Jerry Marks versus Nancy Ford – Council District 1


Jerry Marks versus Nancy Ford – Council District 1

Dear CLRC members and friends,

This is one of a series of candidate surveys for each of the five seats now open on the Arvada City Council. The question list came from suggestions made by our neighborhood association’s steering committee. The questions and the candidates’ responses are copied here, and all the candidates were asked the same questions. The responses are unedited except for formatting.

The District 1 Council member is elected by voters in the northeastern part of the City – generally outside of our neighborhood association area. But District 1 Councilors must vote on all City issues, including those affecting central Arvada, and they may take campaign donations from anywhere in the City. Unlike the other open Council seats, which will have four-year terms, this election will only be for a two-year term.

–JK

FordNancy Ford

Q1: What experiences, job skills, education, training, volunteer work, committee work, or perspective on municipal affairs do you believe most qualifies you to sit on the Arvada City Council for the next four years (or for two years in District 1)?

I am approachable and a patient listener. This helps me to hear what people are thinking and feeling. I have successfully led nonprofits through strategic planning and difficult personnel situations. I founded Ford Research Group LLC in 1995 and over the last 20 years, consulted with various government organizations. In addition, I have taught business and visual arts courses as an adjunct professor. I served on the 2014/2015 Citizens’ Capital Improvement Project Committee and continue to serve on the Sustainability Advisory Committee since its inception. I remain involved in city issues. As a creative and intelligent woman, I will add a fresh perspective to Arvada’s current City Council.

Q2: Do you support the return of active recreation to south-central Arvada and will you actively work to encourage APEX to partner with the city in order to accomplish that? If so, how would you do that?

I am not aware active recreation went away from south-central Arvada. To me, active recreation means people engaged in walking, bicycling, taking classes, etc. If you are referring to a pool or recreation center, I would be glad to work with APEX. My areas of interest, where I hope to be engaged mostly are in developing a network of key people in District 1 who I can quickly share information with and in the development of the field at the Arvada Center into a formal garden that would attract more visitors. Our city’s jewel is a place that draws people from all over and enthusiasts of every kind. That energy brings increased sales tax revenue through spending on local business. The Gold Line will help facilitate transportation to Olde Town shops and the Arvada Center.

Q3: Do you favor continuing ongoing and/or future urban renewal projects through the City’s Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA)? If not, which projects or urban renewal areas would you want to shut down?  

As a member of City Council, I will fully research and review all projects presented by AURA and other entities and weigh their benefits to Arvada.

Q4: If elected, will you favor asking the voters for a new user fee, or a new tax, to support increased road maintenance and/or new road construction?

I do not like increased taxes. This should always be a last resort answer to maintaining our infrastructure. We need to have a discussion on how we are going to maintain and build new roads on fewer state and federal dollars. One of the things I feel very strongly about is “development” must pay its way. If a project is going to stress our existing infrastructure, it needs to contribute to its improvement and upkeep. A delicate balance must be struck between attracting the right projects to Arvada and giving away our future.

Q5: If you’re not an incumbent – or even if you are — how have you prepared, or will you prepare to serve on the Council if elected? What we’re looking for here is not just learning the mechanics of how City government works, but instead learning the ins and outs of current issues, how cities are funded, how they provide services, how they build infrastructure, and how they establish and work toward a common vision for the community.

I’ve been learning how City government works since I first became involved in volunteering on Arvada City committees and interacting with current City Council members. I have also been talking to City staff about their needs and how City Council can give them the tools they need to do their jobs effectively. The 2014/2015 Citizens’ Capital Improvement Project Committee was very educational about how the City operates, the budget, and the capital projects currently on the City’s list to be accomplished.

In addition to these top five questions, the CLRC steering committee also had a number of concerns. They are added here as a group, and in a question format. Please feel free to comment on any or all of them as you see fit:

A: Do you favor (without a tax increase or additional fees) renewing the City’s existing bonds expiring in 2018? If so, what would your top priorities be for the available funding?

We will have to identify if the market is right at that time to renew existing bonds. I would be in favor of renewing them for large-scale water and transportation projects. I would also encourage city staff to explore other funding options such as grants and low interest loans from state and federal sources.

B: Do you support widening the existing lanes on Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to Independence Street to make them safer for vehicle traffic?

Yes. If it is safer, I would be in favor of it, but I would need to know all the facts before making that decision. Safety is a prime function of Arvada’s municipal government.

