For 34 years I provided collaborative and visionary leadership to Jefferson Center for Mental Health. I retired a year ago as CEO after running that organization for almost 35 years. I have the proven and trusted leadership skills that Arvada needs to be a vibrant and cohesive community, as well as a collaborative partner with other regional governments – the kind of leadership skills that I used when I led the mental health crisis response following the Columbine tragedy over 20 years ago, or like I did just 2 years ago when Jefferson Center stepped in to continue detox services when Arapahoe House closed its doors. After 45 years in Community Mental Health, I decided to focus more directly on my community by running for Mayor.
I have been a resident of Arvada since 1988, when I moved to a small house in the Reno Park Historic District. I now live on Grandview Avenue in the Stocke-Walter Historic District – right across from the Gold Line. I am running for mayor because I love Arvada. I loved it when I moved here in 1988 – that was when Olde Town was full of antique stores – and I love the vibrant area it is today. I have worked to support the Arvada community for years, involved in a range of activities from rezoning the Stocke-Walter historic district, planning for the G-line including serving on the Gold Corridor Stakeholder Committee, serving on the Citizen’s Capital Improvement Committee and the Arvada Sustainability Advisory Committee, attending numerous city council meetings, and serving as a member of the board of Community Table.
Planning for our retirement, my husband Geoff and I considered moving, or buying a second home, but decided instead to create our retirement home right where we were, because what better place than Arvada? We love our older home in a historic neighborhood, and set about expanding it in a way consistent with the neighborhood, and adding a pond, ducks, and so much garden space that I can’t keep up with it. In my spare time, I tend to the garden (currently quite neglected), enjoy good wine while Geoff loves his beer (always IPA), and we both enjoy travel, in our RV and flying to distant places – but always happy to come home to Arvada. One of our favorite trips is our annual RV trip over Spring Break with our grandkids to Utah. We are privileged that family lives close (in Wheat Ridge) as well as far away in England, giving us an excuse to fly there every couple of years.
You can find more background information on me on my website – harriethallforarvada.com, as well as issue papers on various timely topics.
In talking with citizens, I hear many issues rooted in the lack of connectedness. Due to rapid growth, folks in NW Arvada (some of whom call it FARvada) don’t feel connected with the rest of our hometown. I also hear about a lack of trust in our City’s leaders, and no confidence that concerns are listened to and addressed. These issues in connectedness – physical connection (through roads), and trust in government with real transparency - point to a broader issue. Current government is not serving the needs of the entire community. New leadership is needed.
Arvada must address the issue of connectivity throughout our City. Citizens across the City have many common concerns, especially preserving the unique value of their neighborhood character. I will promote preserving neighborhood integrity, and connecting all of Arvada’s neighborhoods by improving the east-west transportation connections and promoting a truly transparent government.
I agree - I love Arvada! I'll help keep it that way by focusing on smart development, including new housing projects and infrastructure that are sustainable and attainable, and addressing the complicated issue of homelessness. I'll support our businesses, large and small, working with the Chamber and AEDA to keep our economic vitality, support creative ideas, and ensure ongoing success for local businesses.
This process requires transparency, giving citizens better, timely awareness of proposals that affect their neighborhood. Balancing needs of current residents, business, and potential future residents requires understanding the fundamental character of Arvada and an ability to negotiate with all stakeholders to reach a solution acceptable to all. We need to find new, innovative ways to bring our city together as one community. We also must address the Jefferson Parkway issue in a way that is responsive to the widespread health and safety concerns of both citizens and scientists.
Our roads and sidewalks should make the lives of Arvadans better, not add to their stress. As a suburban community, cars are necessary to buy groceries and travel to events and to work. Roads must be well-maintained and connective. New development must pay its own way to ensure adequate infrastructure before building.
Arvada has long neglected road maintenance. Many citizens think emphasis on the Jefferson Parkway has led to neglect of roads coming from West Arvada. We must prioritize road maintenance as we budget and plan, and address the backlog of maintenance needs. Sidewalks and bike lanes must be included as well.
