Northglenn city councilors came to consensus on filling the vacant council seat with Richard Kondo on May 2 after over three hours of interviewing candidates and discussing their …
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Northglenn city councilors agreed to fill a vacant council seat with Richard Kondo on May 2 after over three hours of interviewing eight candidates and discussing their strengths.
“There was this energy increase I wanted to call out because it was across the board as soon as we shifted (to talking about Kondo,)” Mayor Meredith Leighty said.
The council will vote to approve his official appointment at the May 9 city council meeting. Other applicants included Charles Appleton, Mark Bromley, John Kiely, Robert Konrade, Lindsay Lierman, Mary Peery and Christina Sharkady.
The vacancy came after former City Councilor Julie Duran Mullica announced on Feb. 28 she would be moving to Thornton. The vacancy took effect on April 21st.
Councilors commended Kondo for his sense of humor — among other qualities — and Leighty said it was his biggest strength
“You don’t always have to be serious,” said Mayor Pro Tem Jenny Willford.
Kondo’s resume showed plenty of leadership experience, councilors said. He is a director of a medical device company, served 28 years in the U.S. Navy and made his way up to the rank of Captain, attended the United States Naval Academy for an undergraduate degree and earned a master's from Harvard’s Graduate School of Business Administration.
He stressed good listening and engagement skills are necessary for the position and explained the importance of including multiple perspectives when coming to conclusions during his interviews. It creates a more well-rounded decision, he told councilors.
“It’s really important to encourage diverse dialogue,” he said
He compared accepting many viewpoints to the United States Supreme Court. When someone reaches that level of achievement in the judicial body, he said, they develop an open mind and want to hear the counterpoint.
“There’s no one right answer, there are multiple right answers,” he said.
Each council member asked one question to all the applicants. Mayor Meredith Leighty asked if his interest in serving on the city council stems from a personal interest or goal? She also asked if there is something he hopes to accomplish while serving on council.
City Councilor Ashley Witkovich asked what steps he would take to eliminate bias from his behaviors and decisions while Councilor Jay Jaramillo asked what areas of city spending he feels should be increased or decreased?
City Councilor Shannon Lukeman-Hiromasa asked how working with people from different backgrounds can present unique opportunities for collaboration and creativity. She also asked him to describe a time when a project or a decision he made was enhanced by including diverse perspectives.
Councilor Jenny Willford what he believes is the cause of homeless and what role do you believe this city has in addressing the issue while Councilor Katherine Goff asked Kondo to describe how he would react when the council votes 5-4 to approve a very contestable issue and he was on the dissenting side.
City Councilor Becky Brown asked Kondo to describe one of the toughest groups he has had to work with and City Councilor Nicholas Walker asked about he most strongly disagreed with an action taken by the council in the past five years.
“I think it’s a city that is a great living environment,” Kondo said about Northglenn, a 38-year resident.
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