C:  Do you support adding full-width sidewalks along this same road even if it means taking some available parking from adjacent businesses?

I support having sidewalks that allow safe foot travel along all major streets. We must also work closely with affected businesses to provide a better and safer environment for them to thrive.

D: What is your position on allowing, either now or in the future, the legal sale of marijuana in the City or the establishment of smoking clubs as allowed under State law? 

I would be in favor of the aforementioned businesses if Arvada’s residents wanted them. At this time, I do not get any indications the sale or manufacture of marijuana or smoking clubs are wanted in Arvada. It is a tempting source of revenue, but it can come with negative impacts. I will listen to the citizens of Arvada and weigh all factors before acting.

E: On September 18th, the Arvada Chamber of Commerce held a candidate forum and put 17 questions to the City Council candidates. But not all participants had an opportunity to answer all of the questions, and not all the candidates chose to participate in the forum. Are there any of those questions you would like to answer here? Or are there any responses you gave at that forum you’d now like to expand upon?

I have questioned many of the residents in District 1, and so far, only one person has addressed any recreation needs. The needs expressed have included more responsiveness by the City regarding streets and drainage and speeding automobiles. While District 1 residents seem to be very happy living in Arvada, many are not pleased with some of the recent changes that have occurred in Olde Town.

Regarding my comments on our changing demographics, I would like to add that one of the best ways to care for the aging population is to care for one’s neighbors when they need help. Attracting younger generations to live in Arvada ensures that certain needs such as caregiving and transportation are met which can help seniors stay longer in their homes.

[end of responses by Dr Ford]

* * *

Jerry Marks

Jerry Marks

Jerry Marks (incumbent)

Q1: What experiences, job skills, education, training, volunteer work, committee work, or perspective on municipal affairs do you believe most qualifies you to sit on the Arvada City Council for the next four years (or for two years in District 1)?

I have many years of experience in the community from the Arvada Chamber of Commerce, Arvada Economic Development (AEDA), Arvada Volunteer Fire Department, and running my own business. I have spent the last two years on City Council and feel that has been a tremendous experience working with in City Government.

Q2: Do you support the return of active recreation to south-central Arvada and will you actively work to encourage APEX to partner with the city in order to accomplish that? If so, how would you do that?

Presently, as a member of the APEX/ Council Coordinating Committee, we are working with APEX, Jeffco Schools, and the City to put a neighborhood pool and small recreation center located by Fitzmorris Elementary on the south west side of the school. I support this project and realize the residences of south-central Arvada were promised a facility after the North Jeffco pool was replaced. After we accomplish this project I will focus on acquiring land in District 1 for a future recreation center. I feel that there needs to be something east of Wadsworth for those residences.

Q3: Do you favor continuing ongoing and/or future urban renewal projects through the City’s Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA)? If not, which projects or urban renewal areas would you want to shut down?  

I do favor future urban renewal projects. This is a tool we need in our tool box. If that capability is taken away in ten years citizens will wonder why we have additional blighted areas and why no new business is coming to our city.

Q4: If elected, will you favor asking the voters for a new user fee, or a new tax, to support increased road maintenance and/or new road construction?

I favor an approval by the citizens to reauthorize the funding of the existing bonds that expire in 2018. This would not be a tax increase just an extension of the current bond issue.

[Editor’s note: As an addendum to his response, Councilor Marks also offered these comments regarding a very similar question asked during the Chamber of Commerce’s candidate forum.]

“In the rapid fire round they asked if I would support a tax increase in our handout that morning which included a second part to the question regarding a fuel tax.  That’s why I responded with a qualified answer and the moderator said that part of the question had been removed.”

“I don’t believe a tax increase is warranted for roads right now if the voters approve the renewal of the bond issue.  If they don’t then we may have to go back to the voters with a proposed tax increase down the road.  We also need to get CDOT to the table as many of the bigger issues are their roads.

“I do support a fuel tax but that would be at the federal level for roads.  I’m interested in a concept of pay as you go.  Let the drivers using the roads pay for the maintenance.  Again, I don’t think that can be done at the City level.”

Q5: If you’re not an incumbent – or even if you are — how have you prepared, or will you prepare to serve on the Council if elected? What we’re looking for here is not just learning the mechanics of how City government works, but instead learning the ins and outs of current issues, how cities are funded, how they provide services, how they build infrastructure, and how they establish and work toward a common vision for the community.

