Priority Issues

As your next Mayor I will put people first and turn our conversations into action.

Public Safety and Crime Prevention

Crime Prevention is ranked as the most important issue for people in Lakewood, according to the City of Lakewood Community Survey. Violent and property crimes in Lakewood have been on the rise in recent years. We have an obligation to support our police officers with compensation that is designed not only to recruit but also to retain our best and brightest. We know what works in other communities and can work to implement solutions sooner rather than later.

We can better protect Lakewood by:

  • Putting more first responders on the streets, including mental health professionals, code enforcement and police officers.
  • Compensating our Police and Public Safety Officers with a package designed to recruit and retain the best and brightest.
  • Continuing to partner with the county in supporting diversion programs, mobile court and Porchlight Family Center.
  • Beginning a city-sponsored co-responder program such as STAR (Support Team Assisted Response).
  • Increasing citizen outreach by reinstating once successful programs such as Cops and Council and the Citizen Police Academy and continuing to sponsor National Night Out and SRO (School Resource Officer) programs.

Environmental Sustainability/Parks and Open Space

Preserving and protecting our natural environment and increasing parks and open space is another top priority for our community. A sea of concrete dotted by urban heat islands is not sustainable. I have heard  and support their position. As mayor, I would champion ideas put forth from the community:

  • The idea proposed by Clean Energy Lakewood that the sustainability department be removed from the umbrella of another department.
  • The idea proposed by Westland neighbors that developers should not be permitted to buy out of park land dedication requirements
  • Continue to support and increase the popular and successful Sustainable Neighborhoods program.

Sustainability for me is not just a buzzword. It means caring for our natural environment with an eye towards the future. It means creating policies that address the tree canopy and other goals in our Sustainability Plan. Without pragmatic leadership like mine, our Sustainability Plan will remain merely aspirational and never come to fruition.

I have a history of protecting Lakewood’s parks and open spaces and pledge to continue to do so. I successfully advocated for restoring Park Protections to our zoning ordinance after it was removed in 2012. People who know me are quite aware of my passion for supporting healthy natural environments within the microcosm of our neighborhoods and considering such features in both residential and commercial projects.

Growth and Development and Housing

Oversight and community involvement in our land use decisions is crucial to the people of Lakewood. In the 2019 special election, voters clearly stated that they want strategic growth that includes public hearings to ensure developments meet our community needs. Legislation that requires public involvement for large development projects will be put on the agenda under my leadership.

The type of housing we build impacts school population, according to demographers. We are neglecting the need for small, detached single family homes.

I want to help relieve the stress caused by skyrocketing rents. Even when people like teachers can afford a mortgage they are unable to save for a down-payment. My opponent supports those who are already well-capitalized and voted to allow corporate ownership of single family homes for the sole purpose of short-term rentals (air bnb).

We know what works from other communities and can readily model legislation to:

  • Require Public Hearings and City Council Approval for large development projects
  • Protect and honor Lakewood’s heritage by requiring all structures on the state and national historic registries to be included on the Lakewood registry.
  • Implement Inclusionary Zoning that requires developments to set aside a certain percentage of units for permanently affordable housing
  • Eliminate the “buy out” that is offered to developers instead of following the requirement for park land dedication.
  • Return control of the Lakewood Housing Authority to City Council
  • Opt-in to increase affordable housing through monies available from Proposition 123. Without this commitment Lakewood will miss out on tax monies voters approved to be used.
  • Relieve financial stress and improve quality of life through a down-payment assistant program for ownership.

 

Homelessness

As a mayor who will put people first, I understand that our unhoused population is diverse and every individual deserves to be treated with respect. Everyone needs a place to call home. We should look at successes in other communities and model legislation after those successes. Recent court rulings have made it clear that without enough shelter beds, our response options are limited. Humanity makes it clear that we must do something.

  • Continue county partnering to build shelter space with accompanying mental health and workforce services.
  • Continue partnering with our faith-based community in providing safe parking spots.
  • Expand our navigator program to identify the individual underlying, root causes of being unhoused and address them.

We know what works in other communities and can model by connecting residents with mental health treatment, addiction treatment and workforce training.

 

Transparency & Responsiveness

As your neighbor, I have always, and will continue to advocate for increased public

participation. I have experienced first-hand the frustrations of being shut-out, silenced or

fought in my attempts to have community views voiced.

In the last dozen years, surveys published by the city of Lakewood show the trust of elected officials and overall rating of Lakewood City Government Performance has greatly diminished.

As your next mayor, I will increase participation and restore trust with plans to:

  • Bring the City Council agenda in line with our community priorities to enact real, enforceable legislative solutions
  • Respect diversity of thought and inclusion of all voices
  • Incorporate public participation on the “front-end” of decision making
  • Consolidate city web sites and pages to create a “one stop shop”
  • Post detailed development project information on line as it is for the county.
  • Include public comment, in person and virtually, at all city meetings, including workshops, study sessions, committee and commission meetings.

I have always advocated for, and will continue to advocate for increased public participation. Hearing from individuals and being responsive to the people we represent is the primary job of elected officials.

Community Resources

Our community resources are used to support the health and well-being of diverse families and those on fixed incomes. As our community continues to grow we can:

  • Restore services to pre-pandemic levels at the minimum
  • Re-open the therapy pool at Whitlock and expand water classes for those with arthritis at the Link.
  • Offer free admission for Lakewood kids to rec centers and pools.
  • Expand the Middle School Sports Program (MSSP) to include an arts program.
  • Begin the process of expanding or building new recreation facilities/community centers. School buildings in existing neighborhoods with already existing classrooms, restrooms, parking, sports facilities, may make wonderful community centers where classes and social activities of all sorts could be offered, community groups could meet, visiting lecturers present, and so much more.

All people deserve safe places to play and recreate regardless of socio-economic status.

 

Budget & Fiscal Responsibility

The Lakewood Budget is where priorities and values are expressed. As Mayor I will:

  • Reinstate the requirement that departments use the priorities of the Lakewood Community Survey when budgeting.
  • Ensure Public Safety/Police and Parks & Open Space are fully funded without being dependent on the use of unreliable TABOR refunds as is the current practice.
  • Prioritize sidewalks and multi-use paths. They are essential to a safe community, particularly those with limited mobility.
  • Ask that City Councilors take an early, pro-active role in the budget process, making sure that the unique needs of each ward are addressed.

As your Mayor, I will invest our money in those who are invested in our community – the people and small businesses who live and pay the taxes and call Lakewood home.

 

Economic Sustainability & Employment Opportunities

The value of our community and the ability to attract economically contributing employers is dependent upon balancing Open Spaces, Residential Living and a Healthy Economy.

What we do as a city has significant impacts on day-to-day living for people, especially families with children and those on fixed incomes.

Affordability is a ratio. It’s the cost of living, including housing, divided by income.

To that end, as Mayor I will focus Economic Development:

  • Attracting employers who provide primary jobs that pay a livable wage
  • Creating well-defined mixed use areas
  • Providing easily accessible healthy food

 

Historic Preservation

Recent community comments indicate a need to look closely at our historic preservation policies. At the minimum we can protect our heritage by:

  • Protect all structures on the state and national historic registries by automatically including them on the Lakewood registry.

Recent responses