Local elections are often the most important to your daily life but are not given nearly as much attention as large national events. YS strives to provide a comprehensive guide to the upcoming elections so you can have a voice in how your city, neighborhood, and community are run.
We ask all candidates running against each other the same questions. However, answers are condensed and summarized when needed to fit our size constraints. Each candidate we have an opinion on is then given status by our election board — Endorsed, Qualified, Unqualified — and every race has an endorsement.
Nothing gets past our readers. They noticed a mistake that slipped into the YS Election Guide and alerted us immediately.
For Broomfield, City Council Ward 1, YS endorses Kenny Nguyen.
YS does not endorse Chriss Hammerschmidt. We actually find her Unqualified due to her anti LGBTQ+, anti-abortion, and conspiracy theory views that she would bring to City Council.
We apologize for any confusion for mislabeling this endorsement and want to thank our supporters for quickly pointing this out.
In our defense, we were up into the late hours of the night with a flurry of spreadsheets, documents and design layouts to be completed of over 84 candidates and 24 ballot issus — such is the life of a small, independent magazine that still believes in real, local journalism — but take full responsibility for our mistake.
Colorado Statewide Ballot Measures
Proposition II – Taxes and Tobacco: Asks voters to either (1) allow the state to retain and spend revenue the state received above the estimated revenue generated from increases taxes on cigarettes and tobacco and nicotine products in Proposition EE or (2) refund $23.65 million to distributors and wholesalers and reduce the tobacco tax rate by 11.53% | Vote: Yes
Proposition HH – Taxes and Property: Reduces the property tax rate; allows the state to retain and spend revenues (that it would otherwise be required to refund to residents under the Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR)) to give local governments to make up lost tax revenues from the property tax rate reduction | Vote: Yes
Boulder County Ballot Initiatives
1A – Open Space extension: A proposal to extend for fifteen years the existing 0.05% countywide sales and use tax for the purpose of acquiring, improving, managing and maintaining open space lands and other open space property interests. | Vote: Yes
1B – Affordable Housing Extension: A proposal to extend for fifteen years the existing 0.185% countywide sales and use tax for the purposes of funding existing and additional affordable and attainable housing and related supportive services within Boulder County. | Vote: Yes
6A – Nederland EcoPass Public Improvement District extension: A proposal for a ballot issue for the November 2023 election to extend for ten years the District’s existing ad valorem property tax mill levy imposed at a rate not to exceed 1.85 mills for the purposes of paying the costs of providing a Regional Transportation District EcoPass to all District residents; and to seek elector authorization for the District to administer an EcoPass program for non-resident employees of employers operating within the District. | Vote: Yes
Broomfield Mayor – UNOPPOSED
Guyleen Castriotta – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: You don’t see a lot of folks camping in tents. People do live in their vehicles or are living several to a room. It looks different in Broomfield. We offer referrals for services for emergency and transitional housing, mental health if they need it and also in the colder months, we offer hotel vouchers.
- Infrastructure: Regional Transit Authority (RTD) is underfunded, under-resourced and overprescribed. Broomfield contributes about $17 million a year to RTD. If you’re transit dependent in Broomfield then then you’re out of luck and that is the bigger problem. There has to be systemic change in the state to truly create a public transit system that serves everyone.
- Development: We’re embracing growth, we’re building and improving as fast as we can. Voters approved an open space tax in perpetuity, and that helped fund a lot of land acquisitions that are going to be conserved and preserved as parks and recreation. But you can’t walk around – Broomfield is not a walkable community. It wasn’t built that way. It’s the burbs. You need a car here.
- Cost of living: We require all new developers to provide 20 percent of their new for rent units at 60 percent (Adjusted Median Income) or less, or 10% of their for sale units at 60%. We have focused on that as a priority as long as I’ve been on this council since 2017. We’ve already built 9,700 units in three years.
- Education: I doubt local governments can fill the gap. The schools are funded by a completely different taxing system in Colorado. It’s through property taxes. Cities and counties, and we’re both, are facing a lot of sticker shock as well. The cost of our capital improvements, pipes, labor, you name it, has tripled since before the pandemic.
Crime & Mental Health: We have mental health co-responders that go on calls. We have red flag laws or risk protection orders that allow folks to report someone who may be trying to harm themselves or others with firearms and get those firearms removed. We are utilizing part of our cannabis sales tax revenue to fund behavioral health programs in our schools.
Broomfield City Council – Ward 1
- Unhoused: They’ve done a good job with homelessness in Broomfield. They now have a voucher program so that people who need housing can get housing. The police department is really good at assessing the situation. I think they’re a vital part of that program.
- Infrastructure: I attended a transportation forum the other day and I think Broomfield has a pretty good handle on it. They work pretty closely with CDOT. I know there’s been some problems with Highway 7 and I-25 Corridor, but that’s just the lack of funds. The thing I see as a problem is just the funding, like the RTD light rail system that’s taken a long time, they’ve overcharged.
- Development: Broomfield was a small home community and it’s no longer that. The character changes as the population increases or decreases. We’ve had droughts forever here because we’re a semi-arid, arid part of the United States. We need to be really careful with our water supply and what I like to see is that we slow down a little bit.
- Cost of living: People on fixed incomes are really feeling the pinch, we have to be really careful about how we subsidize housing. We don’t want to make it less affordable for some people just to make it more affordable for other people.
- Education: My kids went to five-star schools and I never saw problems, but I just have to look at that a little bit more.
- Crime & Mental Health: I think a lot of our problems go back to either drugs or childhood abuse or even elderly abuse. We need to focus on helping people find out what the problem is in their lives, that would go a long way to helping crime. You have to enforce laws, there has to be consequences. That’s how you have a civil society. It’s worked for a long time and we need to get back to the basics.
Kenny Nguyen – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: We can help homelessness with affordable housing and better wages, because the reality is that people are just unable to afford homes. We need more housing units to help people make sure that they can afford a home and have options so they can purchase or even rent homes or apartments.
- Infrastructure: The reality is that we don’t have public transit that supports us. A lot of folks use RTD, I use RTD. Unfortunately, it’s not accessible for a lot of Broomfielders. We want to make sure Broomfield is on the Green Path of carbon emissions. I would also encourage more charging stations for electric vehicles.
- Development: My goal is more density in units. We need to focus on apartment complexes, duplexes, and townhomes that are maybe not as large but they are more attainable and affordable.
- Cost of living: Folks are seeing crippling effects of inflation and interest rates. We have to increase wages, make sure that people can afford those homes. There’s crippling inflation and interest rates, people buy a home and they’re unable to afford a mortgage.
- Education: Working with our local schools, teacher unions, and our educators to fund programs that are fair. We have to work together from local, state and federal and ideally, find the right partnerships. How do we get more pre-K teachers and educators?
- Crime & Mental Health: We have to find better ways to address gun violence. Having mental health providers, police officers on patrol, and de-escalation. We’ve had some successful gun control legislation like red flag laws and getting guns from people who are more dangerous. I would also invite experts, police officers, folks to brainstorm together.
Broomfield City Council – Ward 2
Paloma Delgadillo – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: I believe in funding our health and human services department and ensuring people who are unhoused, and those being on the brink of being unhoused, are able to access free services. I want to ensure that we are not making homelessness a crime, luckily this is the case. In Broomfield, if someone is camped out where they should not be camped out, it does not lead to criminal punishment.
- Infrastructure: I am on the record of supporting denser development. It’s necessary not only to have regulatory solutions, but also to have more people. There are people who cannot afford a car, much less two cars for a household and so I think expanding public transportation is extremely important for us.
- Development: Our goal is about 40% open space. Having access to the outdoors, open space, is beneficial for people and public health. We have plenty of single family options, I would argue that what we don’t have is townhouses and more of those denser developments.
- Cost of living: Safe and dignified housing is a human right. It’s unconscionable the inequality we have in America. Obviously, that is not something under my control as a city council member. However, I do support continuing to fund those public services and public utilities that help improve people’s quality of life.
- Education: I would defer a more robust answer for school board candidates and people who are much more informed about this. I would point to funding community services such as library programs, making sure that we have low cost and free preschool available to young families.
- Crime & Mental Health: I believe in the Second Amendment and I do believe that we need common sense regulations. I think it’s impossible to ignore the link that poverty and a scarcity of resources have a detrimental effect on mental health. Giving people access to safe housing is important to ensure they are taken care of.
Broomfield City Council – Ward 3
Jean Lim – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: In Broomfield when a resident or someone is concerned about an unhoused person, they can report it to the city and a cross-sectional team goes out to see if they can assist that unhoused person. That team effort has been successful so far in trying to find the unhoused person the resources that that person needs to find housing somewhere and to otherwise be set on a better path to sustainability.
- Infrastructure: Public transit is essential to meeting not only the needs of those who have to commute to work and in and out of Broomfield, it’s essential to meet our green greenhouse gas goals, which we set in 2020 in Broomfield. Our BRT service has not developed fully yet. We need BRT service on Colorado 7.
- Development: We have a process of reviewing development in Broomfield which keeps the character while at the same time providing for housing needs. We have recently revamped a lot of the code which had not been reviewed for a long time, as far as zoning landscape code, where parking and biking requirements.
- Cost of living: I’m very proud of the efforts that council has made with our inclusionary housing ordinance. We have secured funding from residential developers for either the on site units or for cash in lieu. For cash in lieu, we have established the Broomfield Housing Alliance which will use to look at developments in Broomfield that can address the needs of our demographics.
- Education: The Colorado preschool initiative as a statewide initiative, it was adopted on the premise that the state would be able to fund it and Broomfield has six school districts. Broomfield has never been in the service of providing education, so I don’t think that Broomfield has a role in this statewide initiative.
- Crime & Mental Health: We have enhanced our mental health services that are available to Broomfield residents, in particular in the past four years through the pandemic. We have made use of the funding grant and internal funding grants and now the opioid money that’s available to enhance mental health resources for Broomfield residents.
- Unhoused: I don’t have a plan for homelessness. The answer to homelessness is a multi-jurisdictional question that’s going to involve the resources of cities, counties, states and actually the federal government. It also has to do with health care in the country, which I don’t view as being as complete as it should be.
- Infrastructure: We have to build appropriate density. Density allows living near retail so people can shop and walk without having to travel great distances, density allows people to park their cars, to ride their bikes, and to walk. The word density is a boogeyman, it creates fear in people. When they hear density, they think poverty, crime, crowding and I don’t think those align.
- Development: There are those who would like to make Colorado so expensive that you build a financial fence around Colorado. I don’t think that that’s the right way to approach population growth. If you look at 96th Avenue in Broomfield, that is a model development of how we can move forward to provide adequate housing that’s affordable, as well as putting it around workplaces so that you have workforce housing and people don’t have to travel great distances to work.
- Cost of living: We have to be very careful about what kind of municipal laws we pass regarding housing standards and electricity. We have got to ultimately move away from hydrocarbons, because the air pollution that comes with hydrocarbons has negative consequences. We want to reduce that air pollution. The move to electrify things has consequences in housing cost, you have to be careful.
- Education: I don’t think local governments should be expected to fill that gap. I think that unfunded state mandate is one of the things causing friction between the municipalities and the state level government right now. I’m not sure how to address that unfunded mandate.
- Crime & Mental Health: The responsibility for controlling guns is going to come down to voters in this country and voting in national politicians that align with their views on gun control. I really don’t think that the local communities are gonna have a lot to do with gun control. I don’t have a magic bullet answer on what to do about mental health issues. It’s so tied to families, poverty and poverty is so generational.
Broomfield City Council – Ward 4
Laurie Anderson – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: Continue providing a more tailored approach to the unhoused, working with unhoused individuals on a case by case basis to figure out where they are from and what they need to get back on their feet. Broomfield’s unhoused population is low, so we should use this to our advantage by providing this more tailored, personalized approach.
- Infrastructure: Those before us have done good work to begin expanding public transit and walkability, we should continue this work. We have walkable developments, more bus stops and expanded RTD coverage in development, hopefully to be completed in the next couple of years. We need to work to keep these projects on track.
- Development: We need to build developments with unique character, such as the upcoming town square.
- Cost of Living: Broomfield has already done work on figuring out what affordable housing is needed and how to provide more of it. We should follow the work that came before and stay on this course to provide affordable housing for Broomfield families. We have homes in the pipeline, we are building for density and plan to have RTD coverage by 2026.
- Education: Advocate with the state to ensure that the most needy families are prioritized, and seek more funding for early education.
- Crime & Mental Health: Identify when someone is having a mental health crisis as opposed to committing a crime, and expand programs and services to assist people undergoing mental health crises. Right now, our biggest issue with regards to mental health is lack of resources. Most of this is handled at the state level, so we must advocate for more state support and resources.
Broomfield City Council – Ward 5
Adam Gobetti – UNQUALIFIED
- Unhoused: We need to help the unhoused population, not just tuck them into a corner and forget about them. The issue really comes down to mental health. We already have mental health resources, we need to do a better job of informing people and expanding access. We need to do targeted investments to improve these resources. Do what we can to make sure people don’t wind up unhoused in the first place.
- Infrastructure: We need to focus on what can be done at a municipal level, such as advocating for smarter design and working with RTD and county authorities to encourage more public transportation.
- Development: We need to be careful with what we build and why, and focus on growing slowly.
- Cost of Living: Affordability/Cost of Living: We need to spend less money on big projects and focus on saving money for Broomfield families. To do this, we need to reduce taxes for those in Broomfield. We need to make it less expensive to live and do business in Broomfield. Don’t add costs to housing and don’t make it more difficult for builders to create housing.
- Education: Education is a matter for the school board, not the city council. This doesn’t mean that nothing can be done, but it means that city council is incredibly limited in this area.
- Crime & Mental Health: Mental health drives a lot of other issues, such as crime and suicide. Broomfield’s police department is fantastic and needs to be supported. We need to invest in solutions to mental health and crime problems that aren’t entirely police oriented.
Heidi Henkel – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: There are a number of compounding issues behind this problem that need to be addressed. We need to expand affordable housing, mortgage assistance, and other housing support services so that people who are struggling don’t slip into homelessness. We need to get the unhoused wrap-around support services they need, such as mental and physical health care.
- Infrastructure: Work on rezoning to improve walkability and public transportation, reduce parking spaces, increase walkability between commercial and residential areas. This is all about planning, we need to build with walkability and public transit in mind first and foremost. If you build density, transportation will come.
- Development: The key to this is public input. If we are people powered, we’ll be able to build smartly and preserve Broomfields unique character. People are moving to Broomfield because of affordability, open spaces, and the tech scene, among other factors. We need to keep all of these in mind while growing and developing.
- Cost of Living: We should build partnerships to develop more affordable housing, reduce cost of living and support Broomfield families. Broomfield should retain its land use authority because it can move quickly to build affordable housing. We need to work to make home ownership more attainable for people, and work regionally to raise the minimum wage across Boulder County and surrounding counties.
- Education: We need to provide more preschool and childcare resources for Broomfield families.
- Crime & Mental Health: Work at the state level to pass a bill requiring firearm education before any firearm purchase. This will significantly increase gun safety, and weed out people who are looking to purchase a firearm just to hurt others. Make sure people are keeping their firearms locked up, and work to reduce firearms being stolen from cars and homes. Expand red flag laws to ensure that people going through a mental health crisis have some sort of intervention before purchasing a firearm.
Broomfield Ward 5 (Recall) | Vote: No
Todd Cohen – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: We have a robust Human Services Department that provides services. The city also has a hotel voucher program to temporarily get people out of public spaces and provide shelter especially in times of severe weather.
- Infrastructure: We can pressure RTD to live up to their promises, they have failed. We’re unfortunately a public transit desert in many ways. I would like to see more safe, dedicated bike lanes rather than relying on paint on a pavement.
- Development: Stick to our 40% open lands goal. It provides spaces for both mental health spaces and wildlife. We are emphasizing density, particularly in the Highway 7 corridor. The future is more townhomes, more dense housing developments around transit areas.
- Cost of Living: Beyond the basic problem of supply and demand, we need more housing. The market is not going to solve that. It’s partly the density that you require, we need to build our way out of this with more housing options.
- Education: The state doesn’t have enough resources for schools, roads, or sewers. It doesn’t have enough resources for preschool. Unfortunately, TABOR has starved schools, roads, and education to a Mississippi level.
- Crime & Mental Health: young people are not feeling hopeful at all, and if you don’t have hope you turn to other means. Lockdown drills, home prices out of reach, student loans making college unrealistic, why is it surprising that we have mental health challenges and anxiety?
Maria Boutrous – UNQUALIFIED
- Unhoused: We need to take an individualized, tailored approach, by providing mental health and economic support services to the people that need it. Many with mental health issues, such as schizophrenics, are chronically unhoused, and we need to focus on giving them the support and resources they need.
- Infrastructure: Broomfield has been giving RTD money for years without a noticeable increase in service. We need to reevaluate where our money is going, and what will have the best impact on increasing public transit availability. Crime puts a big damper on public transit use, so by combating crime we would encourage more people to use public transit.
- Development: We need to be smart about developing the last twenty percent of available land in Broomfield, as the city’s large amount of open space is one of the main things that draws people to the city.
- Cost of Living: We need to reduce the mill levy, and other taxes and regulations that make it difficult for builders to create housing in Broomfield. This will increase the amount of affordable housing, specifically middle housing like townhomes, and reduce cost of living for average families. Specifically, we need to target high property taxes that make life more expensive for Broomfield families.
- Education: This is not something the city council can realistically address, this issue is best left to the school board.
- Crime & Mental Health: Crime is a huge mental health burden on Broomfield families. We could do a lot to address the mental health crisis by reducing property crime, such as vehicle thefts, so families have less to worry about, and by fighting to lower the cost of living. In order to reduce crime, we need to work with Broomfield police and give them the resources and support they need.
Aaron Brockett – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: We need more permanent housing to get people off the street and provide wraparound substance abuse and mental health services. We should also create programs with transitional choices like tiny home villages which are proving to be successful in Denver. We can help pay for this with funding from proposition 123 which was passed last year and provides millions of dollars for homelessness supportive services.
- Infrastructure: We need to move in a sustainable direction by creating more “15 minute neighborhoods,” where people can walk, bike, and take the bus to most of their daily needs. We are working to accomplish that by rezoning some of our old strip malls and business parks, so they become vibrant, mixed-use neighborhoods. We got a $25 million grant to increase transportation between Longmont and Boulder. I will seek out every opportunity to add transit options and bike infrastructure if I’m re-elected.
- Development: It’s about locating denser development in places that can support it, where there are services, bikeability, and transit. That goes to some of the rezoning I’ve been talking about, but some of that new development can really create beautiful communities. You can add new development in ways that actually enhance a community’s character.
- Cost of living: We have to create substantial affordable housing. Right now we are working on projects to clear out regulatory obstacles to more affordable and attainable housing, and I am in full support of those. The rezoning that I was talking about will come with a 25% affordable housing requirement. We can expect substantial amounts of affordable housing from that. We also have to look at changing permit and fee structures so that affordable housing is easier to create.
- Education: I have been disappointed at the rolling back of universal preschool programs. We had a positive alternative in the potential creation of an early childhood education district, but I was disappointed that they didn’t move forward. One thing we can do at the municipal level is to provide support for early childcare expenses. Our Human Services department has a child care affordability fund that we use to support small family-owned childcare, as well as people who need help paying for childcare.
- Crime & Mental Health: Better mental health support is critical. Currently Colorado ranks 49th in terms of funding and it affects everybody in the community, people with houses, people without houses, youths, and seniors, everyone. We need to partner with our nonprofit and county governments to provide additional resources and funding. The largest cause of gun violence is suicides. We need to provide mental health resources to help keep that from happening.
- Policing: I was excited to support the Reimagine Policing program. It moves us away from primarily arresting people who commit crimes and more into a focus of how to prevent crimes from happening in the first place. So it puts police more in a partnership with the community and finding out the reasons why crime is happening and working toward changing the environment such that it won’t reoccur in the future.
- Unhoused: I put together an eight point plan that addresses some problems and consequences of homelessness in Boulder. We need to be compassionate and provide services that unhoused people need — mental health treatments, substance-abuse treatment, temporary and permanent housing. We need to be sensitive to community values because we have homeless people living in parks and other public spaces, which is illegal and unhealthy for them and for our housed community.
- Infrastructure: Our public transportation is operated by the regional transit district, the RTD. The city does operate one bus line, the HOP, and we’ve had discussions over the last few years about possibly expanding the HOP bus lines, because RTD is simply not able to provide adequate transit service to our community.
- Development: Boulder’s growth within the last 20 years has been very slow and steady. We add about 200 to 300 housing units per year. About half of those incremental units that have been added in the last few years have been permanently affordable and are restricted for low income families. So we have been growing very slowly but steadily.
- Cost of living: There are a number of state and federal programs that help the city create permanent affordable housing for families with low income at or below 60% area median income. If a family makes 70%, there are no such programs. The city needs to be creative. One program I put together with the former mayor was a middle income down payment assistance program.
- Education: This is a state program, so I’m not sure it’s appropriate. The city is not involved with education. I think it’s great that the state has stepped in to provide some preschool education, but the city is not in a position to get into the education business to fund education services. This is something the city should not be involved in. We should leave that to the school district and to the state.
- Crime & Mental Health: Colorado ranks at or near the bottom of mental health funding compared to other states. The city doesn’t have a health department and so while the city can certainly be helpful in various ways, we need to look to the state and the county to provide treatment. For gun violence, I am proud of the fact during my years on council, we passed two sets of gun gun violence prevention measures.
- Policing: I am happy with the plan. It passed unanimously a couple weeks ago and that tells you a lot. There’s not a whole lot that nine members of the council can agree on, and I think that’s a tribute to the police chief, and I think it’s a tribute to the process. I was part of that process of community engagement understanding what it is that the community expects from the police department. It is my understanding that the understanding police plan that we approved a couple weeks ago is being held up nationally as a role model.
Nicole Speer – QUALIFIED
- Unhoused: My plan is to focus on evidence based solutions to end homelessness. There are a few things we know that work, one of them is prevention focused, and it is providing cash emergency assistance to people who are on the verge of becoming homeless. You can, for relatively small amounts of money, actually prevent somebody from falling into homelessness.
- Infrastructure: I would advocate for moving towards universal design standards for our streets. Which go beyond ADA accessibility. Maybe neurological disorders, sensory processing disorder and mental illness. Make more spaces for them, like how we provide ample seating for people who can’t really walk very far before they take a break. How are we using trees and plants to dampen noise and provide shade for cooler spaces. Those are things I’d push for.
- Development: I’ve been here almost 20 years and you know, the character has changed quite a bit. We have gotten quite a bit wealthier, housing prices have gone up quite a bit. A lot of the homes are doubling in size. I think we need to think about how we want to change moving forward. Are we comfortable with that change? Is this what we really want to be?
- Cost of living: One thing is to increase the amount of affordable housing. We are beginning to look at — and I am fully in support — is putting housing fees on single family homes that are doing additions or large renovations. Homes that are getting bigger. These homes that I just complained about above are changing the character of our neighborhoods.
- Education: I was a little disappointed that our county commissioners did not choose to pursue the creation of a child care district. I think that is an interesting solution to some of the childcare issues we’re facing, and I would really like to see that revisited in the coming years.
- Crime & Mental Health: At a local level we’re doing what we can to restrict availability of guns. We really need some sensible gun safety legislation. As far as Mental health goes, I always think it’s important to remember most people with mental illnesses are not committing crime, and also people with mental illnesses are more likely to be victims of crimes. We are one of the lowest when it comes to mental health care. I would love to see the county and state invest more in mental health services, a lot of it comes down to prevention.
- Policing: Where the Reimagine Policing policy ought to be taking us is to where we’re partnering with the community to reduce crime and reduce the need for police intervention. That is where I see the role evolving to prevent crime. More investment in social services. If you have enough money to put food on the table, we know there is no reason to go try and steal food from the grocery store. We know that investments really make a difference.
Paul Tweedlie – UNQUALIFIED
- Unhoused: You can make a distinction between the homeless, who are raised in Boulder, and have fallen on hard times, and they have been helped by the city’s housing department. I think it’s like six people. Transients, illegal camps, these guys don’t belong in Boulder, they need to leave.
- Infrastructure: I think there are some problems. I was excited to see a new route has been added and also I see encouraging signs like E-bikes around town and now E-scooters. We need to make sure we have safe bike and foot paths where people can get to where they need to be.
- Development: There’s the super rich who come from out of state with millions, if not billions, and that puts pressure on the housing market. What we really need is low income housing so that the people who work in Boulder can live in Boulder. So I would try to encourage the development of low income housing.
- Cost of living: There’s not much you can do about the rising cost of living. There’s a 600 acre area just north and east of the city which you know can be chopped up and then we can develop that area for more low income housing. The first thing would be to follow the plan that’s already in place.
- Education: It sounds like a failing for families. I don’t know what to do, the housing and school system are already under a lot of pressure. I’d encourage more home schools, I’d support these programs.
- Crime & Mental Health: Crime is a real problem and it’s highly associated with drugs. There is such an access to drugs. Fentanyl is killing our kids. Absolutely heartbreaking. To address the crime I think we first need to address illegal drugs.
- Policing: It was a great plan. They’re looking for more officers to hire, but they’re having trouble hiring more officers. I believe the city Council has a duty to set the tone, they need to set expectations in Boulder. If you break the law, you’re gonna get fined and ticketed if it’s a misdemeanor. If you don’t pay your fine, you’re going to jail.
Boulder City Council – At Large
- Unhoused: We need transitional housing so homeless people have a place to go. Right now we’re saying ‘you can’t be here,’ but the truth is they don’t have a place to go. We need to recognize our society, and the inequity that’s built into our society, is creating this problem.
- Infrastructure: We need to make it more appealing to not use a car, to do that people need to feel safe. Right now a lot of people don’t feel safe when not in a car. We do that by creating more protected bike lanes.
- Development: Duplexes and triplexes allow for more infill and housing. We start like really thinking how we can intelligently build out.
- Cost of Living: We should create more affordable housing, and more middle income housing, to start creating a little more economic diversity. I know people who live in duplex and triplexes and they really enjoy the community feel.
- Education: I know there’s really great preschools here yet a lot of people struggle sending their kids to preschools. I would like to see Boulder play more of a role in how we are shaping the education system. But I’m not well researched enough to know what the solutions are.
- Crime & Mental Health: I learned about a program where they trained a number of mental health responders so if someone is caling 911, the operator that receives it can determine if this is a mental health crisis. I’m curious if we could do something like that in Boulder, that would be really cool.
- Policing: The struggle is when somebody is having a mental health break down, they get the police called on them. We should emphasize things like community mutual aid and trained mental health responders.
- Unhoused: Expand facilities and programs that currently help the unhoused, such as turning night shelters into daytime or even 24 hour shelters. Give unhoused people the support they need to find both temporary and long term housing, particularly employment. Enforce the camping ban, but provide areas where the unhoused can stay, receive support, and access services.
- Infrastructure: Work on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis to figure out which can accommodate more density. Make Boulder friendlier to bikers by building protected bike lanes and fixing potholes. Work to accommodate e-bikes and make public transit more reliable and frequent.
- Development: Keep Boulder diverse, natural and beautiful. Make our neighborhoods more walkable and friendlier to public transit. Boulder shouldn’t sprawl.
- Cost of Living: Make Boulder an affordable place to live for everyone. Focus on building inclusionary housing while also helping housed people stay that way. Make use of vacant and underused spaces, like empty offices, to build more housing.
- Education: Work with what we have, use universities already in Boulder to expand early education programs. Give lower income Boulder residents more opportunities for early childhood education. Philanthropy can help us bridge these gaps and provide for Boulder’s children.
- Crime & Mental Health: Take a holistic approach to policing, focus on preventative measures. Get input from the community on what they’re worried about and what needs fixing. Address what leads people to crime, provide support and expand opportunities for people.
- Policing: Continue to support Reimagine Policing. Invest in our police, make sure our bike paths and public spaces are safe, well-monitored, and held to a safety standard put forward by the chief of police. We also need to work with our local businesses to help them feel safe.
- Unhoused: We can’t group the unhoused into one group. We have families that are experiencing homelessness. We have individuals experiencing homelessness. I think Boulder does a good job working with a portion of the unhoused community who are actively working towards to exit homelessness. For those living in the encampments, we believe we need to continue outreach to get them involved with coordinated entry and the mini mini services that are offered through outdoor city.
- Infrastructure: Transportation accounts for 29% of the greenhouse gas emissions. There are many people in our community that have to drive to work, to shop, to go to school. It comes back to rezoning housing and areas that we have mass transit and walkable, mixed use neighborhoods. We need to increase the safety and usability of RTD, increase our bike share, and incentivize eBike purchases.
- Development: I would support strategic zoning reform to allow for slightly higher densities and gentle infill in certain areas. These areas can include our vacant or aging businesses and industrial districts, where we can rezone to create multi unit housing. I think it’s crucial work with our existing neighborhoods to accomplish all of this.
- Cost of living: The market is in the business of profit it’s not in the business of affordability so in Boulder we’re going to have to regulate in order to get the affordable housing that we need. We need to focus on continuing our inclusionary housing policy and leveraging that cash to let our Boulder housing partners with the county to create truly affordable housing.
- Education: I went back to work after six weeks with both of my kids and they had to go directly into private daycare so I am very aware of how families struggle. We need to continue looking at working with our community partners or existing nonprofits to help that situation, as well as potentially providing tax rebates for in-home daycare.
- Crime & Mental Health: We need to implement a caring yet efficient strategy for addressing crime. Mental health is a huge issue right now. Public safety is the job of the city and health is the job of the county. The county really needs to step up and provide supportive services.
- Policing: Police need to be staffed to be staffed to be successful. I went on a ride along about two weeks ago with the police and I was able to see how all of the different teams within the police department work together so efficiently. We had mental health calls. I was able to see how they worked with the downtown Ambassadors on Pearl Street.
Ryan Schuchard – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: We need to focus on four key areas: people, prevention, places, programs and spaces. Increase the use of non-police responses when dealing with those suffering mental health issues. Prevent people from slipping into homelessness. Establish a more accessible network, such as day shelters. Make sure our public spaces have the things people need to get through their day, such as public toilets and drinking fountains
- Infrastructure: Consolidate the city’s resources and bureaucracies for the purpose of building more walkable, public transit friendly infrastructure and codify our goals in this area. We need to focus on making Boulder resource and space efficient. Lastly, we need to build a full grid of transportation modes that aren’t centered on cars, and build a public transportation network that is more robust, efficient and reliable.
- Development: Our problems with development come from our attachment to and reliance on cars. Decoupling from cars would give us space for more people and room for safer modes of transit. Reducing our dependence on cars would make our city more inclusive and solve a lot of our issues with development.
- Cost of Living: We need to increase the quantity of middle housing, such as duplexes, triplexes, townhomes. Reform zoning to make it easier to build middle income housing. We need to reduce and eliminate parking mandates in order to incentivize building more housing. We need to practice strategic development in the large tracts of land open to us, such as the airport.
- Education: We need to make the cost of living work better for those in the education system, namely teachers. We also need to expand resources for working parents.
- Crime & Mental Health: We need to expand our network of mental health and substance addiction support services.
- Policing: Address the epidemic of drug addiction, mental illness, poverty, and desperation, which are fueling an increase in violent crime. We need to fix the congestion problem in our courts, in a way that protects civil liberties while reducing costs and breaking the cycle of people reoffending. Become more sophisticated about dealing with transportation related crime, such as bike theft.
Silas Atkins – QUALIFIED
- Unhoused: A holistic approach to support the unhoused and help struggling people stay housed. Take both the short and long term into account, and expand our perspective to work with regional authorities. Take inspiration from successes in Denver to create safe public spaces and provide services to those who need them most. Expand temporary housing solutions such as hotel room stays and repurposing empty commercial space.
- Infrastructure: Incentivize housing density and placing housing along transit corridors. In order to depend less on cars, we need people to live closer to where they work and give them greater access to more means of transportation. We can achieve this by changing our zoning laws and taking cues from infrastructure changes that are working in other parts of the state.
- Development: Boulder is not full, it only feels so because we have cars everywhere. Reduce conflict between different modes of travel by splitting them up. Increase public transit and dense housing to make Boulder a more pleasant, environmentally friendly place to live.
- Cost of Living: Make it easier for things to get built. Support working families by raising the minimum wage and providing direct cash assistance to those that need it. Work to create neighborhoods of mixed income levels, economic segregation benefits no one.
- Education: There is very little we can do to work with the education system on the local, city level, as this is largely handled on the state level. The best way to proceed is to reach out to experts on this matter and figure out what we can do, if anything, to help ease families burdens. It will take expert advice and out of the box thinking to tackle this problem on the local level.
- Crime & Mental Health: Take the existing police budget and reinvest it into proven, nonviolent solutions, such as the care team. The last thing the Boulder Police Department needs is more money and more officers, as it has been proven that approaches like this do nothing to make our citizens and public spaces safer.
- Policing: The reimagined policing plan was a bad idea for Boulder.
Tara Winer – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: We have a day center that we’re working on. Right now, people have the option of staying in the Boulder Shelter for the homeless. But that is during the night, they need to go somewhere during the day where they can access services, use the bathroom and the showers, and have lockers for their possessions. We need more transitional housing with more services.
- Infrastructure: We have a car culture. To get people out of cars, transit has to be fast, reliable, and inexpensive. That, of course, falls under the purview of the RTD. However, we do have Via, they run the hop and they do a good job. I think the best options we might have even for the disabled are probably E-bikes. I want to put infrastructure with protected bike lanes into Boulder.
- Development: Colorado in general has a housing shortage but we also have a labor shortage. So, to me, they’re inter-twined. Having housing that the labor pool wants is going to be crucial for us to solve some of our labor shortage problems. I don’t have to tell you how expensive land is here, making housing that is affordable is pretty difficult.
- Cost of living: Two types of affordable housing in Boulder. Deed restricted permanently affordable housing, and there is housing that is affordable or attainable. We have a lot of the deed restricted permanently affordable housing units in the pipeline. I would say we’re really good at that. What we don’t have is a lot of affordable housing that’s outside that. We have very little middle income housing stock.
- Education: You know, in a world where we have unlimited funds, yes, they could. But, we have limited funds. Personally, I don’t know. I feel like the state should’ve done that. It’s not fair to keep asking local governments to keep paying for everything.
- Crime: I want to talk about mental health. We have Mental Health Partners. It’s the county that’s supposed to be in charge of mental health so a lot of my job is to beg the county commissioners and the state to do something to help us. Mental health is part of the county’s purview, and it affects our cities so much. I will say that Mental Health Partners did recently get a grant that was awarded to them to purchase a facility.
- Policing: I was part of the subcommittee for the Reimagine Policing plan and I thought the policing plan was great. I think we have some problems because we have a shortage of police officers. We are about 20 police officers down so we’re having trouble keeping up with all the things that police officers need to be involved with. So the reimagining plan called for 205 police officers and we can’t even find staff and retain them. We really need more police officers.
Taishya Adams – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: Resources, people, programs and initiatives we know what works, investing in what works, and being led by those who are most affected by this topic. Like Streetscape, for example, and their four point plan.
- Infrastructure: Funding for our transportation system is going to be the number one most important goal. We have new funding opportunities through both the inflation reduction act, and Boulder’s own climate tax. How do we leverage these historic investments to make sure we are reducing our own carbon footprint emissions, and increasing our biodiversity. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention people with disabilities. I believe in balancing people and the planet.
- Development: We can’t just have housing everywhere. It really needs to be balanced with the habitats of other species and of course the natural resources we manage. As a former commissioner for Colorado Parks, and Wildlife, I am aware of this fresh perspective and proven expertise in balancing the needs of outdoor recreation, which is one of the cornerstones of Boulder. That’s why I came here. The character also evolves as we evolve.
- Cost of living: Increasing the minimum wage. Honestly, I think it’s problematic when our government is only focused on one dimension of our lives. Affordability is not just in housing, We’re going to have a 25% increase in our water bill. Water affordability is going to be a conversation we’re going to be having Not to mention transportation affordability. I know we have some programs, but not to meet the demands. It is a holistic viewpoint that moves the bar.
- Education: One of the issues is staffing and retaining early childhood staff in challenging work conditions. Demand is high and inventory is low. This is one of the challenges of unfunded mandates. I’m going to bring expertise to this council, understanding the federal, state, and local level to work with various departments to put money in the hands of families.
- Crime: What we do have is to work with health and human services that we currently have and make sure they are resourced. Our Health and Human Services department just became at parity with our police budget. Two years prior to that I think it was 2/3 the budget. So you get what you pay for. You get what you invest in. We invested in policing, which unfortunately is a reactive strategy. Thankfully, Chief Herold is working to be more proactive.
- Policing: I’m an inaugural member of the police oversight panel, so I’ve looked under the hood in ways most in our city have not, and by that I mean audio tapes, video, tapes and documents opportunities to meet with the chief and staff and officers and community members. I’ll bring that experience in the expertise to this conversation around policing and Reimagine Policing, I think the current reimagining police program gets it right as it relates to transparency, and as it relates to an effort to be more proactive rather than be reactive.
Terri Brncic – QUALIFIED
- Unhoused: Need to stop thinking of unhoused people as a uniform group with the same needs. Housing alone will not solve the problem, many are suffering from mental health disorders. We need to expand our mental health support services and transitional housing to help the chronically unhoused. However, Boulder can’t do this on its own, and we need to pressure the county and state to step up and help us.
- Infrastructure: Focus on our e-bike infrastructure and safety policies. Make sure that e-bikes are encouraged and safe to use for everyone. Increase bike security so people will be more likely to buy and use bikes. Target parking minimums to reclaim space and start building for the future.
- Development: We need to expand density in moderation. Don’t want Boulder to be all high rise apartment buildings, but need to build targeted, intentionally walkable neighborhoods along transit corridors.
- Cost of Living: Need to make the best use of our scarce land by building more affordable housing and expanding housing density. We have to make sure that, in the process of building out, we focus on housing that is affordable rather than high end housing like townhomes.
- Education: We need to increase the minimum wage to make things easier both for educators and for families. This is the main thing we can do to address this issue at the local level.
- Crime & Mental Health: Work on lobbying the county to expand mental health resources in Boulder. Our police force is progressive and doing well, we need to support them.
- Policing: I support Reimagine Policing, we have one of the most progressive police chiefs in the country and we should support her. The chief has expressed a desire for change and is currently on a good course, we should support her while also keeping an eye on her progress.
- Unhoused: Support current efforts, and expand with new projects such as a day center for the unhoused population. Work to connect people to the resources we have. Expand collaborations with municipal partners to increase affordable housing and provide support to those who are struggling.
- Infrastructure: Reduce barriers to accessing public transportation in order to increase use, which will hopefully lead to increased frequency. Work with RTD to expand public transportation options. Create safe routes for people to walk and bike on. Expand density where it makes sense, in places where people can realistically walk and bike around.
- Development: Don’t build just for the sake of it. Focus on providing opportunities for middle and low income families, such as providing more middle income housing. In general, focus on building housing that caters to a diverse range of socioeconomic groups.
- Cost of Living: Help people stay in their homes. In general, focus on helping people who are struggling to afford basic necessities, both by providing services through the city government and by partnering with nonprofits.
- Education: Focus on working with existing providers and services rather than creating new taxes or boards. Could consider a citywide early childhood care tax, but must look at the need for it in Boulder. Would prefer a city tax rather than county wide tax. Try to meet families needs without adding too much administrative complexity.
- Crime & Mental Health: Reduce the usage of guns and support gun safety. Guns should not be in the hands of people who would not be responsible firearm owners. Work with the county to address mental health support services in Boulder.
- Policing: The reimagined policing program provides a nice balance between the need for public safety and our city wide values of social justice and equity. Focus on preventative rather than reactive policing.
Waylon Lewis – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: We’ve been stuck in the status quo that is bad for all of us. Bad for the homeless, bad for the rest of the general public. It’s been expensive, we’ve tied the hands of the police, and expect them to solve everything. I am a rare candidate not allied with either of the major slates who work to form coalitions. (I’d work), to solve this based on what’s worked and what hasn’t in other cities.
- Infrastructure: I would add electric buses and smaller vans more frequently to all the major routes. RTD is not always a dependable partner. We need regular clean buses and protected bike lanes, as well as adequate access and parking for those who do need to drive. This will take cars off the road reducing traffic. We have to take both climate change and our ability to get around the city safely and quickly seriously.
- Development: We’ve lost affordability, our schools are emptying out. Police officers, teachers, healthcare workers can’t afford to live in Boulder. We need to redouble our efforts on affordable housing in beautiful fun ways that keep Boulder feeling like Boulder. I’d often say let’s make Boulder weird again.
- Cost of living: What Boulder has done with affordable housing is pretty impressive. Still, our goal is nearly double where we’re at now. The model that BHP and others are focusing on is working. We need to focus on missing middle income housing but that will take focus and support from the City Council.
- Education: If parents can’t afford to live in Boulder, let alone work in Boulder that doesn’t work for any of us. To keep our economy strong we need to fill the gap with nonprofit and city run daycare as well as pushing both regionally and state and federally to get the support we expected, and that our citizens need. Families are vital to Boulder and we’re losing them every single day.
- Crime: Boulder has shown leadership on addressing gun violence, especially since the tragic shooting at King Soopers. There’s only so much we can do without federal and state support. Mental health and addiction care are both vital for reducing crime.
- Policing: We are gifted with an ethical and progressive police chief. Our role in City Council will be to both support the police and get them clear direction, neither of which they’ve never really had over the last years. The Reimagine Policing document is one I support, and it includes encouraging community, policing and mental and addiction care, so that police aren’t saddled with responding to everything, including situations they may not be equipped for.
Boulder City Ballot Measures
2A – Sales Tax Allocation: Extension of the existing .15 % City Sales and Use Tax with 50% for General Fund Purposes and 50% to Support Arts, Culture and Heritage (Compromise Measure) | Vote: Yes
302 – Public Space: A citizen initiated Charter Amendment to prohibit items located on city property within a radius of five-hundred feet from any point on a school property line or within fifty feet on both sides of any multi-use path or sidewalk with prioritized removal | Vote: No
2B – Election Rules (Petitions): A Charter Amendment to sections 27, 37, 39, 46, and 57 to: Remove the requirement that people who wish to sign petitions in support of mayoral or City Council candidates do so in person before the city clerk. Allow the city clerk additional processing time to reduce the need for overtime or weekend work to process paper petitions. Clarify language providing that state law governs amendments to the city’s Charter | Vote: Yes
Erie Ballot Measures
3A – Home Rule: Shall the Town of Erie proposed home rule charter be adopted? | Vote: Yes
3B – Mayor and Council Compensation: The Mayor shall receive as monetary compensation the sum of twelve hundred dollars ($1,200) per month, and each Council Member shall receive as monetary compensation the sum of seven hundred dollars ($700) per month. Both amounts shall be adjusted annually according to the consumer price index (CPI) for the Denver-Boulder-Greeley area, or such successor index promulgated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. | Vote: Yes
Lafayette City Council – At Large
Crystal Gallegos – QUALIFIED
- Unhoused: Make sure the people who are unhoused know resources that are available, but we don’t want to strain those organizations as well. I’m thinking specifically of Sister Carmen as one that does great work. We need to make sure they are financially able to continue to assist people.
- Infrastructure: When RTD was free for everyone, as a mom who spends a lot of time driving to various schools, I did notice the program cut down on vehicular traffic immensely, especially near schools, which in turn helps with our problem with emissions and deteriorating roads.
- Development: My biggest concern with population growth is its impact on education. We seem to be building a lot of large density housing, but not really planning for children and schools.
- Cost of living: I just wanted to mention I’m not a homeowner, I am someone who rents. That does make me pro affordable housing. We need to think about education and infrastructure as well. If we continue to build large density housing, we need to make sure we’re considering those as well.
- Education: I’m the parent of a four year old who was promised four days a week of preschool and then they retracted that decision. We need to work with the district to see if there are ways we can implement those additional days that were promised.
David Fridland – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: It’s a lot about working directly with services and support networks that we have around us: Boulder County, our local PD, Sister Carmen or our mental health services through the city and through the county. Getting them housing, if we can. It’s definitely inspiring to see what the new mayor of Denver is doing.
- Infrastructure: The basic infrastructure of our community needs to be top of mind: roads, safe sidewalks, multimodal transportation, making sure there’s bike lanes, making sure there’s bike and walking paths. All of it has to be addressed. Specifically for mass transit we need to work directly with RTD to make sure our community is getting served. I hear from a lot of people that RTD is a challenge in Lafayette.
- Development: People have been moving to the Front Range, and Colorado generally, since the mid-90s. I love that we have new neighbors, new ideas, new energy. We need to make sure we do it in a balanced way. We need to start thinking about how to build in a balanced and responsive way to the community that lives here already. More density, especially around transportation corridors, is really important.
- Cost of living: Lafayette has done a pretty good job with affordable housing. We have Willoughby Corner being built. We have been leaders in terms of increasing the housing stock. A lot of it is larger than one community. We need housing stock across the income spectrum. We can do what we can do in Lafayette but it has to be more regional, state-wide support from the county, from the state. We all need to be rowing in the same direction.
- Education: Our role would be helping support local school districts to make sure folks that can’t afford preschool are getting support. We are more of a connector in helping understand the problem, and helping our community and our residents get what they need.
- Unhoused: It is a continuing problem and lots of citizens are concerned about it, so I do plan on addressing it.
- Infrastructure: I’m pro-business first of all. Any way to generate either income for the city or make it more affordable to live like the Willoughby Corner center that we’re putting up, I’m all for it. I think that affordable housing is an important issue that I am firmly for.
- Development: I’d have to get with CDOT. I want to see extensively what kind of plans they have with the roads. There’s several projects here in Lafayette that have been delayed or are taking forever, so I’d see what they’re planning to do to help us with the influx of people moving in.
- Cost of living: Inflation is a tough battle, for increasing the minimum wage, once something is in writing with Boulder County I’d probably sit down with all our local business leaders and get their thoughts because I think it is difficult to live in Lafayette. That’s why we’re putting up affordable housing, and we have to allow our local workers to be able to live locally.
- Education: I don’t represent myself. I represent the community, so if we feel that there’s any issues, I am there to approach it and try to find a good, long-term solution to the situation.
- Unhoused: The city of Lafayette is currently being sued because we have no homeless shelter. I’d like to open a homeless shelter, and I’m already looking at spaces. I’m going to pick four of them, and then I’m going to take them to the Council. I’d also like to create some permanent housing for the homeless. It’s been proven that the best way to solve homelessness is to give homeless people a place to live.
- Infrastructure: We’ve got space on Public Road and other areas where we could have more economic development and small business, however the rent is pretty high. It’s hard for people to get their foot in the door and start small businesses. I will always be a candidate for the little guy. I believe small business is the heart of our country.
- Development: We’re balancing urban growth in general. We just need a little help with the economy. I think those people who move here could potentially help us. I don’t look at it as a problem.
- Cost of living: There is affordable housing that is public housing but then there are landlords who are already helping with this phenomenon. For all the towns in the area and in this county I feel like Lafayette is the most hospitable to people who are lower income. That said I am focusing on the homeless more so than affordable housing.
- Education: Everybody deserves help with quality help with childcare. I’ve been impressed with the city of Lafayette’s commitment to after-school programs for middle and high school kids. It’s been beautiful to witness. The city has focused on middle and high school kids this past year, and done really well, so it’s time for us to build upon that success and focus on a younger population. There’s been lots of studies as far as how early childcare and head start programs are incredibly beneficial for successful students and successful lives.
JD Mangat – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: We have always had folks experiencing homelessness in Lafayette, but lately it’s becoming more and more an emerging issue. Unfortunately we don’t have a housing and human services department currently within the city. My long-term goal is to create and develop that internally. The goal is to provide the unhoused population with the resources they need to survive and thrive.
- Infrastructure: During my time on counsel we’ve built a comprehensive plan for the entire city. We need to focus heavily on multi-modal transportation. I know that the state is working on the RTD across Baseline, but we can’t just rely on that. I’m a big fan of micro mobility, the electrification of smaller vehicles, scooters, and bicycles. We have a lot of areas that are missing bike lanes. The city is not as connected as it should be.
- Development: I think people make the mistake of thinking we are growing like crazy. We’re really not. Our intent is not to expand our borders, it is to meet further growth with infill. That’s going to be tough when it comes to traffic congestion, water, and city services. Any time your population grows I think problems grow with it.
- Cost of living: This is the number one issue I’m campaigning on. Lafayette made history this year by creating Willoughby Corner. There are a lot of different levers we can pull in partnership with the state that we can work with to increase affordable housing, like how we opted into Proposition 123. I’m hoping Willoughby Corner is just the tip of the iceberg.
- Education: I think there’s a need for free full-day childcare. I’d be willing to do what I can do in my capacity to advocate for it, whether it’s on a state level or a different level. That’s a huge need in our city, as all Coloradans would probably agree.
John Watson – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: I would definitely want to address that issue and look at possibly having some type of affordable housing.
- Infrastructure: I’m a huge supporter of the infrastructure. I definitely want our businesses to continue. I do know that part of the problem that I see is that we are getting ready to lose our King Soopers. It looks like a gaping hole in the north side of town there. At the same time I don’t want another Dollar General or something like that. I’d like a grocery store, whether it be a mom or pop, or somebody else that would be paying taxes.
- Development: I think that it’s not as prevalent because we are kind of close to our maximum threshold as far as population-wise. We will need to look at different aspects and considerations, but I think diversity is a very fundamental part of who I am and what I represent, and I would like us to be welcoming and inviting, not become exclusive.
- Cost of living: I do believe that we should have a living wage. I’m completely on board with supporting people having living wages. I myself have lived here going on 18 years and I could not afford my house when we had it appraised and refinanced. I could not afford my house today.
- Education: I don’t have a lot to do with it as far as a city council member, but I would definitely support those types of endeavors.
Tim Barnes – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: Unhoused have different categories. Those who have immediate needs, say triage, you help them with medical emergency services. The other piece is to help people manage work their way through this system of services that exists, maybe with a mentoring program.
- Infrastructure: The whole metro area has been designed around cars. So we have a hard problem and infrastructure problem that impacts all of these other issues like affordable housing and whatnot. We need to separate car traffic. There has to be a physical barrier, there’s way too many accidents.
- Development: I sit on the sustainability resilience Advisory Committee. Resilience is key. That means taking stock of what you currently have, and what are the missing components. The problem is with development is that it has been low density.
- Cost of Living: The definition of affordable housing is too narrow. Accessory dwelling units, condos, apartments, they all play a role. But right now it’s cost prohibitive to build an adu and keep the rent reasonable.
- Education: I hear there is a direct economic correlation to early education and the economy. There’s a direct correlation. You pay for it, but your economy does better. Municipalities can can contribute but I don’t think they should be the lead.
Louisville – Mayor
Chris Leh – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: We need to build more affordable housing. There are a variety of places where we can establish some permanently affordable housing. And, one such place is doing some transportation-oriented development near our bus rapid transit close to McCaslin Boulevard.
- Infrastructure: The idea of transportation-oriented development is critical here because it provides the kind of density that helps reduce carbon footprint and provides opportunities for people either not to need cars because they can use the bus or to use whatever transportation they have more sparingly, which helps to cut down greenhouse gasses.
- Development: We’re going to be doing some changes to our land use planning code and processes. I think that that will certainly provide, we hope, expedited, clear, consistent, fair, predictable sorts of standards for folks to develop too. Those standards will be very much informed by our desire to maintain the small town feel of the city, which I believe we can do.
- Cost of living: We need housing stock that augments our single-family homes, because that’s a majority of housing in Louisville, and it’s not going to work for everybody. Part of being a small town is having diverse housing that includes workforce housing, that includes affordable housing. I don’t think you should have to have double income, no kids to be able to move in, and I don’t believe you should have to move out when you turn 65.
- Education: We’ve seen a decline in the number of people who are in elementary and middle school. I think it is directly related to the cost of housing for young families. We can help with that, to the extent, we may be able to fill some of the gaps involving some of our local preschools, Montessori schools and others. We may be able to provide some incentives to assist those folks.
- Crime & Mental Health: We’re about to do a pilot program, which is a continuation from previous work that we have done to provide a mental health trained professional to accompany officers on certain calls to help de-escalate issues. Part of the goal is to keep folks who need treatment out of the criminal justice system.
- Unhoused: In Louisville, at the moment, homelessness is not a serious problem. As a first step, the city council should have a special study session where they have a discussion about homelessness in Louisville and try to really gather as much information about what the status of homelessness is. I think the city could consider repurposing one of the many empty office buildings in town as a homelessness services center, if that were really appropriate.
- Infrastructure: We do have pretty good infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists, but it could definitely be improved. There are a number of intersections which are just not good for people to cross. One of them is South Boulder Road and Main Street. I think the city should definitely prioritize making some of these crossings safer.The city is thinking about the possibility of underpasses, and I hope we can figure out how to fund those.
- Development: We have seen population growth over the last decade At the moment, the population in Louisville is leveling off. Some people think that Louisville shouldn’t grow very much, that’s key to maintaining the character of Louisville. I understand that to some extent, but I also feel like if Louisville doesn’t grow a little bit, we’re displacing that growth somewhere else where it’ll probably be less sustainable.
- Cost of living: As a resident I advocated for affordable housing before the city council because I think we all have an obligation to provide housing for people. If you go into neighborhoods they’re designed in that suburban way where people have to get in their car to access any services, that’s a really unsustainable model.
- Education: In Louisville, the local government is not really involved with education. The Boulder Valley School district is the district we have here, and we certainly coordinate with them on certain things, but we’re not providing any funding or anything like that. Aside from the property taxes, of course, funding them.
- Crime & Mental Health: People are not particularly concerned about crime in Louisville, but that’s not to say that there aren’t any issues. The police department has been exploring mental health support as part of their work. There was discussion about a pilot program in the coming year, which I think the city council will fund, to provide for mental health providers or support through the police department. And I think that’s a great program.
Sherry Sommer – QUALIFIED
- Unhoused: Sometimes I feel like it becomes a problem that gets out of hand because there’s no real way to address it on a smaller level. I think that housing is part of this equation. We can’t do everything, but we can do what’s within our means and the scale of our town to provide avenues where people can afford their housing.
- Infrastructure: We have a transportation master plan, which we’re working on. I think in order to expand walkability, we need to be focusing on the areas where there’s barriers, like the high traffic streets, like South Boulder Road, Centennial and Bella Vista. There’s a component of this that’s enforcement as well. I would love to be able to generate more sales tax revenue so that we can hire more traffic enforcement police officers.
- Development: We need to consider the scale and mass of our existing town and work in that guideline. So, for example, one way we can do that is with our existing neighborhoods, we can work on zoning overlays, which will set standards that are more in conformity with the pr-eexisting neighborhoods.
- Cost of living: The demand to live here is so huge. There’s no way that we can outbuild the demand. A lot of people that I talk to are concerned that they won’t be able to stay in their homes very long because the property taxes are getting so exorbitant. We really need to think about our existing residents too and how affordable our town is for them, that’s part of what a local government does.”
- Education: I’d like to learn more about the issue. I don’t know a way the city can do that.
- Crime & Mental Health: I am really happy that our police department has had people who assist with mental health crises, and it’s not treated in the same way as crime is. There are other interventions. I really support that because mental health has really suffered after the pandemic and then the Marshall fire.
Louisville City Council – Ward 1
Caleb Dickenson – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: Dealing with this issue is certainly incredibly important to the region and that we have a lot of partners in Boulder County and our neighbors that we need to be supporting in our joint efforts. To find a home for every human is really important to me.
- Infrastructure: Public transit is a very difficult topic because we don’t have our own transit system. We rely on RTD and they have their own metrics for how we get routes and how many buses we get and those kinds of things. But they measure our ridership. It’s important we’re using the transportation provided so that they can see that we want it. And if we’re not using it, they’re not going to be providing it. And that’s how that system works.
- Development: The unique feel of Louisville is in the people and the place and our small business owners and great little shops and restaurants. Continuing to develop our commercial areas and adding some more residents to our community is not going to negatively impact who we are. In the end, we’re a community of people. And, if development brings some more density and some more people, I welcome those new neighbors and jobs.
- Cost of living: People are finding it very difficult to live here when they’re not in their peak earning years. We have to continue to partner with developers who can bring true affordable housing to our community. We need a variety of housing stock for empty nesters and young people who want to live in the community. We need to add places for people to live so we can have more diversity in the type of people that can live here.
- Education: I think the increase in property values is creating a very big increase in property taxes, of which in the city of Louisville, half of it nearly goes to the schools. I would certainly hope that if there’s one benefit to this rising property value, that we are able to do a better job funding our schools.
- Crime & Mental Health: We’re not talking about defunding the police, we’re talking about funding it differently. We need mental health experts on the police force. Currently, many of our calls to our law enforcement agents are around domestic abuse. They need the skills to communicate with someone and help them in a crisis moment and de-escalate. It’s having officers that are trained in mental health first and foremost.
Louisville City Council – Ward 2
Deborah Fahey – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: The city of Louisville doesn’t have a lot of programs available for actually directly assisting, but we do have plans to increase affordable housing, and we’re cooperating with Boulder County. We have an inter-governmental agreement with them to help with housing issues and homelessness throughout the county.
- Infrastructure: We’re making the streets more bike and pedestrian friendly, putting in right turn lights at major intersections. We’ve got a plan in place to put underpasses under Highway 42 on South Boulder Road, places where there’s a lot of transportation issues. We’re also providing issues or assistance for electric bike purchases. We’re planning on one of those e-scooter programs where you can ride them to the bus stops.
- Development: We’re in the process of a housing study, and that’s going to determine what we do, but the plan right now is to increase the amount of housing that’s available, requiring that some of it be low or middle-income housing and putting it close to transit stops. We have a historic preservation tax where if you are willing to preserve your home or business, either one that’s more than 50 years-old, we will give you up to $1 million dollars in assistance.
- Cost of living: We have an inter-governmental agreement with Boulder County on low and middle-income housing. They took over all of our structures that we own about, about 10 or 15 years ago now, and in exchange, they built a housing unit that’s over 200 units that are income-restricted in some way, and they’re also net zero buildings.
- Education: I’m not sure how we could, we’re all pretty financially restricted right now. We are in the process statewide, again, of changing funding for various things, but Louisville as a city is also trying to deal with recovery from the Marshall Fire. We lost over 600 homes in the Marshall Fire, and mine was one of them. We’re still dealing with the flood. Our funds for financially supporting anything are very limited.
- Crime & Mental Health: Through our Boulder County Health and Human Services division, we have health issues for the schools in all of the schools, for all of the Boulder Valley School District. We’ve also got charitable organizations that are funding mental health assistance, and some of that is even coming as a result of the fire.
- Unhoused: Nobody should have to sleep on the streets. I want to make sure that we have resources for those folks who may be on the verge of homelessness, and make sure that they have vocational training with school education. Whatever we can do to help make sure that they’re still part of the workforce, and that we’ve got affordable housing for everyone.
- Infrastructure: Our transit system currently is pretty great. Obviously, everything can get better. When I moved to Louisville, I was really impressed with the walkability that existed already. However, just recently, I was using one of our crosswalks at night and was almost hit by a car. I think we need to really focus on making sure that crosswalks have the right lighting, they have the right warning system, and that our citizens are actually using those in the right manner.
- Development: We need to make sure that the infrastructure that does come in is in line with our small-town charm, and absolutely imperative to the way of life that we have here. We want to keep that, but we also have to be open to reasonable sustainable growth.
- Cost of living: My vision for Louisville includes developing partnerships with the property developers, employers, and nonprofits to create permanently affordable housing by incentivizing affordable housing development and streamlining building codes. We can make Louisville accessible for all income brackets.
- Education: Every child should have access to early education. It is disappointing to see that the projected availability for the preschool program is not going to be met. Local governments indeed play a role. Community partnerships with businesses, local organizations, and charity groups is important and instrumental. Creating some of that public private partnership, we can pull resources to supplement the shortfall.
- Crime & Mental Health: When we discuss crime prevention and reducing gun violence, including suicides, mental health becomes paramount. Individuals who engage in violent behaviors, including self-harm, often suffer from mental health issues. By ensuring timely intervention and adequate support, we can reduce the risk of these tragic outcomes. It’s essential we enforce rigorous gun background checks that must include a comprehensive assessment of an individual’s mental health history.
Louisville City Council – Ward 3
Barbara Hamlington – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: That collaboration with the county and the state is necessary to develop comprehensive solutions for the growing population of unhoused people in our community. I would advocate for solutions such as an affordable living wage and affordable housing in our community. In order to address challenges the unhoused population face, it requires multiple solutions.
- Infrastructure: Public transit would be best served by collaborating with the county and the state as well. I’m advocating for multimodal transportation for residents. I’m not only looking at it from a walkability standpoint, but I’m considering other options as well to encompass all abilities and ages, ensuring that our crosswalks are safe, that there’s good visibility for both the pedestrian and the vehicle.
- Development: Our economy relies on sales tax revenue to provide the residents with the services that they expect of the city. There are ways to go about strategic development within the city that support our sales tax revenue and also maintain the charm that residents appreciate. Proposition 123 that we recently discussed the city council, was a housing commitment that we all agreed to put forth in order to qualify applications or projects in Louisville, really for affordable housing.
- Cost of living: Some of the things that interest me are re-imagining land use and zoning, particularly in our areas where we have commercial vacancies that have not been filled for some time, for example, along the McCaslin corridor. I envision how it could be used for mixed residential and commercial use, close to public transportation. I also am advocating for accessory dwelling units.
- Education: The local government can help educate the community about that resource to ensure that all residents are aware that they can apply for it. There could be local programs that are supplemented by local government funds, through grant applications, to help families get access to preschool education and care.
- Crime: I’m going to focus my answer on our children. I think collaboration between the city departments, such as the police department, and the Boulder County School District to ensure that our children feel supported and have the resources they need to be successful. They will realize they have partners within the entire community who want to ensure that they have the resources they need to be healthy and successful.
- Unhoused: Homelessness is an issue that we need to address in close coordination with our neighboring and adjacent communities along the front range. Louisville has a relatively small percentage of individuals experiencing homelessness. Solutions include addressing the overall shortage of housing and affordable housing units, ensuring access to social services, and engaging on this issue with compassion.
- Infrastructure: Louisville is certainly a suburban community and we do need to appreciate that many folks are going to continue to get around with cars. We need to have a transportation network that works well for folks and is safe for them. I’ve been concerned we’ve had a handful of pedestrian incidents with car collisions. We have room to improve street design and street safety to reduce the frequency of those types of incidents.
- Development: We do have opportunities to redevelop existing sites, and in some cases, we have opportunities to shift land uses potentially from underutilized commercial zone spaces to potentially allow mixed use residential and increase the number of units at a reasonable pace. Louisville’s small-town character and historic downtown are the feather in our caps, we need to be careful that whatever we do, it’s consistent with that character.
- Cost of Living: We’re in the process of developing a housing needs assessment and strategy framework that will help identify steps that can be taken in response to the housing needs. I see this as another region-wide issue. It’s across the Front Range that we have a shortage of housing, a shortage of affordable housing. And I think this is one where we’ll have to work with our neighbors, we’ll have to work with the state.
- Education: Respectfully, I would run that question to the Boulder Valley school district. As the city government, we don’t have a lot of direct oversight of local schools.
- Crime: I think we’ve been reasonably successful with community policing. That means not only having police visible around town, but also having police have good relationships with the community, and with city leadership, so they feel like trusted community members. Louisville has obviously taken steps on gun legislation within the city. I think that’s something we’ll continue, but until there are solutions at higher levels of government, it’s going to be a difficult problem for individual jurisdictions to tackle.
Louisville Ballot Measures
Louisville Open Space Tax: Additional %.125 sales tax (10 yr) to fund open space management and wildfire mitigation and an extension (10 yr) of the extant %.375 sales tax. | Vote: Yes
Ethan Augreen – UNQUALIFIED
- Unhoused: We need to get rid of government policies that create more homelessness. For example, the lockdowns that resulted from the poorly understood health scare. I oppose bringing the train up from Denver because Denver has an even larger homelessness crisis. I think it’s important for the city to have a dedicated team that performs outreach and helps homeless people. I also support creating an alternative-to-police model like Denver’s STAR program.
- Infrastructure: I ride the bus all the time, and I want to make sure it reaches people in the more rural areas of town. But we need to bring RTD to the table and ask what we can do to expand transit. I would also support putting a referendum on the ballot to repeal the train tax we have been paying for a train that doesn’t exist, and try to claw back any taxes we’ve already paid.
- Development: I would listen closely to what the community wants and make sure the city’s plans match it. There’s a need for affordable housing, but we also need to protect our open space. I don’t think anyone wants to continue the sprawl that we’ve seen. I would support building more apartments or condos in that area to densify housing, but I would also work to limit sprawl.
- Cost of living: We have an opportunity to support the modular housing industry and I would work to attract a modular housing manufacturer to town. The cost of construction has increased significantly, that’s the number one factor that’s causing housing to be more unaffordable.
- Education: The idea of creating an Early Childhood Development Special District encompassing the St. Vrain and Boulder Valley school districts should be explored further. As mayor, I will be eager to support the District and help bring this promising idea to fruition. As a general libertarian principle, I don’t think it’s wise for a city government to be directly involved with preschool. Let’s leave early childhood education in the hands of qualified and trained education professionals.
- Crime & Mental Health: We don’t need new gun laws. The state has already provided tools like red flag laws. I also don’t think that criminals should have guns. I believe the Second Amendment is an important right because it gives citizens the right to defend themselves. We should also look at creating a law enforcement advisory board so the public can give feedback. We should hire more social workers and case managers to create a better safety net for people who suffer from mental illnesses.
Joan Peck – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: We have a project hopefully ready in 2024, for affordable housing with wrap-around services — addiction services, mental health — permanently there. We need to have everything in the same place so people don’t have to go all over the city.
- Infrastructure: We do have Ride Free Longmont but the challenge is RTD sets those routes. As we grow, the routes do not cover what we need. RTD did give us a grant to look into micro-transit. I am still working on the passenger rail district board hopefully we will get a Northwest corridor for passenger trains.
- Development: We do need to urbanize. I know that’s difficult for some people who have lived here for a long time. It is a challenge to keep our community feeling. We need to have a rental market for people. Longmont is doing a great job of building what we need to get people into housing.
- Cost of living: We used to have an inclusionary zoning ordinance years ago which gave us an affordable inventory. The city council, a few years back, got rid of that. All of our affordable units went to market rate, leaving a big gap. We need to keep people who shop and work in our community here.
- Education: Some of the conversations that I’m having with organizations are can businesses open up preschools in their facilities for their employees? Longmont Housing Authority is going to include a preschool within their housing project.
- Crime & Mental Health: A couple years ago I made a motion that half of the marijuana tax must go into an affordable housing bank. It also goes into mental health. We need universal healthcare, the cost to get mental healthcare for a family is overwhelming.
Terri Goon – UNQUALIFIED
- Unhoused: Get the government out of the housing business altogether. That would make homes more affordable, there would be less regulation and less requirements. Homelessness is a tragic situation with a lot of factors like mental health and drug abuse involved. Keeping the government out of it would give people more money to invest in the causes they care about.
- Infrastructure: I do not support expanding public transportation. Government doesn’t need to be in the business of bussing, especially during times of potential pandemics. Sidewalks are another story, and I think we need some stronger regulations around scooters and micro-transit options on sidewalks to improve walkability.
- Development: Longmont is a beautiful place. Colorado is as well, and people are going to want to continue moving here. And I don’t envision the government doing anything about that. Developers should be able to create homes for people who move here in a way that makes the homes sellable.
- Cost of living: It’s sad when kids and their families can’t afford to live here, but addressing affordability is not within the scope of the government’s duties. The government needs to stay out of the housing market and allow the market to adjust. We need to do something about Colorado’s construction defect law so we can build more condos.
- Education: There is no such thing as free preschool. All of our taxes went up and we’re supposed to be incentivizing parents to cart their children to preschool. We should be educating more of our children at home. Keep more of your tax dollars in your pocket and maybe we won’t have to have two parents working.
- Crime & Mental Health: Mental health is a big problem, and I could see the government working to implement mental health resources until private sources come along. We’ve filled our jails with people who need mental health treatment, and it’s all because we don’t have enough resources in this state. For guns, we should have data about who has been in a mental health facility and restrict their ability to purchase firearms based on their level of threat.
Longmont City Council – At Large
Rebekah Venturella – QUALIFIED
- Unhoused: We really have to get creative with our space, to be creative with multifunctional housing. We also need a space, something that’s open 24 hours versus Boulder’s shelter, which is just for the evenings, and then you have homeless people on the streets in the day.
- Infrastructure: Having a car is expensive. Gas is expensive. Having more transit will be amazing, and the railway, I know they’re working hard on that. We need to be looking at that high density housing where we’re not just putting in houses and lawns, let’s make this a city. Let’s build this community in a tight, tight knit way and make it walkable.
- Development: I like the affordability option, where people are able to buy a home, and they’ll build credit, and then they can pay into it. And then they get that generational wealth, build that equity. That will give people more of a route here, versus just a fast in-and-out. Really looking at the whole picture, not just the immediate fix now.
- Cost of Living: Affordable housing is a necessity, it has to be, because it’s so expensive. Even if you wanted to buy a house, your interest rates are so high, it’s unreal. TABOR and HH are coming up. I built good relationships with state legislators, a lot of people lose sight of that city-to-state connection.
- Education: If we can get TABOR repealed and that money to help boost our education, that’s going to create a ripple effect so kids are getting better at education, they’re getting cared for, that’s going to help with people’s concern with homelessness, it will empower students and kids as they grow up. We’ve all got to buckle down and try to work this out together. It can’t just be our state legislators doing it all. We have to be pushing things here.
- Crime & Mental Health: I’ve got gun violence in the family and mental health struggles as well. I think we need a survivor in that chair. Suicide rate is a higher than that other shootings rate so we need to put more money into the budget for mental health services and we need an intensive outpatient program.
Sean McCoy – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: We’re trying to figure out how to navigate the issues surrounding clearing encampments and providing people with adequate shelter. We’re exploring the use of pallet homes and trying other Housing First approaches. I think the biggest thing is to listen to the community and respond to their needs accordingly.
- Infrastructure: Investing in public transit is one way to resolve the climate issues attached to car-centric development. I’m a big supporter of the rail station that we’re building. In the same notion, we also need to tackle the construction defects issue in Colorado so we can build more apartments and condos to provide more people with homeownership opportunities.
- Development: We won’t build our way out of this problem. There’s not enough land; there’s not enough water, there’s simply not enough resources to do so. We also need to start thinking about what Longmont’s ideal size is. That way we can continue to provide the services that people depend on like fire and police, while also preserving the town’s unique character.
- Affordable housing/Cost of living: We’ve been working on this in the city for a while. That’s one reason why we had to take over the Longmont Housing Authority. In my mind, they basically forced us into this situation because of their negligence. Right now, we’re exploring the use of ADUs, but we know they won’t work everywhere. I also plan to work with homeowners associations to reduce barriers to building more affordable housing where appropriate.
- Education: If we shift money over to support the state’s preschool education program, then something else in Longmont will get underfunded. If you never want to be able to sell a bond again, this is a great way to do it. We don’t want to overtax anybody but stepping in to help fund the gap would force us to tax a certain part of the population over others, kind of like how metro districts work.
- Crime & Mental Health: When we look at the evidence of the gun violence epidemic, it’s sad. It’s an expensive issue for cities. We can work with insurance companies so people have to take out a policy to buy a gun. Maybe AR-15s and other weapons of war will become so costly that it dissuades people from buying them. I’m not against somebody having a gun for hunting purposes or for safety purposes. I’m against people acting like their Second Amendment rights trump my right to life.
Steve Altschuler – UNQUALIFIED
- Unhoused: If the homeless that we’re talking about are disabled or veterans, then we need to step in and help them. The same goes for someone who maybe lived in Longmont for an extended period of time and paid taxes. Otherwise, we’re going to attract people from all over the country if we just give out subsidies to anyone who asks.
- Infrastructure: I’m not a big fan of building high-density housing to improve walkability. People want to live in Longmont because it’s more of a bedroom community and is more affordable than other places like Boulder or Denver. I would support building more walking and biking trails for people to get to King Soopers or other stores.
- Development: Right now, city council seems focused on acquiring as much land as possible to build as much housing as it can. I don’t think this is a way to maintain the character of Longmont. I could see us building a few more townhome communities to give people a way to step into homeownership, but we also need to focus on connecting these communities to the rest of Longmont.
- Cost of living: One way to make housing more affordable in Longmont is to get rid of the city’s affordable housing requirements. All they do is drive up the cost of construction for developers. I think a smarter way to make housing more affordable is to stop taxing people so much and allow the city’s residents to keep more of their income.
- Education: There are things that people should be personally responsible for, and their children are one of them. I think our government should be primarily focused on providing fire and police services, not universal daycare. Hiring government employees to fix this mess will just increase taxes for the rest of us.
- Crime & Mental Health: Criminals will always find a way to get guns, so the answer isn’t to take guns away from reasonable and law-abiding citizens. Places that have the toughest gun laws, like Chicago, also have some of the highest rates of gun violence. On mental health, we need to make it easier for people who need treatment to get treatment.
Longmont City Council – Ward 1
- Unhoused: Property taxes push people out, creating more homeless. This is kind of a whole enchilada here. Historically, we’ve been through times like this before — the 1970s, the 1930s — significant things need to happen. We need Reaganomics to bring down inflation, deregulate, lower our taxes, and balance our budgets.
- Infrastructure: On the Transportation Board we started talking about Vision Zero because we have a safety issue with the way transportation is right now. It’s very centralized. And that just doesn’t work. The big initiative that we picked was Vision Zero. We’re working on developing that within the city, which is zero traffic deaths.
- Development: High density housing is meant to be more affordable, but it’s from isolated services. The thing we need most is for transportation services, which could connect quite easily at a commercial center like the blighted Safeway. It’d be a nice five errand stop and you could catch a bus there, which makes things a lot more affordable.
- Cost of living: We’ve got to put a break on property taxes. The Gallagher Amendment was written back in the 1970s in a similar economic climate. It was repealed, and the idea was we would replace it, but what we did was we removed it without replacing it. In the meantimeI’m asking the city council to consider property tax rebates.
- Education: It’s a frustration to those who work in government funding. We need to not vote in the initiatives on the ballot this year. We need to give it three years and see where we are financially. Currently, we don’t have any childcare facilities on the north end of town, but there are empty storefronts that can be brought into condition. The real road forward is to trim down the expenses. We have to partner with the private sector.
- Crime & Mental Health: Often we try to come up with a micro solution to what’s a macro problem. There’s a homeless engagement professional, a liaison that keeps tabs on that community. That seems to be helping that community find the services they need. I’m not in favor of needle exchanges.
Harrison Earl – QUALIFIED
- Unhoused: It’s important to remember that we’re talking about human beings when we talk about the unhoused. I would work to connect them with better services and resources. I would look to other communities to find ways we can work collaboratively to solve the problem.
- Infrastructure: One of my key objectives is to make sure we have a livable Longmont. Part of being in a livable community is having a public transit system that works for the community and isn’t only built to serve Main Street. I love the idea of microtransit as well. We should also work to improve our sidewalks and build more protected bike lanes to help the city meet its Vision Zero goals.
- Development: Parks, greenspaces and open areas are what make Longmont a phenomenal place to live and I want them to be enjoyed by future generations. There are ways we can support more growth without sacrificing open land. We should look at certain areas close to downtown that can accommodate more multi-family housing.
- Affordable housing/Cost of living: We need more supply in the community, and that includes more subsidized properties and market-rate homes. Longmont has historically built either single-family homes or apartments and nothing in between. We need to diversify housing stock, one way to do that is speed-up the approval process for developments.
- Education: There’s a group in Longmont that has been pushing for an early childhood education program and a regional tax to support it. While I’m not in favor of new taxes, I like the idea of expanding public education and would support those ideas.
- Crime & Mental Health: The mental health challenges we’re facing are much bigger than the City of Longmont can handle by itself. We need federal and state officials to dramatically increase the funding we receive for supportive services, and should be sending trained professionals to help these individuals instead of police officers. I would support programs like gun buybacks to reduce the number of guns on the street.
Nia Wassink – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: I’ve spent a lot of my career working with the homeless community. First and foremost, housing is the solution. People can’t get into stable employment, substance use treatment, or mental health support services unless they have housing. Right now, we’re relying on the kindness of our faith community and that’s non sustainable.
- Infrastructure: Longmont has grown in a lot of fantastic ways. We were recently named by People For Bikes as the #10 city for our infrastructure. And a lot of folks are looking at multimodal solutions for themselves. I think we have a duty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make our streets safer for pedestrians. That’s why I support our Vision Zero goals.
- Development: One of the things that really appeals to the people of Longmont is the city’s diversity. We have amazing cultural art centers and we’ve created a city that allows people from different socioeconomic backgrounds to live here. If we don’t have a diverse housing stock, then become a city that only appeals to the elite. We need to balance our green spaces with housing that people can afford.
- Cost of living: There isn’t a silver bullet for this problem. We need to do it all by addressing zoning issues, supporting accessory dwelling units, and supporting infill development so that folks aren’t pushed to the outskirts of our city. We need townhomes, apartments, condos, and single-family homes. We need to figure out where we can put them so they don’t disturb our community environment.
- Education: I was part of the Early Childhood Alliance for Boulder County that was pushing for a special district to provide more education funding for kids. We are heading toward an early childhood education crisis in this country. Funds from the American Rescue Plan Act are about to run out. The local government must play a role in the solution.
- Crime & Mental Health: We have amazing programs in Longmont like the Restorative Justice Program, but we need to do a better job of addressing the underlying needs of young adults. Crime is a symptom of deeper issues. We need to improve our services for people who struggle with their mental health, and raise salaries for social workers and mental health clinicians.
Longmont City Council – Ward 3
Gary Hodges – UNQUALIFIED
- Unhoused: The city published a pamphlet that has a half-dozen shelter options, food options, and resources for people who don’t have to be living on the streets. It’s really about vagrancy.
- Infrastructure: Public transit is fine, but we’re a relatively small town. I think RTD more broadly will almost always say “no” to expending resources here. We need to look at other options like expanding specialty lines to football games or to the airport, or at beautifying our existing public transit stops with public art to encourage more use.
- Development: Longmont is going to continue to see growth and I am not opposed to the idea of adding more affordable housing, fundamentally. We need to identify an end game because the blind pursuit of affordable housing can have major consequences.
- Cost of living: It’s expensive because a lot of people want to live here. Something that the city council needs to address is the increasing local utility costs. Electricity prices have increased this year and could increase next year. The city has a plan to draw 100% of its power from renewable energy sources but we can’t shut down our coal-powered energy plants. It’s just fantasy.
- Education: Our role would be to lobby state lawmakers for a solution to the problem, and partner with surrounding communities to send letters of support for different pieces of legislation. I am not sure that we can do anything at the local level to address this issue.
- Crime: This is not something that the city council can solve. It must come from the state. People don’t feel as safe as they used to. That’s been caused by the push for reduced sentencing at the state level by Attorney General Weiser. I’m not going to ask the police to crack skulls, but we need to get back to community-value policing, go after the criminals, and protect rights of law-abiding citizens.
- Unhoused: I don’t think there need to be any more large shelters built because between half or three-quarters of the unhoused population are lacking the necessary mental health support they need. We can thank Ronald Regan for that. I would support building a temporary housing community with shipping containers that is managed by a third-party.
- Infrastructure: We need to have more owner-occupied, mixed-use, and condo communities in Longmont so that people don’t have to drive to get their basic necessities. If you live near where you work, then people don’t have to use cars as much and that would make Longmont safer for pedestrians.
- Development: We need to start talking about the sustainability of our community. Longmont is in “maintenance mode.” We should be looking at new infrastructure to accommodate growth. We could increase fees for park space and make other fees for water, stormwater, and sewage go away. I would also encourage mixed-use development in places that have been traditionally commercial or retail areas.
- Cost of living: We need to streamline the building relationship between developers and the planning community to get them all marching in the same direction together. The last thing we should do is shove a top-down solution on the community. Instead, we should get a bottom-up solution with a lot of buy-in.
- Education: Education isn’t the city’s area of expertise. That’s why we have a school board. We’ve got enough on our plate to fill it, and then some. We don’t need to be looking out for any other problems.
- Crime: We don’t have any mental health professionals listed on Longmont’s staff. Nor should we. That doesn’t mean we can’t be supportive, but we need to stay in our lane. Gun violence is a similar issue. That’s a federal, not a state or city-level issue. Policies like extended waiting periods seem to be popular with the public, but I don’t think gun buybacks are something Longmont should consider.
Spencer Adams – NO REPLY
Susan Hidalgo-Fahring – ENDORSED
- Homelessness: I have been working on streamlining the way our Neighborhood Impact Teams work with other community organizations to connect people with services. We need to remember that many of our unhoused neighbors are living in flight-or-fight mode and don’t always have the ability to think about finding services when they don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
- Infrastructure: We need to have more options for people who rely on public transportation. Our transportation department recently acquired a grant to support micro-transit. We can’t have people waiting at a bus stop for 30 minutes. We increase the frequency which our public transit operates. I’m also glad to support our Vision Zero goals of making our streets safer for pedestrians.
- Development: The people who work in Longmont should be able to live here as well. But a lot of the jobs that we have are so-called working middle class jobs and those are the people who are struggling most to afford housing. I support building more affordable or attainable housing for these folks.
- Cost of living: One way to make housing more affordable for all is to raise the minimum wage. We have to make sure it aligns with our cost of living. This is something I’ve advocated. Providing housing is one part of the solution, and making sure people can pay for that housing is the other.
- Education: One of Longmont’s priorities is early childhood education and that goal has been in place before the state’s push for universal early childhood education. We want to expand those services. We have to make sure these services are affordable for impoverished families.
- Crime: I work to educate the community about the mental health services that are available to them. We also want to make sure we’re sending the right responders to the scene. On gun safety, we need to tighten up our red flag law and start holding people accountable for gun crimes.
Longmont Ballot Measures
3C – New Library Funded by Mill Levy and Sales Tax Increases | Vote: Yes
3D – New Arts & Entertainment Center Funded by Mill Levy and Sales Tax Increases | Vote: Yes
3E New Recreation Facilities Funded by Mill Levy and Sales Tax Increases | Vote: Yes
Superior Ballot Measures
301 – Home Rule Charter: Shall the Town of Superior form a home rule charter commission for the purpose of drafting a home rule charter? | Vote: Yes
Jan Kulmann – UNQUALIFIED
Julia Marvin – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: We need to expand services that we have to help people at the moment, we have our cold weather program where we provide vouchers when it gets really cold. I would like to see that program expanded to include the summer we’re starting to see more and more days of nearly 100 degrees or higher.
- Infrastructure: We need to be putting more resources into making sure that our roads and our sidewalks are all well maintained.We really need to start looking at some alternatives besides RTD. We need more Micro Mobility public transportation options.
- Development: Community feel is what people really love about Thorton. People do wish we had more small businesses, coffee shops, restaurants, it adds to the character. Do we really need a gas station on every corner?
- Cost of Living: We should create a housing inventory for the city to figure out what we’re missing, where the gaps are, and then create a housing strategic plan. We could be doing inclusionary zoning policies that would require developers to allocate a certain percentage of affordable housing units. And that’s something that the current council has no interest in.
- Education: Making sure that we’re paying our early educators living wages is incredibly important. The City could invest in public after school programs that the city runs, we should be investing and expanding those more
- Crime & Mental Health: if someone’s in crisis usually the initial call is going to be 911. So to have some mental health professionals that can be sent out in those situations is crucial. There was a lot of success working with cities to provide mental health counselors that were embedded in the police departments.
Thornton City Council – Ward 2
Angie Bedolla – DID NOT REPLY
Roberta Ayala – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: I’ve seen it in my neighborhood. I live by a pretty big park and there are folks camping there. We don’t really have much funding for our homeless outreach team. We have to fund mental health and human services. I worked in human services, we need those folks, we need to pay them so they stay.
- Infrastructure: I grew up in the original neighborhood of Thornton, it’s more walkable. Other places, you’re getting a little bit into the food desert area, where there’s a lot of housing but not any resources nearby. Roads are built for the car, not for the person. There’s tons of accidents. A lot of neighbors reach out to me as a community leader because they’re frustrated. We can build it so it’s safer for our community.
- Development: I think we haven’t been balancing, we’ve been concentrating more on developers. Our current Council is more interested in pandering to developers with corporate profit interests. Their campaigns have been bankrolled by developers. How do we fold our community into these conversations? I want to get Thorton back to a city that represents people, not corporate profit.
- Cost of Living: Housing that is built for people, affordable housing, isn’t going to be the developer’s top priority. Typically they push housing that is affordable, into the denser, older neighborhoods, and then the luxury apartments and single use McMansions north, and that’s not sustainable. Part of my platform is that we need housing everywhere.
- Education: I sent my son to the Thornton Rec Center, preschool program, and it was fairly affordable. I was pretty much a single mom at the time. We should keep those programs affordable, even though it was just a few days a week. I’m a fan of education as early as you can.
- Crime & Mental Health: We have a progressive and well funded police force but we’re asking our police department to do a lot of things that they are maybe not best trained to do. We started a responder program, but we have to look at adding more resources because a lot of the unhoused folks in Thornton are having mental health issues.
Thornton City Council – Ward 3
David Acunto – REFUSED INTERVIEW
Mark Gormley – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: We have a capitalist system wrapped around what is supposed to be our democratic system and we should be taking care of everybody. We don’t have enough money for support programs. We want to give everybody what they’re asking for, because the need is out there, but where’s the money coming from?
- Infrastructure: A number of people I’ve spoken to have voiced their desire for better eating establishments. Thornton does a really good job with green spaces, and trails, and we need to make sure that we maintain the ones that exist, and continue to develop those and make sure that the green spaces and trails are in the interest of the citizens and not the developers.
- Development: We don’t have enough affordable housing, specifically what I mean is the other three Wards all have a lot more apartments. So anybody starting out new is not going to be able to afford these single family homes that are cropping up endlessly.
- Cost of Living: In my case, KB Home was able to roll up all the infrastructure expenses into bonds, and when they walk away, they leave the bonds behind for the homeowners to pay, and then they call it property taxes when it’s really infrastructure expenses that are put into these bonds.
- Education: It would be wonderful if we had the ability to do this, to accommodate people’s needs. I’m all for public education. We’re going back to the whole funding issue. I’m wondering if we have the facilities for such a thing.
- Crime & Mental Health: In the 1980s, Reagan started closing down a lot of mental facilities across the country. We’re not putting the resources into it, and then many wonder why we have so many homeless. A lot of this because they have no alternative. Mental health resources can help prevent crime because people aren’t putting in a situation where they need to perpetrate crime.
Thornton City Council – Ward 4
Christopher Russell – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: My solution is to increase funding for our HOT team, our homeless outreach team here in Thornton, which is understaffed. We need to get communities together, so that we’re not just moving the unhoused across city lines, but actually providing help.
- Infrastructure: Where I live, off Highway 7, there are few bus routes. I believe that the city should run a study and consider running our own mass transit bus system. Spend some money on additional bike lanes and connecting trails.
- Development: Simply by building townhomes, condos, those are higher dense, but they are housing that is innately more affordable.
- Cost of Living: If we are going to erect condos or townhomes we need to designate 20-30% of those as affordable units that have a certain limitation on the price.
- Education: My wife’s level of frustration was through the roof because we couldn’t get answers right away and right deadlines were coming and you had to commit. There needs to be dedicated personnel that can help review and take in information for the betterment of the program.
- Crime & Mental Health: I am a big advocate for having a universal health care system. I think that we start at the top with our federal government. I think the American population in general needs better access to medical treatment across the board, not just mental health.
Nicole Matkowsky – DID NOT REPLY
City Council – At Large
Daniel J. Spagnuolo – DID NOT REPLY
David O’Day – DID NOT REPLY
Doris Crespo – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: We don’t have a lot of unhoused people around our area, so I’d definitely look more into it and do a lot more research into it if it was something affecting Dacono.
- Infrastructure: I think we have a plan with a lot of development coming to Dacono, so I’m really excited about that, definitely more housing and more businesses. I’m really looking forward to growth in that way.
- Development: I think we all definitely have to work together. I think we are going to have a lot of growth in Colorado.
- Cost of living: Who’s not struggling to pay for housing right now? That is something we should all be concerned about. I believe working together with different people, different organizations, I think we could all help with that.
- Education: I agree there is that problem. I would have to do a lot more research on it to make a decision.
Mike Mathiesen – DID NOT REPLY
Rick Gerk – QUALIFIED
- Unhoused: Currently the issue is not afflicting Dacono to where it’s a high priority. I haven’t heard of it in my community or other communities within Dacono.
- Infrastructure: We’re not going to build another King Soopers on the south side of 52. We need to be reasonably thinking about the direction we want Dacono to go. What’s attainable, and set those sights in a realistic manner.
- Development: As a council member your responsibility is to think about the current residents. I have an appreciation for people who have been here for a number of years in the original, central part of the city, and then be mindful of where we want to be in the future. I think the balance for that seems to be a sticky point for our city.
- Cost of living: Home prices and living prices in Dacono are much lower compared to Erie, to Thornton, to Broomfield. Dacono is pretty well primed to support any kind of person who wants to move here, we have housing options for anybody who has any sort of respectable income to support and sustain themselves.
- Education: Childcare is very hard to get into, the affordability is beyond many, so I do think there is an issue. There is a big gap between availability of childcare providers and then a big gap between what people can actually afford to pay. I think it’s a multi-layered issue. I do feel for families.
Dacono Ballot Measures
City Manager Selection and Role – Shall the City of Dacono Home Rule Charter be amended to require the City Council to appoint and remove the City Manager and other appointed officers by resolution and require the City Manager to devote their work primarily to the City and not hold any elected or appointed office or otherwise engage in activities contrary to the interest of the City? | Vote: Yes
Open Government Training for Councilmembers – Shall the City of Dacono Home Rule Charter be amended to incorporate an Open Government Policy; require councilmembers and members of boards and commissions to attend periodic training regarding open government; include requirements for open meetings, notices, and agendas; provide that special meeting notices may be delivered to councilmembers by email; limit discussion and formal action at meetings to items included on meeting agendas except when an emergency requires immediate action; and require disclosures when relatives of councilmembers and members of boards and commissions appear before such bodies? | Vote: Yes
Pro-Term Mayoral Selection – Shall the City of Dacono Home Rule Charter be amended to provide that councilmembers take office at the first regular or special meeting following certification of the results of their election; a Mayor Pro-tem shall be appointed by the city council following certification of the results of each regular or special election; and the Mayor Pro-tem may be replaced at any time with another councilmember by at least four (4) affirmative votes of the council? | Vote: Yes
Tax Levy for Library Shall the City of Dacono, Colorado be included in the High Plains Library District, for which the current rate of property tax levied is 3.177 mills? | Vote: Yes
Westminster City Council – At Large
Amber Hott – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: We have navigators who go into the unhoused community, build relationships, and offer assistance. The issue that we have right now is they only had two navigators, and one of them recently quit. One or two people cannot help the amount of unhoused people we have in our community. I would speak to the navigator that we currently have to find out what their needs are.
- Infrastructure: Any future development needs to be mixed use so amenities are within walking distance and building roads and sidewalks that are safe for people to walk. Also, there are areas where our sidewalks don’t continue. There are people who are pushing a stroller, maybe they’re in a wheelchair, what happens when the sidewalk just stops?
- Development: We need to continue to protect our open space. We need to look at the characteristics of the neighborhoods that are already there, and do what we can to make sure that whatever we’re building fits. Things, like duplexes and fourplexes, you can build them in a way that they look like single family homes.
- Cost of living: We have a development called the Uplands Development. We were supposed to have 600 affordable units, that has dropped down to 300. It took a long time to get through the processes with the city. If the developer comes in and their main concern is making the max amount of money, I’m gonna think twice about approving when we have developers that invest back in our community.
- Education: I’ve been building relationships with the people on the school board. When I’ve been talking to principals, educators, superintendents, really wanting to understand how we can partner to help our kids. One of the areas that they need help with is they don’t have enough space for their preschool. We don’t just have areas without grocery stores, we have areas where we don’t have enough childcare.
Bruce Baker – UNQUALIFIED
- Unhoused: We need to remind the counties it is their responsibility. The path we chose more than a year ago hasn’t yielded the results we had hoped for. We need a different strategy.
- Infrastructure: One of the problems is that there’s nothing to walk to in this area. The Uplands is on Federal Boulevard, which has bus transit. The closest grocery store is on 104th. That’s two miles, one each way. Two miles doesn’t suit anybody’s definition of walkability.
- Development: Westminster is a completely car dependent community. If you want to have private green spaces, lawns, landscapes, you need space. You end up being car dependent. Mass transit does not work with low density housing. You need points of origin and points of destination on the lines. We don’t have that, we’re not built that way.
- Affordable housing/Cost of living: Affordable housing is more of a scam to get the city to relax our housing codes and requirements so corporations can make bigger profits. The Uplands is just a prime example of this.There’s not going to be any affordable housing there at all. Anyone who thinks so is really nurturing a fantasy. They’re gonna make as much money as they can.
- Education: The problem is way too big than even the state government and sometimes you have to scratch your head, and say ‘how carefully did they look at this before promising?’ Here’s where promises far exceeded capabilities.
Claire Carmelia – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: This is of extreme personal importance to me. I’m passionate about ensuring we do the most that we can in a compassionate, humane and holistic way. I believe that we need to partner with others for better solutions that work in a broader way for the Front Range. I have been having discussions with our neighbors in Arvada, Lakewood, and Thornton, trying to gather ideas of how they are tackling the issue.
- Infrastructure: I could not afford a car until I was 27, and that was very limiting. I believe that we need more mixed use zoning. We should make sure that it’s not just a subdivision out in the middle of nowhere, the only way to and from via car. Hopefully we’re having houses to the same places as restaurants and entertainment, and then folks can walk to where they’re going.
- Development: It comes down to planning smart. Where do we put housing and what kind of housing do we select to be built? Housing can be planned around transit, RTD stations, etc. We’re trying to avoid building on spaces that have not been built before.
- Cost of living: We all live in Westminster for a reason. It is a beautiful city with gorgeous views. We want to protect our parks and open spaces. That is a priority and always will be. I think that we need to build smart and plan ahead because growth is just a part of life, and trying to inhibit growth, inhibits our economy. It also pushes current residents out because if they ever want to downsize, there is no available property for them.
- Education: It’s prudent upon local government to find solutions, even when perhaps before there weren’t any. With that said, I don’t know exactly what we can do. But with the many schools that recently shut down, we now have available buildings and lands that I would like to see used for the community. I really hope that they end up being used in some way for the kids.
Jeff Jones – DID NOT REPLY
- Unhoused: Luckily I’m not one of them, but I could have been. I had a foreclosure during the 2011 recession. We should have some housing available for people to live in for a year, not just the night when it gets cold.
- Infrastructure: Focus on pedestrian oriented neighborhoods rather than just transit oriented neighborhoods. Focus on neighborhood design that accommodates walkability first. We need public transit throughout the city, not just to downtown Denver.
- Development: I’m fighting against the Uplands Development as a city council candidate. We need to protect our open space, and concentrate our density development in a place like the new downtown.
- Cost of Living: It shouldn’t be 300 units of all the same kind of housing, it should be intermixed with other housing. That reduces stigma and allows people to work within their community. Any new construction needs to incorporate least 15% truly affordable housing.
- Education: With declining enrollment they are closing lots of elementary schools. Maybe those buildings could be used partially as pre-K facilities.
Kristine Ireland – UNQUALIFIED
- Unhoused: The city has gotten a hotel for these people, spending a million dollars a year, but the problem has not changed. I think you can give too much and people will become not self-reliant. It’s not good for people to be given everything. They need to get ways to help them learn how to do a resume, get a job, those kinds of things I would be willing to advocate for.
- Infrastructure: We’re really spread out, and people have to get to work. You can’t expect people not to work. I mean, my husband works outside of the city, he has no choice and sadly enough a lot of our city employees live outside the city. The number one problem we can address is to hire within so people can be closer to work.
- Development: I think we just need to stop it, and address how we are changing our suburb into Denver. We didn’t move here to be Denver. We moved here to get away from traffic and high density. I like Boulders’ approach to caring about people’s sunshine, they won’t build anything if it blocks your sunshine.
- Cost of living: The number one problem with housing being affordable is the taxes — property taxes, water rates, and sales tax. Corporations have been buying up single family homes and turning them into rentals. Westminster has the highest rent costs in the entire state of Colorado, but letting corporations buy up these houses, we’re gonna have a problem until 2030.
- Education: I haven’t ever thought about this one too much. I have children, my own. Some went to preschool, some didn’t go to preschool. I would have to look into that more, because no one’s brought that up to me at all in this city.
Richard Seymour – UNQUALIFIED
- Unhoused: The answer is not more government assistance, that’s already been tried. As a city, unlike a county, we receive no human services dollars. We have to find a creative way to address homelessness in our city. It’s a continuum of compassionate care with mental health, co-responders in our police department, homeless navigators who do the follow up contacts, and we have a budget for temporary bed sites. Those who don’t want to take advantage of the services just move from one place to the other.
- Infrastructure: This is the western United States. It is not high density Eastern, or Western corridors. That creates an issue as far as moving people out of cars. We’re hoping that either Front Range Rail or RTD will have a stop at the new downtown, which we have a spot carved out for. We also have a development at our train station at 71st. and Irving that is part of the end of the D line where we have two developments going in there.
- Development: Our current Council just updated our comprehensive plan, which took a very hard look at our number one resource: water. We asked staff to reduce the density on some parcels to make sure that what we did build, we had water for. No water, no building. We want to maintain unique neighborhoods, unique styles, a little bit of everything for everybody, to keep our suburban mix.
- Cost of living: Inventory over time will help with the cost. There’s no immediate short term fixes. Westminster has two remaining large parcels to build everything from single family homes, paired homes, townhomes. Entry level homes should be 30% of the healthy market. Because of our state legislature unwilling to fix this or address it, it’s less than 3% of our market.
- Education: Local governments absolutely cannot fill that gap. Governor Polis over-promised and under-delivered.
Timothy Pegg – ENDORSED
- Unhoused: We got to make progress on the high rent in the metro area. Westminster can do its part and will help with some of the homeless folks. Some of them have problems with drug use or mental health so I think there needs to be updating of our knowledge constantly about the best ways to get those folks the help they need.
- Infrastructure: I would make sure that we’re doing things with transit oriented developments so we aren’t incentivizing people to drive when places can be accessed on foot and by bus. I can think of a couple city policies that are, in effect, paying people to drive. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot and we need to stop.
- Development: I think accessory dwelling units are a great way to do that. They don’t really change the neighborhood character, but there’s an opportunity to develop more. Additionally, we have some city owned open space we shouldn’t sell off.
- Affordable housing: Accessory dwelling units: granny cottages, that type of construction gives homeowners an opportunity, and will soften price pressure on the housing market. It’s a win-win for young families, or an aging relative, they can live in your backyard. They’re not competing with someone else for housing, and they’re close to someone who can help take care of them.
- Education: Unfortunately, I’m not really familiar enough with the specifics on that.
William “Scott” Shilling – UNQUALIFIED
- Unhoused: Now for those that are truly homeless, I don’t know. I want to try and figure out how to help them without subsidizing them with taxpayer money. I’d like to hear what the proposals are. I’m okay to help them. But vagrants, I want to make it uncomfortable so that they move on someplace else.
- Infrastructure: This is a suburb. A suburb is traditionally single family housing, cars are just part of that. If you want to get into a discussion about cars hurting the environment, I can get into that. I’m not going to bring in more high density apartments and things of that nature. We want to keep this community more of a sober, classic suburb of single family units.
- Development: Westminster has a certain amount of open space. Simply gobbling up all of the open space and shoving in high density apartments is not where I want to take us. Westminster’s population is currently about 125,000. I want to keep it right in that range, and make sure we keep our open spaces open. And guess what? It’s full.
- Cost of living: You cannot have taxpayers subsidize other people’s lifestyles. Employers are going to need to raise their salaries to pay people a living wage. A lot of it depends on the administration who’s in charge, and what they’re doing to stop inflation, and stop illegal immigration. It starts at the federal government.
- Education: Schools in Westminster are more controlled by the county. The county is the one responsible for that, the state and county. I don’t want to get into schools. There’s so many people breathing down schools’ necks. I don’t need the City Council of Westminster also breathing down the necks of the schools. It’s a county and state issue and I don’t want to subsidize the county or the state with city money.
Westminster Ballot Measures
3L – Wards: Shall the Westminster City Council propose by 2026 a system of electing some or all City Council members from geographic wards rather than at-large? | Vote: Yes
3M – Budget Control: Shall the Westminster City Charter, Section 9.6 Budget Control, subsection (2), be amended to change the City Manager’s budgetary control from the departmental budget level to the fund level, in order to allow for more effective financial management? | Vote: Yes
3N – Budget Procedures (Timeline): Shall the Westminster City Charter, Section 9.2 Budget Procedures, be amended to provide current year expenditures as of July 31 rather than September 1st, in order to provide the community with a more consistent basis of comparison of City expenditures? | Vote: Yes
3O – Budget Procedures (Appropriation): Shall the Westminster City Charter, Section 13.3 Contracts, subsection (h), be amended to allow the City Manager to designate an individual to certify an appropriation has been made before a contract, agreement, or purchase order is executed, in order to provide more effective management of financial controls? | Vote: Yes
3P – Public Announcements: Shall the Westminster City Charter, Section 17.5 Definition of Publication, Mailing of Notices, be amended to change the requirements for the publication of notices and ordinances from newspaper publication only to allow for either newspaper publication or publication on the City’s official website, or both, in order to allow for notices to reach more people, more effectively, and more quickly? | Vote: Yes
School Board Elections
Boulder Valley School District
Jason Unger – ENDORSED
- Book Bans: I’m concerned about not just banning books but anti-equity policies around the country. Parents in BVSD have a right to opt their kids out of lessons. Where I draw the line is when parents impact or censor what other kids are learning.
- Early Education & Healthy Meals: Colorado passed a ballot initiative to have all kids have access to healthy breakfast and lunch. As a teacher in Compton, I could see the advantage that early education provides. The state program’s goal is the right goal.
- DEI & Education: Diversity of teaching staff is important as well so people can see themselves in teachers. Some schools have a DEI committee and I think that’s a model. I’m supportive of all efforts to promote diversity and ensure welcoming environments.
- Mental Health: With a ratio of 450 kids to each counselor we need to do everything we can as a district to lower that ratio to bring in more counselors, both on the career and guidance side but more so on the mental health side.
- Drills & Anxiety: We can’t ignore the fact that these are real threats that we have this real issue and so we have to prepare for these things and do so in a calm and measured way, not with alarmist language. I feel like the district has fairly good plans in place.
Neil Fishman – QUALIFIED
- Book Bans: I’m opposed to banning books. Kids need to see themselves in their educational materials. I was engaged very directly to make sure progressive standards were the ones ultimately accepted by the State Board of Education for the K-12 for the entire state of Colorado for social studies standards.
- Early Education & Healthy Meals: I was not pleased to see we had these great plans but not the resources available to implement the plans fully like we had hoped. I think the voters need to pay attention to the crying need for it and pass Ballot Issue II, it would help us.
- DEI & Education: It’s integral. The absence of it leads to problems in terms of having safe and welcoming schools. A huge part of the learning process is feeling comfortable and safe in the environment you’re learning in.
- Mental Health: One shining spot right now in BVSD is the Wellness Center model. In its first year almost one out of every two kids in the school spent time in the Wellness Center. BVSD has expanded it to five additional schools.
- Drills & Anxiety: we really need to begin to be thinking outside the box. be aware, alert, and have kids be a part of our eyes and ears on the ground. They’re very connected to their surroundings, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t include them in the solutions that we try and come up with.
Alex Medler – ENDORSED
- Book Bans: I believe strongly that we need to resist efforts to ban books or narrow our curriculum, especially ones that try to sanitize how our communities have dealt with difficult things like racism and injustices that have happened, materials are developmentally appropriate.
- Early Education & Healthy Meals: We’re making progress on increasing access to early childhood care. The first year implementation has not gone as anyone would hope. I’m hoping we have more clarity and transparency and a smooth implementation going forward.
- DEI & Education: I support curriculum and materials that are inclusive of all the kids we have. Every student should see themselves represented.
- Mental Health: There’s no single program or policy adjustment that will solve the problem. We need to prioritize it at the district, school and individual staff level. We need to partner with families. Mental health screening is a big deal. LGBTQI+ kids have depression and suicidal tendencies at higher rates.
- Drills & Anxiety: Mental health and sense of belonging is a school safety issue. I support the district’s transition to Safety Resource Officers. BVSD needs to have strong working relationships with all emergency responders and train over the summer, it doesn’t need to be done with 5 year olds in the building.
- Book Bans: For the best possible education, students need access to a wide variety of age-appropriate books. I recognize that some parents may object to certain books. The solution is not to ban these for all students, but rather to work with school librarians and staff to limit the student’s access to these materials on a case-by-case basis.
- Early Education & Healthy Meals: It is important that all children have access to high quality, nutritious meals. BVSD provides free and reduced cost meals to eligible families who sign up for the program. It is important to make sure that all eligible families are aware of this benefit to de-stigmatize it, so kids don’t feel like they are different just because their families are receiving food assistance.
- DEI & Education: I believe that students at all levels do best when they are able to see people like themselves represented in their schools. This applies to both teachers and staff as well as students’ curriculum. However, making our students feel seen and included doesn’t just happen by accident, it takes a conscious effort. We should continue our district’s efforts at DEI.
- Mental Health: Between the Marshall Fire, the King Soopers shooting, COVID, distance learning, etc. kids in BVSD have been through a lot recently. Mental health issues like stress, anxiety, depression and PTSD are all present in our student population at levels much too high. If elected, it is my number one priority to increase the resources allocated to addressing students’ mental health needs. This includes providing funding for additional counselors and social workers and programs that have been proven to work.
- Drills & Anxiety: This is a tricky situation in that it is important to prepare for emergencies, while not also further adding to kids’ anxiety levels. I believe the best way forward is through lots of openness and transparency so kids know in advance that an activity is a rehearsal and not the real thing. I also think it is important for individual students to be able to opt out of participating in preparedness activities if they feel that participating would cause them too much anxiety or stress.
Cynthia Nevison – DID NOT REPLY
Andrew Brandt – QUALIFIED
- Book Bans: I recognize the threat of groups like moms for Liberty who are trying to worm their way into school boards all over the country. I oppose reactionary book bans, I oppose the culture that has emerged in which small groups of parents decide they are the arbiters of what everyone in society is allowed to read.
- Early Education & Healthy Meals: I’m grateful voters approved universal pre-K in Colorado. We have seen a doubling in one year of the number of students in BVSD, who’ve enrolled in pre-K. Free and reduced lunch means more than just a free lunch. It means additional access to services, and connection with community organizations.
- DEI & Education: DEI policies exist in the district, specifically to address disparities that have that have happened and educational outcomes that have been that have left gaps. We cannot solve problems if we deny problems exist or pretend that they never existed.
- Mental Health: Mental health affects every single kid whether or not they admit it in a survey. We need to increase funding for Wellness Centers, more counseling available. We also have unmet needs for neurodiverse kids, we could use empathy training and more resources.
- Drills & Anxiety: School Safety Advocates are engaged with the students at school at lunch, they spend five days a week working on plans and procedures to address a whole range of school safety issues. They arrange drills, and work with the students who feel anxiety and fear about those drills.
Lalenia Quinlan Aweida – ENDORSED
- Book Bans: Policy in BVSD should be informed by the American Library Association and Office of Intellectual Freedom. Book banning is a hard no for me. We should pass statewide legislation to make it illegal to ban books.
- Early Education & Healthy Meals: BVSD staffed pre-K as if we had the expected amount of students, but the matching process from the State to preschool was not good. The number of kids did not come in because the matching process didn’t go right.
- DEI & Education: There is an intersection between power and oppression. You have to look at DEI through a lens of safety, and make sure students who have identities that put them at greater risk of having an unsafe experience are made to feel safe.
- Mental Health: I worked in BVSD classrooms as a sexual abuse prevention educator. We need to let our teachers teach. We need community partners to be sure we’re buttressing every place that we can on social-emotional issues, and have experts provide support.
- Drills & Anxiety: We’ve done the right thing by taking SROs out. That is making a difference. Our disproportionate discipline has decreased by about 4%. That’s, but we have to continue to think about safety and I fully support our SSA’s, so they can have good relationships with kids, knowing when there’s a problem on the horizon. We all need implicit bias training.
- Book Bans: I think books are a medium of expression and opinion. I don’t believe books should be banned. I do believe in age appropriate content, for example, we don’t introduce algebra or calculus to kindergarten students because it’s not age appropriate.
- Early Education & Healthy Meals: Early childhood education should be provided. We don’t have enough money, we should push the authorities to get more funding.
- DEI & Education: Mentors in every area, not just the teaching profession, should reflect diversity because they become a big influence on children growing up.
- Mental Health: More counseling sessions, watch out for people who are showing signs that something is not right. The whole the whole system has to play a part with more with more training to identify those behaviors, more counseling and less punishment.
- Drills & Anxiety: More training, to say that this could happen but remove the panic part and help students stay alert, and follow instructions. Having more information ahead of time.
Jorge Chávez – QUALIFIED
- Book Bans: I am opposed to book bans. Censorship is problematic. Parents have a right to select for their own children what they have access to, but I think that the ability to access information to read is a fundamental right to be protected.
- Early Education & Healthy Meals: It’s been difficult for parents to get access. I know. It’s a process. It’s a new program going through growing pains. Investment in early childhood education pays off dividends in terms of reducing crime and violence, in terms of academic success, and economic benefits.
- DEI & Education: It’s critical students are reflected on the curriculum, reflected in the faculty and staff. Kids learn well they feel they’re welcomed and safe. That’s at the core of what we do. If you’re not welcoming, if you’re not seeing yourself, if you’re not reflected, it has detrimental effects.
- Mental Health: We’re experiencing a mental health crisis. The movement towards social emotional learning and development in schools is critical. Giving students tools by which they self regulate their emotions and their behavior, and to have the language to speak up when there are problems.
- Drills & Anxiety: Safety measures we have — hardening schools, metal detectors, police in schools with guns, lockdown drills — are increasing the the mental health load on our kids. What we can do is have strong safety plans, and collaborate with local agencies, to be ready in times of crisis.
Stuart Lord – ENDORSED
- Book Bans: One of the ways that people are introduced to a culture or different groups is through books. The district’s responsibility is to provide educational opportunities for all students to enrich their lives around difference, culture, race, ethnicity, etc.
- Early Education & Healthy Meals: I support the initiatives, it was a rocky start, but we need to continue to educate parents on the opportunities, get people into these opportunities at a very early age. It starts with educating parents.
- DEI & Education: I think it’s highly important when a student walks across the stage when they graduate, we are able to say that that student has cross-cultural competency. People need to see themselves in the classroom, I think we have to diversify our staff.
- Mental Health: The first line of defense for mental health are the people that work in our buildings.Continue to engage with professionals around mental health wellness who can support our students. We don’t have enough mental health wellness counselors in our schools.
- Drills & Anxiety: We build trust with the safety advocates and students so they see them as a caring adult in their life. When a crisis happens, relationships are established with students. I think we need a safety summit to address best practices.
St. Vrain Valley School District – ALL UNOPPOSED
Jacqueline Weiss – District A – REFUSED INTERVIEW
James Berthold – District C – ENDORSED
- Book Bans: Our goal is to make sure we engage the minority communities’ parents, because engagement in the schools results in higher scores by the students. We never had any problem with anybody complaining about books in our schools.
- Early Education & Healthy Meals: They did pass free lunch, everyone gets free lunch. We give free breakfast to Title 1 schools in need.
- DEI & Education: Equity is in our mission statement. Every student in our school will be given the same opportunities as every other student. We’ve increased our minority graduation rates over the last six years from 54% to 89%.
- Mental Health: Our highschool program has tripled the number of counselors and psychiatrists we have in the schools. We have extremely high participation in our extracurriculars, that socio-emotional aspect is important.
- Drills & Anxiety: We have a lot of our security systems in our schools. Our hope is that if we have some kind of craziness, all the students know what to do. It’s not provided in a scare tactic way, its explained to them
- Parent & Student complaints: Administrative staff is critical. I would gather what parents have to say and invite the Superintendent, and he would look into it. In any administration, you’re never sure if everything is bubbling up.
Michelle Sulek – District E – DID NOT REPLY
Geno Lechuga – District G – DID NOT REPLY
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