Two Years to Build a Walmart? – An Update on Arvada’s Urban Renewal Projects


by John Kiljan

Dear CLRC members and friends,

That possibility was raised at an urban renewal authority meeting last Wednesday night. With the demolition of the old Arvada Plaza shopping center at Ralston Road and Holland Street half completed, many have been wondering when the new Walmart discount retailer will be open for business. When Walmart first proposed the somewhat undersized Supercenter for the Triangle in early 2013, they estimated that, once started, it would take 11 to 12 months to complete the building and stock it. That would have meant a store opening sometime in 2015.

Arvada Plaza demolition

Arvada Plaza demolition

But that timeline was disrupted when the resident AutoZone business at the same location said that they would not move from their old building until a new AutoZone had been built for them on the site. That happened – and a nice looking new building it is – but it also set the Walmart construction schedule back by a year. With the Walmart site expected to be ready for construction in the next few weeks, the opening date should come by the end of 2016.

That may still happen, but some other things have changed since 2013: The economy is now booming. And that was AURA Executive Director Maureen Phair’s warning to urban renewal’s governing board of commissioners. And it’s not just Walmart. Across the construction industry, projects that had been taking 11 months to complete are now taking a year-and-a-half to two years to get done in Colorado.

The reason is because of the shortage of skilled labor and a spike in the overall cost of construction. She also said that, in the last five years, construction costs have risen by 80%, or 12% to 15% per year more recently. She said that there is a particular shortage of laborers who can do concrete work.

Walmart isn’t saying that there will be another opening delay, but they are not giving an estimated time for completion either. How late can Walmart hold back the opening of its new Triangle outlet? Quite a while if they need to.

According to the terms of the agreement the developer has with the City of Arvada, Walmart does not have to open its doors until September 1st of 2018 before IRG’s sales-tax rebate incentive is at risk. That’s almost three years from now and the City has the option to extend that deadline if they want to.

That means that Walmart could delay the start of construction until late next year and still make the developer’s deadline for getting a sales tax rebate. Right now no one seems to think that is going to happen, but a lot can change in the economy in a single year.

Meanwhile, across the street in the Arvada Square shopping center, where the Safeway building and Big O tire shop now sit empty, things are moving fast with a different developer. The preferred Arvada Square developer, Loftus, may have its final Design Development Agreement (DDA) with urban renewal signed by the 18th of next month. Loftus is also saying that negotiations with 24 Hour Fitness to move into the old Safeway building are now complete and the parties are just waiting to sign their own development agreement. Loftus still hopes to break ground on the site as soon as May of 2016, and 24 Hour fitness is said to be keen to get started on their reconstruction work for the old building.

Saturday afternoon at Safeway in 2012

Saturday afternoon shopping traffic at Safeway in October of 2012

That schedule seems pretty optimistic to me, but it also makes it possible that these Phase I Arvada Square developments will be open for business before Walmart opens up. The Phase II Arvada Square development, where the Chuck E Cheese outlet is now, will not be available to urban renewal for redevelopment until after the middle of 2016.

Is the Ralston Road Café for sale? Anyone who knows isn’t yet saying, but there was an AURA agenda item to discuss purchasing the property. It was held in executive session and closed to the public. Like the adjacent car repair garage, the Café next to the closed Safeway is a part of the urban renewal area, but it is not a part of the Phase I redevelopment offering for Loftus.

Moreover, AURA has a no-condemnation policy that should prevent a sale being forced on the owners. The Café should expect quite a bit more customer traffic as that corner of the Arvada Square gets developed next year. So if they are selling, they may get a pretty good price for the property. Or it could be that the Loftus developer wants to acquire the property themselves. All speculation, of course, but this could get interesting.

At the Solana Olde Town Station apartments on the east side of the Wadsworth Bypass at 56th, yet another developer has already fenced off the site and has nearly finished their hazmat remediation. They’ve also begun removing some of the trees on the site. Earlier, Solana was given an nine-month extension to complete that project without jeopardizing its tax-increment financing (TIF) reimbursements for developing the area. That time extension was at the request of their financers who were also worried about the difficulty of finding skilled labor for the work.

And, believe it or not, the first phase of the Park Place Olde Town apartments is projected to be open for tenant occupation on November 5th – even while the rest of the building is under construction. Park Place has also been experiencing labor shortages on their electrical and finish work, but they still think they will have people living there early next month.

At the Hilton Garden Inn site on Olde Wadsworth Boulevard, the lot is scheduled to be fenced off very soon. The supplemental parking site for Olde Town at that location will not be fenced off, however, and it will remain available for public parking during most of the hotel’s construction. Site demolition is expected to start in mid-November.

During this AURA meeting, the Mayor said how pleased he was to see the widening on Ralston Road between Olde Town and the Triangle given a $15 million funding authorization by the City Council as a part of its capital improvements program. He said the City is already starting to work on filling the gaps in the sidewalks along that stretch of the road and widening other sidewalk “pinch points”. Where they have room, the City is planning to set the new sidewalks back away from the travelled roadway.

The Mayor also said that the latest estimates that he’s getting now say that the Gold Line will be open for passengers sometime in October of 2016.

WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community is an independent neighborhood association representing the neighborhoods adjacent to Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to the Kipling Parkway.

You can read all of our articles on our main website at http://www.RalstonCommunity.org or you can read even more posts on our Facebook page at “CLRC – Citizens for a Liveable Ralston Community”. You can write to us, call us or email us at

CLRC
c/o John Kiljan, Secretary
6185 Field Street
Arvada, CO 80004

303-423-9875
jpkiljan@yahoo.com

October 23, 2015

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Commentary: District 4 Residents Face Unique Challenges


by John Kiljan

[updated October 25, 2015]

Dear CLRC members and friends,

It’s sprawling. It’s growing. It needs water. It’s rich in open space. It has unique recreational opportunities. Its residents are well off financially. They tend to be conservative and vote that way too. They also tend to have large houses and they must be paying the highest property taxes in the City. They like their lower density housing and open views of the nearby mountains and the possibility of seeing horses and wildlife as they commute to work.

Arvada/Blunn Reservoir

Arvada/Blunn Reservoir

Its major arterials, such as Indiana, Simms, Ward, 72nd, and other approach roads are becoming increasingly congested with not much relief in sight. Its residents want to see the beltway finished, but they can’t find an investor willing to actually build it. They have terrible broad-band cable service. They don’t have much in the way of retail outlets or restaurants. Many live far from where they work and face long commutes through Arvada or northward toward Boulder. And they are about to decide what may well be Arvada’s closest City Council race in this election.

Arvada City Council Districts

Arvada City Council Districts

There are a lot of things – and a lot of problems – that make life in District 4 west of Ward Road different than in the rest of Arvada. The district lies just west of the CLRC’s “official” central Arvada boundaries, but many of the followers of our neighborhood association live in that district. They’re interested in us and central Arvada because they often grew up here, or they have relatives that still live here. And they enjoy the cultural amenities offered by the Arvada Center and Historic Olde Town.

I purposely left this commentary to late in the City Council election coverage because it’s not so much about the candidates who are running as the need for those of us who live in “old Arvada” to take a figurative peek over the fence from time to time to see how our neighbors to the west are doing.

From what I can see, the biggest challenge for the district has to be planning for its growth. Some of its problems are just annoying, but some are more profound. Without the completion of the Jefferson Parkway and new water from an expanded Gross Reservoir, the new growth in the district needed to fund infrastructure improvements may be stifled. Both of these projects keep getting put off year after year. And the list of needed infrastructure improvements is not just for roads and restaurants, but also includes new schools, new parks, and development of the available land north of the Arvada/Blunn Reservoir.

BlunnMasterPlan[update:  This graphic is a little hard to see and doesn’t say too much, but the City put out a six-minute video last May that is well worth watching and shows in detail what plans are being considered.  Here’s the YouTube link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StgYv3aOtts&feature=youtu.be  ]

The nascent residential and commercial development projects at Candelas and Leyden Rock seem to be at particular risk. I’ve read that the cost of putting in sewer lines for Candelas alone came to $40 million. Someone is holding those construction bonds, and others like them, and if Candelas can’t service their debt with new residential or retail sales, the fallout from a default might affect the entire district’s ability to deal with its infrastructure needs.

And that fallout could, in turn, affect those of us living in old Arvada who would otherwise be benefitting from the tax revenues that new developments would bring to the whole city.

Bob Dyer

Bob Dyer

The incumbent in this race, Bob Dyer, has rock-solid credentials for a Council member and holds advanced degrees in urban planning and public administration to boot. His roots go deep into central Arvada. He spent much of his childhood near our own Triangle shopping center. However, his reelection campaign got off to a slow start, due to the death of a close family member.

And his campaign spending has only been a fraction of his opponent’s.  As of October 8th, Mr Dyer had spent only $607 on his campaign. During the same period his opponent had spent $14,108. That kind of funding will buy a lot of yard signs.

