Mark McGoff versus Dave Palm – Council District 2


Mark McGoff versus Dave Palm – Council District 2

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.

In our neighborhoods, Council District 2 covers the eastern part of Arvada with Olde Wadsworth Boulevard – running through the center of Olde Town – being the dividing line with Council District 3 to the west. The district also covers the extreme southeast corner of Arvada (the Columbine neighborhood) and up into part of northeast Arvada. As with other the Council districts, the Councilor for District 2 must vote on all City matters, and candidates may accept campaign donations from anywhere in the City.

–JK

dave profile 141213

Dave Palm

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)?

My experience spans a variety of occupations ranging from Finance and Insurance management to IT Systems network Administration, from multi-family property management to that of Arvada small business owner for over 30 years. As a lifelong resident of Arvada I bring a unique blend of experience, love of community, and respect for history to the table.

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?

This sounds like a question about replacing the pool and skating rink that APEX tore down at Garrison and Ralston Rd. I do favor having that type of amenity available but I don’t believe that we need more than one entity responsible for recreation. APEX is funded separately by property tax and should stand on its own, especially since they plan to come back to the voters and ask for more tax money next year.

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 believe that we need to completely re-evaluate Arvada Urban Renewal and their funding mechanisms specifically TIF (tax increment financing) and PIF (public improvement fee). Colorado’s Urban Renewal statutes were intended to eliminate “slum and blight” conditions, but have transformed into a means of stealing millions of dollars from schools, libraries, fire departments, and other urban services and then giving that money to developers and other private, for profit corporations in the form of crony capitalism. Slum and Blight should be strictly defined and these types of financial schemes should require voter approval.

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?

The tax burden in Arvada is definitely high enough already. Current city council’s agenda of using traffic and poorly maintained roads to force citizens out of their cars and into Light Rail/Mass Transit must be changed. Tax money that has been re-directed away from city services like road maintenance and given to developers to build Hilton hotels and big box retailers like Wal-Mart caused the current shortfall in road maintenance. With a little creative, outside the box thinking and a reassessment of our priorities we can maintain and build the roads we need without tax increases.

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 am prepared to ask the hard questions about presentations to city council from city staff, and will insist on hearing both pro and con on every issue. I don’t think that learning how things have always been done has any value. I believe the definition of insanity; “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”. It is time for a fresh approach and it’s time to really listen to the citizens instead of the insiders in city governance.

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?

NO, while the question indicates no increase in taxes or fees to renew the bonds, what isn’t said is that not renewing the bonds would result in savings in not having those bond and interest payments.

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?

NO. The premise of this question, “making the street safer” is a straw man argument and really refers to easing traffic flow to the Triangle redevelopment for the benefit of Wal-Mart and the other urban renewal developments planned in that area, not to mention having to redo all the curb and gutter replacement that is currently being done.

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

NO.

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 don’t personally advocate the use of marijuana (or alcohol for that matter) and I don’t believe that it is within the purview of City Council to make moral or ethical judgements for the citizens of Arvada. With that said, I think this is an issue that should be addressed by the citizens with full disclosure. Some facts to consider; a majority of Arvada citizens voted to legalize marijuana in 2012. Usage of marijuana in a community is not tied to whether or not legalized sales are allowed in that community. The city of Edgewater collected over $1 million dollars in sales tax on marijuana last year with no increase in crime or policing costs. The Colorado state statute that legalized marijuana gave individual cities the power to regulate the retail sale. This includes their location as well as days and hours of operation.

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 did not participate in the forum as indicated in my previous statement;

“As a candidate for city council district 2, I am eager to participate in any open and unbiased citizen forum where residents are able to ask their own questions of the candidates. Given that the stated agenda of the Arvada Chamber of Commerce is that of a legislative advocate for business owners; that some members of the Chamber’s board are candidates for election; and that The Chamber receives funding from the City; I don’t believe it is possible for this to be an impartial and unbiased event.”

[end of responses by Mr Palm]

* * *

MMGWebPhoto

Mark McGoff (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 demonstrated achievement and leadership in my professional career and in my community involvement. As a warden in the Colorado prison system over a period of twenty-five years, I had responsibility for the safety of prisoners and employees, the accountability for large budgets, and management of buildings and infrastructure. Additionally, I have served as president/chair of numerous boards of directors at the municipal, county, and state levels. I have undergraduate and graduate college degrees, and I have completed numerous courses in water management, planning and zoning, land use, and other topics related to municipal 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?

I do support the return of active recreation to south-central Arvada. As a council member, I will support the continued development of our parks and trails system. Additionally, I will advocate continued cooperation with APEX in developing active recreations programs, not only in southeast Arvada, but throughout the city. (It might be noted that I encourage active recreation by leading monthly hikes for large groups of adults and youth throughout the city.)

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 our current urban renewal projects and would not wish to shut any of them down. As our community ages, I fully anticipate the development of additional urban renewal projects in the future.

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?

Over the past few years the city council has increased funding for street maintenance and re-construction, and I will advocate the continuance of increased funding in the future. If our available funding is not sufficient for our needs, I will consider asking our citizens for additional funding through a sales tax, property tax, or user fee.   Any such increase would require approval of the voters.

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 will continue to learn by participating in courses sponsored by organizations such as the Colorado Municipal League, Land Use Leadership Alliance, and Urban Land Institute. Additionally, I will be thorough in my study of all issues that come before the council, and I will stay informed of the work and activities of all city boards and commissions.

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?

I do favor renewing our existing bonds in 2018. Given the large number and cost of capital improvements that have been identified by the Citizens Capital Improvement Committee, it is imperative that we have sufficient funds available for major projects.

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, I support widening the lanes on Ralston Road.

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

Yes, I support adding full-width sidewalks to the extent that our existing businesses along this corridor are not adversely impacted.

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 the sale of marijuana or the establishment of smoking clubs in Arvada at this time.

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?

The Chamber of Commerce did a great job in preparing and presenting questions at their September 18 forum. I do not wish to clarify or expand upon any of my responses in that forum.

[end of responses by Councilor McGoff]

* * *

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/

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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One Response to Mark McGoff versus Dave Palm – Council District 2

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

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