UPDATED 7:35 a.m., Nov. 10.
Unofficial results in the Nov. 7 Englewood municipal election show Rita Russell and Tena Prange will fill two at-large seats for four-year terms on the Englewood City Council.
An update released around 6 p.m. on Nov. 9 by Arapahoe County shows:
Rita Russell: 4,530 votes, or 42.05%
Tena Prange: 3,720 votes, or 34.53%
Rick Emmelhainz: 2,524 or 23.43%
City Clerk Stephanie Carlile said the results will be certified on Nov. 28 and the new councilmembers will be sworn in at the council’s regular meeting on Dec. 4.
Russell said she is “humbled and honored” so many citizens of Englewood voted to keep her on the city council for a third term.
“Thank you for entrusting me with the privilege of being your at-large representative for another four years,” Russell said. “I do not take this responsibility lightly. It has been and will continue to be my goal to ensure that your voices are clearly heard. And as always, together we can make a difference.”
Going forward Russell said she hopes the new council will work together to “restore the confidence of citizens in their local government.”
“That we will work together to address the quality-of-life issues that threaten to undo the health and safety of our neighborhoods. That we will make certain our city’s aging infrastructure will be addressed before increasing density,” Russell said. “That we are committed to address crime and code enforcement issues. That we will promote open and transparent government. And we will work together to make certain Englewood is a safe place to live, work, play and shop.”
Prange said she looks forward to taking office and working to better the community.
“I hope we continue with civil discourse in performing the work of the city. The council has done a great job in recent years to have the dialogue needed to accomplish work and advance initiatives,” Prange said. “Council will continue to have differences in opinion, but honoring the voices of all at city council meetings should be a value moving forward. We have many challenges in keeping our city strong, but I have been impressed with the passion and vigor in which Englewood constituents show up to be involved.”
Prange said she is grateful for all who showed up and voted for her.
“I appreciate that the initial results show confidence in what I may bring to the table. I truly believe service to our local community keeps us strong,” Prange said. “I look forward to seeing how Englewood voters will keep council and city staff honest in the work encountered. I believe we can honor our differences of opinion to the greater good of our wonderful community.”
Russell said her top three priorities for the city are the stormwater drainage system, neighborhoods and the business community.
Russell voted no on the controversial and major issue of the CodeNext project, which received final approval from the council in a 4-3 vote on Sept. 25.
The ordinance, which features changes to the Unified Development Code, took effect on Oct. 26 despite an attempt at a referendum petition by residents Kurt Suppes, Sandra Kettelhut, Gary Kozacek and Davon Williams, who had until 10:09 p.m. on Oct. 26 to submit 1,466 valid signatures but failed to do so.
CodeNext has been a point of contention in the community for months and inspired the attempted recall of four city council members including District 1 Councilmember Othoniel Sierra, District 2 Councilmember Chelsea Nunnenkamp and District 3 Councilman Joe Anderson. Former At-Large Council Member Cherly Wink also faced recall but resigned in July. The recall effort against the other three failed on Oct. 3.
Prange said she ran because she values community service.
“I believe we all have a duty to make our city a great place to live and to share our strengths with our community to keep it strong,” Prange said. “This is a value taught to me in my youth by my grandparents who were dairy farmers in Michigan, and it is a value I believe parents should model for their children.”
Prange has lived in Englewood for 23 years and currently serves on the Englewood Planning and Zoning Commission. Prange said she will focus on responsible development, infrastructure and safety.
“I will work with all members of the city council to continue the conversation about owner occupancy requirements recently removed from Code Next,” Prange said. “ I will work with the council to assure the Affordability Taskforce has diverse voices at the table and if we lack a certain area of diversity, to promote the use of focus groups to inform needed areas of input.”
Rick Emmelhainz, who will not take office because he came in third in the race for two seats, said he decided to run for the city council because he felt the city needed a more moderate approach when making decisions.
“The last few months have shown that extreme views on the part of a few members have resulted in less compromise and less willingness to listen to their constituents and truly integrate their views with policy decisions,” Emmelhainz said. “A lack of communication between the current council and their constituents has resulted in frustration and anger by citizens toward decisions made which do not necessarily reflect their views.”
To view the results visit www.arapahoevotes.com.
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