In their words: Westminster City Council (at large) candidate profiles

Posted 10/16/19

Bruce Baker 14761 Kalamath Ct., Westminster Background: Grew up in Lakewood Colorado and graduated from the University of Colorado. Spent three years active duty in the US Army Infantry. Practiced …

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In their words: Westminster City Council (at large) candidate profiles

Posted

Bruce Baker

14761 Kalamath Ct., Westminster

Background: Grew up in Lakewood Colorado and graduated from the University of Colorado. Spent three years active duty in the US Army Infantry. Practiced Retail Pharmacy in Denver Metro for over three decades. With my spouse, we designed and built our house in Westminster. Served one term on council. Authored a research paper on Urban Renewal and have many published opinion articles and letters to the editor on issues that challenge Westminster.

Contact: 303 408-2288; brucebakercolorado@msn.com; Web: brucebakercolorado.com

Please describe your leadership style in three words.

Expects the best

Describe the skills that make you the best candidate for the job.

Our society says we value diversity because being able to see a challenge from different points of view gives a greater understanding of the true dimensions of the situation; to avoid the trap of “group think”. Being able to incorporate that diversity to make better group decisions takes the tolerance to being offended, optimism, determination and practice. I bring those skills. I bring independent ideas and the courage to stand up and defend my position.

Please list your top three priorities if elected.

I will vote to reduce the water rates. The predatory rates passed by council through dishonest means are unnecessary and will hurt Westminster in both the short and long run.

I will vote against jamming more and more housing into Westminster. The point of our Open Space Tax was to make Westminster a less crowded place.

I will vote to reduce the amount of “consultants” we use and wasteful projects we undertake.

Discuss economic growth in your community. How can you balance economic opportunity with current residents' desire to preserve their way of life?

There is no balancing between economic growth and our way of life. That entire `balance-point' is a cheat and a trick to let connected insiders get public tax money. An example is the New Downtown. That `growth' has not helped the residents of Westminster in any economic sense and instead has increased the demand for public services, a net financial drain. Every project there was taxpayer-subsidized and some were done using all-but-dishonest tactics.

Last winter, Westminster selected three new City Councilors after a lengthy public interview process but without a public vote. Was this a fair public process or not, and why?

The replacement of three councilors was a dishonest act. Using clever timing council followed the exact letter of the law but clearly violated the spirit and intent of the City Charter. Worse, if there can be worse, instead of using the opportunity to give inclusion to other voices in our City, council hand-picked three clones of themselves in a process that was only for show. Only David DeMott stood up for honesty

Rich Seymour

9100 W 100th Ave. Suite 7, Westminster

Background: I'm a business owner/employer and community leader who's recognized throughout Westminster as a sound, principle-based decision-maker. As a board member on five community organizations, I'm engaged with residents throughout Westminster on a daily basis. I've heard your concerns and will make decisions on what's good for Westminster.

Contact: 720 773-2046; rich4westminster@gmail.com; Facebook: @rich4westminster; Twitter: @rich_in_westy; Web: rich4westminster.org

Please describe your leadership style in three words.

Seek to understand

Describe the skills that make you the best candidate for the job.

Since August of 2016, I've attended or listened to every council study session and meeting and visited most of the cities Boards and Commissions. This commitment has prepared me to step in and be effective immediately. I serve on five community boards which keeps me in touch with all areas of our city. As a local employer, I'll bring a unique perspective to the council.

Please list your top three priorities if elected.

Prioritize spending towards core services; Change from marketing to residents to communicating with residents; and Re-evaluate water pricing for 2020.

Discuss economic growth in your community. How can you balance economic opportunity with current residents' desire to preserve their way of life?

The goal of being the next urban center will lead to excessive density and congestion. We need varied housing options but our current direction will tax our infrastructure. Reasonable and measured growth with an emphasis on owned housing, of all varieties, will help maintain our suburban lifestyle and provide the right density.

Last winter, Westminster selected three new City Councilors after a lengthy public interview process but without a public vote. Was this a fair public process or not, and why?

When Council appointed three new members this year, they violated the spirit of our City Charter and disenfranchised our citizens.

Michele Haney

2760 West 116th Ct., Westminster

Background: I was appointed to City Council in 2019. A resident of Westminster since 1993, I've served on multiple boards and commissions and was named Westminster “Woman of the Year” the College Hill Library's collaboration with the City and Front Range Community College, “Outstanding Woman in Business” by the Denver Business Journal and the 2019 Community College President of the Year. I have been the President of Red Rocks Community College since 2008.

