Quality of life for all residents of Arvada will always be what drives me, and our No. 1 issue will always be to make Arvada the best possible community to live, work, learn and play.
Strong and Responsive Arvada Government
One of my greatest prides as Mayor is the cohesive nature of our City Council. At the Metro Mayors Caucus, I constantly hear about the infighting and divisiveness of other City Councils. In Arvada, I believe I have worked very hard to develop a culture of mutual respect among the seven of us. We don’t always agree, but we disagree agreeably. We are the envy of our surrounding communities, and the culture we have developed serve our citizens well. I treat my fellow Council Members with the respect they all deserve, and I value their inputs and positions. Everyone gets an opportunity to fairly state their positions, and we make intelligent decisions as a direct result.
I take seriously City Council’s role in maintaining our infrastructure, maintaining appropriate financial reserves, and our 10-year budgeting to balance out the good times and bad times. Our track record is excellent—the City of Arvada is on the right track.
Our City Team is second to none. City Manager Mark Deven is respected internally and throughout the Metro region. Mark and I meet weekly to discuss the Monday Agenda and pressing issues. We have a mutual respect and working relationship that benefits Council, our Team, and the citizens at large. I have always found our Team to be dedicated to the best interests of our citizens and our City. I work cooperatively with them and am their cheerleader.
I have been the champion of many important issues in Arvada both as a Council member and as Mayor. I stand on my record of proven leadership and respect from my fellow Council members, the City Team and City leaders, and the role I have played and will continue to play on a regional basis as Chair of the Metro Mayors Caucus.
No local issue is more important than public safely. Under my watch, Arvada has added three community police stations so that we can promote community policing and rapid response times. We have added to our award winning police team to address our growing population.
RTD’s Gold Line
Local media and others have commented on my role in breaking the log jam of regulations that was delaying the opening of RTD’s Gold Line. We are enjoying today the fruits of many years of effort in bringing commuter rail to Arvada. I personally was involved in negotiations to reduce the cost to our citizens of the Transit Hub, and thank City Council for their support of those negotiations.
I was a champion for the initial Red Rocks Community College in Arvada and was an advocate for Arvada’s participation, along with the Community First Foundation, for the expansion of that campus. This college is a great option for students who want an associate’s degree or to earn credits toward more advanced degrees. Likewise, our City Council has been a great partner with Jefferson County Schools, recognizing the importance of public education for our students and workforce development.
Safe drinking water
For years, I have been an advocate for Arvada having a dedicated, protected source of safe drinking water. Again, I was designated as the Council negotiator during litigation between Arvada and the Denver Water Board over water rates and our role in Gross Reservoir. We successfully resolved our issues with Denver Water, resulting in a long-term savings to our ratepayers (all of you) in many millions of dollars. I believe the negotiation skills I have developed as a practicing attorney, and the credibility I bring to the table, have benefited our citizens greatly during my time of service. Today, we enjoy an excellent working relationship with the Denver Water Board based on mutual trust and respect.
I have over the past 20 years developed an excellent working relationship with officials from Xcel Energy and worked diligently with them on the emphasis of developing and utilizing renewable energy. As a result, Arvada cooperated in the approval of their latest substation, which greatly enhanced their ability to utilize solar energy.
Additionally, I supported the installation of the solar farm north of 86th Parkway and Alkire, and I fully support additional solar farms being planned. As a City Council, we have set goals for the utilization of natural gas-powered vehicles and expansion of electric-vehicle charging stations. I encourage and would love to see 100% utilization of renewable energy and will continue to work on this goal when re-elected.
Trash hauling and recycling
I was on City Council during the first discussions of single hauler trash hauling, and I recognize that there are a lot of opinions on this topic. When our Sustainability Committee came back to City Council in 2018-19 on this topic, I did not shy away from revisiting the issue. I live in a HOA community that utilizes a single hauler, and it has certainly resulted in an increased utilization of recycling in our household—and lower fees. As such, I see the value.
It is important that we see the results of the Request for Proposals from the industry to verify that there would indeed be a cost savings to our community and to address concerns raised by many regarding service levels.