Janifer Kulmann

Thornton City Council Ward 4 candidate

Posted

Address: 1957 E 167th Dr., Thornton, CO 80602

Background: My family is from Colorado. My Great Grandparents settled in Steamboat Springs as ranchers. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my family throughout the State of Colorado. Colorado was always part of my life and when my husband and I had an opportunity to move back in 2007, we jumped at the chance. We chose Thornton because of the community, the opportunities for our family, and the feeling of coming home.I have spent my working career in the utility and energy industries in both Houston and Denver.Serving the community runs in my family. My father chose to become a public-school teacher after a full career as a pilot in the Air Force. My mother chose to become a public-school teacher once their commitment to the military and its travel requirements ended. In Steamboat Springs, my paternal grandparents were involved in their local public school and my grandfather was a principal. My maternal grandparents helped start the successful community college in Steamboat Springs and my grandfather served on the School Board.

Best contact information for the public: 720-201-6155, jan4thornton@yahoo.com

www.jankulmann.com

1.) Please describe your leadership style in three words.

Authentic, Experienced, Collaborative

2.) Describe the skills and experience that make you the best candidate for the job.

I’ve served on the Thornton City Council as the representative of Ward 4 since 2013 where I’ve used my skills and engineering experience to help the City grow with new development and infrastructure while working with my fellow Councilmembers to educate on the realities of construction and infrastructure requirements.I am a licensed professional engineer with more than 18 years of experience in the energy and utility industries where I’ve honed my technical skills in construction, operations, and safety. I’m also a mom of two amazing kids and wife to a very supportive husband. My family and I have been part of Thornton since 2007 where we’ve seen incredible growth after a hard recession. I believe my background and expertise is critical to keeping Thornton moving in the right direction.

3.) Please list your top three priorities if elected.

Thornton’s top issues right now are growth, infrastructure, and traffic congestion and all three are tightly woven together. I see these issues as city-wide but each Ward will have unique pieces that affect them. Specifically, in Ward 4, we are a fast-growing area. With the boom in construction of residential and commercial sites, keeping up with road infrastructure will be critical for ensuring that residents can get where they need to go efficiently. Traditional growth allowed the City to slowly add roads but now we will need to proactively manage traffic patterns to ensure that growth doesn’t overtake our road capacity.I’ve spent the last four years working with the City and the Council to review plans and address these concerns and my experience provides unique insight into these important issues. As part of our annual budget review, several infrastructure projects related to road expansion were accelerated to meet the growing demand. I plan to continue this work as well as work with RTD to ensure the City is ready for the light rail addition as RTD is finalizing its construction.

4.) How do you see Thornton best taking advantage of the economic boom in Metropolitan Denver?

It’s very important for Thornton to be involved in conversations about growth and development early. Our location along I25 is a huge benefit; we’ve seen this with the addition of Cabela’s a few years ago, with the Outlet Mall, and with the new Amazon distribution center (all in Ward 4). In order to continue to benefit, we need to work closely with CDOT and the other surrounding municipalities on traffic overcrowding. Congestion along the North side of I25 is at an all-time high.

As an active member of the I25 North Coalition, I’ve been working with other municipalities to ensure that longer term planning along I25 includes Thornton’s growth opportunities. I’ve also worked with our City staff to encourage CDOT to re-evaluate the I25 managed lanes to address the large number of accidents that have occurred along Thornton’s stretch of the interstate. Our expectation is that we have some workable solutions to begin to implement in the next couple of months, before the new section of the managed lanes opens and worsens the problem.

5.) The City Council took a controversial step this summer, enacting stronger regulations on the oil and gas industry despite legal threats from the state. Was this the right thing to do or did the City Council go beyond its authority?

I am an advocate for responsible energy development. When the Council decided to review outdated regulations, I was excited for the opportunity to use my years of experience in technical and safety design to improve our expectations as a city in managing partnerships with oil and gas operators. I worked actively to develop some of the requirements that in my opinion were outdated in the old regulations. While I believe our regulations were long past the time for update, I also believe that we missed an incredible opportunity when several members of the council pushed to go beyond the City’s authority and enact portions of the regulations that were more of a political statement than a true technical solution.

Thornton hasn’t had any new oil and gas permits inside the City limits in more than 10 years. All development of this nature was done outside of the city in unincorporated Adams County. To me, setting new regulations that include sections that are blatantly against state regulations does no good for us as a City, risks the positive changes we included in the regulations, and in fact will bring harm to us should we face legal consequences. I’m hopeful that because of the lack of permit applications, we still have time to do this the right way to protect all of the residents of Thornton.

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