David Jones

David Jones

Bob Dyer’s challenger, David Jones, is not a “reform” candidate by any means.   This is his first run for office, but he has pretty respectable credentials as a local business owner and employer. His family also goes back a good way in Arvada and he credits much of his values to his religious faith. I, for one, cannot see a large philosophical difference between either of the candidates, and they both seem well suited to their district’s constituents.

But there are some differences. Readers who vote in District 4, are encouraged to follow the candidate links below. Councilor Dyer would like to set up “neighborhood councils” in Arvada to get more citizen involvement in deciding how the City will be governed. Mr Jones seems to have an emphasis on trying to lure more retail to the more lightly populated parts of the district.

Mr Dyer’s long experience and name recognition may well overcome David Jones’ funding advantage in this race. If that happens, considering how well he has run his campaign so far, I fully expect that Arvada will see David Jones again on a future ballot.

Whatever District 4 residents decide, their Council representative is going to need a lot of smarts to deal with the area’s challenges and plan for its future. And how the winner of this race decides to deal with those challenges will probably affect all of us in the rest of the city.

WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
The responses to the CLRC’s own candidate survey for this race can be found at

http://ralstoncommunity.org/2015/10/12/bob-dyer-versus-david-jones-council-district-4/

You can find the links to another survey conducted by the Arvada Press (along with the questions asked, and lots of other information about all the Council candidates) at this link:

http://ralstoncommunity.org/2015/08/25/11-candidates-vie-for-5-arvada-city-council-seats/

[update:  There is another CLRC article that is somewhat about this race and it can found at

http://ralstoncommunity.org/2015/10/18/commentary-district-4-residents-face-unique-challenges/

I should have appended the link earlier, but I just forgot. October 25, 2015 –JK ]

As always, “The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community does not endorse candidates for public office. However, we often post candidacy announcements, press releases, interviews and questionnaire responses for those running for office. And we encourage our members to actively support whatever candidates they choose during elections.”

The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community is an independent neighborhood association representing the neighborhoods adjacent to Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to the Kipling Parkway.

You can read all of our articles on our main website at http://www.RalstonCommunity.org or you can read even more posts on our Facebook page at “CLRC – Citizens for a Liveable Ralston Community”. You can write to us, call us or email us at

CLRC
c/o John Kiljan, Secretary
6185 Field Street
Arvada, CO 80004

303-423-9875
jpkiljan@yahoo.com

October 18, 2015

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Candidates Spend $64,000 on City Council Election


by John Kiljan

Dear CLRC members and friends,

The latest reports on how much the 11 Arvada City Council candidates have spent on their campaigns and who their donors are, have just been released. Here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve seen in looking through the reports now up on the City’s website at Arvada.org. The figures are rounded to the nearest $100 to make them easier to digest. The reporting period is through October 8th. The next report is due at the end of the month.

MoneyImageUnlike other some other metro cities, Arvada has fairly low contribution limits for Council elections.   Those are generally $500 for district elections and $750 for at-large elections. Arvada can set its own limits because the Constitution of the State of Colorado grants home-rule cities, such as Arvada, a lot of authority in deciding how they choose to regulate and manage their own elections. Still, the limited contribution information we do have can be telling for those who follow these campaigns.

Mayor

Marc Williams: contributions $26,400; expenditures $19,900 (75%)
The incumbent mayor has a lengthy list of contributors, 20 of whom contributed $500 or more to his campaign. Included in that list are at least two Olde Town developers.

Dave Chandler: contributions $3800; expenditures $2100 (56%)
Mr Chandler had two donors who contributed $500 or more.

At Large

Bob Fifer: contributions: $6000; expenditures $4500 (76%)
Councilor Fifer had two contributors of $500 or more.

Kathy Drulard: contributions: $1300; expenditures $3100 (247%)
Ms Drulard had one contributor of $500.

Carl Campanella: contributions: $600; expenditures $1700 (274%)
Mr Campanella’s largest contribution has been for $350.

District 1

Jerry Marks: contributions: $5700; expenditures $8500 (148%)
Councilor Marks has two $500 contributors – the maximum allowed for a district election.

Nancy Ford: contributions $300; expenditures $100 (26%)
Dr Ford had no large contributors.

District 2

Mark McGoff: contributions $9600; expenditures $9000 (95%)
Councilor McGoff had quite a number of small contributors for a district election (127 are listed). The highest two are for $500 each.

Dave Palm: contributions $200; expenditures $600 (346%)

District 4

David Jones: contributions $7700; expenditures $14,100 (183%)
Mr Jones had half a dozen contributors of $300 or more.

Bob Dyer: contributions $1300; expenditures $600 (46%)
Incumbent Councilor Dyer’s largest donation was for $500.

WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
You can see the entire campaign finance reports, including the names of the donors, at this Arvada.org link:

http://arvada.org/city-hall/election-info/2015-candidates-and-election-forms

Candidates who are spending more than they take in in campaign contributions are generally loaning the shortfall to themselves. If I understand this correctly, they can use later contributions to help pay back those loans. Those loans are not included in the ‘contribution’ totals listed above. What you see listed are the real contributions from outside sources.

Percentages were calculated using the unrounded dollar amounts.

The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community does not endorse candidates for public office. However, we often post candidacy announcements, press releases, interviews and questionnaire responses for those running for office. And we encourage our members to actively support whatever candidates they choose during elections.”

The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community is an independent neighborhood association representing the neighborhoods adjacent to Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to the Kipling Parkway.

You can read all of our articles on our main website at http://www.RalstonCommunity.org or you can read even more posts on our Facebook page at “CLRC – Citizens for a Liveable Ralston Community”. You can write to us, call us or email us at

CLRC
c/o John Kiljan, Secretary
6185 Field Street
Arvada, CO 80004

303-423-9875
jpkiljan@yahoo.com

14 October 2015

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Bob Fifer versus Kathy Drulard versus Carl Campanella – Councilor At Large


Bob Fifer versus Kathy Drulard versus Carl Campanella – Councilor At Large

Dear CLRC members and friends,

This is one of a series of candidate surveys for each of the five seats now open on the Arvada City Council. The question list came from suggestions made by our neighborhood association’s steering committee. The questions and the candidates’ responses are copied here, and all the candidates were asked the same questions. The responses are unedited except for formatting.

There are three candidates running for this at-large seat, so this posting will be a little long. At-Large Council members are elected by all the voters in the City.

Also, this is the last of the five posts that cover all the Arvada City Council races. But there will be more election coverage between now and November 3rd. Bookmark, and look for updates to the “11 Candidates Vie for . . .” link at the bottom of this post for more information in the last weeks of the campaign.

–JK

* * *

CarlCampanellaBCarl Campanella

Q1: What experiences, job skills, education, training, volunteer work, committee work, or perspective on municipal affairs do you believe most qualifies you to sit on the Arvada City Council for the next four years (or for two years in District 1)?

  • I have been extremely active in Arvada since childhood.
  • BA in Public Relations and Marketing, BS in Political Science, an associate’s degree in communications, community development and leadership development.
  • A very successful career as an Institutional Foodservice Sales and Distribution sales representative, forty (40) plus years.
  • Qualified as a business consultant and have done consulting nationally and internationally.
  • Received numerous community service awards:
  • The most meaningful to me has been as an Outstanding Young Man of America for four (4) years in a row, mid 1980’s.       This award is based on community service, civic involvement, mentoring and leadership.
  • Covington’s who is who among International Executives for 2014 and 2015.
  • An award winning author, these books include       Successful Project Management, Personal Growth, Leadership Development, Communication Dynamics, Business Etiquette, Business Writing.
  • A trainer; I have trained more than 20,000 people over the last forty (40) years in different leadership abilities, styles.
  • Past chairman of the Arvada Harvest Festival, current booth space and midway Chairman for the Harvest Festival.
  • Past Project Manager and Membership Services Director for the Arvada Chamber of Commerce.
  • Past President of the Arvada Jaycees.
  • An alumnus of Russell Elementary, Drake Junior High and Arvada West High.
  • I was taught to be a leader and be community service oriented by every one of the teachers I had in these three schools.

Q2: Do you support the return of active recreation to south-central Arvada and will you actively work to encourage APEX to partner with the city in order to accomplish that? If so, how would you do that?

The return of recreation facilities in South Central Arvada is essential. We need a pool, basketball courts, skating area, ice and roller, weight room and yoga and Zumba and on and on. I will definitely support reasonable actions to secure facilities for our neighborhood. Apex should contribute funds to this.

Q3: Do you favor continuing ongoing and/or future urban renewal projects through the City’s Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA)? If not, which projects or urban renewal areas would you want to shut down?  

There is a role for urban renewal, but not as a substitute for the free market. Such tools need to meet the needs of the citizens. I believe that there are certain areas of Arvada that are in need of revitalization. Other areas, such as Olde Town should be left alone. I do believe we as a citizenry have the right to determine more than a handpicked commission how large a subsidy is given if any.

Q4: If elected, will you favor asking the voters for a new user fee, or a new tax, to support increased road maintenance and/or new road construction?

