Jan Pawlowski says it has been difficult to put someone from Brighton on the Adams County Board of Commissioners because most of the population is farther south.
So when in 2012 the voters approved an increase in the number of elected commissioners from three to five, she said, she knew it was her chance to represent her city.
“I’ve always been involved in things and believed we have a mission in life — to leave this place better than when we got here,” she said.
Pawlowski is the Republican candidate for the newly created District 5 seat on the Adams County Board of Commissioners. Members on the board will be residents in their districts but are to be elected by the voters of the entire county.
While she has been an advocate of the commissioner increase, she does not like that the new board members are elected by the entire county.
“I really believe in representative government,” she said. “People who run for a district should be elected by that district.”
Pawlowski’s name may ring a bell for some — she served eight years as mayor of Brighton and for six years prior to that as a council member.
She and her husband, Norm, have lived in Adams County for 47 years, raising their two children there.
“When we first moved (to Brighton), there were 7,000 (residents). When I left City Council as mayor, there were 32,000; it’s changed quite a bit,” she said.
If elected, some of the issues Pawlowski said she would like to tackle are the possibility of a home- rule charter, connecting bike trails to the metro area, getting FasTracks to Brighton (especially to the government building) sooner than later and re-examining the stormwater utility fee. This fee was implemented in January 2013 and is charged to property owners in unincorporated Adams County west of Shumaker Road.
“This needs to be done in a fair manner to the existing citizens in the county,” she said, adding that she does not think it was handled fairly and does not support the fee the way it was approved.
One of the things the county should work on improving, Pawlowski said, is listening to its citizens and not being so set on one opinion or another on an issue.
“When you have issues that bring in people, you need to learn to listen,” she said.
She said she was impressed recently with the county’s outreach to candidates, inviting them to meet county employees.
“That’s one of the more proactive things I’ve seen Adams County do. It was a great thing to do,” she said.
Pawlowski said that County Manager Todd Leopold has done a good job assembling a good, qualified staff.
For the past 30 years, Pawlowski has owned and operated Varsity Sports in Brighton. Along with her time on City Council, she has served as chairman of the E-470 Board of Directors and as a member of the Denver Regional Council of Governments, Adams County Economic Development, and the Brighton Parks and Recreation Board. She has four grandchildren.