Contact: 303 243-0225; neighbors4michele@gmail.com; neighbors4Michele (Facebook); Twitter

neigbors4Michele

Please describe your leadership style in three words.

Lead by listening

Describe the skills that make you the best candidate for the job.

I am a collaborator as well as being accessible and open to all discussions.

Please list your top three priorities if elected.

Thoughtful growth and development, public safety, and workforce development through K-12 and higher education

Discuss economic growth in your community. How can you balance economic opportunity with current residents' desire to preserve their way of life?

Managing and balancing are both keys to this very complex issue. I understand our residents' need to maintain the lifestyle they have come to enjoy in Westminster but also the desires of our children to be able to work, play, learn and LIVE in our city.

Last winter, Westminster selected three new City Councilors after a lengthy public interview process but without a public vote. Was this a fair public process or not, and why?

I can say the process that I was involved with was public. I know that some would like to change the city charter and if I were to continue on the Council, I would welcome that discussion.

Anita Seitz

3472 W 113th Ave Westminster

Background: I have the honor and privilege of serving on City Council and I am proud of our accomplishments. I have leveraged my professional background (marketing), education (BA Earth Sciences and an MBA) in addition to my life experiences to help serve our community. I am married and a mother of three great kids. I am running for re-election to ensure we have a sustainable, safe and thriving community now, and in the future.

Contact: 303 817-5237; Anitalouiseseitz@gmail.com; Twitter: @AnitaSeitz; Facebook: Anita Seitz, Westminster Mayor Pro Tem; Web: Www.anitaseitz.com

Please describe your leadership style in three words.

Integrity, Collaboration, and Commitment

Describe the skills that make you the best candidate for the job.

My experience, integrity, vision and leadership. As City Councilor I have championed major initiatives, weighed policy decisions, considered intended and unintended consequences, and solicited and responded to resident feedback. I have demonstrated my ability to find innovative policy solutions for difficult challenges and shown the courage to make hard choices. I have invested in professional development and served on numerous non-profit, city, and regional boards, including serving as President for Colorado Communities for Climate Action.

Please list your top three priorities if elected.

Every decision we make should promote the following three priorities; social, environmental, and economic long-term benefit for residents.

I have worked on these priorities while on council in multiple ways; through the development of our downtown, investment in our infrastructure, increasing access to attainable housing, managing growth, supporting local businesses, strengthening neighborhoods, environmental stewardship, climate action, prioritizing public safety, and preserving our open spaces. To learn more about my specific priorities please visit www.anitaseitz.com

Discuss economic growth in your community. How can you balance economic opportunity with current residents' desire to preserve their way of life?

Colorado has seen dramatic growth and Westminster residents have felt it. Challenges that arise from growth must be anticipated and planned for. I work to ensure we handle growth to minimize negative impacts to residents (congestion, traffic) and enhance our quality of life (jobs, restaurants, shops). I would like to expand our open spaces and parks to preserve our quality of life. Without a strategy, we stand to lose what we love about this community.

Last winter, Westminster selected three new City Councilors after a lengthy public interview process but without a public vote. Was this a fair public process or not, and why?

The appointment process utilized was the process that is prescribed by our City Charter, the governing document for our city. City Council does not have the authority to change our charter. If residents would like to see a change, it would take a vote of the people. We received legal advice to ensure we fully complied with the charter. Personally, I would never manipulate or make a mockery of the process or the institution.

Sheela Mahnke

11727 Quitman St., Westminster

Background: I am running for Westminster City Council because I want to serve the people of Westminster and make this city a better place to live for all its residents. As a pediatrician, I believe that the decisions we make about our city can improve the health and well-being of our residents. This includes thriving and safe neighborhoods, attainable housing, feeling a sense of place and belonging, and access to parks and open spaces.

Contact: 303 563-9944; sheela.mahnke@gmail.com; Facebook: Sheela Mahnke, Westminster City Councilwoman; Instagram: sheelamahnke4westminster; Twitter: sheelamahnke: Web: www.sheelamahnke.com

Please describe your leadership style in three words.

Thoughtful, Inclusive, Compassionate

Describe the skills that make you the best candidate for the job.

