by John Kiljan
Dear CLRC members and friends,
The Arvada Chamber of Commerce hosted its second candidates’ forum at the Arvada City Hall on Thursday evening, September 26th. There are two contested seats for the November 5th election with five candidates in the running. One seat is At Large and the other is for Council District 3, which includes the south-central part of Arvada.
The purpose of these quotes is to encourage our members to watch all of the forum’s video coverage at the links listed below, and to read the candidates’ interviews on local issues. And, most importantly, to encourage you to find out about and vote for the candidates you believe will best represent the citizens of the City of Arvada in the coming four years.
The questions asked of the candidates are listed at the bottom of these notes.
Justin Vicory — District 3
“I’m not the reform candidate. I’m really the candidate that wants more of the same.”
“. . . it’s a bummer that we have to use our sales tax to entice businesses to come into a city . . . the current market says that if you don’t use these [public improvement] fees, chances are you are going to lose out that development to other cities that surround you.”
“A resounding yes! I do like the parking [structure] proposal for Olde Town.”
“Arvada’s a great place and I want to continue making it great. And to me that’s just being more of the same of what we’ve been continuing to do. I’m not the reform candidate.”
Ted Terranova — District 3
“My passions are my wife and politics.”
“There’s another time when a [public-improvement fee] is not appropriate, and that’s when a project is of such a magnitude that it creates such a controversy that you just move forward with it without getting complete buy-in of the community.”
“The garages we need — high density and higher buildings maybe not so much.”
“The City [Council] should take a position [on a new transportation sales tax] and they should encourage people to vote yes.”
“[As a child,] I spent my summers playing little league football and swimming at the Fisher Pool.”
“The idea behind public improvement fees is to help urban renewal areas stand on equal footing with a ‘greenfield’ or new development . . . the public improvement fee should be used to achieve par between those two objectives.”
“I do support higher density and higher building heights in TOD areas, but not without limits. . . . Currently, I think the proposal at Park Place Olde Towne is too big, too tall, too dense, and the City has had to make too many gyrations to make it fit into our area.”
“I think the City [Council] should be opposed to [Amendment 66]. I think the simple fact that half of the taxes collected in Jefferson County won’t stay in Jefferson County is enough to oppose it right there.”
“I think the City should take a position on [a new transportation sales tax]. And I think the City [Council] should take the position that they are opposed to this.”
Ascenzo Di Giacamo — At Large
“The dirty word in this community right now: PIF funding — redevelopment projects. I think in all cases we have to deny the funding unless we have a really, really good reason to do that.”
“Yes, I do support limited cases of higher density and increased heights, but, once again, TOD has gotten to be another four-letter word in this community.”
“I personally would vote for [Amendment 66]. . . . People are looking to people like us to make some strong decisions and gather all the evidence in. That’s what we do. That’s what we’re paid to do. And that’s what we’re elected to do.”
“We have some of the lowest property taxes in the state. So, you know, we can balance it. A little bit of tax here, a little bit of tax there, but you know we’re already low on the state tax/property tax issue, I think we can balance it.”
“I want to plan to save your tax dollars. I plan to stop the next Walmart from being the only option we have.”
Don Allard — At Large
“I’ve already voted for higher building heights and approval of the design guideline plans for the Olde Town area. . . . The question is, of course, and I don’t have a fixed opinion on this yet, is how high is high?”
“. . . and there’s a parking problem in Olde Town, so obviously I do support a parking structure of some kind in the Olde Town station area.”
“The City [Council] should not take a position [on Amendment 66].”
“This [Jefferson Parkway] project has been in the planning stages since the mid-60’s, if not before, and it will be a great benefit to the City of Arvada.”
“I’m volunteering for another term because of my interest in the prudent spending of taxpayer money and taking good care of what we have . . .”
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Photo credit: RNL and Trammel Crow Company
WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
Want to see more short quotes from the candidates’ interviews? The Chamber of Commerce also held an earlier candidates’ forum on August 30th. You can read quotes from that event at
You can also read the write-ups of the in-depth CLRC interviews on local issues we held with the candidates by following these links.
Ascenzo Di Giacamo:
And there is more: The full 56-minute video recording of the candidates’ September 26th forum is available on YouTube at
You can also watch the earlier Chamber of Commerce August 30th forum at
for the District 3 candidates, and you can watch the At-Large forum discussion at
These last two videos run about 25 minutes each.
If all that reading and those YouTube videos don’t completely exhaust you, you can read all of our Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community posts on a variety of subjects of community interest — including other election news — by going to our www.RalstonCommunity.org website. And you can join us along with 800 other friends on Facebook at “CLRC Arvada”.
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At the forum, the Chamber of Commerce asked  when is using public-improvement fees (PIF’s) not appropriate,  if the candidates supported high-density development or higher building heights near TOD sites,  supported the proposal to cut into the hill above the movie theater in Olde Town to build a new parking structure there,  whether the City Council should take a position on the Amendment 66 State income tax increase or  on a new statewide sales tax for transportation, and  whether the beltway should be completed. Not sure what those issues are about? Here’s a quick guide:
 Public improvement fees (PIF’s) are incentive fees collected in place of City sales taxes and then rebated back to a developer (in whole or in part) for a limited time period. The fees comes from the new “sales taxes” the developer has been able to generate for the City. Examples of projects currently using this kind of funding are the Target at Kipling Parkway and Belmar in Lakewood.
 The transit-oriented development (TOD) areas include the neighborhoods near the soon-to-be-built Olde Town commuter rail station and the Arvada Ridge rail station near Grandview and the Kipling Parkway.
 The new 690-space multi-tiered parking structure would be built between the new Gold Line station and the existing movie theater below the hill and would be partially below ground to prevent blocking Grandview’s “grand view”.
 Amendment 66 on November’s ballot, increases the State income tax from its current flat rate of 4.63% to between 5.0% and 5.9% depending upon personal income. The new income tax would bring in about $1 billion a year and be used for schools across the State. The bill would set aside other State taxes for school under a new formula. This was an unusual question since only incumbent Don Allard would be able to vote on support resolution.
 The new 0.7% general sales tax increase for transportation (highways, roads and transit) is being proposed for next year. The tax would apply to all retail purchases that are subject to the existing 2.9% general State sales tax. The new tax would bring in about $600 million a year. This tax would be in addition to the existing 22 cents/gallon State gas tax, and to the 18.4 cents/gallon federal gas tax, and to other State vehicle licensing fees currently earmarked for transportation, such as the FASTER vehicle-registration fees.
 The beltway is the yet-to-be-built Jefferson Parkway toll road located on the western edge of Arvada that runs through the new Candelas development.
John Kiljan, CLRC Notes: 303-423-9875 or email@example.com
October 20, 2013
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