by John Kiljan
Background: The Apex Park and Recreation District (Apex P&RD) is having an election. The Apex P&RD covers nearly the entire City of Arvada and a few areas in Jefferson County. Its recreational activities are funded through a combination of your property taxes, user fees and public grants.
This interview was held April 2nd and is one in a series of interviews with candidates for the Apex P&RD’s Board of Directors. The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community offered each of the candidates an opportunity to respond to local CLRC issues and concerns related to recreation and to comment on them in an informal discussion. The interviewer was the CLRC’s T.O. Owens and this writer did the follow-up questions.
There are three candidates for the two open positions on the Apex P&RD Board. Terms are for four years. The election is scheduled for May 8th, but those who have already requested a mail-in ballot from Apex will be able to vote as early as mid-April.
Your vote counts more than in most elections for public office. Apex P&RD elections are typically won by small margins with only a few hundred people voting.
The Candidate: Jeff Glenn is a current Apex Board member completing his first four-year term with the District. He is the Board’s Vice President.
Mr Glenn works as an independent furniture manufacturer’s representative. He currently lives in the Candlelight Valley community west of Ward Road, but he grew up in Lake Arbor. He’s lived in Arvada for the last 40 years and graduated from Pomona High School. He and his wife, Amy, have two teen-aged children — a son and a daughter.
Jeff runs a local youth football organization and is the President of the Jeffco Midget Football Association (JMFA). He has a family member who has suffered from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and he volunteers for the Arthritis Foundation.
On Recreational Opportunities Leaving the Central Ralston Road Community: I do think we need to bring recreational facilities back into the areas near the central Ralston Road corridor. Obviously Apex is working closely with the City of Arvada on the new replacement park at Garrison Street, and on the new park next to the Arvada K-8 Park (now called the Wolff Park). The addition of the splash deck to the park at Garrison Street will be a great amenity. We think we will even be adding back more playground features there than the park had before. But, unfortunately, the voters in the District twice decided not to pass a bond issue to rebuild the old Fisher Pool. I swam in the Fisher Pool as a kid and I thought it was a shame to see it go. I wish we had the funding to do something about it.
On Apex’s Vision 2020 Review Committee: I would disagree with the assertion that the people most affected by the loss of local recreation are not represented on the Vision 2020 Review Committee. Shelley Cook is on that committee as one of the City Council’s representatives and she represents your neighborhoods. When the original 2020 committee was set up seven years ago, there was a public notice so that people could sign up for the committee. It was our Executive Director’s decision that we should look back at that original group and take a cross section of folks from it to represent different areas within Apex and then invite some other people he thought would balance out the panel. It wasn’t Mike Miles himself picking the panel members, but rather Mike and his staff recommending that approach to the Board of Directors.
On Partnering with Other Agencies: I absolutely believe there are opportunities to work with the City and with Arvada’s urban renewal authority (AURA) to bring recreational facilities back to your area. As an example, Apex was an active participant in the public planning workshops (aka ‘charrettes’) held in late 2010 for the replacement facilities at the Garrison Street park.
Also, Apex won a ‘Collaboration Award’ from the Special District Association of Colorado at its annual conference held in Breckenridge last September. I’m particularly proud of that award, having worked on a coordinating committee with the Arvada City Council. I think our relationship with the City and AURA is now as good as it has ever been. We’ve worked with the City on the Garrison Street park and the new K-8 park. And we continue to talk with them about future projects.
On the Upcoming Bond Proposal and the Possibility of Recreational Facilities Near the Triangle Area: Apex has identified the need to go to the voters to renew its 1998 bonds that are set to expire in 2016. We want to do that to facilitate what we feel is a desperate need for recreation on the east side of Arvada. However, the phrase ‘east side’ has different meanings to different people. Some think that means east of Oak Street and others see that as being east of Wadsworth Boulevard. And what is the east side has changed as Arvada has grown westward, now all the way to Coal Creek Canyon. I see the east side — geographically speaking, but not necessarily population-wise — as being anything east of Kipling.
The Vision 2020 Review Committee will have a lot of impact on what projects we decide to include in the upcoming bond renewal proposal. I believe it is a well-thought-out process and the committee is a well put together panel. The Apex Board will pay a lot of attention to their recommendations.
On Funding Recreational Facilities: I’ve heard that our Executive Director told the charrettes participants that the old Fisher Pool was running an operational deficit of $200,000 a year. As far as setting up a separate taxing sub-district within Apex to support the operational cost of a replacement pool, yes, that’s something that I would definitely be interested in learning more about. If the City of Arvada were to build, operate and maintain a replacement recreational facility for the area, that would be acceptable to me.
I know that our intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Arvada doesn’t allow the City operate ‘active’ recreational facilities within Apex’s district. But, yes, I would support changing the current IGA between the City and Apex to allow the City to operate and maintain its own home-owners-association-sized recreational facilities, with features such as a clubhouse, pool and meeting rooms, within the District. But, have you considered setting up your own limited-liability partnership to run such a facility? The Lake Arbor area also has this kind of potential. The current Secrest location is not the only one being considered for new recreational facilities by the District.
Yes, I’m pretty certain that Apex will go for an extension of the current bond mill levies. That will not happen this year, nor in 2013. But it could be as soon as 2014 or any year after that. The 1998 bonds were to have expired in 2018, but we refinanced them to pay them off a little earlier to take advantage of lower market interest rates, so they now expire in 2016.
I can’t say I’m supportive of setting up an Apex sub-district to fund the incremental costs of operating and maintaining local recreational facilities in your neighborhood. I’d have to get more information first. Even if the sub-district were setup to fund maintenance and operations itself, it would depend upon what it would cost us to be a part of our District. The incremental income from the sub-district might not cover the costs. I wouldn’t necessarily oppose it, but the public has told us in survey after survey, and in round tables and the like, that we shouldn’t build anything we can’t maintain.
Last Thoughts: I appreciate the CLRC for helping get the word out about the election. It’s much appreciated. Also, I’ve been to your website — cool!
WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
Jeff Glenn can be reached at 303-748-7762 (cell) or by email at
Currently, there is no website for his campaign and donations are not being accepted.
The Special District Association of Colorado, referenced above, has a website at
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.
Carolyn Jacobs and Lee Humrich are also running for these Board vacancies. The CLRC does not endorse candidates for elected office. However, interviews for all three 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
John Kiljan, CLRC News: 303-423-9875 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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