I will not support an increase in sales tax or institution of new fees for roads and amenities. The subsidies, excuse me, tax share backs are costing the tax payer too much money with no return in sight for 5 years up to 25 years.

Q5: If you’re not an incumbent – or even if you are — how have you prepared, or will you prepare to serve on the Council if elected? What we’re looking for here is not just learning the mechanics of how City government works, but instead learning the ins and outs of current issues, how cities are funded, how they provide services, how they build infrastructure, and how they establish and work toward a common vision for the community.

I believe the best partnership any sitting leadership body can have is one with the citizens they represent. My goal is to achieve more communication with the real city, the citizens, before any issue is brought to the table. I believe in transparency, nothing to be hidden from the electors. I am currently involved with the City government 101 project as a participant. I am learning as much as I can about the inner workings with city staff, departments, boards and commissions. Education is an ongoing and vital part of solid leadership. Viable leadership will learn daily as much as possible by asking questions, being involved first hand and serving with humility.

I believe free markets are essential to a society. Free market competition strengthens the economy, provides more secure work opportunities, better wages. Government has no business being involved in the decision of the fairness of ethical competition. I am in agreement with a city wide shuttle to transport riders to and from the Gold Line. IF government allows it to freely develop. I believe managed growth is best for the continuity of Arvada. I believe Arvada is the best place to live. We should not have to give money and subsidies away to draw developers to our city.   With urban sprawl we increase crime rates; we lose ability to supply a strong infrastructure, we over crowd our schools, burden our first responders and generally lose the feeling of “Home Town.”.

In addition to these top five questions, the CLRC steering committee also had a number of concerns. They are added here as a group, and in a question format. Please feel free to comment on any or all of them as you see fit:

A: Do you favor (without a tax increase or additional fees) renewing the City’s existing bonds expiring in 2018? If so, what would your top priorities be for the available funding?

If we truly have a need for these bonds, yes. If the renewal of the bonds are without a specific purpose no.

B: Do you support widening the existing lanes on Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to Independence Street to make them safer for vehicle traffic?

I see no reason to widen Ralston road. The lanes are safe, the turn lane works.

C:  Do you support adding full-width sidewalks along this same road even if it means taking some available parking from adjacent businesses?

Define full width. If the sidewalks are to be widened just to warrant the widening of Ralston Road, this is an unjustified cost.

D: What is your position on allowing, either now or in the future, the legal sale of marijuana in the City or the establishment of smoking clubs as allowed under State law?

The initiative was voted in by the public State wide to allow the possession, growth and harvesting and selling of marijuana for recreational use. Each city has a right to choose how or if selling or growing is allowed in the city limits; according to the way the initiative was proposed. The decision should have been left to a ballot issue rather than an arbitrary decision by the City Council and staff. I am not a proponent of marijuana use, or recreational drugs of any kind.

E: On September 18th, the Arvada Chamber of Commerce held a candidate forum and put 17 questions to the City Council candidates. But not all participants had an opportunity to answer all of the questions, and not all the candidates chose to participate in the forum. Are there any of those questions you would like to answer here? Or are there any responses you gave at that forum you’d now like to expand upon?

Through the process of this survey and my statements, I have answered those questions.

[end of responses by Mr Campanella]

* * *

KDrulardCrop

Kathy Drulard

Q1: What experiences, job skills, education, training, volunteer work, committee work, or perspective on municipal affairs do you believe most qualifies you to sit on the Arvada City Council for the next four years (or for two years in District 1)?

My qualifications for the Arvada City Council At-Large seat include a current committee seat on the City’s Board of Adjustment, a Master’s degree in Public Administration, and 20 years of experience in water and air quality administrative management. The Board of Adjustment is a seven member board that hears appeals of zoning ordinances and variance requests. I have a pro small business voting record and it is accessible on-line.

My extensive hands-on volunteering experience in this community is another valuable skill set that I will bring to the City Council. I was the Troop Committee Chairman for my son’s Boy Scout Troop for five years, was a Girl Scout Leader for eight years, and did the usual PTA, room mom, and sports team mom activities. Other volunteer work includes the Friends of Jefferson County Library Foundation and Salvation Army. For the past three years, I have been an advocate for abused and neglected children in Jefferson County.

As a court-appointed advocate, I investigate and report directly to the judge on the best interests of the child.   I will be able to continue my casework with CASA if I am fortunate enough to win the election. I have the necessary time and energy to fulfill the rigorous job duties of an At-Large seat. With my unique set of experiences and higher education, I will bring an objective and transparent perspective to the At-Large seat.

Q2: Do you support the return of active recreation to south-central Arvada and will you actively work to encourage APEX to partner with the city in order to accomplish that? If so, how would you do that?

Yes, I absolutely support the return of recreation to south-central Arvada. The area definitely needs an outdoor pool near the old Fisher swimming pool, along with tennis courts, and a basketball court. The city has come up with some money to put towards the pool project, and I believe we should apply for nationally available grants. The additional money to fund the project could come from the City’s existing bonds.

Q3: Do you favor continuing ongoing and/or future urban renewal projects through the City’s Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA)? If not, which projects or urban renewal areas would you want to shut down?

I am satisfied with the initial urban renewal projects built south of Olde Town, such as the City Center.   The Ralston Creek project appears to be unstoppable. I am concerned about the Arvada Triangle area, and the current tenants. I believe in retaining existing businesses as much as possible, and don’t believe the new developer has reached out to the current merchants along 58th Ave. I would like to see grocery stores built near light rail stations so genuine walkability can occur. I also have concerns about the new Hilton location and parking issues. I strongly propose that any new AURA projects must have voter approval, so taxpayers are aware of the costs.

Q4: If elected, will you favor asking the voters for a new user fee, or a new tax, to support increased road maintenance and/or new road construction?

I would like to see a new tax as a last resort, and only with voter approval.

Q5: If you’re not an incumbent – or even if you are — how have you prepared, or will you prepare to serve on the Council if elected? What we’re looking for here is not just learning the mechanics of how City government works, but instead learning the ins and outs of current issues, how cities are funded, how they provide services, how they build infrastructure, and how they establish and work toward a common vision for the community.

I have been attending the “City Hall ” classes held through the City of Arvada, which started 9/10/2015. Our last meeting with the Arvada Fire District was quite informative. In addition, I have been a resident of Arvada for 26 years, and have used nearly every major park and facility in the city. While raising our two children in Arvada, we have used the pools, the Arvada Art Center classes, the soccer fields, golf courses, and baseball complexes many times.   I feel that I have a good grasp of the city’s functions, and look forward to learning a great deal more in the future.

In addition to these top five questions, the CLRC steering committee also had a number of concerns. They are added here as a group, and in a question format. Please feel free to comment on any or all of them as you see fit:

A: Do you favor (without a tax increase or additional fees) renewing the City’s existing bonds expiring in 2018? If so, what would your top priorities be for the available funding?

Yes, I do favor the renewal. I would like to see the Arvada central area get an outdoor pool. I would also like to continue the work on linking the bike paths.

B: Do you support widening the existing lanes on Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to Independence Street to make them safer for vehicle traffic?

Yes, Ralston Road needs to be safe for both bikes and vehicles.

C:  Do you support adding full-width sidewalks along this same road even if it means taking some available parking from adjacent businesses?

Yes, once again, Ralston Road requires full-length sidewalks for pedestrians to walk safely.

D: What is your position on allowing, either now or in the future, the legal sale of marijuana in the City or the establishment of smoking clubs as allowed under State law?

I would need to review the actual sales revenues from neighboring cities to see the full benefits of selling legal marijuana. I am concerned about the legality of the banking functions for the marijuana businesses, but believe in the free market concept.

E: On September 18th, the Arvada Chamber of Commerce held a candidate forum and put 17 questions to the City Council candidates. But not all participants had an opportunity to answer all of the questions, and not all the candidates chose to participate in the forum. Are there any of those questions you would like to answer here? Or are there any responses you gave at that forum you’d now like to expand upon?

I am hopeful that most of the citizens of Arvada know where I stand on the city’s important issues. If you do have a question or need clarification, please contact me by phone at 303 981 5690, or by email at kathydruarvada@aol.com. Thank you!

[end of responses by Ms Drulard]

* * *

BobFifer2ndTermCrop

Bob Fifer (incumbent)

Q1: What experiences, job skills, education, training, volunteer work, committee work, or perspective on municipal affairs do you believe most qualifies you to sit on the Arvada City Council for the next four years (or for two years in District 1)?

I have served on Council for 1 term and seeking re-election. I have worked in Engineering and Leadership positions within three global companies. I have been in the IT and Telecom for over 22 years. I currently manage Product Development and oversee Profits & Losses for an $80M line of business for my company, which provides me the foundation to provide effective and sound financial decision making for our City as well as responsible leadership. My wife and I owned a toy store in Olde Town until the economy made us close our doors. I have an appreciation for the struggles and rewards of owning a small business.

