When Karl Goeken chose to serve his community, it did not take
him long to decide which city-level position to seek.
“It’s about giving back to the community,” he said. “I don’t
want it to sound like that’s a canned phrase, but I’m a person who
is always busy doing something. I have a full-time job so anything
I would do would have to be part-time, and keeping and reviewing
records is one of my strengths.”
Those factors in mind, the insurance claims adjuster opted to
run for Centennial city clerk, a position whose functions include
taking copious notes at city council meetings, calling the roll and
reading proposed ordinances into the public record.
Goeken is treasurer for the Homestead Farm Homeowners
Association and a party secretary in his House district.
His interest in government operations heightened several years
ago when the certified scuba diver unsuccessfully lobbied South
Suburban Parks and Recreation to allow scuba diving in South Platte
“They wanted to keep the lake primarily for fishing and thought
that the fishermen and the scuba divers wouldn’t be able to use the
same space,” Goeken said. “It was a learning experience to see how
the process works. It was a long process. You have to go through
various steps to get things done, or not get things done in this
The candidate has a bachelor’s degree in history and geology
from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
He worked as a geologist for Sun Oil in Dallas.
“That was back in ’84 or ’85 when oil went under $20 a barrel,
and one day a bunch of us got laid off,” Goeken said.
The candidate served as a pilot in the Air National Guard and
the U.S. Air Force Reserve before transitioning into the insurance
He has lived in Centennial for four years with his wife and
Goeken is the only official candidate for city clerk. Incumbent
Goldie Fishbein has not announced her intentions.
Although the open race could change with the signing of one
candidate affidavit, Goeken expects to run a low-key
“If there’s no other opponent, time would be wasted trying to
raise funds for something where you don’t really have to spend
money. You would need just one vote to win,” he said. “I would
probably not get yard signs if there’s no one running against
“So I would think that talking to people in the community about
the position is probably the best way to approach that.”
As 6-year-old Centennial embarks on a new “visioning” process
and approaches November’s election on home rule, Goeken is excited
by the prospect of joining city government.
“With Centennial being a newer city and with all the changes,
it’s an exciting place now,” he said. “I look at the reasons I
moved to Centennial from Denver – it’s a family-oriented city. I’m
wanting to help out any way I can.”
Contact Peter Jones at 303-566-4109 or