Linda Olson, District 2 candidate for Englewood City Council

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Linda Olson has lived in Englewood for 31 years. She is the interim dean of the Colorado Women’s College at the University of Denver and is executive director of DU’s Learning Communities and Civic Engagement Department. She is the incumbent in District 2 and is running unopposed. She was first elected in 2009 and again in 2013, and this would be the last consecutive term she could serve.

Olson has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota, a master of education degree in parks and recreation administration from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D in communication studies from DU.

Contact: lindaolson55@gmail.com or 303-789-4799

Why do you want to serve on the Englewood City Council?

It would be an honor to continue to serve Englewood District 2 and the city at large for another term. Over my years of service, I have developed a strong understanding for the multiple ways that our city must function to provide a quality of life for all. I can provide strong council continuity and vision for our newly adopted comprehensive plan and vision.

What can city council do to increase revenue sources for the city?

Our city depends on sales tax for much of its revenue. Property tax goes mainly to the county and schools. This means retail sales is our prime revenue source and volatile with the economy. We need to keep our retail business opportunities vibrant, encourage “Buy Englewood” habits and attract those outside of Englewood to spend time and resources in Englewood. But infrastructure needs are going to require more thoughtful financing whether through bonds or (public-private) partnerships. Regardless, the voters should have a say in this, and I will support ballot initiatives to help chart our economic future.

Amid rising housing prices, what can city council do to ensure young families are not priced out of Englewood?

We need to continue a balance of accessibly priced housing and home ownership-friendly policies. Affordable housing is relative to jobs and income, so attracting jobs with more than livable wages will help our residents live, work and play here. Encouraging home renovations and incentives to help families stay in Englewood will also stabilize the market and prevent a transient renters’ market.

What types of crime most need to be addressed in the city and what can be done?

Theft and robbery are the most common crimes in our city. While we can do more to prevent crimes of opportunity with education and awareness, this kind of crime often occurs due to economic stress and drug-related activity. Adding more police officers is important, along with a social-service approach. I would like to see us add a social worker to our police department who can help with prevention and treatment approaches that are more long-term.

What two issues need more attention than the current city council has given them?

(What) perplexes me most is how to approach and care for (the) homeless. Englewood does not have health and human services (facilities) like our larger neighbors. We need to seek services from the county and state and develop a … plan that includes businesses, faith communities, neighbors and city offices. All cities are dealing with … infrastructure needs. Roads, bridges, water/sewer, storm drainage and parks amenities require large-scale funding. We have done a great job … year by year for the most pressing ... It is time for a longer-term plan … for which Englewood residents can weigh in.

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