I have volunteered at Ralston House, Board member and Past President of HOTA, Arvada-Jefferson Kiwanis and currently serve as Vice-President of the Arvada Community Food Band and Board of Directors of Arvada Vitality Alliance, which supports small Arvada non-profits. Within my City Council capacity, I have served on the APEX Coordinating Committee, Arvada Fire Coordinating Committee, Jefferson County Transportation Advocacy Group (JEFFTAAG), Art in Public Places Committee, Art Council and Jeffco Schools Coordinating Committee.

I also serve as a Board member of the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) and some of the sub-committees within DRCOG including Metro Vision and Issues Committee, Admin Committee and Governance Committee. I also serve as the Vice Chair of the State of Colorado First Net Governance Board. I have been privileged to represent Arvada at National Conferences protecting our community’s interest in national matters. I was selected to serve on the National League of Cities Information Technology and Communications Advocacy and Policy Committees for 3 consecutive terms.

I absolutely prioritize my time with my family and children, ensuring I don’t miss our youthful time while still focusing on our future within our community.

I would like to continue representing our community and constituents within the aforementioned committees when I am re-elected.

Q2: Do you support the return of active recreation to south-central Arvada and will you actively work to encourage APEX to partner with the city in order to accomplish that? If so, how would you do that?

I do support the return of active recreation into the south-central (and eastern) area of Arvada, we do have additional analysis to ensure that APEX can maintain the facilities into the future. The key is to ensure continued community engagement and plan implementation after my re-election where I can leverage the partnerships that I have with APEX Board of Directors and other Councilmembers to encourage a collaborative approach to the needs of the community.

Specifically with pool, I think we have made great progress and found a suitable location. We need to maintain community involvement during the financial due diligence of this potential project. We also need to ensure that we continue to address the walkable and livability of the areas as well. We need to include improving sidewalks, bike lanes (especially north and south, to and from the train stations) and trails.

Q3: Do you favor continuing ongoing and/or future urban renewal projects through the City’s Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA)? If not, which projects or urban renewal areas would you want to shut down? 

I do favor continuing thoughtful urban renewal projects that create a positive impact to our community. Arvada Urban Renewal has been a leader and model of how Urban Renewals should operate and it’s projects.

Q4: If elected, will you favor asking the voters for a new user fee, or a new tax, to support increased road maintenance and/or new road construction?

We still need to thoroughly look into this. I do think something has to happen, but not sure which approach makes sense for our community and sustainability of maintaining our infrastructure.

Q5: If you’re not an incumbent – or even if you are — how have you prepared, or will you prepare to serve on the Council if elected? What we’re looking for here is not just learning the mechanics of how City government works, but instead learning the ins and outs of current issues, how cities are funded, how they provide services, how they build infrastructure, and how they establish and work toward a common vision for the community.

I am absolutely committed understanding of the policies that govern our community, while listening to our communities issues, concerns and successes, which will provide us a path into shaping our City for the future. I visited several City departments in my first term to understand the challenges and successes of the Teams within the City. I have been an advocate in providing the proper and efficient tools and vehicles which are needed to deliver the service efficiently and effectively.

In addition to these top five questions, the CLRC steering committee also had a number of concerns. They are added here as a group, and in a question format. Please feel free to comment on any or all of them as you see fit:

A: Do you favor (without a tax increase or additional fees) renewing the City’s existing bonds expiring in 2018? If so, what would your top priorities be for the available funding?

With the current information provided to me, I do support renewing the bonds so that we can get more projects done with “today’s” dollars and avoid prolong/deferred projects that only consume more money to maintain or address at a later time.

Top priorities for me is addressing Ralston Road corridor including the sidewalks, addressing 72nd and Indiana intersection, Jefferson Parkway and last mile circulator service between our train stations and areas of interests (Arvada Center, shopping areas, sporting complexes, etc)

B: Do you support widening the existing lanes on Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to Independence Street to make them safer for vehicle traffic?

Yes, per my previous response. There has been way too many close calls with pedestrian and vehicle conflicts that I have personally witness and it must be addressed. If we renew bonding this would be something we can address sooner before someone is seriously hurt.

C:  Do you support adding full-width sidewalks along this same road even if it means taking some available parking from adjacent businesses?

Where it makes sense and where there are safety concerns, otherwise it needs to be looked at on a case by case basis. I would prefer that we have wide enough sidewalks to allow pedestrians and bicycles to share the sidewalks.

D: What is your position on allowing, either now or in the future, the legal sale of marijuana in the City or the establishment of smoking clubs as allowed under State law?  

I do not support these establishments within our community. We have heard from our constituents that have strong expressed their concerns of such establishments in our family oriented community.

E: On September 18th, the Arvada Chamber of Commerce held a candidate forum and put 17 questions to the City Council candidates. But not all participants had an opportunity to answer all of the questions, and not all the candidates chose to participate in the forum. Are there any of those questions you would like to answer here? Or are there any responses you gave at that forum you’d now like to expand upon?

No, I addressed all the questions and was clear where I stood on those questions.

[end of responses by Councilor Fifer]

* * *

WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
An earlier CLRC article has a listing of all the candidates, their contact information and their campaign websites. It has been updated during the campaign and can be found at this link:

http://ralstoncommunity.org/2015/08/25/11-candidates-vie-for-5-arvada-city-council-seats/

Other questions were put to the candidates in an open forum held by the Arvada Chamber of Commerce. You can read their question list and find a link to the answers the candidates gave in return at this link:

http://ralstoncommunity.org/2015/09/25/eight-city-council-candidates-meet-in-chamber-sponsored-forum/

As always, “The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community does not endorse candidates for public office. However, we often post candidacy announcements, press releases, interviews and questionnaire responses for those running for office. And we encourage our members to actively support whatever candidates they choose during elections.”

The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community is an independent neighborhood association representing the neighborhoods adjacent to Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to the Kipling Parkway.

You can read all of our articles on our main website at http://www.RalstonCommunity.org or you can read even more posts on our Facebook page at “CLRC – Citizens for a Liveable Ralston Community”. You can write to us, call us or email us at

CLRC
c/o John Kiljan, Secretary
6185 Field Street
Arvada, CO 80004

303-423-9875
jpkiljan@yahoo.com

October 13, 2015

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Marc Williams versus Dave Chandler – Mayor


Marc Williams versus Dave Chandler – Mayor

Dear CLRC members and friends,

This is one of a series of candidate surveys for each of the five seats now open on the Arvada City Council. The question list came from suggestions made by our neighborhood association’s steering committee. The questions and the candidates’ responses are copied here, and all the candidates were asked the same questions. The responses are unedited except for formatting.

In Arvada, the Mayor chairs the Arvada City Council and is an equal voting member. He/she also sets its agenda and acts as the primary representative of the City in civic affairs. The Mayor is elected at-large by all the voters.

–JK

DChandler2015Dave Chandler

Q1: What experiences, job skills, education, training, volunteer work, committee work, or perspective on municipal affairs do you believe most qualifies you to sit on the Arvada City Council for the next four years (or for two years in District 1)?

This election for mayor is about change and making Arvada even better. We need new ideas, new proposals, and a genuine commitment to respecting and preserving the history and character that makes Arvada a great community in which to live.

The purposeful evasion of term limits by incumbents, through the playing of musical chairs between offices, is an example of how their ‘experience’ has made them disdainful towards the expectations of the public. As for the incumbent mayor — four terms on city council is enough.

It is time for new faces, new ideas and a new respect for the voices of all Arvadans. We must strive to include as many different viewpoints as possible so that we can find the best solutions for the challenges we face.

We need new approaches to make Arvada a model of the innovative, suburban city of the 21st century … champion free enterprise; preserve our unique historical character; maintain the highest standards for parks and trails; and more open city government so that all Arvada voices are heard and represented.

My family and I value our twenty-four years in Arvada. We appreciate the many friends and neighbors we have here. Arvada is a special place and it deserves a city council as diverse, as forward-looking, and as good as its residents. 

See http://www.MayorDave.us

Q2: Do you support the return of active recreation to south-central Arvada and will you actively work to encourage APEX to partner with the city in order to accomplish that? If so, how would you do that?

“Apex PRD and the City of Arvada share resources and define responsibilities to save taxpayers money. In general, Apex PRD handles “active” recreation such as youth and adult sports, fitness, swimming, golf, ice skating, etc., while the City of Arvada handles “passive” recreation-parks and trails.”

About Us – Apex Park and Recreation District [ http://apexprd.org/about-us ]

Q3: Do you favor continuing ongoing and/or future urban renewal projects through the City’s Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA)? If not, which projects or urban renewal areas would you want to shut down?  

Arvada Urban Renewal diverts tax dollars that should go to fixing and maintaining our roads and that should go to schools, libraries, Apex, etc., for the benefit of private, for-profit developers.

