Marc Williams versus Dave Chandler – Mayor


Marc Williams versus Dave Chandler – Mayor

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 Arvada, the Mayor chairs the Arvada City Council and is an equal voting member. He/she also sets its agenda and acts as the primary representative of the City in civic affairs. The Mayor is elected at-large by all the voters.

–JK

DChandler2015Dave Chandler

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)?

This election for mayor is about change and making Arvada even better. We need new ideas, new proposals, and a genuine commitment to respecting and preserving the history and character that makes Arvada a great community in which to live.

The purposeful evasion of term limits by incumbents, through the playing of musical chairs between offices, is an example of how their ‘experience’ has made them disdainful towards the expectations of the public. As for the incumbent mayor — four terms on city council is enough.

It is time for new faces, new ideas and a new respect for the voices of all Arvadans. We must strive to include as many different viewpoints as possible so that we can find the best solutions for the challenges we face.

We need new approaches to make Arvada a model of the innovative, suburban city of the 21st century … champion free enterprise; preserve our unique historical character; maintain the highest standards for parks and trails; and more open city government so that all Arvada voices are heard and represented.

My family and I value our twenty-four years in Arvada. We appreciate the many friends and neighbors we have here. Arvada is a special place and it deserves a city council as diverse, as forward-looking, and as good as its residents. 

See http://www.MayorDave.us

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?

“Apex PRD and the City of Arvada share resources and define responsibilities to save taxpayers money. In general, Apex PRD handles “active” recreation such as youth and adult sports, fitness, swimming, golf, ice skating, etc., while the City of Arvada handles “passive” recreation-parks and trails.”

About Us – Apex Park and Recreation District [ http://apexprd.org/about-us ]

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?  

Arvada Urban Renewal diverts tax dollars that should go to fixing and maintaining our roads and that should go to schools, libraries, Apex, etc., for the benefit of private, for-profit developers.

For example, ‘Solana Olde Town Station’ is to be a 350 unit, 18 building apartment complex that will be built on land situated north of 56th Avenue between Wadsworth Bypass and Lamar Street; the developer will get a $7.2 million government tax kick-back so that they can make money on their private property. This government-private project will mean yet another traffic signal on Wadsworth and hundreds and hundreds of more vehicle trips per day and even more traffic congestion in that already clogged area of the city.

In the Olde Town Arvada urban renewal zone the concept of the free markets in local real estate, entrepreneurship, and free enterprise is given only lip service by the Urban Renewal Authority; corporate welfare seems to be its preferred method of operation.

These “public-private” schemes are going on all over Arvada … from the Walmart subsidy to the Hilton Hotel handout to the monstrosity being constructed at Wadsworth Bypass and Ralston Road.

It is time for change in Arvada.

It is time for a city government that is as honest, as fair, and as good as the resident of 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?

No. See above answer. A new mayor and council can stop giving away our tax revenue, set better priorities, and begin a program to get our street and roads fixed.

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.

One has to be almost amused at the bias and impertinence of these questions … clearly indicating the prejudice of the author for the ‘Incumbent Party’ candidates. Entrenched politicians always trumpet how their experience makes them indispensable, but thankfully Americans won a Revolutionary War in 1783 and ratified a Constitution in 1789 that makes the people the sovereigns; we have elections so the people can choose … we are not meant to be ruled over by a permanent “governing class.”

Indeed, my candidacy is about new ideas and innovation; it is about putting the average resident of Arvada in charge; and about a new mayor and city council that will represent ALL the people.

This election all the incumbent city council candidates are running as a slate – all of them giving campaign contributions to each other. The city council today is literally a good ol’boys club.

And what do we get from an entrenched council that seems to believe that “they always know what is best for all of us”? 

  • Way too many years of cozy relationships and well-connected partnerships with special interests that has led to favoritism and cronyism in Arvada government.
  • Arvada Urban Renewal projects like the atrociously out-of-place Park Place Olde Town (PPOT) apartment complex at Wadsworth and Ralston made with millions of dollars of tax subsides and sweetheart land deals for the developers. Now we see those developers giving maximum campaign contributions to the incumbent mayor.

This kind of ‘experience’ we don’t need anymore of on the Arvada city council.

I am running for mayor to break this cycle of insider politics and to invite a more robust and diverse dialogue among and between council members and the public. Together we can create a more inclusive city that is only beholden to and benefits all the people of Arvada.

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?

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?

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

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?  

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 Mr Chandler]

* * *

WilliamsMarc Williams (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 been extremely involved in Arvada since I came here in 1979. In my earlier years, I gained great experience through my involvement with the Chamber of Commerce, which led me to attend many public hearings and learn necessary skills in conducting hearings and meetings. I served as President of the Chamber of Commerce in 1993. As an attorney, I represented many clients both in Municipal Court, and also before the Arvada Liquor Authority, the Planning Commission, and City Council.

