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Filling The Fall With Community Music

By Sally Griffin

We helped raise enough money for almost a month of staff salaries at the Lomagundi Medical Clinic in Chinoi, Zimbabwe. All we had to do, along with about 60 other people, was to attend a concert at the small outdoor amphitheater at Wheat Ridge Presbyterian Church. The concert featured the Afro-Pop band, Nokuthula. In talking to the co-founder of Nokuthula, Andre Mallinger, she told us that she loves performing music made for communities by community members – what she calls “community music.” It occurred to me, in a community like ours, there must be more opportunities to participate in community music, if only as audience members.

The first place I found was with the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra (JSO). The JSO is a 75-member community orchestra that began in 1953 among a small group of faculty and students at Colorado School of Mines. This group quickly grew until, in 1957, it was recognized as the largest ensemble, based on community size, in the United States. Today, the JSO is one of the oldest and largest community orchestras in the state of Colorado. Wow! Talk about community music.

The JSO has gone beyond community music to become a community treasure. Its innovative programs include five classical concerts each season; the Jefferson Symphony Showcase, in which solo and chamber musicians perform in small, intimate settings; the Jefferson Symphony International Young Artists Competition, in which top young talent compete for cash and the opportunity to perform the winning concerto with the JSO; and the Free Pops Concert in the Park, performed every August in Parfet Park in Golden.

The all-volunteer orchestra strives to keep its concerts affordable and accessible for all community members. It also provides free tickets to community members who might not, otherwise, be able to afford even the low ticket prices. The free concerts in August seek to provide music for community members of all ages to enjoy. In the best tradition of community music, this artistic resource adds awareness and pleasure to individuals and enhanced quality of life to Jefferson County.

There are five concerts that the JSO will perform this year. The first two are at their normal venue, the Colorado School of Mines’ Green Center. While that is being renovated, the final three concerts will be performed at Wheat Ridge United Methodist Church. They take place Sundays and include music of:

• Brahms, Elgar and Beethoven, Oct. 22, 3 p.m.;

• Stravinski and the holidays, Dec. 3, 3 p.m.;

• Tchaikovsky, Mozetich, Debussy and Ravel, Feb. 25, 4 p.m.;

• Prokofiev and and a to-be-announced piano concerto, March 2, 4 p.m.; and

• Piazzolla, de Falla, Copeland, Bernstein and Hovhaness, May 6, 4 p.m.

Visit for ticket information and prices.

Steve Mallison, the Director of Music at Wheat Ridge United Methodist Church, is justifiably proud of his church’s excellent acoustics and contribution to community music. In addition to hosting the Jefferson Symphony, the church will be hosting the following community music events:

• The Golden Community Chorus, Dec. 2, at 3 and 7 p.m.

• The Alpine Chorale, around Easter and Christmas.

• Ralston Valley High School Choirs, at various times during the year.

Mallison can be reached at 303-420-6346.

The Arvada United Methodist Church hosts the Jeffco Adult Community Band, which performs four times a year. This is a true example of community music made by community members and the band encourages all adult players of any band instrument to participate, without audition. They play to enjoy music and share their talents. Contact for more information.

For a change of musical endeavors, the Arvada Center welcomes the Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra, which features everything from big band to exciting modern jazz compositions on select Saturdays:

• “West Coast Jazz,” Oct. 7;

• “New York Jazz,” Jan. 20; and

• “Tribute to Buddy Rich,” March 24.

The Arvada Center Box Office, at 720-898-7200, can give you more information, including music subscriptions and individual concert tickets.

The Arvada Center also offers “Coffee Concerts with Jeffrey Siegel.” These are casual musicales during which Siegel discusses and then uses his piano virtuosity to perform engaging compositions, Wednesdays at 11 a.m.:

• “Moods and Tones,” Oct. 4;

• “Joyous Beethoven,” Nov. 1;

• “The Classic Moderns,” Jan. 17; and

• “Storytelling through Music,” March 14.

For more information:

Siegel also does “Keyboard Conversations,” Wednesday evening concerts (7:30 p.m.) that invite the community to interact with the performer. Before performing, he talks about each piece to help the audiences experience music in new ways and encourages the audience to engage in the music by asking questions.

• “Celebrating Leonard Bernstein,” Oct. 4;

• “Music of the Night – The Beautiful and the Bizarre,” Nov. 1;

• “Love Inspired Music of Three Great Romantics – Chopin, Schumann and Liszt,” Jan. 17; and

• “A Musical Kinship – Bach and Chopin,” March 14.

For more information:

The Arvada Center is also a place for the Front Range Youth Symphony Orchestras that bring together talented young musicians from across the Front Range for unique study and training in orchestral repertoire. It is so successful that the group has toured on both coasts of the United States. The program is intended to be an enhancement to school music programs and has participants perform in three concerts per season at the Arvada Center, held Mondays at 7 p.m.:

* Fall Concert, Oct. 23;

* Winter Concert, Feb. 5; and

* Spring Concert, April 30.