For example, ‘Solana Olde Town Station’ is to be a 350 unit, 18 building apartment complex that will be built on land situated north of 56th Avenue between Wadsworth Bypass and Lamar Street; the developer will get a $7.2 million government tax kick-back so that they can make money on their private property. This government-private project will mean yet another traffic signal on Wadsworth and hundreds and hundreds of more vehicle trips per day and even more traffic congestion in that already clogged area of the city.

In the Olde Town Arvada urban renewal zone the concept of the free markets in local real estate, entrepreneurship, and free enterprise is given only lip service by the Urban Renewal Authority; corporate welfare seems to be its preferred method of operation.

These “public-private” schemes are going on all over Arvada … from the Walmart subsidy to the Hilton Hotel handout to the monstrosity being constructed at Wadsworth Bypass and Ralston Road.

It is time for change in Arvada.

It is time for a city government that is as honest, as fair, and as good as the resident of Arvada.

Q4: If elected, will you favor asking the voters for a new user fee, or a new tax, to support increased road maintenance and/or new road construction?

No. See above answer. A new mayor and council can stop giving away our tax revenue, set better priorities, and begin a program to get our street and roads fixed.

Q5: If you’re not an incumbent – or even if you are — how have you prepared, or will you prepare to serve on the Council if elected? What we’re looking for here is not just learning the mechanics of how City government works, but instead learning the ins and outs of current issues, how cities are funded, how they provide services, how they build infrastructure, and how they establish and work toward a common vision for the community.

One has to be almost amused at the bias and impertinence of these questions … clearly indicating the prejudice of the author for the ‘Incumbent Party’ candidates. Entrenched politicians always trumpet how their experience makes them indispensable, but thankfully Americans won a Revolutionary War in 1783 and ratified a Constitution in 1789 that makes the people the sovereigns; we have elections so the people can choose … we are not meant to be ruled over by a permanent “governing class.”

Indeed, my candidacy is about new ideas and innovation; it is about putting the average resident of Arvada in charge; and about a new mayor and city council that will represent ALL the people.

This election all the incumbent city council candidates are running as a slate – all of them giving campaign contributions to each other. The city council today is literally a good ol’boys club.

And what do we get from an entrenched council that seems to believe that “they always know what is best for all of us”? 

  • Way too many years of cozy relationships and well-connected partnerships with special interests that has led to favoritism and cronyism in Arvada government.
  • Arvada Urban Renewal projects like the atrociously out-of-place Park Place Olde Town (PPOT) apartment complex at Wadsworth and Ralston made with millions of dollars of tax subsides and sweetheart land deals for the developers. Now we see those developers giving maximum campaign contributions to the incumbent mayor.

This kind of ‘experience’ we don’t need anymore of on the Arvada city council.

I am running for mayor to break this cycle of insider politics and to invite a more robust and diverse dialogue among and between council members and the public. Together we can create a more inclusive city that is only beholden to and benefits all the people of Arvada.

In addition to these top five questions, the CLRC steering committee also had a number of concerns. They are added here as a group, and in a question format. Please feel free to comment on any or all of them as you see fit:

A: Do you favor (without a tax increase or additional fees) renewing the City’s existing bonds expiring in 2018? If so, what would your top priorities be for the available funding?

B: Do you support widening the existing lanes on Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to Independence Street to make them safer for vehicle traffic?

C:  Do you support adding full-width sidewalks along this same road even if it means taking some available parking from adjacent businesses?

D: What is your position on allowing, either now or in the future, the legal sale of marijuana in the City or the establishment of smoking clubs as allowed under State law?  

E: On September 18th, the Arvada Chamber of Commerce held a candidate forum and put 17 questions to the City Council candidates. But not all participants had an opportunity to answer all of the questions, and not all the candidates chose to participate in the forum. Are there any of those questions you would like to answer here? Or are there any responses you gave at that forum you’d now like to expand upon?

[end of responses by Mr Chandler]

* * *

WilliamsMarc Williams (incumbent)

Q1: What experiences, job skills, education, training, volunteer work, committee work, or perspective on municipal affairs do you believe most qualifies you to sit on the Arvada City Council for the next four years (or for two years in District 1)?

I have been extremely involved in Arvada since I came here in 1979. In my earlier years, I gained great experience through my involvement with the Chamber of Commerce, which led me to attend many public hearings and learn necessary skills in conducting hearings and meetings. I served as President of the Chamber of Commerce in 1993. As an attorney, I represented many clients both in Municipal Court, and also before the Arvada Liquor Authority, the Planning Commission, and City Council.

I first became involved in Public Service when I was appointed by the Jefferson County Commissioners as a Trustee for the Jefferson County Libraries. I served as a Trustee during the planning and completion of the Standley Lake Library, the Golden Library, the Evergreen Library and the joint library project with the School District in Conifer, along with the planning for the Olde Town Library. During that time, I became Chair of the Library Board.

I successfully ran for a City Council At-Large seat in 1999, and served three terms as a Council Member. During that time, I was fortunate enough to learn much of the workings of the City, and serve on a number of committees. I have served on the Jefferson County Economic Development Board, the coordinating committees with the fire district, school district, and the APEX districts. This has given me an understanding of how our regional governmental and business partners work and their issues and concerns.

The Citizens of Arvada honored me when they elected me Mayor in 2011. During that time, I also served on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Municipal League, and was selected as President of that State wide organization in 2013. During this first term as Mayor, I have also been an active and vocal member of the Metro Mayors Caucus, working on issues that affect Arvada and the entire Metropolitan Area.

During my time as Mayor, I have been active in attending school functions and activities, active with the business community to recognize business openings, retentions, and expansions, and spoken with a large variety of community groups, civic clubs, faith based organizations, and many folks one on one to understand their perspectives and issues. I believe I have conducted Public Hearings in a fair manner to allow divergent positions to be presented and considered.

Q2: Do you support the return of active recreation to south-central Arvada and will you actively work to encourage APEX to partner with the city in order to accomplish that? If so, how would you do that?

I have an established track record of working with the APEX District to maximize services in the Community. We worked with great success to bring the new Field House facility to the Citizens, and the Splash Park as part of the amenities in Ralston Central Park. As I have done in the past, I will work with the APEX District to bring an active recreation facility, including a swimming pool and workout facility to the south-central portion of Arvada. With my full support, the City has set aside $3 Million to assist with this project, and we are currently proposing a site adjacent to an area school.

I would submit that the relationship and trust that I have established with both Board members and Staff at APEX will assist in having this project happen sooner rather than later.

Q3: Do you favor continuing ongoing and/or future urban renewal projects through the City’s Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA)? If not, which projects or urban renewal areas would you want to shut down?  

It is no secret that I am a champion for the appropriate use of Urban Renewal Authorities. Much of the success of Olde Town can be attributed to the thoughtful use of Urban Renewal in attracting projects such as Cosco, Sam’s Club, and the Super Target. Urban Renewal provides the ability to address issues of blight in areas that would not normally be attractive for redevelopment to the development community- it is easier for them to build projects in “green fields”, which leads to sprawl.

Projects such as the Walmart store provide needed sales tax revenues that can be used to pay for infrastructure to support the redevelopment on the north side of the Ralston Creek project, which promises to bring a mixed use amenity for our citizens and guests.

In other communities, much of the criticism of Urban Renewal has been based on the use of Condemnation, takings, powers. During my time on Council and as Mayor, we have avoided any use of unfriendly Condemnation takings, and I intend to continue that practice.

Q4: If elected, will you favor asking the voters for a new user fee, or a new tax, to support increased road maintenance and/or new road construction?

I will want to explore all options to increase our financial support for road maintenance and construction. As any new tax is an issue that must be voted on by our citizens, if it is determined that a new tax is the highest and best option, I will support asking the citizens to consider that option, and honor their decision.

Q5: If you’re not an incumbent – or even if you are — how have you prepared, or will you prepare to serve on the Council if elected? What we’re looking for here is not just learning the mechanics of how City government works, but instead learning the ins and outs of current issues, how cities are funded, how they provide services, how they build infrastructure, and how they establish and work toward a common vision for the community.

I would submit that I have been preparing to continue on as Arvada’s Mayor ever since I became involved in this wonderful community. The role of Mayor is an important one, and the on the job training I have received during my time volunteering with the Chamber of Commerce, as an attorney working on a variety of local issues, as a Library Trustee, as a Council Member for 12 years, and now as Mayor for the past four years is priceless to assist me in moving forward for the next four years.

I have a wealth of experiences and many beneficial relationships here in the City and throughout the region that make it easier to advance the goals and projects that will be so very important in the coming years.

In addition to these top five questions, the CLRC steering committee also had a number of concerns. They are added here as a group, and in a question format. Please feel free to comment on any or all of them as you see fit:

A: Do you favor (without a tax increase or additional fees) renewing the City’s existing bonds expiring in 2018? If so, what would your top priorities be for the available funding?

B: Do you support widening the existing lanes on Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to Independence Street to make them safer for vehicle traffic?

C:  Do you support adding full-width sidewalks along this same road even if it means taking some available parking from adjacent businesses?

