Parker Town Council candidates answer questions

John Diak
Ron Fraker Jr.
Robert Kron
Mark Lane
Debbie Lewis
Bill Wright
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Compiled by Chris Michlewicz
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Parker residents can learn plenty about town council candidates through campaign websites, but the following offers a brief personal glimpse into who is running, including question and answer sessions about how they would guide the town into the future.

Candidates are listed in alphabetical order (by last name).

 

John Diak

John Diak, a Parker resident since 1983, has been involved in the community, from participating in the 1988 “Stay Alive on Highway 83” campaign as a high school senior to the 2012 Smokin’ Brew BBQ that raised funds for charitable causes.

Diak attended Colorado State University, where he earned a dual degree in finance and human development and family studies. Upon graduation, he came home to Parker and began working for Western States Surveying, a locally-owned and operated land surveying company

He and his wife of 13 years, Noelle, are raising their three children in the Bradbury Hills subdivision.

What makes you the best candidate for town council?

I have lived and worked in the community for 29 years and have been very involved – donating time and services to many worthy organizations. I have a strong financial background and diverse land use knowledge – operating a successful Parker-based land surveying firm that provided professional services to various governmental entities including the Town of Parker and Douglas County. By having an extensive local business background, I’m very familiar with the many boards, working committees and commissions I would be asked to sit on to represent the town and its citizens.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Parker and what would you do to meet that challenge?

The biggest challenge facing Parker is responsible growth. The citizens want new businesses/development that fill a current void, provide long-term value and sustainability in the Parker marketplace. New businesses and development want a government that is easy to work with so they can open a business/develop a project in an easy and efficient manner.

I will work with the town to create an environment where new businesses/developers want to do business in Parker. I would start by streamlining processes and timelines at the town level and providing easier and more efficient access to staff. 

Parker’s leaders are trying to boost the local daytime economy by bringing more employers to town. Do you believe this should be a priority? If not, why? If so, why, and what ideas would you contribute to help accomplish this goal?

Economic development should be a priority. Parker is a community that largely relies on sales tax to provide services and amenities to its citizens. New commercial businesses provide a customer base for our retail businesses and new retail businesses provide additional sales tax collectors so we can continue providing the services and amenities our citizens desire. I would continue current council’s efforts to attract and expand business by working with our economic development team and utilizing the innovative tools the Parker Authority for Reinvestment (PAR) has begun to assemble to foster growth.

Ron Fraker, Jr.

Ron Fraker, Jr. has lived in Parker for 8 years. He attended the University of Denver where he received a degree in finance/marketing and a degree in statistics with a minor in economics. He later earned a Master’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Science of Finance with a minor in business-to-business marketing. Fraker works in his family’s business as a manufacturers’ representative selling hardware, automotive and farm products in the Rocky Mountain and Great Lakes regions. He is married to his wife, Lindsey, and they have two sons.

What makes you the best candidate for town council?

I love the Town of Parker and wouldn’t raise my family anywhere else. We need to keep Parker a great town for everyone.  With my background and education in business, finance and marketing, I will be an asset to Parker. I will create new ideas on how to market the town to homeowners and businesses so they can see why Parker is the place to be now and going forward. With my finance experience I can help make sure Parker’s continued growth is fiscally responsible. As someone who has never held political office, I can bring some fresh perspectives to council.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Parker and what would you do to meet that challenge?

Parker’s largest challenge is figuring out a way to continue to grow so we can keep moving forward. We have space for new home growth as well as empty homes to be sold. We need to market the town so people see why Parker is a great place. If population grows, our town is more attractive to businesses. The council can then help attract and incentivize new businesses. We need to make it easy to build and do business in Parker. I want to move forward and take this town to the next level.         

Parker’s leaders are trying to boost the local daytime economy by bringing more employers to town. Do you believe this should be a priority? If not, why? If so, why, and what ideas would you contribute to help accomplish this goal?

Bringing more employers to Parker should always be a priority to boost the economy as a whole. More jobs are a benefit to everyone living in Parker. We can potentially use tax incentives and/or rebates to draw employers to the town. Additionally, I think we need to come up with ideas to help market the town to businesses. Parker is a great town and a wonderful place to do business. We just need to make more business owners aware of why they should move to Parker.