For more information:

As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to participate in community music within our community. Please take advantage of the wonderful musical adventures that exist right here in our own county. Who knows, you may have the opportunity to help pay the staff salaries of some groups closer to home.

All Along the G Line: Someday My Train Will Come...

By Jennifer LeDuc

It isn’t hard to imagine the Arvada stop of RTD’s G Line buzzing with riders returning home from work and filtering off the train into any number of eateries and shops dotting the Olde Town neighborhood, or hopping on to to catch an easy ride to a game downtown.

The G Line, formally know as the Gold Line, was slated to open in October of 2016.  The line is 11 miles long, with 8 stops between Union Station and Ward Road in Wheat Ridge.  The project is not stalled, as much as delayed, pending successful testing and approval by the Federal Railroad Administration of the commuter rail’s Positive Train Control safety system.

That anticipated surge in foot traffic meant rents were raised for many tenants in Olde Town. Some businesses have hung on, some have not, and some prime store-front real estate is unoccupied.

Informally polling shopkeepers and customers opposite the G Line stop on Grandview Avenue in Olde Town recently revealed mixed understanding of the delays, and optimism divided.

“No, I don’t understand why it’s not running. I keep hearing the same thing everyone else does,” said Charlie Craven, proprietor of Charlie’s FlyBox. “There a lot of new businesses here that are optimistic. It certainly won’t hurt us, but people have been sold that this train is coming, and 13 years later it’s still not here.”

Consequently, said Craven, the shop has seen a 30 percent decrease in sales over last year.

“There’s no parking,” he laments.

When the Olde Town stop was redeveloped in anticipation of the commuter line, the city removed the parking lot on Grandview Avenue and built a parking garage beneath the station. Craven feels the city has poorly promoted the new garage and sees only those who work in Olde Town park there.

“It’s less than abandoned,” he said. “All the time.”

RTD is indeed not utilizing the parking garage, said Nate Currey, RTD’s  senior manager of public relations. Logistically, he said, until the trains run it isn’t efficient to pull the bus riders into the lot from the current Park-n-Ride lot across the street.

At Silver Vines Winery, a few doors down from the FlyBox, the mood is more optimistic and some customers seem well-informed. Diane Chayer, whose two sons own the winery, said initially she didn’t realize the commuter line and the light rail were any different.

“I kept calling it a light rail,” and some customers corrected her, she said.

“So that being said,” Chayer continued, “because we were all thinking it was going to open, rent has gone up tremendously, and everyone thought it would be bring people to Olde Town supporting our businesses – but it’s kinda hard to go on hearsay.”

At the end of the line, at 52nd and Ward Road in Wheat Ridge, two flaggers in hard hats and safety vests sit under umbrellas on either side of the crossing gates, as they do everyday at each crossing along the A and G lines, serving as back up to the gates closing and opening, when a freight train passes through, which it does a few times a day, and as it did on this particular day.

About 30 seconds before the lumbering locomotive arrives to within a few hundred yards of the gate, its unmistakable, and very loud, whistle blows. As if on cue, the traffic lights turn solid red for automobiles in all directions, and the crossing gates’ lights flash and arms start to drop. Some drivers look annoyed, and turn their vehicles around. This is a long train. It takes almost exactly five minutes for the last car to pass through the intersection. In less than 10 seconds the gates are back up, lights have stopped blinking, and the flaggers return to their umbrellas, the only shade around.

The Ward Road station sticks out like a new thumb amidst industry and a vacant lot. HRE Holdings owns the north side lot, which used to be an alpaca farm. Patrick Henry, principal at HRE, said his development of the site is in no way influenced by the delays of the G Line for whatever reason.

With planning and zoning hurdles still to address, “All that takes time. We can’t really move too aggressively,” said Henry, forecasting his residential project to last several years. “I just need it open by 2019.”

Back at the winery, Chayer, like RTD and it’s partners in building and managing the line Denver Transit Partners, remains optimistic the commuter line’s silver steel cars will be safely connecting passengers to Olde Town and downtown sooner than later, following approval by the FRA.

“We have no plans whatsoever to relocate, despite the rent increase,” she said. “Hopefully it will be a win/win for everybody.”

Cheers to that.

Elections Shape Up for November Races

By Gwen Clayton

Candidates running on the November 2017 ballot were required to file paperwork with their respective city clerks or school board offices by close of business Aug. 28. The following week, the Neighborhood Gazette emailed questionnaires to the hopefuls, along with a request for a high-resolution headshot photo, to be published with their responses to the questions below:

1. What is your name, position running for, occupation, previous occupations, how long you've lived in the city or district, and any personal details you want readers to know about you.

2. Have you served in public office before? If so, what position, where and when?

3. Have you volunteered in your community? If so, what position, where and when?

4. What are the three most important issues facing your city/district, and how will you address them if elected?

5. Please provide basic contact information: Website, phone number, email, social media, as well as name of candidate committee and chairperson.

Responses are published verbatim, although they may have been edited for length (character limits were included in the questionnaire), readability, potential libelous content, offensiveness or poor taste. Responses from candidates running for Wheat Ridge Mayor and Jefferson County Board of Education are published on pages 7 and 8; responses from candidates running for Wheat Ridge City Council will be published in the October issue due to space limitations. (See Patricia Lilliston’s survey of Mountain View mayoral candidates on page 6.)

The Neighborhood Gazette will not be endorsing candidates or ballot initiatives. Individual staff members may be involved in political campaigns, but they do not speak officially for the newspaper.

Wheat Ridge Mayoral Candidates

Joseph DeMott

Who: My name is Joe DeMott and I want to be your next Wheat Ridge Mayor. I am a Wheat Ridge native and graduate of Wheat Ridge High School, class of 1990. My family has been serving this community at one of our restaurants, Pietra’s Pizzeria, here in Wheat Ridge since 1964.

Public Office: Much of my experience comes from serving on Wheat Ridge City Council from 2009-2013.

Volunteer: My volunteer experience includes

• Carnation Festival Chair 2014-present

• President Wheat Ridge Business District

• Chair-elect, Wheat Ridge Chamber of Commerce

• Wheat Ridge Housing Authority 2009-2013

Most Important Issues:

• I aspire to represent you in a professional and articulate manner and chair friendly and productive Council business meetings. I will continue to advocate for strong public safety to reinforce the teamwork between our nationally recognized first responders.

• I will help guide realistic economic development by empowering citizens through a board led process that can get results and save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

• There is a disconnect between our citizens and necessary departments within the city. I will demand accountability of our building department by opening communications and easing some of the fears for our citizens.

I will listen and advocate for our citizens on transportation issues such as 38th Ave and demand Council make tough decisions without the expense of outside consultants. I will work for a compromise that works for all citizens.

I respectfully ask for your vote for Mayor and promise to always represent Wheat Ridge neighborhoods and businesses with the utmost respect.

Contact: Citizens for Joe DeMott, Richard Matthews registered agent;, 303-929-4608,

William (Bud) Starker

Who: Bud Starker. Mayor. Carpenter, superintendent, construction company owner. Moved to WR in 1975. Built & own West 29th Restaurant & Bar. Married (Mary). 2 grown sons. Enjoy skiing, gardening, family.

Public Office: Public Member, Colorado State Board for Architects, Engineers & Professional Land Surveyors 2004-2012; WR Building Code Advisory Board 2009-2011; WR City Council 2011-2015.

Volunteer: Wheat Ridge Business Association, Board of Directors, Treasurer 2015-present; West 29th Marketplace Assoc., founding member, 2014-present; JCBL 2015-present; Jeffco Food Policy Council 2014-2016.

Most Important Issues:

• Safe and secure neighborhoods – quality of life we enjoy & ability of our citizens, children to seniors, to enjoy the full fruits of our community life together. Safe: increase Neighborhood Watch; promote police-community communications & cooperation; safe street strategies (sidewalks, speed, lighting, crosswalks, drainage). Secure: promote community events; senior housing options; new family neighborhood integration; multi-generational interaction.

• Build new opportunities for economic growth & financial stability – encourage thoughtful development that strengthens our economic base. Promote matching-grant business façade improvements; foster interactions between existing business landowners and potential new redevelopment partners; engage new and existing job creators on local economic possibilities; strengthen ties between educational institutions and job opportunities.

• Conserve the small-town feel and quality of life we enjoy – be smart and diligent with the new development that is coming. Build projects that have the correct scale, design characteristics and quality that reflects our rural roots and maintains our small-town character. I will use my lifelong experience as a hands-on builder to maximize the value we receive for the public infrastructure dollars we spend and encourage private development to be sensitive to our history.

Contact:;; Facebook, @BudForMayor; Committee, Bud For Mayor, Chairperson Bud Starker.

Owls at Home in Both Wilds and Suburbs

By Sally Griffin

My first face-to-face encounter with an owl occurred when my husband and I decided at the last minute to head down to Taos. The only place available at our favorite bed and breakfast was an old sheepherder’s homemade camper, parked behind the main building. It actually was quite cozy.

The bed was a mattress positioned above the cab of an old World War II troop carrier. But it had a sunroof right above your head – and when I say right above, I mean inches above.

We had settled in for the night and were talking softly about what we wanted to do the next day. Suddenly, a ghostly white face with huge eyes was examining us from inches away. Before, I could run away screaming, my husband laughed and identified the face as belonging to a barn owl. Then we heard a scribbling noise on the roof and she disappeared for minute, only to return almost immediately.

This occurred several times, until we figured out that she had a caught a mouse that she was carrying back to her nest. Evidently, we were so interesting that she temporarily forgot about the mouse in her curiosity to see what was going on in the camper. Eventually, we no longer seemed exciting and she gathered up her mouse and flew away into the night.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the odds are that we all have some owls living nearby. Able to thrive almost anywhere in the United States, some of them are equally at home in the wilderness or suburban settings.  Colorado has 14 different types of owls: 1) Flammulated, the smallest owl at 2.1 ounces; 2) Northern Pygmy, which is not much bigger and is diurnal, as opposed to nocturnal; 3) Northern Saw-Whet, whose name indicates how it sounds; 4) Boreal, whose diet is primarily the re-backed vole; 5) Burrowing, which is commonly found in Prairie Dog burrows; 6) Western Screech, whose name also indicates how it sounds; 7) Eastern Screech; 8) Long Eared, who makes its home in the widest range of elevations in Colorado; 9) Short-Eared, who nests in the ground; 10) Barn, who is named because of his fondness for nesting in man-made structures; 11) Spotted, who likes canyons and cliffs; 12) Great Horned, who has the most varied diet of any North American owl or hawk; 13) Snowy, which comes south occasionally and is the only other diurnal owl in Colorado; and 14) Barred, which is usually just a visitor, but there are indications it could be the next permanent Colorado owl specie.

As nocturnal predators, owls are superb. A barn owl can see prey with night vision that is 35 times below the lowest level light that humans can see. Owls’ eyes are fixed in their sockets, which limits their field of vision. This is probably why they rotate their heads up to 270 degrees. Using only their hearing, barn owls can even hunt in total darkness. Ornithologists think that, because one ear is higher than the other, they can triangulate sounds by tilting their heads up and down and from side to side. A barn owl’s ears are huge and located on a face that is designed to collect sound. They can hear a mouse from as far away as 400 yards.

Owls don’t want to expend any energy that they don’t have to. They usually do their nesting in nests that have been built by other large birds or in other spaces that fit their needs. This may be the reason you may see them being harried by other birds. This nesting behavior included a nesting pair of owls at the garden center at Lowe’s in Colorado Springs. Lowe’s worked with wildlife officers to make sure the owls had a safe location in the garden center and the mating pair produced three owlets. The owls served, both, as an attraction and to take care of the destructive rabbit population that came in to the Center from the adjoining fields.

Having a loud voice enables owls to command large territories without having to expend energy chasing away intruders. Great Horned owls have territories of over a square mile. Northern Pygmy Owls have whistles that can be heard from a half-mile away. According to Wild Birds Unlimited, Great Horned Owls make a noise like you are saying, very slowly, “Who’s awake?  Me, too!” Of course, what I have heard sounds more like “whooo...whooo…who…who.”

Their near-silent flight enables owls to ambush even those prey who know they are near. Their feathers are softened at the tips, which reduces any wind noise. I have experienced being strafed by a Great Gray Owl. It was very early morning when my husband and I were finding our way down a long driveway in an oak forest. Suddenly, there was a displacement of the air and the sense of something large above our heads – understandable, since the wingspan of a Great Gray Owl can be almost six feet.

Sure enough, we used our flashlight to spot the landing of a large female onto a branch above and slightly in front of us. She was clearly concerned about what we were doing in her territory. But, while she watched us closely, she allowed us to proceed without further hindrance.

Many cultures all over the world have associated owls with death and the supernatural. This is probably because owls hunt at night and seem to float silently through the darkness. They have booming voices that seem to come from several directions at once. Their upright posture and forward-facing eyes give owls the appearance of ghostly humans. But in fact, like Lowe’s, we should be glad to have them. Pretty much all they need are a few trees or a barn-like structure, some open areas for hunting and an abundance of prey. Their first menu choice is rodents, but they will also dine on rabbits and skunks when these creatures come out at dusk or dawn.

Tina Mitchell, a CU researcher, says: “In reality, owls deserve our respect and deep appreciation. Without the keen skills of these mighty nocturnal hunters, the rodent population might now be running the world while we sleep.  Who’s awake, indeed …”

Elections Shape Up for November Races – Edgewater

Candidates running on the November 2017 ballot were required to file paperwork with their respective city clerks or school board offices by close of business Aug. 28. The following week, the Neighborhood Gazette emailed questionnaires to the hopefuls, along with a request for a high-resolution headshot photo.

In this edition we published responses from candidates running for Edgewater mayor (page 5), Lakewood City Council Ward 2 (page 4) and Jefferson County Board of Education (page 7); responses from candidates running for Edgewater City Council will be published in the October issue due to space limitations.

We asked each candidate:

• How long have you lived at your current address?

• How long have you lived in Jeffco?

• Current occupation?

• Previous occupations?

• Previous public service experience, if any?

• Community involvement and experience?

• Current and previous boards and committee memberships?

• What are the three key issues facing your community? Why? How will you address them and why are you qualified to do so?

• And to provide campaign website address and other contact information, if available.

Responses are published verbatim, although they may have been edited for length (character limits were included in the questionnaire), readability, potential libelous content, offensiveness or poor taste. 

The Neighborhood Gazette will not be endorsing candidates or ballot initiatives. Individual staff members may be involved in political campaigns, but they do not speak officially for the newspaper.

10 Candidates in Edgewater City Election: What’s in The Water?

by Jennifer LeDuc

When Edgewater residents cast their ballots in November they’ll be deciding between not just two candidates for mayor but four, and choosing among six candidates for three council seats (one council member is running for a second term).

In a town with a population just over 5,300, that works out to about one in 500 residents running for a seat in city government. In Lakewood, a city about 30 times larger than Edgewater, there are 11 candidates, or about one in every 14,000 residents campaigning. In Wheat Ridge, a town with a population of approximately 32,000, again, 11 candidates, or one in 2,800 residents. Arvada has seven candidates for three positions, two of which are unopposed, and that works out to about one candidate per 16,700 residents.

So what is going on in Edgewater that is drawing out such a disproportionately high number of candidates compared to its larger neighbors, you might ask. Surely there are some angry, fed up folks with pitchforks and torches ready to take on Edgewater city hall, right?

Not exactly.

“What I think is going on is Edgewater is growing in a positive direction and when residents see that it draws you to want to get involved,” suggested council candidate Cory Reid-Vanas.

Indeed, when asked about their thoughts on what such a disproportionate number of residents getting involved says about the state of Edgewater, the sentiments expressed by Reid-Vanas quite succinctly summarized the sentiments of other current council members and some of this year’s candidates.

For Councilor Kate Mulcahy, it was the feeling that she really could make a difference in her community that spurred her decision to run in 2015.

“I know noone is ever 100 percent happy,” Mulcahy said. “But I know for me when I ran there was no animosity, it was purely ‘I love this city’ and I wanted to be involved, and this is a city I thought I could make a difference in.”

“It’s great when the city can generate so many candidates who honestly have a love for the community rather than because the local government isn’t doing their job,” said Councilor Todd Riddle, who is also one of four candidates for mayor.

Having lived in other Colorado communities before settling in Edgewater, like other residents Reid-Varas sees the city optimally sandwiched between Denver and the foothills, although not just in terms of prime access to amenities, but socially.

“My experience in Edgewater,” he said, “is you have room for very diverse population and citizenship. I know people highly involved and engaged, and people who are very private, and Edgewater supports that, and each individual gets to decide what they need and can experience that in Edgewater.”

Councilor Myra Keeble recalls several elections where candidates ran unopposed, and recognizes issues have changed since she was first elected, but so has public interest.

“There’s a lot of interest in what we’re doing now,” Keeble said, and like her peers cited the planned civic center as a particularly magnetizing project in the community. “I think because things are going pretty well, people want to be a part of that process. They like our city, it feels lively, and we’re doing exciting things and they want to be apart of it.”

Outgoing mayor Kristian A. Teegardin isn’t surprised at the number of candidates on the ballot, nor is he surprised to hear such positive and cohesive sentiments echoed amongst current and prospective council members.


“I think over the last three or four years we’ve made concerted efforts to engage our citizens and people are becoming more involved,” said Teegardin, reflecting on his tenure and collaboration with city council. “As mayor I've made concerted efforts to have citizens involved and at the very least have citizens informed as to what’s going on.”

Originally from a small town in Indiana, Teegardin, who is a candidate for state House District 24, said those small town values are infused in everything he does “everyday.”

So is Edgewater’s size the reason for its current optimistic and successful energy when more schismatic engagements seem to pervade the politics of larger neighboring communities?

“I don’t want to discount the size of Edgewater but I think throughout all localities when you get granular and into the neighborhoods, you see what’s important to everybody. People matter,” said Teegardin. “They drive the boat and if the representatives aren’t in touch with those folks it doesn't matter how big or small you are, it becomes a problem.”

Lakewood Council Ward 2 Candidates

Compiled by Jennifer LeDuc

Jacob LaBure

Time at current address, Jeffco: 5 Years; 5 Years.

Current/Previous occupation: NCIC Agent for the Denver Police Dept.; I have also previously worked in construction working on concrete infrastructure projects and various service industry jobs.

Public Service: 10 Years working for Local Government. Worked on infrastructure projects worked in permitting and now I work for the Denver Police Department.

Community Involvement: I have worked on many community issues since I was 16 years old. I currently regularly volunteer for the St. Francis homeless shelter. I volunteer for the handicap parking enforcement unit. I volunteered for the emergency neighborhood snowplow program. I’ve worked on registering people to vote in underserved communities. I worked on a walking study in the Two Creeks neighborhood. I worked on outreach to spread awareness on environmental issues, I advocated to get funding for infrastructure projects done around the state. I was apart of successfully advocating for the Colorado General Assembly to help turn Metro State College into a University. I fought to keep college tuition lower and to protect K-12 funding against amendments 60, 61, and 101. I served on Metropolitan State University of Denver's Board of Trustees. I served on the Associated Students of Colorado and the Yess Institute’s Board. I also earned the Mayors and Commissioners Youth Leadership Award and others. So, when I ask for the voters support. I am asking them to believe that I will do, what I have always done. I will work for the community. I was raised in Castle Rock, but now that I call Lakewood home. I will be your champion and if you give me the tools I will be even more effective. Thank you for the support you’ve shown.

Board/Committee Memberships: Current Teamster. Former Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Board of Trustees. Former Associated Students of Colorado Board member Former CCHE Student Fee Working Group member. Former Yess Institute Board-member.

Key issues/how address: Managing growth, affordability, and infrastructure.

I have the most experiencing in activating voters, working with the community, and getting things done in government. If elected, this role will help me be a better advocate for the voters. We will address these issues by making them community priorities and activating residents. With the voters support: We’ll hit the ground running to make our city even better.

Contact:;; 6700 W. 11TH Ave., Unit 210, Lakewood CO 80214;

Charles K. Davis

Time at current address, Jeffco: 3 years and 4 months; 5 1/2 out of 22 in area.

Current/Previous occupation: Director of two Tech. Dept’s for a large law firm; Owner of an IT outsourcing and Design company.

Public Service: This is my first foray into public service.

Community Involvement: I have participated the Lakewood Citizens Planning academy, which is highly recommended. I’ve been involved in numerous neighborhood organizations and committees. I’ve been on the board of directors of my church and have attended many many citizen driven events and was involved, from the beginning, with the direction of the A line east of Denver and through established neighborhoods.

Board/Committee Memberships: Art Line Champions Group (Current), Board of Directors - IT Summit (Current), President of Unity on the Avenue Church (former), Roxborough Village Board of Directors (former).

Key issues/how address: Transparency in Government, Growth and Impact on Infrastructure, Lack of Parks and Open Space in Ward.

I am a consensus builder and a communicator. I believe in open and honest and forthright communications. I will approach each and every topic and issue presented with an open mind, attain the facts, ask questions and research to fill the gap of knowledge and work hard to bridge both sides of the issues.

Contact:;; 790 Crescent Lane, Lakewood CO 80214;

Edgewater Mayoral Candidates

Compiled by Jennifer LeDuc

Grant Babb

Time at current address, Jeffco: 8 years; 8 years.

Current/Previous occupation: Owner, Joyride Brewing Co.; Chemical Engineer for various environmentally friendly cleaning companies that support the brewing & food processing industry.

Public Service:

Board of review & appeals, Riverside, OH.

Community Involvement:

President of Edgewater Collective. Our current focus is on investing in our local schools and making sure every child can succeed from cradle to career. Also supporter of ALS, Prostate Cancer Awareness, American Heart Association & Breast Cancer Awareness. Director of Operation Stimulus. Previously VP of Denver Transportation Club.

Key issues/how address:

As an unaffiliated candidate with 15 years of business leadership I will work through the politics to bring everyone to the table to ensure decisions are for the best of everyone in Edgewater. I will ensure the City Council has all the tools & information necessary to make the best decisions for our citizens. Change is inevitable but responsible change is imperative.

Learn from the past. Live in the present. Plan for the future.

Contact:;; 2095 Newland St., Edgewater, CO, 80214.

Laura Keegan

Time at current address, Jeffco: 18 years; since I was a child.

Current/Previous occupation: Writer, Editor; Business owner, Finance director, Office manager.

Public Service: City Council  8 1/2 years, Planning & Zoning Council Liaison

Community Involvement: Co Founder Edgewater Arts Project, bringing culture and arts to Edgewater citizens with minimal or no cost; Co Founder Celtic Harvest Festival Edgewater – focusing on family entertainment and highlighting our city to the metro area and beyond; council attendee for 15+ years, Active interest with Parks & Rec.

Board/Committee Memberships: Council Liaison to Planning & Zoning

Key issues/how address:

1. Economic Growth: Continue development of revenue generating properties

maintain balanced budget

2. Conscious Development: Balance community and business. Respect residential community concerns

3. Communications: Ensure citizens are heard.  Open gov. process, working knowledge of issues facing our community, experience and success in solving past issues.

Contact:; 2277 Lamar St. Edgewater CO 80214;

Bonnie McNulty

Time at current address, Jeffco: 50 Years; 54 Years.

Current/Previous occupation: Retired; Administrator/Owner of a Child Placement Agency.

Public Service: Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA); Peer Coordinator, Colorado State Institutional Abuse Review Team (IART), Child Fatality Prevention Review Team, Consultant to the Dept. of Human Services, Colorado State Foster Parent Association: Charter member, National Foster Parent Association Board of Directors member (Governance Chair) Edgewater Optimist Club.

Community Involvement: President of Jefferson County Board of Health - member for 19 years. Appointed to the Urban Drainage.

Key issues/how address:

Key issues for the Mayor are very different than key issues for council members. While I hear a lot of concern regarding Code Enforcement, a stronger police presence, and the redevelopment of R-1 Zone Districts, it is council who creates the legislation to address those issues. As Mayor I feel my key responsibilities are to provide an environment where council can debate the issues, where citizens will be heard, and where Edgewater will have a strong presence beyond our boundaries.

  I have fostered a large network of people throughout the region as a result of my extensive experience with various state and county boards, commissions, and departments. Having served four terms as Edgewater’s Mayor I fully understand what the Mayor can do, and what the Mayor can not do. That understanding is important to providing Council the support they need to serve the community.

Contact:; 2490 Depew St., Edgewater, CO.

Todd Riddle

Time at current address, Jeffco: 20 years this Halloween!; 20 years.

Current/Previous occupation: Transportation Visualization Lead; Creative Director.

Public Service: 1.) 2 Term Mayor Pro-Tem, City Council 2.) Planning & Zoning 3.) Edgewater Redevelopment Authority.

Community Involvement: Former Charter President of the Edgewater Optimist Club – Our goal was to promote an active interest in good government and civic affairs; inspire respect for the law; promote patriotism and work for international accord and friendship among all people; aid and encourage the development of youth, in the belief that the giving of one’s self in service to others will advance the well-being of humankind, community life and the world.

Board/Committee Memberships: 1.) Denver Regional Council of Governments Board of Directors 2.) Metro Vision Issues Committee.

Key issues/how address:

• Pedestrian Safety – Exploring traffic calming methods, updating crosswalks, and more enforcement. 

• Land Use –Revisit portions of the Land Use code to address restrictions related to expanding residences.

• Responsible Development – Retain our Edgewater identity by making decisions that are grounded in the City’s values.

While serving two terms as Mayor Pro-Tem I have made thoughtful and informed decisions for the benefit of Edgewater's citizens.

Contact:;; Depew Street, Edgewater CO;

Jefferson County Board of Education Candidates

Compiled by Gwen Clayton

Director District 1

Brad Rupert

Who: Brad Rupert; Jefferson County School Board, District 1; I am an attorney in private practice; I have lived in Jefferson County for 33 years; my children are Jeffco graduates.

Public Office: I have served on the Jefferson County Board of Education for two years.

Volunteer: Habitat for Humanity volunteer since 1994. President, Arvada Chamber of Commerce 2002, Board six years. President, Arvada Community Food Bank four years, Board eight years. President, A-J Kiwanis.

Most Important Issues:

• The ongoing issue is K-12 funding in Colorado has failed to keep up with growth and inflation. Repeated cycles of budget cuts have reduced our ability to attract and retain the best teachers and prevented us from properly maintaining our schools and other facilities. As a District we must continue to improve and deliver on our promise of an excellent education for every child and thereby earn appropriate funding from voters. I am hopeful that voters want and are willing to pay for highly effective schools. We must reform TABOR to allow this to happen.

• We must continue to reduce achievement gaps for children living in poverty. We should provide high quality preschool and kindergarten for all children so all children start their formal education on equal footing. We must improve our family engagement so families can support the work done at school. We must expand alternative career pathways for the majority of graduates who will not be attending college. We can prepare these graduates for the many honorable and lucrative careers that don't require a college degree.

• After many years of cuts, our schools are showing the neglect. We must build capacity in the growing areas of the District while we maintain and renew the facilities we already have an investment in.

Contact:; facebook Brad Rupert for Jeffco Kids;; Friends of Brad Rupert, 303-456-1100

Matt Van Gieson

Who: Matt Van Gieson; Jeffco School Board; Systems Engineer. Born in Jeffco and went through Jeffco public schools. I married another A West grad, we have four children ages 7 yrs old to 12 wks.

Public Office: I have not run for public office before.

Volunteer: I have volunteered in our schools providing food and supplies to at risk students. I coach my children’s sports teams and I was the President of our PTO, leading fundraising efforts.

Most Important Issues:

• Jeffco spends a billion dollars a year but only 50% of 3rd graders end the school year reading at grade level. That means every other 4th grader arrives unprepared for fourth grade work. We must do better. I will bring balance to the board, setting achievement goals, and asking tough questions about which programs are working. I will only support spending dollars to help more students succeed.

• I volunteered at Pleasant View and experienced the devastation the school closure caused. We also experienced the anxiety of closure threats at Fitzmorris, our neighborhood school, and Swanson which my wife attended. I do not support closing small schools and splitting communities. We also have enrollment growth in parts of Jeffco and need cost effective solutions for those overcrowded schools.

• Many middle schools don’t have room for 6th graders; adding capacity will cost about $50 million. We may lose teacher who don’t have the certification to teach in middle school. Schools like Manning won’t be able to take as many students per grade. Special needs students will lose a year of services. More elementary schools become “small” and subject to closing. I don’t support moving 6th graders.

Contact: Visit my website: to find links to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Email me at

Candidate committee: Matt4JeffcoSchoolBoard; Chairperson Brian DeLauro.

Director District 2

Susan Harmon

Who: I am Susan Harmon and I am running for re-election to the JeffCo School Board in District 2. I own a family law practice in Lakewood. I have spent my career working for families and kids.

Public Office: I am current serving on the JeffCo School Board for District 2

Volunteer: Rooney Ranch Elementary PTA- two years as President; 3 years as 2nd Vice President. I served for two years as the PTA Parent Representative for Elected Officials in my district. More on my website.

Most Important Issues: I decided to run in 2015 to address the loss of teachers in our district, and plan to continue to work to attract/retain more great teachers for our classrooms. When we are planning for the success of future JeffCo students, we must continue to work on creating greater equity in our programs and facilities for all students, while addressing the diverse needs of our student populations. This will continue to be imperative as we look to support facilities in high-growth areas. We need to ensure that all students have opportunities and access to multiple pathways for success, while they are in school, and after graduation. We have increased the supports for mental health in our schools, and need to continue to work on this, as well as focusing on the achievement gaps that continue for our student populations. The board must work to strike the right balance with testing in our schools by making sure we have well-rounded accountability systems, without excessive emphasis on standardized testing. The board must continue, despite differences in opinion, to maintain the civility that has been restored within the board room. I look forward to working on these solutions with the community.

Contact: Friends of Susan Harmon; Campaign Contact Number/Campaign Staff 303 667-9289;;;; forjeffcokids/.

Erica Shields

Who: My name is Erica Shields, and I’m running for Jefferson County School in District  I have lived in Littleton a little over 10 years. I am a married mom of four children who have all gone through Jefferson County public schools.

Public Office: I have never been in or run for public office before.

Volunteer: I have volunteered in my children’s schools over the years as a parent mom as well as PTA mom.  I have worked with several organizations to help provide everything from food, school supplies, socks, and other items to those in need.

Most Important Issues:

• The most important issues I am hearing from my community are student achievement, the threat of closing schools, and moving 6th graders to middle schools.

• Providing the opportunity for EVERY student in EVERY Jeffco school to succeed is one of the major issues facing Jeffco. Although recent test scores show that Jeffco is doing better than Colorado on the whole, only 50% of Jeffco students are meeting or exceeding state standards. Many students are so far behind academically it is nearly impossible for them to graduate with the skills they will need for college or career.  Although test scores don’t paint the picture of a student’s learning or capabilities we need to do a better job investing the billion dollars we spend each year to ensure our students are achieving at a higher level.

• The threats of closing schools is another big issue facing Jeffco families. Far too many communities are concerned and stressed because the board has threatened to close dozens of schools. Placing a school on the potential closure list makes families nervous and often leads to declining enrollment making the school even more vulnerable to closure. Closing a neighborhood school breaks up a community and has devastating effects especially when the school primarily serves low income families.

Contact:; Website:; Twitter: @EricaFor Kids; FB: @EricaForKids; No committee chairperson.

Director District 5

Ron Mitchell (uncontested)

Who: Ron Mitchell. I am running for District 5 Jeffco School Board. I am a former Jeffco High School Principal, lifelong Jeffco resident, and graduate of Arvada High School.

Public Office: Yes I am currently a Jeffco School Board member.

Volunteer: I have spent my life giving back to the community through educating our children.

Most Important Issues:

• Expanding career pathways for students. Not all students are college bound. By providing vocational, technical, and apprenticeship opportunities to our students, we better prepare our students to thrive in life after school.

• Attracting and retaining quality teachers for every classroom. Quality teachers are simply the key to our success in providing education to our children. There is no single tactic that will achieve this goal, but elevating teachers and the teaching profession to ensure they receive the respect and support of the community is an important step.

• Focusing resources on updating and remodeling our older school buildings to ensure a first-class learning environment for students. Many of our schools were built 30-50 years ago. It is important to protect the investment previous generations made in these facilities.

Contact: Website: &; Facebook:; Email:; Phone: 720.588.2174.