by John Kiljan
Dear CLRC members and friends,
Find out where our Colorado legislative candidates stand on local issues.
Once again, it is election time. At the end of last week, the CLRC sent out campaign questionnaires to 14 local candidates running for seats in the Colorado General Assembly. We asked about the candidates’ positions on pending legislation that directly affects the neighborhoods in central Arvada. The questions were suggested by the CLRC’s 15-member steering committee during the course of the month and compiled by the Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community’s president, T.O. Owens, last week.
In the past, the CLRC has put campaign questions to candidates for the Arvada City Council (including the recent District 1 vacancy), the boards of directors for Apex Park and Recreation and the Arvada Fire Protection District. But two years ago the CLRC didn’t ask any questions to those running for seats in the State Legislature. We simply didn’t see a need.
But a lot has changed in two years: A bill was introduced to close down the new emergency room on Ralston road. Developers are now planning to build about a thousand new apartments locally — none of which will be owner-occupied. And a bill was passed (and then vetoed by the Governor) that would limit cities ability to clean up urban blight in areas like the Triangle.
These are all local issues that the legislature will deal with in the coming year. Add to that several statewide issues that our members are interested in, and we thought it was time to ask the candidates a few questions on where they stood on these issues. Plus, we probably won’t get a chance to annoy our representatives in General Assembly with pointed questions like this for another two years. 8^)
The CLRC lies in Senate District 19 and in House Districts 27 and 29. We expanded the list of candidates to include Wheat Ridge’s Senate District 20 and House District 24, both located just south of the Arvada City limits. We did that because two of those candidates will still get to vote on what affects neighboring Arvada. But also because many of our members and friends live outside of the CLRC’s primary area of interest — which is roughly the neighborhoods located within a half a mile of Ralston Road from Kipling to the Wadsworth Bypass.
The response deadline for our candidate surveys is just before the mail-in ballots arrive and we hope to post the results on the week of October 12th. So if you are unsure on how you will vote on any candidate or issue, you may want to wait until we put up the responses. You can drop your ballot off at the post office or save a stamp and use the ballot box at City Hall.
Copied here is the two-page candidate survey and questionnaire we sent out. The CLRC is a non-partisan association and we do not endorse candidates for elected office. However, we do encourage our members and friends to become informed about the candidates’ positions and to actively support any candidate they want to see elected.
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CLRC 2014 Candidate Survey and Questionnaire
1) In 2014, legislation (SB 16) was introduced that would have caused Arvada’s only emergency room, First Choice, located in the Arvada Triangle, to close down. This was the first prominent business to open for years in this run-down shopping center. The bill died in the Senate, after a community forum held in March by the CLRC, but it is likely to come up again next year.
2) One more attempt to fix the Colorado construction defect laws was stopped in the Senate during the last legislative session. The laws currently on the books effectively prevent developers from getting the financing they need to build owner-occupied apartments (condos) in Arvada and throughout Colorado.
Central Arvada has a housing shortage. Because of the laws now on the books, only for-rent apartments will be built in the 150+ unit Park Place Olde Town development, in the 350+ unit Triangle development proposed for 2016, in the 350+ unit Solana development starting on Grandview just east of the Wadsworth Bypass, and in a new 300 to 400 unit development planned for Ridge Road near the community college west of Kipling.
The annual resident turnover rate for rental apartments is expected to be about 60% per year. Many feel that building only rental apartments is not good for the area’s growth with so much construction that could otherwise be built as owner-occupied condominiums.
3) In legislation that passed during the last minutes of the 2014 session (HB 1375), the increased tax increment generated by the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority for eliminating urban blight was instead be redirected to Jefferson County to be used for other purposes. That last-minute legislation was vetoed by the Governor but is certain to be reintroduced during the 2015 session.
4) There are several other non-neighborhood-specific issues that the members of our steering committee are concerned with. Those include increasing the restrictions on public-private partnership for building large infrastructure projects such as new highways or highway lanes. Also included in the members issues list are several items scheduled to be on the November ballot including
Constitutional Amendment 67 — which newly defines “personhood” and “child” in the Colorado criminal code and [in] the Colorado wrongful death act to include unborn human beings.
Constitutional Amendment 68 — which increases taxes at horse racetracks in three counties and uses those revenues to fund K-12 school districts across the state.
Proposition 104 — which is a petition to change State statutes to require collective bargaining discussions in school districts to be open to the public.
Proposition 105 — which is a petition to require certain foods sold in Colorado to be labeled, “Produced With Genetic Engineering”.
1) If elected, will you support re-introduced legislation that causes the First Choice emergency room located in the Arvada Triangle at Independence Street and Ralston Road to go out of business as a stand-alone emergency room?
2) If elected, will you propose (or support) legislation to amend the existing construction defect laws to make it advantageous for developers to build owner-occupied condominiums instead of for-rent apartments?
3) If elected, will you support a resurrected House Bill 1375 to redirect new tax revenues generated by Arvada’s urban renewal authority to Jefferson County instead of being used for eliminating urban blight within the City of Arvada?
4) Please use this opportunity to let us know your views on any other issues you want to comment on, including, but not limited to, a) restrictions on public-private partnerships for large infrastructure projects, b) Amendment 67, unborn human beings, c) Amendment 68, using racetracks to fund schools, d) Proposition 104, open labor negotiations in school districts, e) Proposition 105, labeling of genetically engineered foods.
Please use additional pages as necessary, and be sure to respond by October 9, 2014
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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 Wadsworth Bypass to the Kipling Parkway.
Our main website is at http://www.RalstonCommunity.org or you can read even more posts on our Facebook page at “CLRC – Citizens for a Liveable Ralston Community”.
6185 Field Street
Arvada, CO 80004
Monday 29 September 2014