PRESS RELEASE - July 11, 2023
LAKEWOOD, COLO. - Cathy Kentner, longtime Lakewood community activist, Planning Commissioner, neighborhood leader and water and sanitation district board member today launched her campaign for election as Lakewood’s next mayor.
For nearly two decades, Cathy’s defense of neighborhood character, safety and diversity has driven her involvement in Lakewood city government. Her commitment to strengthen Lakewood’s community is bolstered by her role as a single mom and longtime Jeffco teacher.
In 2017, after City Hall had ignored widespread community concerns about the Zoning Ordinance for years, Cathy united an ethnically, politically and economically diverse group of residents to compile and promote the Lakewood Strategic Growth Initiative, which was approved in a city-wide election.
“That win for the community came despite a pro-development war chest totalling more than a half-million dollars raised by special interests opposed to reasonable, rational development,” Kentner said. “It truly was a ‘David vs. Goliath’ win for Lakewood.”
Cathy was “drafted” into her role as a community leader by her Bonvue-area neighbors who recognized her unique skill-set and called on her to help them protect their neighborhood from plans to build a sprawling commercial center at the corner of Cedar Avenue and Kipling Street - the site of the former Jeffco Department of Health facility.
When asked to lead, Cathy became the neighborhood’s voice, bringing the neighbors together in an effort to find an equitable solution, resulting in a successful compromise.
“As Lakewood continues to grow, we need expertise, experience and knowledge to address our community concerns through legislation that prioritizes people and the unique needs of each of our city’s five City Council Wards,” Kentner said.
Kentner’s negotiating skills and knowledge of city regulations, requirements and processes since have been tapped by other neighborhoods seeking solutions to similar problems, including:
- Folks concerned about plans to develop Ward 5’s historic Schnell Farm on South Wadsworth Boulevard;
- Neighbors who live near the Milestone property at Alameda and Kipling in Ward 3;
- Three neighborhoods and hundreds of community members standing against overcrowded group treatment centers that pose as “residential homes” (That community-based effort also highlighted the effects that poorly managed, unregulated group facilities can have on a neighborhood);
- Neighbors of Westland Shopping area (the vacant “Sears” parcel in Ward1) concerned about lack of parks and open space;
- Supporting neighbors of Ward 4’s & 5’s Wright Street Park in their fight and ultimate success in saving park land for all of Lakewood;
- Opposing plans to build residences on contaminated land at the Federal Center;
- Helping Meadowlark neighbors in Ward 1 find a way to voice their opposition to being displaced by banned university uses;
- Neighbors of White Fence Farm and the “Tree Farm” in Ward 3 who ultimately negotiated a more neighborhood-appropriate re-development of long-time businesses.
- Advocating for successful upgrade and relocation of the multi-sport hard-surface court and equipment at Mountair Park in Ward 2
Kentner’s experiences have shaped her vision of Lakewood as a “complete hometown” that addresses the concerns and needs of the community and preserves the individuality of its neighborhoods.
“Community voice, transparency and accountability are not just buzzwords for me. They are a way of life. As mayor I look forward to listening to all city councilors from all wards and bringing us together to create legislation focused on our shared priorities of safety, environment and overall quality of life. I will be a mayor for all of Lakewood ,” she said.