Robert Kron

Robert Kron is originally from a small Minnesota farming community “where everyone knew each other.”  He has been involved with youth sports in Parker and served in various capacities with the Boy Scouts of America.

He says he is not a career politician. Kron has spent most of his life in the private sector, providing him with knowledge of how the economy works. He has a bachelor’s degree in science from the University of Phoenix and a Masters of Business Administration in finance and accounting from Keller Graduate School of Management. Kron moved to Parker four years ago with his wife, three sons and one daughter.

What makes you the best candidate for town council?

I believe that I have the qualities in a candidate that will serve the Town of Parker on behalf of the people. With fifteen years as a finance manager, I believe that I have the business intellect that will help lead the Town of Parker into the future. During the last fifteen years, I have served in key leadership roles with the Boy Scouts of America and in my church. Utilizing that experience, I will work with committees within the Town of Parker to find innovative solutions to help Parker grow, yet maintain that small-town feeling that we all love.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Parker and what would you do to meet that challenge?

Over time, things obviously change. The Town of Parker today differs from that of ten years ago, and it will continue to change at an exponential rate. We have a responsibility to invite innovation, to welcome change and growth, but to manage it well so that we maintain the kind of town where we want to raise our families.

Growth management involves guiding the amount, pace, type, quality, location and impacts of local development. This plan should include an economic development plan, a downtown plan, an open space and parks plan, a transportation plan, and a capital improvement plan. 

Parker’s leaders are trying to boost the local daytime economy by bringing more employers to town. Do you believe this should be a priority? If not, why? If so, why, and what ideas would you contribute to help accomplish this goal?

I believe that boosting daytime economy is important and should be a priority. Successful towns and cities have moved beyond simply “coping” with growth and change, to managing growth by carefully designing a plan for creating the kind of place to live and work that residents want in their community.

As we increase daytime economy this will create jobs for our residents and increase revenue for the town. It will also provide the means to finance the needed cost for growth in new roads, schools, adequate open space, recreational facilities and police and fire protection for the Town of Parker.

Mark Lane

Mark Lane lives off Mainstreet, runs a pedestrian taxi company on Mainstreet and is actively involved in the community as a resident and business owner.

He says his work allows him to meet many of the residents of Parker, listen to their concerns and to see areas that need focus. He is a Parker Chamber of Commerce member who volunteers as an ambassador to help new members “learn the ropes.”

Lane attended the 2012 Parker Civic Academy and learned about planning, police and public works departments to understand how they function within the Town of Parker. He has lived in Parker for three years with his wife, Tia.

What makes you the best candidate for town council?

Communication is paramount to the success and growth of our town and I will facilitate greater communication between the town council, Parker water board, Douglas County commissioners, police department and, most importantly, Parker residents. I will work to bring new business to Parker while protecting existing businesses by promoting fair business practices. I am fiscally conservative and want to make certain that our choices today do not have negative financial impacts in the future. Last, but certainly not least, I will fight to protect the small town feel that makes Parker what I consider the best town to call home. 

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Parker and what would you do to meet that challenge?

There are many businesses that are outside of downtown Mainstreet that feel forgotten and neglected by our town. Today, Parker offers many wonderful activities in the downtown Parker area throughout the year which attract visitors from all over the world. This commerce primarily helps to promote businesses in downtown Parker. I will work closely with the chamber and all of Parker businesses to create ways to bring more business to outlying merchants. I want our entire town to flourish with opportunity and right now our outlying merchants need our help.

Parker’s leaders are trying to boost the local daytime economy by bringing more employers to town. Do you believe this should be a priority? If not, why? If so, why, and what ideas would you contribute to help accomplish this goal?

Yes, bringing new appropriate businesses to Parker should be a priority of the Council. Parker is a bedroom community where approximately 80% of our residents leave Parker by 8 a.m. each day and do not return until evening. I believe that the current council has made progress in this area by bringing in Murdoch’s, Sear’s Hometown and Morning Star and that we should continue to focus on attracting small to medium sized businesses. We must, however, create new programs that while offering incentives to new businesses to come to Parker do not create unfair advantage over existing Parker businesses.