I first became involved in Public Service when I was appointed by the Jefferson County Commissioners as a Trustee for the Jefferson County Libraries. I served as a Trustee during the planning and completion of the Standley Lake Library, the Golden Library, the Evergreen Library and the joint library project with the School District in Conifer, along with the planning for the Olde Town Library. During that time, I became Chair of the Library Board.

I successfully ran for a City Council At-Large seat in 1999, and served three terms as a Council Member. During that time, I was fortunate enough to learn much of the workings of the City, and serve on a number of committees. I have served on the Jefferson County Economic Development Board, the coordinating committees with the fire district, school district, and the APEX districts. This has given me an understanding of how our regional governmental and business partners work and their issues and concerns.

The Citizens of Arvada honored me when they elected me Mayor in 2011. During that time, I also served on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Municipal League, and was selected as President of that State wide organization in 2013. During this first term as Mayor, I have also been an active and vocal member of the Metro Mayors Caucus, working on issues that affect Arvada and the entire Metropolitan Area.

During my time as Mayor, I have been active in attending school functions and activities, active with the business community to recognize business openings, retentions, and expansions, and spoken with a large variety of community groups, civic clubs, faith based organizations, and many folks one on one to understand their perspectives and issues. I believe I have conducted Public Hearings in a fair manner to allow divergent positions to be presented and considered.

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 have an established track record of working with the APEX District to maximize services in the Community. We worked with great success to bring the new Field House facility to the Citizens, and the Splash Park as part of the amenities in Ralston Central Park. As I have done in the past, I will work with the APEX District to bring an active recreation facility, including a swimming pool and workout facility to the south-central portion of Arvada. With my full support, the City has set aside $3 Million to assist with this project, and we are currently proposing a site adjacent to an area school.

I would submit that the relationship and trust that I have established with both Board members and Staff at APEX will assist in having this project happen sooner rather than later.

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?  

It is no secret that I am a champion for the appropriate use of Urban Renewal Authorities. Much of the success of Olde Town can be attributed to the thoughtful use of Urban Renewal in attracting projects such as Cosco, Sam’s Club, and the Super Target. Urban Renewal provides the ability to address issues of blight in areas that would not normally be attractive for redevelopment to the development community- it is easier for them to build projects in “green fields”, which leads to sprawl.

Projects such as the Walmart store provide needed sales tax revenues that can be used to pay for infrastructure to support the redevelopment on the north side of the Ralston Creek project, which promises to bring a mixed use amenity for our citizens and guests.

In other communities, much of the criticism of Urban Renewal has been based on the use of Condemnation, takings, powers. During my time on Council and as Mayor, we have avoided any use of unfriendly Condemnation takings, and I intend to continue that practice.

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 will want to explore all options to increase our financial support for road maintenance and construction. As any new tax is an issue that must be voted on by our citizens, if it is determined that a new tax is the highest and best option, I will support asking the citizens to consider that option, and honor their decision.

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 would submit that I have been preparing to continue on as Arvada’s Mayor ever since I became involved in this wonderful community. The role of Mayor is an important one, and the on the job training I have received during my time volunteering with the Chamber of Commerce, as an attorney working on a variety of local issues, as a Library Trustee, as a Council Member for 12 years, and now as Mayor for the past four years is priceless to assist me in moving forward for the next four years.

I have a wealth of experiences and many beneficial relationships here in the City and throughout the region that make it easier to advance the goals and projects that will be so very important in the coming years.

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?

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?

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

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?  

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 do support seeking taxpayer consent to renew the City’s existing bonds, and would use those funds to advance the priorities proposed by our Citizen’s Capital Improvement Committee.

Where possible, without adversely affecting existing businesses, I would like to see the widening of Ralston Road and the widening of sidewalks to promote safe pedestrian use of this important spine through our community. We need to work with the businesses to minimize impact on parking, and should compensate businesses or homeowners in a voluntary fashion to meet these objectives.

I did not, and do not, support the sale of either medical or recreational marijuana, or use in smoking clubs, in Arvada, and have receive extensive support for that position. The state law allowed local communities to make their own local decision on this issue, and I am proud of the position that our City Council has taken.

I was disappointed that not all candidates chose to participate and offer their opinions in what turned out, as had been advertised, as a very fair format. I stand by the positions and answers I presented, and encourage folks to view that forum either on the City website or MarcWilliamsformayor.com

[end of responses by Mayor Williams]

* * *

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 12, 2015

 

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One Response to Marc Williams versus Dave Chandler – Mayor

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

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