Opinion: Arvada Needs Leaders

by John Kiljan

Dear CLRC members and friends,

Okay everyone. Listen up! Arvada needs smart, young and well-informed citizens to lead the City into its next generations. If that’s you – or if it could be you – you need to be aware of two educational offers that will soon expire and may not come your way again. Both the City of Arvada and the Arvada Chamber of Commerce are offering courses that should tell you exactly how the gears and wheels turn that have given Arvada the enviable reputation of being one of the best places in Colorado to live.

Knowing how local government works is the first step in becoming a community leader. You don’t need a college degree, influential friends, a lot of money, or well-paying job to give back to your city some of what it gave to you while you were growing up here. And you don’t have to become a City Council member or a Mayor to contribute. You don’t even have to stand up and give speeches. Arvada has many boards and commissions that serve functions almost as important, and that require a lot less personal time.

But you do need to learn, and you need to learn a lot. You need to learn about things as mundane as how your water bill is put together, how we fix and build our roads, how we plan for growth, how we make decisions, and you need to learn how organizations other than the City of Arvada’s government also provide for our community needs. And finding out what you need learn isn’t that easy. That’s why these two courses are a golden opportunity both for self-improvement and for bettering your community

So why plan to go through all that book learnin’ and then volunteer to be on one of Arvada’s many public service boards and commissions? It’s true that Arvada is rich in volunteers for things like City boards and advisory committees. But it’s also true that our volunteers and leaders are part of an ageing population. The City could really use a younger perspective on what we are and what our future should be.

Below are the cut-and-paste announcements for each course. The ‘City Hall 101’ course is free. Actually, it’s more than free. They will feed you a bit as well. But the course is new and it will probably concentrate just on City functions.

The better course is probably the Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Leadership Arvada’ course. They will probably feed you too, but it’s far from free. Actually, it’s pretty darn expensive. On the plus side, they have offered it for a number of years and have had the time to work out all the bugs. And the course includes other than just City of Arvada functions.

But don’t let the CoC’s tuition costs put you off. I’ve heard that many attendees are sponsored by their employers (ask them!), and for those that aren’t, the Chamber offers scholarships to those who want to attend. If you are a member of one of Arvada’s minority communities or have good connections to them, I would not hesitate to apply for free enrollment. Arvada’s Hispanic, African American and east European communities are very underrepresented in City government.   And the Chamber can well afford to pop for a scholarship or two or three.

Here are the two announcements:

City of Arvada “City Hall 101”


City of Arvada Launches First Ever City Hall 101
Are you interested in getting a behind-the-scenes look at how local government works? Do you want to get more involved in and have a positive impact on your community? The City of Arvada is launching City Hall 101 to provide YOU with that opportunity.

What is City Hall 101?
City Hall 101 is a series of classes offering citizens an in-depth look at city services. Beginning September 17, 2015, participants will attend a total of 12 classes (once or twice per month) on Thursday evenings, covering every aspect of Arvada’s government structure as well as the Apex Recreation District and Arvada Fire Protection District.

What Can I Expect from City Hall 101?
City Hall 101 will be highly informative, interactive and fun! Meet the City Manager and other members of City staff at such locations as the Arvada Center, police station and water treatment facility. The classes are free and light snacks and beverages will be available. Upon graduation from City Hall 101 in April of 2016, participants will be well-equipped to be effective participants in neighborhood and civic affairs.

Class size is limited to 32 participants. The deadline to apply is August 14, 2015.

[To apply follow this link: http://arvada.org/about-arvada/city-of-arvada-city-hall-101/ ]

* * *

There is still time to apply for Leadership Arvada!



Participants in the program will complete the 9-month program better equipped with

An in-depth knowledge about the fabric of Arvada including your city government, non-profit community, education, business and much more.

Strong relationships with their class and community leaders.

Sharpened leadership skills through personal and professional development.

A big impact on Arvada’s future with a community project.





Leadership/Professional Development
Meet some of our community leaders and hear what best practices got them were they are today. Hone your own skills through professional development sessions and learning from each other.

Non-Profit Organizations/Service Club
Learn first-hand how organizations like Ralston House, Colorado Homeless Families, services clubs and other agencies contribute to the quality of life in our community. You will be amazed at the hidden gems that work quietly to improve the lives of others.

Local Government
Meet with City elected officials and management to discuss challenges facing the community, leadership opportunities and the importance of community involvement. Participate in a mock trail and experience first-hand challenges City Council faces.

County Government
Gain insight into the interworking’s of Jefferson County Government. Hear from key elected officials like Jefferson County Sheriff, Commissioners and First Judicial District Attorney. There are many initiatives that affect us at the county level.

Arts and Culture
Go behind the scenes of the award winning Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities and learn what makes it one of the nation’s largest multidisciplinary art centers. What challenges does it face and who funds this fantastic venue? Visit the Banquet center and learn what’s on the horizon for these separate organinzations.

Economic Development/Business
Arvada is home to robust mix of thousands of businesses. Each fills a need and contributes to the vitality of our community. Learn about the role of Arvada Economic Development, Arvada Urban Renewal and Arvada Chamber of Commerce and how they support economic development in Arvada. How has the Goldline spurred development and what issues will it bring?

Tour a school from one of Arvada’s many pedagogies: Public, Private, Charter and Parochial.  See how they make an impact on the next generation of leaders. Learn more the amazing community college that is in your own backyard—Red Rocks Community College! Did you know they offer a Physicians Assistant program—only a handful of community colleges across the nation boast this honor.

Law Enforcement
Interact with the officers who provide Arvada with a safe and secure community. Did you know the Arvada Police Department was the first accredited agency in the state of Colorado? Participate in an emergency preparedness exercise and gain valuable insight into effort it takes to keep our citizens safe.

Fire Protection District
Learn more about this special district and how they do so much more than fight fires. From emergency services to life safety education this CFAI accredited district is a highly valued benefit of living in Arvada. You might even have the opportunity to ride the ’95 aerial ladder truck.

Learn about and discuss the various components of Arvada’s award winning park and trail system, roles of the different park and recreation organizations and publically owned golf courses.

Public Works
Where does our water come from? Learn the sophisticated network of streets, fleet management and water quality and so much more.

For more information please contact Lynn Sierras-Krone at


Copyright © *2015* Arvada Chamber of Commerce*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

7305 Grandview Ave
Arvada, CO 80002

[This posting was received via email on July 23, 2015]


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One Response to Opinion: Arvada Needs Leaders

  1. John Bodnat says:

    I agree wholeheartedly that to be involved you need to get involoved. I was part of the first class back in 09 I think. Leadership Arvada gives you the 50,000 foot view and the, this is what a sewer scope looks like .

    Go learn and you will meet looks of other involved folks while you do it.

    Full disclosure, I currently enjoy being the chairman of the board of directors of the Arvada Chamber and would have posted this even if I was not. When I took the course, I was just a local real estate broker, now I’m an involoved Arvada Citizen!

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