Debbie Lewis

Debbie Lewis is a 30-year resident of Parker and former town council member. Lewis has a bachelor of science in education and has been a Parker small business owner for more than 30 years.  She has been the award recipient of the prestigious Citizen of the Year O’Brien Award and has been a Parker Chamber of Commerce member for many years. As a Parker Town Council member for eight years (1996-2000 and 2004-2008), Lewis was a part of many special committees and legislative groups. She has raised two children in Parker and is a grandmother of three.

What makes you the best candidate for town council?

I have lived, worked, played and shopped here in Parker for over 30 years now. It is the place I call home. Throughout, growing pains have occurred, but our sense of community and positive outlook still move us forward. I am the only candidate that has served the public as an elected official. I own my own small business. Those experiences keep me ahead of the steep learning curve required to be a council member. I know and understand procedures, processes and can build consensus. I have the experience you can trust.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Parker and what would you do to meet that challenge?

Our biggest challenge as a town is ensuring its long term healthy economic viability and sustainability. We have to have streamlined policies and regulations in terms of our many codes. Keeping a positive business environment, while actively growing all of Parker’s economy is crucial. Our current businesses, large and small, contribute towards Parker’s economic survival. Working together as a cohesive voice is far more effective than working at cross purposes. Long term community sustainability requires adequate growth. If we stop growing, we start withering on the vine. Making development work with us and not in spite of us is vital.

Parker’s leaders are trying to boost the local daytime economy by bringing more employers to town. Do you believe this should be a priority? If not, why? If so, why, and what ideas would you contribute to help accomplish this goal?

A more vibrant daytime economy is a priority. It is one component of a healthy vibrant community. People don’t want to have to drive all over to buy items and haul children to sports. This happens with collaboration. We have to continue incentives for businesses like Costco and Home Depot. Let’s be proactive in marketing Parker to others. We need tout award-winning recreation facilities and trails. Parker has a world-class hospital with top notch doctors. The PACE center brings in cultural and educational events for every age. Our library and school district are second to none. Parker is home!

Joshua Rivero

Joshua Rivero owns a coffee shop in downtown Parker and is an active community member.

He served as president for two years for the now-absorbed Downtown Development Council shortly after purchasing his business in 2008. While at the DDC, Rivero was involved in bringing the Farmer's Market back to Mainstreet and in creating downtown events organized by the Parker Chamber of Commerce.

Rivero met his future wife, Anna, in 2001. When starting a family, they moved to Parker to be near Rivero’s family. They found an old coffee shop for sale on Mainstreet and decided it would be a perfect fit. They live in Idyllwilde with their two children.

What makes you the best candidate for town council?

As the owner of Fika Coffee House, I realized that I had a unique situation in regards to my relationship with the community. I talk to a wide range of citizens every day and in doing so I have heard everything about our beautiful town. People have shared their feelings on all things, good, bad and in-between. I have listened and I have learned. I believe this is beneficial to my fellow citizens in that I plan on being highly accessible and will use the coffee shop as my Mainstreet office. I will proudly represent the public to the best of my ability.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Parker and what would you do to meet that challenge?

I am proud of how fiscally strong Parker stayed during the downturn. I believe it will be a challenge to maintain this level of security but I believe it is a challenge that the town can meet and exceed. I believe the key to success for Parker is economic development and I believe the town has an excellent economic development staff who have begun to ensure Parker can fulfill its potential. We have neighborhoods and commercial developments that were conceived and started during the boom but sat incomplete during the downturn. We need to ensure that those ideas and plans come to fruition.

Parker’s leaders are trying to boost the local daytime economy by bringing more employers to town. Do you believe this should be a priority? If not, why? If so, why, and what ideas would you contribute to help accomplish this goal?

Parker is on its way to being a full service community. I love working in the town that I live in and I know others would also. With employers comes the need for retail services. As it stands now the majority of workforce leaves Parker in the morning and returns in the evening. I know of more than one restaurant that would love a lunch crowd to fill out its customer base and that goes for all services not just food industry. I have been in restaurant retail for 25 years and I believe I am the best voice for small business on the ballot.