D: What is your position on allowing, either now or in the future, the legal sale of marijuana in the City or the establishment of smoking clubs as allowed under State law?  

E: On September 18th, the Arvada Chamber of Commerce held a candidate forum and put 17 questions to the City Council candidates. But not all participants had an opportunity to answer all of the questions, and not all the candidates chose to participate in the forum. Are there any of those questions you would like to answer here? Or are there any responses you gave at that forum you’d now like to expand upon?

I do support seeking taxpayer consent to renew the City’s existing bonds, and would use those funds to advance the priorities proposed by our Citizen’s Capital Improvement Committee.

Where possible, without adversely affecting existing businesses, I would like to see the widening of Ralston Road and the widening of sidewalks to promote safe pedestrian use of this important spine through our community. We need to work with the businesses to minimize impact on parking, and should compensate businesses or homeowners in a voluntary fashion to meet these objectives.

I did not, and do not, support the sale of either medical or recreational marijuana, or use in smoking clubs, in Arvada, and have receive extensive support for that position. The state law allowed local communities to make their own local decision on this issue, and I am proud of the position that our City Council has taken.

I was disappointed that not all candidates chose to participate and offer their opinions in what turned out, as had been advertised, as a very fair format. I stand by the positions and answers I presented, and encourage folks to view that forum either on the City website or MarcWilliamsformayor.com

[end of responses by Mayor Williams]

* * *

WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
An earlier CLRC article has a listing of all the candidates, their contact information and their campaign websites. It has been updated during the campaign and can be found at this link:

http://ralstoncommunity.org/2015/08/25/11-candidates-vie-for-5-arvada-city-council-seats/

Other questions were put to the candidates in an open forum held by the Arvada Chamber of Commerce. You can read their question list and find a link to the answers the candidates gave in return at this link:

http://ralstoncommunity.org/2015/09/25/eight-city-council-candidates-meet-in-chamber-sponsored-forum/

As always, “The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community does not endorse candidates for public office. However, we often post candidacy announcements, press releases, interviews and questionnaire responses for those running for office. And we encourage our members to actively support whatever candidates they choose during elections.”

The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community is an independent neighborhood association representing the neighborhoods adjacent to Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to the Kipling Parkway.

You can read all of our articles on our main website at http://www.RalstonCommunity.org or you can read even more posts on our Facebook page at “CLRC – Citizens for a Liveable Ralston Community”. You can write to us, call us or email us at

CLRC
c/o John Kiljan, Secretary
6185 Field Street
Arvada, CO 80004

303-423-9875
jpkiljan@yahoo.com

October 12, 2015

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Bob Dyer versus David Jones – Council District 4


Bob Dyer versus David Jones – Council District 4

Dear CLRC members and friends,

This is one of a series of candidate surveys for each of the five seats now open on the Arvada City Council. The question list came from suggestions made by our neighborhood association’s steering committee. The questions and the candidates’ responses are copied here, and all the candidates were asked the same questions. The responses are unedited except for formatting.

The District 4 Council member is elected by voters in the western part of the City – generally outside of our neighborhood association area. But District 4 Councilors must vote on all City issues, including those affecting central Arvada, and they may take campaign donations from anywhere in the City.

–JK

DavidJones1Crop

David Jones

Q1: What experiences, job skills, education, training, volunteer work, committee work, or perspective on municipal affairs do you believe most qualifies you to sit on the Arvada City Council for the next four years (or for two years in District 1)?

I am Charismatic, Innovative and a Pacesetter. An optimist who faces challenges with hope & confidence not fear and anger. I have served on a dozen different nonprofit and for profit boards and all of my successes came by working in collaboration with all parties. It is critical that I bring my Strategic development, Strong leadership, Vision, and Bottom line focus to my service as a member of Arvada City Council.

I own and operate a successful Arvada based business with 85 employees ensuring its viability and growth through proper fiscal management.  

I believe that it is essential for our city partners and citizens to come together to determine zoning, building density, and other high-impact city planning issues. Developers should demonstrate value, getting residents “on board” by disclosing details that could modify the Arvada we all experience. Public works, roads, parking structures, and other projects need public input as well before the Council is approached, permits are granted, and construction begins. Through transparency, long-term plans can become realities that serve developers, the city, and its citizens.

Q2: Do you support the return of active recreation to south-central Arvada and will you actively work to encourage APEX to partner with the city in order to accomplish that? If so, how would you do that?

I am a firm believer that an active person is a happy person. I also believe that all citizens in our city need access to recreation within a reasonable distance to where they live. The needs of our people are continually changing and Arvada is a place where people can be active both inside and out. Our recreation facilities and trail systems are key to encouraging movement and activity. I will support active and results driven discussions with APEX to locate areas in Arvada that are under served and assist with a long term plan to address those needs.

Q3: Do you favor continuing ongoing and/or future urban renewal projects through the City’s Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA)? If not, which projects or urban renewal areas would you want to shut down?

I am in favor of ongoing and/or future urban renewal projects.

When evaluating urban renewal tools like Tax increment financing or even property tax incentives, perhaps the most important question is whether they actually make a difference. Do tax share backs cause a business or developer to choose a site it would have passed up without incentives, or would it have chosen the same location regardless? I believe that in today’s business environment it has become more competitive and these types of financing tools are a big part of all new growth.

I also know that businesses consider many other factors during the site-selection process, including labor costs and skills of the local workforce, proximity to suppliers and customers, access to transportation (highways and railroads), energy costs, and the cost for office or industrial space, regulations, and state and local taxes. In my opinion, these kinds of incentives help to off-set some of the other known factors in a business’s decision to relocate.

Although policymakers rarely have enough information to judge the long term impact of tax-incentive packages accurately (because things can change like the economy), they can and must do the following: First, they must be cautious by asking a lot of questions of the developer and city staff before approving tax-incentive packages and two, simply refuse to act as a rubber stamp for any business or development request. Everything we do in Arvada needs to make since financially and needs to be done responsibility.

Q4: If elected, will you favor asking the voters for a new user fee, or a new tax, to support increased road maintenance and/or new road construction?

I am not in favor of proposing a tax increase “Just because”. I would rather explore what all of the options are and then work for a responsible resolution. That would include developing a long term plan that will address city wide road maintenance, current pinch points like Indiana, Quaker, 64th etc., and any new road development. If the question gets to the point where we need the voters to decide, then YES, I would put it to the voters and let them decide.  

Q5: If you’re not an incumbent – or even if you are — how have you prepared, or will you prepare to serve on the Council if elected? What we’re looking for here is not just learning the mechanics of how City government works, but instead learning the ins and outs of current issues, how cities are funded, how they provide services, how they build infrastructure, and how they establish and work toward a common vision for the community.

I began my study and preparation a couple of years ago. I have been looking at and studying different issues that the current council has faced. In that study I have made my own determination on how I would have acted if I were sitting on council today. I have taken time to review the many different budgets to understand how each is funded. I have been a regular at the council Business meetings and workshops to hear firsthand the discussions and dialogue.

I have been active in the community by talking with the constituents and understanding from their perspective what is working and not working.

Additionally, I have met with AEDA, AURA, City Manager, Police Chief and the Fire Chief to hear from them what their biggest challenges are as a department. I have several other departmental meeting scheduled and plan to meet with all before the election. Like my business, if I can truly understand the needs of our employees, I can understand the needs of our business. The city is very much the same. I will work to foster the relationships within the city departments and do my part to enhance every conversation with a willingness to roll up my sleeves and get to work. It is important to understand what your people need to be successful.

In addition to these top five questions, the CLRC steering committee also had a number of concerns. They are added here as a group, and in a question format. Please feel free to comment on any or all of them as you see fit:

A: Do you favor (without a tax increase or additional fees) renewing the City’s existing bonds expiring in 2018? If so, what would your top priorities be for the available funding?

I would like to see if there is a way to finance the projects with cash on hand over time. This would be more like a reserve type fund that is funded over time based on the project. Having said that, I would support renewing the current bonds only if there was no other way to finance the current projects identified by the citizens group and approved by council.

Of the 30 or more different projects identified, council has narrowed that list down to 3 real projects. 72nd and Indiana, Ralston Road and a new Parks Maintenance building. I am in favor of the first 2 and believe that the parks building can be pushed to another time. I know there are other road projects like last 2 miles of Quaker from 72nd to 82nd, 82nd from the Westside of Leyden Rock development to Indiana, Intersection of 80th and Indiana. For me, these project would take a much higher priority than many others that were listed.   Unfortunately, I think this matter will be resolved before I take my seat on council.

B: Do you support widening the existing lanes on Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to Independence Street to make them safer for vehicle traffic?

I do! I think that this will be a welcome expansion by all who use Ralston Road.

C:  Do you support adding full-width sidewalks along this same road even if it means taking some available parking from adjacent businesses?

I would support adding “full-width” (However, I need to understand the definition of full width) sidewalks only after the conversations and agreements with local businesses had taken place. I would want to ensure that all parties have an opportunity to provide feedback and have input into the decision.