It’s also vital to improve the public transportation system. The g-line, while a great asset, regularly serves a small portion of Arvadans. The lack of public transportation to the stations has created a nightmare for traffic and parking. We need to work with RTD regarding bus service to Golden, Boulder, and other workplaces, aligned with the train route and schedule
Born in Denver, I’m a 4th generation Colorado native. My parents built their first home in Arvada in 1960 where I started the 4th grade at Secrest Elementary School. My parents built here in order to be closer to the Dow Chemical, Rocky Flats, nuclear weapons plant where my Dad retired after 35 years.
I attended North Arvada Jr. High and Arvada High School (I’m a Redskin) graduating in 1969. A few weeks after graduation I found myself working out at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant on a decontamination crew, cleaning up after the Mother’s Day fire, and then followed by a year in the plutonium production and recovery facility.
My working life has spanned a variety of occupations ranging from car sales in both sales and finance management to IT Network and Systems Administrator, from multi-family property management, including section 8, to creating a small business here in Arvada as well as a 6 year stint of being "homeless" on the streets, both locally and in L.A. I'm the father of 1 adult son, Matt, with whom we co-own Hackberry Hill Communications, a small IT business here in Arvada. I first became a "citizen activist" as president of an organization we put together called "Save Our Arvada Redskins" 25 years ago when the ‘politically correct ‘changed the Arvada High School mascot. Four years ago I ran for city council from District 2 because I saw a need to get a handle on the hundreds of millions of dollars in future tax revenue that is being diverted in order to give incentives to developers to build projects that would not be feasible otherwise.
I am currently semi-retired and serving on the board of the Arvada Historical Society where I am the network administrator and webmaster. I also chair the By-laws and IT committees as well as overseeing our current project of digitizing the Society’s paper based archives. I am also heavily involved with the Arvada Jaycees in the production of the Arvada Harvest Festival, a 95 year tradition where I instituted the nationally sanctioned cow chip throwing contest several years ago.
The top challenge facing Arvada today is growth and development. What Arvada looks like in 20 years will be the result of a new Land Development Code which is currently being drafted by city staff. At over 400 pages, this code, with the exception of proposed zoning changes, will take the decision making authority out of the hands of the citizen elected city council and place it solely in the hands of city staffers. There are draft provisions in this new code that will allow 8 story buildings along Wadsworth Blvd. between Pierce and Carr and along Ralston Rd. from Garrison to Kipling. It will allow 6 story buildings along 52nd ave. between Wadsworth and Marshall and up to 20 story buildings in the Candellas area along the proposed Plutonium Parkway near the foothills, thus turning Arvada into a high-rise city and destroying our beautiful views. The solution is to make citizens aware and get them involved. Decisions being made today will impact the character and charm of Arvada forever.
The best way to ensure that Arvada continues to thrive is to allow the free market to work. The city needs to stop subsidizing developers with taxpayer money, picking winners and losers. We need to put an end to crony capitalism and let growth occur naturally. The Arvada Urban Renewal Authority has chased nearly all the small Mom and Pop businesses out of town in favor of upscale trendy franchises, and needs to be shut down. We need to provide incentives for small independent businesses to locate in Arvada. One idea would be allowing them to retain the city sales tax they collect during their first year in business. A thriving community needs to respect it's citizens by making it easier to deal with the city . One idea would be to create a city ombudsman with the authority and power to help residents "fight city hall" when issues occur, Finally, the taxpayers need to have a bigger voice, not just 3 minutes at a city council meeting. It needs to be easier to place issues on the ballot.
