I believe our top challenge in this election is listening and paying attention to our citizens needs and wants. Politics too often overrides our peoples desires and if elected, my continuing theme will be to listen and act accordingly.
The key to affordable housing is to be aware of all the programs out there to help buyers. There are federal, state, county and city programs but many people just aren’t aware of them. We need to keep a list of these programs locally so folks can take advantage of them.
One of my main issues is support those volunteers who make Arvada a great place to live and work. Most of the people volunteer their time without compensation and we need to encourage and support their efforts.
I was born and raised in El Paso, TX, and moved to Colorado in 1992. Although I always envisioned myself in law enforcement, I attended Metro State College and moved up quickly in management at TCI Cable. I transitioned my career to Qwest/CenturyLink in 1998 and worked there for 15 years. I held several management positions within the company. Some of those positions include Operations, International Engineering, Network Design and Strategic & Tactical Engineering. While working at CenturyLink, my wife and I opened our first business, Downtown Toys & Games. We had a great time tending to our customers and giving back to our community. The economy hit us in 2010 and we were unable to financially sustain the business. In 2013, I moved to Sungard AS, which is a Global Disaster Recovery IT company, where I led several Team in Network and Vendor Management, which included profits & losses, developing executive and strategic business cases.
In the summer 2017, I was at a transportation conference and was stressing the importance of convergence of technology and transportation and how the two could help reduce fatalities and congestion on our roadways. Later that year, I found myself negotiating my “pay cut” to work for the CDOT’s Intelligent Transportation Systems Branch. I was so passionate about CDOT’s mission that it was an easy decision to join them. In this role, I lead a strong Team of employees and contractors that are planning, engineering, operating and maintaining all of electronics and fiber optics within the highway system. I also was involved with programs like autonomous and connected vehicles that one day will be prevalent in all of our communities. In addition, I manage all Public Private Partnerships as it pertains to technology and use of the right of way for fiber optics. These partnerships since joining CDOT have exceed over $50M value to the State with zero State dollars involved.
I have volunteered for many local organizations, events and youth sports which have recognized me with the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Some of the roles and volunteering opportunities I have had include:
– Board of Directors for Arvada Vitality Alliance (Vice President)
– Former Board of Directors for the Arvada Community Food Bank (Vice President)
– Serving as 2010 President of Historic Olde Town Arvada (HOTA)
– Former member of Arvada-Jefferson Kiwanis
– Being a member of Arvada Historical Society
– Graduate of the Transit Alliance Citizen’s Academy
– Participant of Colorado’s Future Through Civic Engagement
– Recipient of the APEX Service Excellence Award
– Umpiring & coaching youth baseball
– Managing youth football teams
– Ralston House .5k Endurance Challenge and volunteering committee
– Helping at the Santa House – a program to assist families in need during Christmas
– Working with the Arvada Police Department’s Light Up the Holidays
– Assisting with food drives and fund raising for the Community Table (formerly known as Arvada Community Food Bank)
– Participating in charity events to raise money for several local non-profit organizations that support Arvada citizens.
Through our business, I gained a great experience and a deeper appreciation for small businesses and their hardship through difficult times. From my professional experience to my volunteerism, I able to have rounded and thoughtful discussions to ensure I make sound decisions in the governance and policies of our City, while protecting our charm and character of our community.
The top challenge we are facing is Traffic! We have been investing in our streets to repair and maintain them, and not focusing enough on traffic flows through our community, operationally improving traffic congestion. We need to put resources behind incremental improvement, that we can reduce the amount of time we all spend in our cars, while improve safety on our roads for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. By having our City Team look at innovative approaches like adaptive traffic signals to ensure motorists flow efficiently through the city to posting travel time on an app so our citizens know issues and congestion before heading out.
We will need to continue to invest in maintaining our roads, we still have some short falls, and since I have been elected, we have increased our streets fund for repair by over 300%. Again, still not enough, we need approximately $16M annual to stay up with maintenance on our largest asset, the roads.
This is a long time coming for our City. I have been, and still will be, an advocate for more affordable housing within Arvada. Several community members have expressed their inability to stay in Arvada. Concerns from having their parents remain within the community with the lack of affordable senior housing, to having their college graduate children return home because they can’t afford to live in the community they were raised in. For someone or a family to live in Arvada, they have to make almost $75,000 annually to simply break even. The City needs to find innovative ways and strategies to reduce housing costs while assuring builders pass those savings on. I view opportunities with builders as an opportunity to partner. I am open to any idea that achieves my desired outcome and will advocate such creativity in partnering. Some builders already offer programs that help first responders, who some of those who simply do not make enough to live in our community.
For us to continue to thrive, we must promote businesses that show a commitment to our community, preserve areas in our City that foster a sense of community and lastly, we must continue to invest in what make Arvada special, our parks and culture. Many areas get pressure to change zoning that promotes residential, when our comprehensive plan recommends commercial and retail. We should preserve these zones, which will promote town and activity centers; organically fostering a sense of place and community. We need to build on having a park every 10-minute walk from every home, promoting the arts and humanities, while creating new places for folks to congregate, like town centers.