I have studied the strategic plan, comprehensive plan, and budget, spent time with all the City Managers and Department heads, and attend many of the community HOA meetings in my district. I also hold quarterly community meetings to hear from the citizens of District 1.

In addition to these top five questions, the CLRC steering committee also had a number of concerns. They are added here as a group, and in a question format. Please feel free to comment on any or all of them as you see fit:

A: Do you favor (without a tax increase or additional fees) renewing the City’s existing bonds expiring in 2018? If so, what would your top priorities be for the available funding?

Yes – I would look at the recommendations of the Citizens Capital Improvement Committee and incorporate as much of their work with the money we have available to address projects. We have many more projects than available funding but the CCIPC did a great job with their analysis.

B: Do you support widening the existing lanes on Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to Independence Street to make them safer for vehicle traffic?

Yes

C:  Do you support adding full-width sidewalks along this same road even if it means taking some available parking from adjacent businesses?

Yes

D: What is your position on allowing, either now or in the future, the legal sale of marijuana in the City or the establishment of smoking clubs as allowed under State law?  

I oppose adding smoking clubs or the sale of marijuana in Arvada.

E: On September 18th, the Arvada Chamber of Commerce held a candidate forum and put 17 questions to the City Council candidates. But not all participants had an opportunity to answer all of the questions, and not all the candidates chose to participate in the forum. Are there any of those questions you would like to answer here? Or are there any responses you gave at that forum you’d now like to expand upon?

[end of responses by Councilor Marks]

* * *

WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
An earlier CLRC article has a listing of all the candidates, their contact information and their campaign websites. It has been updated during the campaign and can be found at this link:

https://ralstoncommunity.org/2015/08/25/11-candidates-vie-for-5-arvada-city-council-seats/

[update:  Nancy Ford has recently added a campaign website, http://www.nancyfordforarvada.com/ ,to her profile in this listing. –JK October 23, 2015]

Other questions were put to the candidates in an open forum held by the Arvada Chamber of Commerce. You can read their question list and find a link to the answers the candidates gave in return at this link:

https://ralstoncommunity.org/2015/09/25/eight-city-council-candidates-meet-in-chamber-sponsored-forum/

As always, “The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community does not endorse candidates for public office. However, we often post candidacy announcements, press releases, interviews and questionnaire responses for those running for office. And we encourage our members to actively support whatever candidates they choose during elections.”

The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community is an independent neighborhood association representing the neighborhoods adjacent to Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to the Kipling Parkway.

You can read all of our articles on our main website at http://www.RalstonCommunity.org or you can read even more posts on our Facebook page at “CLRC – Citizens for a Liveable Ralston Community”. You can write to us, call us or email us at

CLRC
c/o John Kiljan, Secretary
6185 Field Street
Arvada, CO 80004

303-423-9875
jpkiljan@yahoo.com

October 11, 2015

 

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2 Responses to Jerry Marks versus Nancy Ford – Council District 1

  1. Pingback: 11 Candidates Vie for 5 Arvada City Council Seats | Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community

  2. Steve Anderson says:

    Very interesting the differences between the two candidates. On the surface they both seem to support many of the same things. The biggest difference that I see is that Jerry Marks is very clear on his positions – in fact he responds like a leader. Nancy Ford on the other hand doesn’t really seem to know what she wants… she wants to leave the decision up to the citizens of Arvada. Quite frankly if that is the case then why is she running for office? We need decisive leaders on the City Council – that’s why we, the citizens, elect candidates to office.

    Our job as an electorate is to learn about the candidates, their character and philosophical positions and trust they will vote as they have positioned themselves to the electorate. If they betray that trust they don’t get reelected – it’s really that simple AND important.

    In many of Ms. Ford’s answers she is less then clear how SHE feels and instead seems to want to make her decision at the time based upon input. Although that sounds nice where will she solicit that input? How will she weigh differing opinions? We can’t really tell – all that we really know is that she believes she is a patient listener. That is not what we need – that’s too ephemeral and does inform us of her character or governing philosophy.

    What is needed is someone that you know where they stand. I would argue Jerry Marks resume reflects someone that has experience in the private and public sector. He has built a business and served our community. You also can tell from his answers to the questions where he stands. I think for Arvada Jerry Marks is the best person to represent District 1!

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