MORE ELECTION NEWS
|What in your background makes you qualified for office?|
|In my four years on City Council, I have prided myself on being responsive and available. My proudest moments in this job have been when I’ve helped make a resident’s everyday life just a little better, and I would not change my approach as Mayor. I have been deeply involved in this community for years, from the Elks and Kiwanis to being a proud dance mom for my daughter. I also serve on the board of directors for the Arvada Visitors Center and the Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities.|
Additionally, my professional work for many years has been focused in the field of diplomacy. I first ran for office because I deplore the toxic nature of politics, and I thought I could use my skills and training to bring people together in my own community. I believe that I have successfully demonstrated that I can do that, and that is a one of the most important functions of the role of Mayor. I will lead by listening, respecting and collaborating with each of my Council colleagues as well as community partners to deliver solutions for our people.
|What elements would you like to see included in the Olde Town Arvada Reimagined 20-Year Plan? Would you like to see the street closures changed/altered?|
|I am proud to have been a part of creating the pedestrian walking mall in Olde Town Arvada. This plan will continue to make Olde Town Arvada a welcoming community space, as well as an economic hub for local businesses.|
In line with our vision for a vibrant historic and arts district, I would like us to stay dedicated to the historical aesthetic and preserve the charm of the district. What we have in that is irreplaceable. Within that, how we reimagine what can be done should be focused on making inclusive and welcoming community spaces that can be activated for the enjoyment of our residents. I would advocate for a permanent performance area, such as an outdoor stage, so we can bring regular music and perhaps live theater – such as Shakespeare in the Park – to Olde Town. I am also keen to reimagine the splash pad. We will soon need to update the piping serving that feature anyways, and so when we do that I’d like to see us expand the water features for older children and include a lower-intensity area where toddlers/smaller children can safely play as well.
|What areas of Arvada’s infrastructure do you believe need the most immediate attention?|
|As any Arvada resident will tell you, our roads need attention, and quickly. Our neighborhood streets and sidewalks are crumbling, and our re-pavement and concrete programs are struggling to keep pace with the need. We have not kept the pace of infrastructure reinvestment to match the speed of development. We need to fix our roads using smart, sustainable best practices, and as we do it we should also design them for future needs – including bike and scooter safety lanes along our major thru-way corridors.|
The second piece is our water infrastructure. Future councils – regardless of who they may be – will need to prioritize the upgrading of our pipelines and water treatment facilities. We’ve all seen what happens in communities that ignore pressing water infrastructure needs, and we don’t want that in Arvada.
Finally, we need to invest in disaster mitigation and preparedness measures to protect our neighborhoods – especially those on the West side – from fire, flood and landslides.
|What role do you believe the City of Arvada should fill in providing resources for individuals experiencing homelessness?|
|This is one of the most difficult challenges we are facing. The City of Arvada—along with our partners throughout the Metro area—needs to invest in stable housing that provides wrap-around services (such as mental health and addiction treatment) on-site if we want to successfully stabilize people. We do this by partnering with other public and private entities, and especially our non-profit community.|
I’m proud to have been part of approving two projects here in Arvada: one with the non-profit Beyond Home that provides supportive family housing along with therapy, job training, education services, childcare and more. The other is Family Tree’s hard-to-house homeless apartment project, which will take on some of those more difficult cases and supply them with a trauma-informed housing design and 24/7 on-site case workers. I also support The Community Table’s desire to expand and provide navigation services for those looking for help.
In terms of the city’s operations, I strongly commend Judge Kurtz’s One Small Step program, which offers those experiencing homelessness the opportunity to connect with services rather than jail them for petty crimes. This program sticks with people, helping them move up the ladder one small step at a time. To date, we have had 0% recidivism from graduates of the program! Finally, Arvada launched its APD co-responder program a couple of years ago, where we send social workers out with officers to deescalate certain situations. I’d like to expand that program to 24-hours, because sadly crises aren’t limited to business hours.
|How would you like to see the last stages of Candelas’ development proceed? What needs do you believe still need to be filled in the West side of town?|
|The plans for final parcels of Candelas have been approved. The main focus for this area for City Council these past few years has been delivering lifestyle amenities that those residents can enjoy—specifically restaurants and retail. We had a proposal come before us for the parcel that was planned to be a commercial center that asked us to rezone it to all residential. We heard loud and clear from residents of Candelas that this felt like a betrayal of what they had been promised, and Council listened. We ultimately turned that project down twice before a third iteration brought us the right mix of housing and lifestyle amenities that made sense and delivered to residents what they had been hoping for. I was along those councilmembers that voted “No” twice, and I’m glad we stuck to our priorities because I feel like what we finally approved is a far better service to our residents on the northwest side.|
Speaking more broadly about the northwest side, we are in need of more lifestyle amenities, basic needs such as a FedEx or UPS store, and transportation solutions that actually serve Arvadans.