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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Wheat Ridge City Council District IV

Voters of Wheat Ridge will be electing one City Council Members for each District. The City of Wheat Ridge functions within a Council-Manager form of government. Wheat Ridge City Council has eight members elected to represent the citizens of Wheat Ridge who are responsible for: Representing the citizens of Wheat Ridge; The Adoption of Ordinances and Resolutions or rules for the City; Determining City policies; Securing and sustaining public improvements such as streets and sidewalks; Superintending the expenditures of money; Establishing property tax and fees; Approving various City contracts; and, Designating members of City boards, commissions and committees. All municpal races are run as nonpartisan.

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  • Christopher Bird
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Larry Mathews
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Valarie Nosler Beck
    (NP)

Biographical Information

In your opinion, what makes the City of Wheat Ridge a ‘great place’ to live?

What do you see as the major issue facing Wheat Ridge and what do you think the solution is?

What changes, if any, would you like to see concerning how the city is run?

Why are you running for city council?

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Background Currently I am the incumbent wheat Ridge City Councilor in District 4. I retired from a career in Project management in street, highway, and site development construction. I first moved, in 1970, from a similar small suburban city, to Wheat Ridge, where my wife of 50 years was born and raised. We have been in our current home since 1983. Three generations of our family attended Wheat Ridge schools.
Contact phone 303.396.5201
My wife and I enjoy the open airy environment we find in Wheat Ridge. We once defined it as having air-space, a place to breathe and enjoy our home and local environment. We have a smaller city oasis in the midst of the surrounding urban congestion. Our Green Belt and many wonderful parks typify our dedication to quality of life in Wheat Ridge. I have heard from many new residents that this was also, for them, a driving force in their decision to move to our city. I believe we must maintain this tenet as one of our guiding principles in our future development. It sets us apart from our larger urban leaning neighbors.
The most important issue in WR today is the division between new and old. As the President Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” The solution is compromise on both sides. I have long addressed the issue as follows: We must work to preserve the traditional neighborhoods that have made WR a desirable destination for families for years. I have voted for the progressive approach to living for the new developments where we can design and build the infrastructure to support the higher density residential populations on the periphery of our city.

Cities across the state are suffering the consequences of high density development in the wrong places. That’s why many people traditionally moved to WR. Drive down Wadsworth after 3:00. It is an inescapable condition of the math involved with building up to allow for higher density. Your population increases by the cube while your infrastructure can only increase linearly.
We need to allow for more citizen input, and increased reliance on their input, when making the decisions that affect and concern their neighborhoods. Too much unanswered decision making happens at the city corporate and council levels. We need to make a major effort to increase citizen participation in the city decision making process. We also need to be more proactive in reacting to their concerns and neighborhood issues. Too often their voices are drowned out and not heard or ignored. Council has to make it a priority to make the hard decisions rather than trying to rely on "by the book" numbers. I heard time after time that if a development meets the "numbers" in the code than we "must" vote yes on the development even though the citizens are opposed.
I continue to have a passion for wanting to bring the voices of the people into the council chamber. I now have four years of experience in deciphering how things are being done, and more importantly, how things are not being done to meet the people's needs. I don't believe that I have yet accomplished all the goals I set out to accomplish to improve how our citizens relate to and approve of the job council is doing for them. I wish to continue to be a part time, temporary employee of the city, as "Hired Directly by the People". I acknowledge they, and not developers, staff, or other outside interests, are my boss!
Background This is my second time running for city council District 4. In 2017 I ran because affordable housing, homelessness and infrastructure issues were impacting our city and neighborhoods. Professionally I had helped other municipalities build back more resilient after the 2013 floods. I wanted to bring my skill set to my city. I didn’t win that race in 2017, but I did not lose. After running for council I served on the cultural commission and was appointed to the Urban Renewal Board. I participated in Local Works, Wheaties Leadership Academy. What I got out of that race most importantly was the friendship and support of the three people I ran against. City Councilwoman Leah Dozeman, D 4 resident Andy Rassmussen and Ruth Baranowski. There is a new kind of politics brewing in Wheat Ridge, it has very little to do with party affiliation, and much more to do with getting things done. I learned from that experience that we can do so much more together. On council I will bring that lesson of leadership and inclusiveness with me. As I knock on doors and talk to residents they are sick of how divided our city has become over zoning and development. They don’t feel that they have a place at the table. Residents no matter their income, or schedule, or access to facebook should have a voice in the process. My family settled in Wheat Ridge in the 1890's and I like to say that my husband and I settled in our home in 2014. We have two young girls ages five and three. I have worked in State, Federal and Local governments throughout my entire career. My expertise is in community engagement and operations. I know how to make the connections to solve the tough problems. I know how to manage budgets and apply for all levels of grants and funding.
Contact e-mail val@val4wheatridge.com
Contact phone 303-350-0772
Twitter @val4wheatridge
My husband and I chose Wheat Ridge as the place to put down roots 5 years ago. We love the small town feel and honestly we love our neighbors. Our two young daughters attend the same school my mom attended. We spend our summers at Anderson Pool and watching outdoor movies "on the green". We have almost fully restored our 1963 mid century home to its original glory, pink flamingo bathroom and all. My great great grandparents also thought Wheat Ridge was a great place to live when they settled and farmed near 44th and Wadsworth in the 1890's. My girls run around in big Wheat Ridge backyards all summer long, just like I did in my grandma's backyard. I love how I have found my community through Local Works and Wheaties Academy, just like my great grandparents found their community through the grange. Our community is not like any of the big suburbs that surround us, Wheat Ridge is a great place to live.
The number one issue facing Wheat Ridge is growth in our city, and this is a looming issue throughout Colorado. The lack of attainable housing combined with mental health services struggling to meet the needs of our community is causing an increase in homelessness. The increased congestion on our roads is debilitating our infrastructure, and development in our city is dividing neighborhoods by pitting existing residents and new residents against one another. I support smart growth for Wheat Ridge. Smart growth for Wheat Ridge means preserving what makes our community unique and special, while building a resilient community that is welcoming and ready for the future. On council, I will support the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy (NRS) recommendations. I will work with residents, other municipalities, council members to to get the job done by leading the tough conversations,finding common ground, and bringing real results for the future of Wheat Ridge.
The city needs to work with residents on meeting them where they are neighborhood by neighborhood. I support the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy recommendation to support and educate neighborhoods about zoning and development plans in their area. The city needs to help residents with mobilizing around issues that matter to them prior to it escalating to heated public meetings. We are not able to accomplish anything in these public forums because by the time we are at that place in the process, it is too late. Residents are mad, developers are mad and everyone feels as though they are following the rules. It is incredibly frustrating and paralyzing for residents. Residents need to be able to protect their property rights and in order to have smart growth we need to find a way to do business with smart developers.More communication and education can improve this problem in Wheat Ridge.
This is my second time running for city council District 4. Today, and in 2017, I ran because affordable housing, homelessness and infrastructure issues were impacting neighborhoods. Professionally I helped other municipalities build back more resilient after the 2013 floods. I wanted to bring my skill set to my city. I didn’t win that race in 2017, but I did not lose. I served on the cultural commission and was appointed to the Urban Renewal Board. I have the support of my three opponents this time around. I will use my background in community relations and communications to involve residents in the process, because the decisions made in local government impact all of us. Let’s get rid of the divisiveness in our local government and focus on the job we were sent to do. Building a resilient community that is ready for the future.