D: What is your position on allowing, either now or in the future, the legal sale of marijuana in the City or the establishment of smoking clubs as allowed under State law?

I attend the council meeting on March 17, 2014 where the current council voted 7-0 for a permanent ban of the any type of marijuana sales or grow operations in the City of Arvada. I was there in support of the ban and will continue to fight and keep the ban active even if I am not elected this November. This includes any kind of smoking club establishments. Our city does not need to offer retail or medical sale of marijuana now or in the future to succeed as a city.

E: On September 18th, the Arvada Chamber of Commerce held a candidate forum and put 17 questions to the City Council candidates. But not all participants had an opportunity to answer all of the questions, and not all the candidates chose to participate in the forum. Are there any of those questions you would like to answer here? Or are there any responses you gave at that forum you’d now like to expand upon?

I don’t feel the need to answer any other questions or expand on any answers I provided. However, I would like to speak about my experience. I am not a member of the Chamber nor is my business. I did not know Mr. Winkler the owner of the Lamar Street Center before the event. For me as a new comer to this process any organization or location could be considered unfair. I made the decision that regardless of the venue or host I would attend. People deserve that of those they are considering for public office.

So I attended the forum held by the Arvada Chamber of Commerce and found it to be a great opportunity for me to demonstrate to those in attendance and those who will watch online who I am as a person. The 15 topics present to me one week before the forum challenged me to ensure that I had sufficient knowledge and understanding of current activities and issues in the city. When I arrived the morning of the forum I received the same three questions as my opponent and the same 3 rapid-fire questions asked of all participants. Because I was prepared and up to speed with most of the topics presented, drafting my response was not difficult.

I wish that those who chose not to attend would have because I am a voter as well as a candidate and I personally would have loved to hear them speak and see how they interact in high pressure situations.  

[end of responses by Mr Jones]

* * *

BobDyerCrop

Bob Dyer (incumbent)

Q1: What experiences, job skills, education, training, volunteer work, committee work, or perspective on municipal affairs do you believe most qualifies you to sit on the Arvada City Council for the next four years (or for two years in District 1)?

I served on the Arvada Fire Protection District Board from 2002 to 2006, including 2004 to 2006 as President. I served on the Arvada City Council from 1991 to 1999 and from 2007 to present. In addition, I have served on many other boards including Jefferson County Open Space Advisory Committee, Arvada Jefferson Kiwanis, Arvada Economic Development Association and the Arvada Chamber of Commerce.

To further my understanding of municipal government, I went to graduate school. I earned Masters Degree in Public Administration and a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning in 2000 from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Q2: Do you support the return of active recreation to south-central Arvada and will you actively work to encourage APEX to partner with the city in order to accomplish that? If so, how would you do that?

Growing up in what is now south-central Arvada, I know the importance of active recreational opportunities. I support APEX’s efforts and have continued to support Arvada’s financial support for such a project. We have partnered very successfully with APEX on other projects and I expect we will be successful in this as well.

Q3: Do you favor continuing ongoing and/or future urban renewal projects through the City’s Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA)? If not, which projects or urban renewal areas would you want to shut down? 

I support the ongoing projects and I would not support shutting down any of them.

Q4: If elected, will you favor asking the voters for a new user fee, or a new tax, to support increased road maintenance and/or new road construction?

I am not in support of raising fees or taxes for road maintenance. We must prioritize that within our current revenues. I would support asking for approval of bonding for new construction so long as it does not increase current tax rates.

Q5: If you’re not an incumbent – or even if you are — how have you prepared, or will you prepare to serve on the Council if elected? What we’re looking for here is not just learning the mechanics of how City government works, but instead learning the ins and outs of current issues, how cities are funded, how they provide services, how they build infrastructure, and how they establish and work toward a common vision for the community.

This is something I have worked on for thirty years, going back to my earliest days as a small business owner. I have been involved in the process through the Arvada Chamber of Commerce and a member of various City appointed committees. I have the practical experience of serving in local government for twenty years and I also earned the educational background that helps me every day in serving the citizens of Arvada.

In addition to these top five questions, the CLRC steering committee also had a number of concerns. They are added here as a group, and in a question format. Please feel free to comment on any or all of them as you see fit:

A: Do you favor (without a tax increase or additional fees) renewing the City’s existing bonds expiring in 2018? If so, what would your top priorities be for the available funding?

I do, depending on financial conditions at that time. My top priorities would be Ralston Road and the Parks Maintenance Complex.

B: Do you support widening the existing lanes on Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to Independence Street to make them safer for vehicle traffic?

I do.

C:  Do you support adding full-width sidewalks along this same road even if it means taking some available parking from adjacent businesses?

In general, yes. But I would want to work those adjacent businesses in designing and building those sidewalks so that they will benefit as well.

D: What is your position on allowing, either now or in the future, the legal sale of marijuana in the City or the establishment of smoking clubs as allowed under State law? 

I am not in favor of changing the current city ordinance.

E: On September 18th, the Arvada Chamber of Commerce held a candidate forum and put 17 questions to the City Council candidates. But not all participants had an opportunity to answer all of the questions, and not all the candidates chose to participate in the forum. Are there any of those questions you would like to answer here? Or are there any responses you gave at that forum you’d now like to expand upon?

I feel that the forum was very fair to all involved and I believe I had the opportunity to answer the appropriate questions concerning District 4.

[end of responses by Councilor Dyer]

* * *

WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
An earlier CLRC article has a listing of all the candidates, their contact information and their campaign websites. It has been updated during the campaign and can be found at this link:

http://ralstoncommunity.org/2015/08/25/11-candidates-vie-for-5-arvada-city-council-seats/

Other questions were put to the candidates in an open forum held by the Arvada Chamber of Commerce. You can read their question list and find a link to the answers the candidates gave in return at this link:

http://ralstoncommunity.org/2015/09/25/eight-city-council-candidates-meet-in-chamber-sponsored-forum/

You may be in Arvada City Council District 4 and not know it. The district boundaries have changed since the last district election and have moved, roughly, to Ward Road. Here is a close-up the new District 3/District 4 boundary line.  (Click to enlarge)

District3 -- District 4 boundry

District3 — District 4 boundary

As always, “The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community does not endorse candidates for public office. However, we often post candidacy announcements, press releases, interviews and questionnaire responses for those running for office. And we encourage our members to actively support whatever candidates they choose during elections.”

The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community is an independent neighborhood association representing the neighborhoods adjacent to Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to the Kipling Parkway.

You can read all of our articles on our main website at http://www.RalstonCommunity.org or you can read even more posts on our Facebook page at “CLRC – Citizens for a Liveable Ralston Community”. You can write to us, call us or email us at

CLRC
c/o John Kiljan, Secretary
6185 Field Street
Arvada, CO 80004

303-423-9875
jpkiljan@yahoo.com

October 12, 2015

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Mark McGoff versus Dave Palm – Council District 2


Mark McGoff versus Dave Palm – Council District 2

Dear CLRC members and friends,

This is one of a series of candidate surveys for each of the five seats now open on the Arvada City Council. The question list came from suggestions made by our neighborhood association’s steering committee. The questions and the candidates’ responses are copied here, and all the candidates were asked the same questions. The responses are unedited except for formatting.

In our neighborhoods, Council District 2 covers the eastern part of Arvada with Olde Wadsworth Boulevard – running through the center of Olde Town – being the dividing line with Council District 3 to the west. The district also covers the extreme southeast corner of Arvada (the Columbine neighborhood) and up into part of northeast Arvada. As with other the Council districts, the Councilor for District 2 must vote on all City matters, and candidates may accept campaign donations from anywhere in the City.

–JK

dave profile 141213

Dave Palm

Q1: What experiences, job skills, education, training, volunteer work, committee work, or perspective on municipal affairs do you believe most qualifies you to sit on the Arvada City Council for the next four years (or for two years in District 1)?

My experience spans a variety of occupations ranging from Finance and Insurance management to IT Systems network Administration, from multi-family property management to that of Arvada small business owner for over 30 years. As a lifelong resident of Arvada I bring a unique blend of experience, love of community, and respect for history to the table.

Q2: Do you support the return of active recreation to south-central Arvada and will you actively work to encourage APEX to partner with the city in order to accomplish that? If so, how would you do that?

This sounds like a question about replacing the pool and skating rink that APEX tore down at Garrison and Ralston Rd. I do favor having that type of amenity available but I don’t believe that we need more than one entity responsible for recreation. APEX is funded separately by property tax and should stand on its own, especially since they plan to come back to the voters and ask for more tax money next year.

Q3: Do you favor continuing ongoing and/or future urban renewal projects through the City’s Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA)? If not, which projects or urban renewal areas would you want to shut down? 

I believe that we need to completely re-evaluate Arvada Urban Renewal and their funding mechanisms specifically TIF (tax increment financing) and PIF (public improvement fee). Colorado’s Urban Renewal statutes were intended to eliminate “slum and blight” conditions, but have transformed into a means of stealing millions of dollars from schools, libraries, fire departments, and other urban services and then giving that money to developers and other private, for profit corporations in the form of crony capitalism. Slum and Blight should be strictly defined and these types of financial schemes should require voter approval.

