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By Bud Starker

One of the most honored duties I get to perform as the mayor of Wheat Ridge is to represent our city on local boards and at events beyond its borders. Having a voice on the board of these organizations is important for our city and offers interesting discussion given the wide variety of the missions held by these quasi-governmental agencies:

The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) is a planning organization where local governments collaborate to establish guidelines, set policy and allocate funding in the areas of transportation and personal mobility; growth and development; and aging and disability resources. It has developed Metro Vision, a long-range plan to manage growth within the 10 Front Range counties, recognizing the importance of each community’s local vision and needs. It is the federally designated Area Agency on Aging, advocating for the rights of seniors in long-term care facilities and distributing funding for programs serving seniors. You can see DRCOG at work in our community with transportation grants for the senior ride program at the Seniors’ Resource Center and providing a portion of the funding for the Wadsworth Boulevard reconstruction project.

The Urban Drainage and Flood Control District was established by the state legislature in 1969 to assist local governments in the Denver metropolitan area with multi-jurisdictional drainage and flood control challenges. The District covers 1,608 square miles that includes Denver, six surrounding counties and 35 cities and towns, focusing its resources on more than 1,600 miles of major streams. Funding is provided by a mill levy and returned to the community in such areas as planning, capital improvement projects, flood hazard mapping, stream rehabilitation and restoration, maintenance and education. Local projects in our city include work on Lena Gulch and Maple Grove Reservoir. The District also partnered with our public works department recently, helping Wheat Ridge achieve Class 5 flood control status, which qualifies many homeowners for flood insurance premium discounts.

The Metro Mayors Caucus, founded in 1993, is a nationally recognized voluntary and collaborative membership organization for mayors in the Denver region. The Caucus is comprised of mayors from 40 municipalities and serves several functions including: monitoring local, regional, state and federal action on key policy issues affecting local cities; serving as a voice for collaborative approaches to regional challenges; and offering a noncompetitive forum for the resolution of differences among metro area jurisdictions.

The Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation (Jeffco EDC) brings together local business leaders, elected officials, and economic development professionals with the aim of stimulating primary job creation and economic activity in Jefferson County.

My work representing Wheat Ridge on these boards is stimulating and provides benefits to many areas of our community life.

I look forward to seeing you around town.

Contact Wheat Ridge Mayor Bud Starker at bstarker@ci.wheatridge.co.us or 303-235-2800.