Lynne Fox over Brian Thornton
While Lynne Fox says she feels current council has done well overall, she also waxes poetic about areas where council could and should grow—additional means to a more economically successful end. She takes a particular interest in city planning and she sees herself representing Ward III but being held accountable to the entire community. She’s well-rounded and level-headed and has the potential to become a great city leader.

Randy Drennen over Charles Stevenson, David Pettit* and Luke Michael Beard*
It’s almost funny that this particular city council race caused us so much perplexity. Randy Drennen, a young businessman and involved resident whose focus is on economic development and business, and Charles Stevenson, the anti-politician incumbent with years of experience in transportation and conflict management, are very different people and they offer very unique perspectives. Still, both perspectives are valid and each man is/would be an asset to the council—with transportation and economic development being some of the biggest issues impacting Thornton. But at this time, we feel that Randy Drennen has a leg up. Drennen’s focus is on creating jobs in a city that has really been a bedroom for the metro area. He is one of the few candidates to talk about creating a signature development (mixed-used or entertainment) that could draw out-of-towners to a city filled with a lot of insignificant developments.

Westminster City Council
Five candidates vie for three seats. There are three incumbents running: Mark Kaiser, Mary Lindsey and Scott Major. Aurita Apodaca and Eric Fisher are also running.

Nancy McNally* is running unopposed.

Mark Kaiser, Mary Lindsey and Scott Major
During the last Westminster City Council election, the city’s financial situation was completely different than it is today. In fact, Westminster was making progress reaching its 2001 revenue levels. Today, council is making tough decisions as they face budget cuts. But by all means, Westminster is not in the worst of situations and there is hope in the air—especially with the Westminster Mall redevelopment in progress. We feel that current City Council is doing an admirable job: they work well with and trust city staff; they have developed and follow a strategic plan that is really a roadmap to the city’s success; they are making progress despite financial limitations; they walk the talk. There is always need for improvement, and Aurita Apodaca and Eric Fisher as well as current council members have mentioned ways for the group to progress, including increased transparency and encouraging resident participation. But we feel the need for experienced, attentive and productive councilors prevails.

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Lacy is an award-winning food writer and blogger. She lives in Westminster with her family. Google

5 comments

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    Thanks for the earlier nice write-ups of my site, but your Karen Benker fawning, with all due respect, is embarrassing. This has to be one of the most divisive councilmembers in recent Longmont history with a serious problem with Colorado Sunshine Laws. The Twin Peaks Mall? She’s about the sole reason it’s stalled, she was the swing vote and swung away from it a year ago – leaving a sight that should be familiar to any in Boulder who suffered through their mall situation. She personally attacks anyone who speaks against her (read the Times-Call much?) and is about as vindictive as they come. Will you cover the story if the Boulder DA decides to prosecute these alleged Open Records violations? Are you even aware of that info? They are. Thanks.

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    Thanks for having the foresight to endorse Longmont Ballot Question 2C – I hope all the smart people in Longmont are planning to Vote YES on 2C! Please don’t let Comcast bully you or buy your vote on this issue.

  • Pingback: Lynne Fox for Ward 3 Thornton City Council

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