Arvada's roads are in deplorable condition and the city has been redirecting street maintenance funds in order to cover short falls in other areas, believing that citizens would then vote to increase taxes. Another source of revenue is available by allowing the retail sale of Marijuana in Arvada and directing that those funds to be used only for road repair and maintenance, call it "Pot for Potholes"
Increased traffic is inevitable as long as we continue to shoehorn high density housing into the area around Olde Town along with other unbridled growth. We may need to follow Lakewood's example of reasonably limiting growth. Wadsworth Blvd. has reached it's limits as can be seen during rush hour, and any expansion would be up to CDOT. Likewise, the Plutonium Parkway is not an answer to traffic congestion in the northwest corridor, it doesn't connect to 470 on either end, and constructing anything in that area will disturb the soil, releasing contamination from the nuclear weapons plant.
I have been part of the Arvada Community since 1979 when I became a law clerk for the law firm where I am a partner today. My wife and I share four incredible children and seven grandchildren who have joined us in our love for Arvada. I have been very involved in the Arvada Chamber of Commerce, serving on several committees and eventually serving as President of the Chamber. I have worked with our local schools, and coached a local high school as they became the National Champions in the High School Mock Trial Competition. I am honored to have played a major role in bringing Red Rocks Community College to Arvada and expanding their campus.
Prior to seeking elected office, I was appointed by the County Commissioners to the Board of Trustees of the Jefferson County Library Board, where I helped oversee the design and construction of the Standley Lake Library in addition to working on several other important library projects.
In 1999 I was honored to be elected to the Arvada City Council as an At-Large Council member, and was reelected twice to that position. In 2011, it was my privilege to be elected Mayor of Arvada, and I was reelected in 2015. I am running for my third and final term as Mayor of this great city.
During my time as a Councilmember and Mayor, I have worked on many issues at the local, regional, state and national level. I am respected by my peers, who selected me to be President of the Colorado Municipal League, the State-wide organization of cities and towns in Colorado. I am currently Chair-elect of the Metro Mayors' Caucus, made up of the 40 Mayors here in the metro area.
Issues such as traffic, attainable housing, and the homeless are issues that go beyond the boundaries of Arvada and require regional attention and solutions. My involvement and proven leadership at the regional and state-wide level put me in the best position to address those issues. Find out more at MarcWilliamsforMayor.com
303-424-4486 or 720-935-4979
In listening to our Citizens, and having read our Citizen Surveys, the top challenge facing Arvada is traffic congestion and the perceived impacts of growth. I will continue to work on this issue at the local, regional and statewide levels. I am pleased that we have increased Arvada's budget for road maintenance to over $10 million per year, a 300% increase over a few years ago. I will continue to encourage our team to find additional funds within our budget to further increase the amounts we can use for our roads.
I supported the passage of 3F, which provided bond funding without raising taxes for widening 72nd Avenue, including the railroad grade separation, along with lane widening and improvements to Ralston Road.
In my role at the Metro Mayors' Caucus, I serve as Chair of the Transportation Committee, where we will continue our work on funding options for regional road improvements.
I will continue to work to preserve and expand our quality of life, which starts with keeping Arvada the very safe community it is. I support our Police Department and the addition of three Leed Certified Community Police Stations. I support our economic development efforts to attract and retain businesses, stores and restaurants which provide jobs, shopping and entertainment options for our residents. I support our actions to have a park within a ten minute walk of every home, and to provide trails and safe sidewalks throughout the city. I will continue our work to secure our water supply at reasonable rates. I will work with the entire City Council as we update our Land Development Code so that we have smart, well planned positive growth consistent with the needs and desires of the community. To thrive, we must maintain our fiscal conservative approach, which gives the City healthy financial reserves so that we can address our current and future infrastructure needs.
We are continually monitoring our road conditions, and recognize that we need to take preventative action to extend the life of our roads. It has been important to dramatically increase the City's budget for road maintenance and expansion. I will continue to work with our team to maximize the budget for our local roads. The recent improvements to 72nd Avenue and Indiana represent how a well engineered project can dramatically improve congestion issues. I will continue to push for better utilization of technology to improve traffic light timing to recognize real time traffic needs. I have supported and will continue to support the Gold Line, and the advantage of transit oriented development which reduces infrastructure costs and traffic by having higher density around our transit stations. I will also continue to look to safe regional solutions to move regional traffic off of our local roads.