Q&A: Lone Tree Councilmember Jay Carpenter

The District 1 councilmember is not seeking reelection

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After his six years on city council, the seat held by Lone Tree’s District 1 Councilmember Jay Carpenter is again up for grabs. Carpenter is not seeking reelection and has endorsed the candidate who filed to succeed him, Marissa Harmon.

Ahead of the May election, Carpenter spoke to Colorado Community Media about his time on council and his next steps.

“It was a tough decision,” he said.

On leaving council

Carpenter said part of his reasons for not seeking another term are his desire to spend more time with his children before they leave for college. A father of four, with three of his children in high school and at pivotal ages, he said.

Carpenter said he plans to refocus some on his career as a financial adviser as well.

“That takes up some time as well, especially lately with the market,” he said.

Carpenter said he is also cognizant of the number of engaged residents in Lone Tree who might have interest in being on council. He respects that, he said, and has “really good confidence in any potential replacement for me.”

“We have a very deep bench here in Lone Tree,” he said.

On joining council

Carpenter recalled being appointed to city council six years ago to fill the vacancy created when then councilmember Jackie Millet was elected mayor. His interest in serving on council sparked in 2010 after he joined the citizen advisory committee. That gave him a better understanding of how city staff and council operate, he said.

Although he’s not seeking another term, Carpenter said he plans to stay involved.

“My intention really is to be fully engaged in the city. I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “I won’t be on the dais, but I’ll be around and visible.”

Proudest accomplishments

Carpenter said that amid a polarized national climate, he is proud of how the council approached city business during his time in office, saying “that’s refreshing.”

“It’s been a very non-partisan process,” he said, adding that “all of the interested parties really have the best interest of the city in mind.”

Carpenter also said the city has grown dramatically in the past six years but that he thinks council has managed the growth responsibly.

“I think we’ve laid some good groundwork in the past six years, in terms of smart growth,” he said.

Next steps

Carpenter said people might see him run for office down the road, but right now he is taking time to think about next steps. He is passionate about youth issues, he said, and chairs the Douglas County Youth Initiative. He’s assessing what other youth organizations and charities he might contribute to, he said.

“I’m feeling pulled toward helping youth,” he said. “When you look around our region, there is a lot of need right now, especially in terms of mental health for kids.”

Serving on Lone Tree City Council has been humbling and a significant responsibility, he said. He’s learned much, sought to be a good steward of city funds and hopes to build on that work in the future.

“I’m kind of enjoy my time right now,” he said. “Looking at what is going to be the next big splash.”

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