by John Kiljan
Dear CLRC members and friends,
Happy Easter, neighbors! I hope your children and grandchildren found some exciting goodies in the yard this morning. My own children tell me Easter mornings were a memorable part of their childhood growing up in Arvada.
Lots of things have been happening in our neighborhood lately. I’ve been busy working on the candidate interviews for the Apex elections, so I’ve been a little slow to post notes and news articles. Now’s the time to start catching up.
The most important thing going on is the campaign to fill two open slots on the Apex Board of Directors. Normally, Apex board elections are, well, a little ho-hum. Typically, you get a few good people running who want to do good things. And very few people actually bother to go down and vote. The Apex board elections are usually won or lost by a small handful of votes.
Not this time.
The good people are still there, but this new board will be making some pretty important decisions for our neighborhoods in this city-wide election. And people are starting to take an interest.
That’s right, it’s the issue that never seems to goes away: whether our neighborhoods will ever get a replacement for the demolished Fisher Pool at the Garrison Street park and the ice rink and local recreational facilities that were adjacent to it. The new board members will be making a decision on that, and on what other recreational facilities will be built along the central Ralston Road corridor in the next decade-and-a-half, when a new set of bonds go to the voters in a couple of years.
The current Apex board has set up a “Vision 2020 Review Committee” of about 25 people to plan for an initiative to ask the voters to extend the existing Apex mill levies that are due to expire in 2016. Apex’s recreational activities are funded through a combination of your property taxes, user fees and public grants. It’s those mill levies — amounting to about $80 a year for a typical household in our neighborhood — that are on the table in this election. It looks like Apex will go to the voters in 2014 or 2015 to ask for an extension of the current mill levies, but they haven’t exactly decided when yet.
As one candidate put it more directly, the bond renewal is likely to fail if our neighborhood doesn’t support it.
Having just finished writing up their interviews, I have to say that all the candidates seem to be good honest people who want to do what is best for the district, but they also need to hear from you on what you believe your neighborhood’s needs are. All of the candidates, to varying degrees, say they will give the most weight to the ongoing 2020 committee when they decide what facilities get included in our neighborhoods, but that they are open to suggestion from outside of that committee.
Are we represented on the 20202 committe? In a word, No! Our neighborhood association has not been invited to participate in the review committee. Our only representation on this committee of 25 participants is our District 3 Arvada City Council member, Shelley Cook. She actually represent the City of Arvada on the committee, along with Councilor Rachel Zenzinger from Council District 1 (the Lake Arbor area).
That’s not very good odds for a district-wide committee. Sadly, recent reports suggest that there will be very little in the way of support for recreational facilities along the central Ralston Road corridor coming from the planning committee.
With all that in mind the CLRC steering committee put together a list of questions for the candidates for the Apex Board of Directors. We invited each candidate to respond to those questions in an informal discussion format. We expect to publish the results of those interviews later this week.
Here is the question list we put to the candidates:
— The neighborhoods close to the central Ralston Road corridor have lost local recreational opportunities for youth over the years. That includes the Fisher Pool, the indoor ice rink and junior football at the K-8 park. The aging small skate park at Memorial Park may be the next to go. The new regional facilities at Lutz/Stenger are not making up for that loss — especially for the neighborhoods near City Hall. What would you try do to as a board member to help meet local recreational needs in these neighborhoods?
— Apex has begun a 2020 study panel to plan for future developments. Participation in these monthly panel meetings is by invitation. They are not publicized and don’t appear to be open for public participation. How do you view the value of this study group’s efforts and the input it is receiving from local residents?
— Recreation is a need for a broad spectrum of our population. Can you talk a bit about how important you see working with the City, AURA, and the neighborhoods to take advantage of opportunities to provide diversified recreational opportunities in conjunction with new urban developments, such as the Triangle?
— Apex is almost certain to go to the voters for a renewal of its 1998 bonds that expire in 2018. What projects do you think should be included in that bond proposal to meet the recreational needs for the central Ralston Road neighborhoods?
— And, of course, there is one issue that never goes away — a replacement for the Fisher Pool. It’s been closed for seven years and bond issues to rebuild the pool have failed in district-wide votes. But there are high levels of local support for rebuilding the pool. Would you support or oppose the creation of separate taxing district to rebuild the pool either as a stand-alone facility or as a part of a larger recreational facility?
Want to find out the candidates answers to these questions and more? Read our CLRC News articles later this week at www.RalstonCommunity.org .
Okay, what should you do if you want to help your neighborhood? The answer is simple: Vote! — and get your neighbor to vote too. When elections are won by less than 30 votes, your vote really counts. If you have questions or concerns, call the candidates. We’ll list their numbers and email addresses with their interview writeups.
Want me to tell you who to vote for? Nope, sorry. The CLRC doesn’t endorse candidates for elected office and when I’m writing for the neighborhood association, I won’t either. You’ll just have to read the interviews and decide for yourself.
WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
Here’s a link to the Apex Park and Recreation’s website on the election:
It has a link to request a mail-in ballot and who to call to get more information.
The polls will be open May 8th from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at two locations:
13150 W 72nd Avenue
and at the
Community Recreation Center
6842 Wadsworth Boulevard
Note: In past Apex elections, most have chosen to vote by mail-in ballot. However, even if you are already registered as a voter, you will not automatically receive a mail-in ballot. Voters must apply for one directly to Apex, either in person or by mail, by the end of April. Call Luanne Levine at Apex at 303-403-2518 for more information.
The CLRC does not endorse candidates for elected office. However, interviews for all of the candidates for the Apex Board vacancies can be found by going to the Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community’s website at www.RalstonCommunity.org
The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community will post more notes online on its website at http://www.ralstoncommunity.org/ as information becomes available. Or you can friend us on Facebook. Our name is ‘Ralson Arvada.’
John Kiljan, CLRC News: 303-423-9875 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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