Q4: If elected, will you favor asking the voters for a new user fee, or a new tax, to support increased road maintenance and/or new road construction?

The tax burden in Arvada is definitely high enough already. Current city council’s agenda of using traffic and poorly maintained roads to force citizens out of their cars and into Light Rail/Mass Transit must be changed. Tax money that has been re-directed away from city services like road maintenance and given to developers to build Hilton hotels and big box retailers like Wal-Mart caused the current shortfall in road maintenance. With a little creative, outside the box thinking and a reassessment of our priorities we can maintain and build the roads we need without tax increases.

Q5: If you’re not an incumbent – or even if you are — how have you prepared, or will you prepare to serve on the Council if elected? What we’re looking for here is not just learning the mechanics of how City government works, but instead learning the ins and outs of current issues, how cities are funded, how they provide services, how they build infrastructure, and how they establish and work toward a common vision for the community.

I am prepared to ask the hard questions about presentations to city council from city staff, and will insist on hearing both pro and con on every issue. I don’t think that learning how things have always been done has any value. I believe the definition of insanity; “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”. It is time for a fresh approach and it’s time to really listen to the citizens instead of the insiders in city governance.

In addition to these top five questions, the CLRC steering committee also had a number of concerns. They are added here as a group, and in a question format. Please feel free to comment on any or all of them as you see fit:

A: Do you favor (without a tax increase or additional fees) renewing the City’s existing bonds expiring in 2018? If so, what would your top priorities be for the available funding?

NO, while the question indicates no increase in taxes or fees to renew the bonds, what isn’t said is that not renewing the bonds would result in savings in not having those bond and interest payments.

B: Do you support widening the existing lanes on Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to Independence Street to make them safer for vehicle traffic?

NO. The premise of this question, “making the street safer” is a straw man argument and really refers to easing traffic flow to the Triangle redevelopment for the benefit of Wal-Mart and the other urban renewal developments planned in that area, not to mention having to redo all the curb and gutter replacement that is currently being done.

C:  Do you support adding full-width sidewalks along this same road even if it means taking some available parking from adjacent businesses?

NO.

D: What is your position on allowing, either now or in the future, the legal sale of marijuana in the City or the establishment of smoking clubs as allowed under State law?

I don’t personally advocate the use of marijuana (or alcohol for that matter) and I don’t believe that it is within the purview of City Council to make moral or ethical judgements for the citizens of Arvada. With that said, I think this is an issue that should be addressed by the citizens with full disclosure. Some facts to consider; a majority of Arvada citizens voted to legalize marijuana in 2012. Usage of marijuana in a community is not tied to whether or not legalized sales are allowed in that community. The city of Edgewater collected over $1 million dollars in sales tax on marijuana last year with no increase in crime or policing costs. The Colorado state statute that legalized marijuana gave individual cities the power to regulate the retail sale. This includes their location as well as days and hours of operation.

E: On September 18th, the Arvada Chamber of Commerce held a candidate forum and put 17 questions to the City Council candidates. But not all participants had an opportunity to answer all of the questions, and not all the candidates chose to participate in the forum. Are there any of those questions you would like to answer here? Or are there any responses you gave at that forum you’d now like to expand upon?

I did not participate in the forum as indicated in my previous statement;

“As a candidate for city council district 2, I am eager to participate in any open and unbiased citizen forum where residents are able to ask their own questions of the candidates. Given that the stated agenda of the Arvada Chamber of Commerce is that of a legislative advocate for business owners; that some members of the Chamber’s board are candidates for election; and that The Chamber receives funding from the City; I don’t believe it is possible for this to be an impartial and unbiased event.”

[end of responses by Mr Palm]

* * *

MMGWebPhoto

Mark McGoff (incumbent)

Q1: What experiences, job skills, education, training, volunteer work, committee work, or perspective on municipal affairs do you believe most qualifies you to sit on the Arvada City Council for the next four years (or for two years in District 1)?

I have demonstrated achievement and leadership in my professional career and in my community involvement. As a warden in the Colorado prison system over a period of twenty-five years, I had responsibility for the safety of prisoners and employees, the accountability for large budgets, and management of buildings and infrastructure. Additionally, I have served as president/chair of numerous boards of directors at the municipal, county, and state levels. I have undergraduate and graduate college degrees, and I have completed numerous courses in water management, planning and zoning, land use, and other topics related to municipal government.

Q2: Do you support the return of active recreation to south-central Arvada and will you actively work to encourage APEX to partner with the city in order to accomplish that? If so, how would you do that?

I do support the return of active recreation to south-central Arvada. As a council member, I will support the continued development of our parks and trails system. Additionally, I will advocate continued cooperation with APEX in developing active recreations programs, not only in southeast Arvada, but throughout the city. (It might be noted that I encourage active recreation by leading monthly hikes for large groups of adults and youth throughout the city.)

Q3: Do you favor continuing ongoing and/or future urban renewal projects through the City’s Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA)? If not, which projects or urban renewal areas would you want to shut down?

I do favor our current urban renewal projects and would not wish to shut any of them down. As our community ages, I fully anticipate the development of additional urban renewal projects in the future.

Q4: If elected, will you favor asking the voters for a new user fee, or a new tax, to support increased road maintenance and/or new road construction?

Over the past few years the city council has increased funding for street maintenance and re-construction, and I will advocate the continuance of increased funding in the future. If our available funding is not sufficient for our needs, I will consider asking our citizens for additional funding through a sales tax, property tax, or user fee.   Any such increase would require approval of the voters.

Q5: If you’re not an incumbent – or even if you are — how have you prepared, or will you prepare to serve on the Council if elected? What we’re looking for here is not just learning the mechanics of how City government works, but instead learning the ins and outs of current issues, how cities are funded, how they provide services, how they build infrastructure, and how they establish and work toward a common vision for the community.

I will continue to learn by participating in courses sponsored by organizations such as the Colorado Municipal League, Land Use Leadership Alliance, and Urban Land Institute. Additionally, I will be thorough in my study of all issues that come before the council, and I will stay informed of the work and activities of all city boards and commissions.

In addition to these top five questions, the CLRC steering committee also had a number of concerns. They are added here as a group, and in a question format. Please feel free to comment on any or all of them as you see fit:

A: Do you favor (without a tax increase or additional fees) renewing the City’s existing bonds expiring in 2018? If so, what would your top priorities be for the available funding?

I do favor renewing our existing bonds in 2018. Given the large number and cost of capital improvements that have been identified by the Citizens Capital Improvement Committee, it is imperative that we have sufficient funds available for major projects.

B: Do you support widening the existing lanes on Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to Independence Street to make them safer for vehicle traffic?

Yes, I support widening the lanes on Ralston Road.

C:  Do you support adding full-width sidewalks along this same road even if it means taking some available parking from adjacent businesses?

Yes, I support adding full-width sidewalks to the extent that our existing businesses along this corridor are not adversely impacted.

D: What is your position on allowing, either now or in the future, the legal sale of marijuana in the City or the establishment of smoking clubs as allowed under State law?

I oppose the sale of marijuana or the establishment of smoking clubs in Arvada at this time.

E: On September 18th, the Arvada Chamber of Commerce held a candidate forum and put 17 questions to the City Council candidates. But not all participants had an opportunity to answer all of the questions, and not all the candidates chose to participate in the forum. Are there any of those questions you would like to answer here? Or are there any responses you gave at that forum you’d now like to expand upon?

The Chamber of Commerce did a great job in preparing and presenting questions at their September 18 forum. I do not wish to clarify or expand upon any of my responses in that forum.

[end of responses by Councilor McGoff]

* * *

WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
An earlier CLRC article has a listing of all the candidates, their contact information and their campaign websites. It has been updated during the campaign and can be found at this link:

http://ralstoncommunity.org/2015/08/25/11-candidates-vie-for-5-arvada-city-council-seats/

Other questions were put to the candidates in an open forum held by the Arvada Chamber of Commerce. You can read their question list and find a link to the answers the candidates gave in return at this link:

http://ralstoncommunity.org/2015/09/25/eight-city-council-candidates-meet-in-chamber-sponsored-forum/

As always, “The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community does not endorse candidates for public office. However, we often post candidacy announcements, press releases, interviews and questionnaire responses for those running for office. And we encourage our members to actively support whatever candidates they choose during elections.”

The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community is an independent neighborhood association representing the neighborhoods adjacent to Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to the Kipling Parkway.

You can read all of our articles on our main website at http://www.RalstonCommunity.org or you can read even more posts on our Facebook page at “CLRC – Citizens for a Liveable Ralston Community”. You can write to us, call us or email us at

CLRC
c/o John Kiljan, Secretary
6185 Field Street
Arvada, CO 80004

303-423-9875
jpkiljan@yahoo.com

October 11, 2015

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment