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By Bud Starker

As this election season ends, I want to recognize and celebrate the citizens of Wheat Ridge who cast their ballots in this year’s election. Regardless of who those votes were cast for, the most important fact is that they were cast at all. The right to vote is one of the fundamental cornerstones of our democracy – necessary for the liberties that follow. I urge everyone who meets the qualifications as an elector to take the opportunity to register and be ready to vote in next year’s elections.

I also want to recognize all the candidates who ran in this year’s election. It takes a great deal of courage to step into the public eye as a candidate and lots of time, hard work and resources to mount a campaign without any certainty of victory. But without these women and men ready to risk electoral defeat, our rights at the ballot box are diminished. They deserve our respect and our thanks.

To those returned by the electors to office, I offer my congratulations and look forward to serving together. I want to recognize my opponent for an honest, hard-fought campaign and hope he will continue his long record of leadership and service to our community.

The thing I liked best about this campaign was the opportunity to knock on my neighbor’s door, introduce myself and listen. I was awed by the courtesy and respect I was shown at the door, the honesty and intelligence of our discussions, and the genuine good cheer evidenced in our residents. But the cordial atmosphere of our discussions does not mean that there are not real differences in opinion about public policy options and how to move our city forward into the future. This diversity is not a weakness but a measure of our strength as a community.

We face many challenges and opportunities going forward as a city. The creative solutions to these challenges will come from many directions.  The best opportunities for the future will be embodied in seeking out these good ideas regardless of their origins.

As your mayor I will seek to foster an atmosphere of fair and open dialogue. I will do my best to be a good moderator, promote constructive and pragmatic discourse, seek creative alternatives. The solutions to the challenges that face us will be solved as we talk with one another, not past one another.

I am honored and humbled by the trust that has been placed in me as your mayor. I will be active in our community and hope you will join me on this journey by your participation in our civic dialogue. I welcome your communication. You can reach me by email, telephone or regular mail.

Thank you.

Contact Wheat Ridge Mayor Bud Starker at bstarker@ci.wheatridge.co.us, 303-235-2800, or City of Wheat Ridge, 7500 W. 29th Ave., Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.