Bob Roberts

Bob Roberts is a resident of Parker and owner of a small general practice law firm on Mainstreet. He earned a juris doctorate from the University of Denver.

As a small business owner, Roberts says he knows how to efficiently target spending to achieve the desired results. He wants to re-focus town council around principles of fiscal conservatism, transparency and putting Parker residents first. He favors awarding contracts for town-funded work to Parker contractors so local tax dollars are reinvested in the Parker community.

What makes you the best candidate for town council?

As a small business owner, I know first-hand how to efficiently target spending to achieve the desired results. My juris doctorate degree has given me the tools to analyze situations and solve problems. I intend to re-focus the town council around principles of fiscal conservatism, transparency, and putting Parker residents first. Contrary to the decision of the current town council majority, I would have voted to put the elective $44 million construction project to a vote of the people, and to award the contract to a Parker contractor, so that Parker tax dollars are reinvested in the Parker community. 

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Parker and what would you do to meet that challenge?

Bringing more fiscal discipline to the council. The decision to spend $44 million on the PACE center, and police station, is clear evidence of the big-spending habits of a majority of council members, including candidate for mayor, Mike Waid. Due to their big-spending habits, Parker is facing a financial pinch.  Now, Waid wants to be mayor, and he is running together with his fellow big-spenders, Rivero and Diak.  All three support high sales tax, the $44 million project, and rejected putting it to a vote of the people. Parker residents are rightly concerned with Waid, Rivero, and Diak’s tax-and-spend agenda.

Parker’s leaders are trying to boost the local daytime economy by bringing more employers to town.  Do you believe this should be a priority? If not, why? If so, why, and what ideas would you contribute to help accomplish this goal?

As a resident of Parker, and a Mainstreet small business owner, I have a vested interest in making certain that Parker thrives. Parker should fully shift from a bedroom community to a self-contained community by attracting more employers to Parker. If more residents live and work in Parker, they will put more daytime money into the Parker economy by patronizing local businesses, thereby financially strengthening local residents. Therefore, I support using tax and fee reductions, streamlining of regulations, and other incentives, to attract more employers to Parker. If the net result is beneficial to Parker, it is a sound idea.

Bill Wright

Bill Wright is a long-time Parker resident, businessman and community volunteer. Wright, who is retired from the energy industry, has lived in Parker for 13 years and “knows just how good we have it here.” He grew up in Colorado and graduated from Colorado State University with bachelor’s degrees in science and business. He went on to earn a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Texas – Austin. He has also served on various commissions, including a stint as a board member for the Colorado Council on Economic Education. Wright has been married to his wife, Carol, for five years.

What makes you the best candidate for town council?

I have 40 years experience working in Fortune 500 companies. I have managed budgets of $100 million. My educational background includes a BS from CSU and an MBA from UTx-Austin. My life experiences provide some advantages over candidates who are younger and must balance responsibilities on town council with other priorities such as earning a living and raising a family. Being retired releases me from having to fulfill those other obligations, and enables me to do a thorough job of representing the constituents of Parker. Finally, I bring a diverse perspective to the decisions that are made by council.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Parker and what would you do to meet that challenge?

Parker's biggest challenge is being able to effectively manage the growth that is projected over the next twenty years. Population growth in Parker is estimated to exceed 11,000 by 2035. Growth requires an increase in town resources and services. All of these services require additional funding. Council must continue to research and implement additional, innovative programs designed to attract small businesses to Parker. New businesses along with additional home construction will contribute to the larger tax base necessary for these increases.

Parker's leaders are trying to boost the local daytime economy by bringing more employers to town.  Do you believe this should be a priority? If not why? If yes, why, and what ideas would you contribute to help accomplish this goal.

The development of a daytime economy in Parker is a viable goal and a priority that I support. Providing opportunities for residents to spend both their work and leisure time within the town provides a more stable tax base, and contributes to the "Home Town" environment that Parker residents prefer. If the town plans to attract additional population, traffic congestion issues need to be resolved. Then the town could consider some unconventional methods of attracting new businesses such as making construction sites available at below market prices to certain businesses or industries willing to relocate to Parker.