Steve Yates, who has lived in Englewood for more than 30 years, is a former at-large city councilmember whose term came to an end Nov. 20 after Cheryl Wink prevailed in a three-way race for the seat. …
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Steve Yates, who has lived in Englewood for more than 30 years, is a former at-large city councilmember whose term came to an end Nov. 20 after Cheryl Wink prevailed in a three-way race for the seat. Yates is the owner and operator of Mr. Fire Sprinkler and Extinguisher, a company that installs fire sprinklers and services extinguishing systems. He was elected in 2013 and ran unsuccessfully for re-election Nov. 7. Here, he reflects on his time on city council.
What do you feel is your best accomplishment in your time on city council?
I think that I was really able to offer a lot on council. Specifically, I was able to help encourage and usher in a whole new level of transparency. Through working with the city manager, we were able to institute the iCompass system that brought forward streaming audio and video as well as the OpenEnglewood platform that put the city's checkbook, finances and salary online. This was a huge step forward with helping to build trust in the community. Additionally, I feel that I brought a level of pragmatism and reality to the council as it approached operational policy and governance.
What's a story about a citizen you met or interacted with that touched you? Anything that stuck with you?
This is not about just one person but about many people in our community I learned of who spend many hours each week helping an elderly or disabled person on their block with daily needs, so the person can stay in their home instead of having to go to a group home. Englewood is truly blessed with many good souls.
What did you learn about your city during your tenure that you might not have known before?
How complex and resourceful Englewood is compared to other cities of the same size. Leaders before me took some incredible risks with land and water purchases that have insured a bright future for our small city. The work that has been done over the past 100 years positioned Englewood so it controls its own future, even though we are surrounded by big cities.
What was your most challenging moment on council? What do you think is the biggest upcoming challenge for the next council?
Dealing with difficult personalities was the biggest challenge. Dealing with difficult personalities will still be a challenge. Formulating a strategy and policy for where the community will go in the future will be a challenge, along with determining the means of financing this strategy and the existing infrastructure that will need maintenance and replacement.
What would you like to say to your constituents?
I say this with all sincerity and warmth of the heart. It has been a real honor and privilege to serve our community. Now, everyone, go out and be proud of Englewood and continue to build a wonderful community. A community where reason, civility, truthfulness and compassion are used to get the work done. God bless Englewood.
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