For 38 years I have been a homeowner in District 1. I served on Parks & Recreation Commission for one term. I am a practicing RN and am retired from Wheat Ridge's largest employer, Lutheran, after 30 years. I continue to work as a Clinical Instructor. I have two children and five grandchildren who have attended or attend Wheat Ridge Schools. I've been an advocate for patients and their families. I have common sense, critical thinking, am detailed oriented, and organized. I want to support the citizens' voices in what concerns them regarding quality of life in Wheat Ridge.
The history in Wheat Ridge is what makes it great. I've come across residents whose families have lived here for generations and many live in the same house. There are houses that were built in the late 1800's and have great architectural design. We have a lot of high functioning seniors who appreciate the agricultural history which evolved years and years before Wheat ridge incorporated and want to preserve the small town feeling.
Interesting question as if there is one major issue. There are a lot of issues. Rezoning and scraping of homes in established neighborhoods, clarification of zoning codes, adding planned residential developments in the middle of neighborhoods which increase density, no regulation for short term rentals, 38th design issues, traffic, noise, and crime to name a few. Solution: The city NEEDS to listen to the citizens, not the developers and special interest groups.
Citizens absolutely need to be listened to and there needs to be fiscal responsibility in this City. There's a difference between what the City wants and what it needs. The City is being taken over by developers and special interest groups. I've seen citizens get up in front of City Council and voice concerns that they have and they are not taken seriously. The result is frustration for the citizens and they state that they feel the City will just do whatever it wants to do, instead of working for the citizens.
I've been a homeowner in District 1 for a long time. There has always been change or we wouldn't continue to exist, but there needs to be Smart Growth. Established neighborhoods need to be preserved and not have three story square buildings built next to single and double story homes. The people I have spoken to most frequently do not want increased density. They DO NOT want Wheat Ridge to turn in Highlands/Berkeley/Denver. I want to support the citizen voices and not have this City taken over by developers and special interest groups.
My interest in participating in local government first arose out of a passion for transportation issues, particularly infrastructure and policies surrounding bicycling, walking, and public transit. Ultimately, I came to realize that those issues are frequently impossible to separate from larger policies regarding land use, economic development, and community values. After helping found the Wheat Ridge Active Transportation Advisory Team (the “Mighty ATATs”), I spent three years on the City’s Parks and Recreation Commission before being appointed to City Council in January to fill out State Representative Monica Duran’s term.
My 25 years of experience as an attorney specializing in water law and land conservation has further immersed me in matters regarding allocation of limited resources and land use.
In my eight months on Council, I have brought a thoughtful, deliberate approach to the issues, along with an ability to discuss those issues with civility and respect with those I disagree with.
I am continually impressed by the pride the residents of Wheat Ridge take in their community, even if they often have different bases for that pride. Wheat Ridge's size also allows average citizens a meaningful opportunity to participate in local issues while influencing policies that will have a significant impact on the entire region.
The most prominent issue in Wheat Ridge (and most anywhere else you look) is how to manage growth and development. The City's NRS update provided strong recommendations on increasing neighborhood involvement on issues regarding growth and development. I am committed to the implementation of the NRS report concerning neighborhood involvement and development of our primary corridors, and look forward to the City bringing on new staff members to aid in this effort. Ultimately, I don’t think of this as a zero-sum issue, and believe that growth can occur without sacrificing the things that make Wheat Ridge unique.
I believe many of the political battles that have occurred recently in the City can be traced to failures in communication. This starts at the top in government: City Council needs to do a better job of making information available to the people who will be affected, being transparent as to the actual effects of governmental decisions, and giving people avenues to make their opinions heard. There are small steps that can be taken, such as ensuring information on the City website is correct and current and finding new ways to provide notifications to interested residents. For the bigger picture, we need to consider other methods for citizen input to ensure that every citizen has the opportunity to be heard on the issues that affect them. Finally, Council needs to set an example, and show that we can have legitimate disagreements regarding policy and still treat each other with civility and respect.
Recent surveys have shown that Wheat Ridge residents have positive views of the City as a place to live and are supportive of how the City has progressed over the past five years. Walking District I and talking to constituents confirms these results. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to represent District I on City Council since my appointment in January. I believe my thoughtful approach to the issues has contributed to positive decision-making by Council, both for the benefit of the residents of District I and the City as a whole. I hope for the opportunity to continue to serve my community moving forward.