As a physician, I bring a public health perspective to city decisions. As a mother, I work hard to make the world a better place for my children. I want to build a healthy and thriving city not only for the next four years but far into the future. I am a critical thinker and always listen to all sides when making decisions. I am hard-working and love Westminster and its residents.

Please list your top three priorities if elected.

1) A thriving city - strong economy, attainable housing, sense of community

2) A focus on the environment - clean air and water, preserving and expanding parks and open space, climate action on the local level

3) Public engagement - making sure everyone's voice is being heard

Discuss economic growth in your community. How can you balance economic opportunity with current residents' desire to preserve their way of life?

We need to work on both long term economic and environmental sustainability while preserving our quality of life and sense of community. This can be achieved through thoughtful and strategic planning, which looks carefully at the impact of growth on such issues as water availability, fire and police resources, schools and transportation. Also, we need to consider ways to increase our parks and open spaces, which we know our residents do value.

Last winter, Westminster selected three new City Councilors after a lengthy public interview process but without a public vote. Was this a fair public process or not, and why?

As a member that was appointed and is now running for office, there is a big difference between the two processes. Having a public vote for council would have been a large expense to the city. Also, given the money and effort required to run for office, it would be difficult for candidates to run twice in the same year. I think the appointment process was the better of the two options.

Nick Dyer

4901 W 93rd Ave., Apt 1731 Westminster

Background: I am a Colorado native, growing up in Arvada. When my wife and I got married three years ago we moved to Westminster. I have always been a helper, and ultimately that is why I want to be on City Council. I want residents and businesses in Westminster to be able to come to me with their issues and at the end of the day help improve their quality of living in this awesome city.

Contact: 303 883-6460; nickdyerforwestminster@gmail.com; Web: www.nickdyerjr.com

Please describe your leadership style in three words.

Honesty, Passion, Care

Describe the skills that make you the best candidate for the job.

I am a helper; I want to do everything in my power to help others. Along the same lines, I can disagree with someone and still respect them. I believe I will have a responsibility to work with the rest of the city councilors, and that different perspectives, when brought together and discussed, will bring the best solution to an issue. I will not just talk, I will follow through and take action.

Please list your top three priorities if elected.

I am going to figure out the best solution to lower our water rates. I will handle the development of Downtown Westminster while listening to and acting on current residents' concerns. I am going to grow and continue to protect Westminster's parks and open spaces.

Discuss economic growth in your community. How can you balance economic opportunity with current residents' desire to preserve their way of life?

This is a very fine line to walk. My approach to this question is going to be common sense. I am excited and will be a proponent of Westminster's economic growth but I am going to listen to residents and other businesses' concerns about this growth. The city growth we are facing isn't worth harming current businesses and residents.

Last winter, Westminster selected three new City Councilors after a lengthy public interview process but without a public vote. Was this a fair public process or not, and why?

No, this wasn't a fair public process. In our city charter, it states very clearly in Chapter 3, Section 2, Paragraph a, in reference to city councilors “all of whom shall be nominated and elected from the City at large.” This was not in the spirit of the Westminster City Charter.

Lindsey Smith

2982 W. 119th Ave., Westminster

Background: Meeting with residents, I continually hear their distrust in the decisions being made for our city. Concerns about water rate increases, the re-development of the old mall site at the expense of tax-payer dollars, not being transparent in communicating all information to residents/business owners and making decisions without community input are all reasons why I'm running to bring a new perspective and diversity of thought to council.

Contact: 720 744-2316; electlindseysmith@gmail.com; Facebook: Lindsey For Westy; Web: electlindseysmith.com

Please describe your leadership style in three words.

Accountable, Transparent, Collaborative

Describe the skills that make you the best candidate for the job.

Being fiscally conservative, I will ensure residents have a good quality of life by working for residents and being accountable with decisions involving taxpayers' hard-earned money. My career in public transportation has instilled in me the value of listening to all sides of an issue. Furthermore, I have the courage to uphold convictions to adopt policies and practices necessary for Westminster's long-term health. I've got the know-how, energy, and logical thinking to get things done.

Please list your top three priorities if elected.

• Transparent communication and listening to all resident concerns.

• I'm invested in reducing costs whenever possible, and will approach development in a responsible way so that unchecked growth doesn't fall on the pockets of residents — water rate increases being one.

• Policy change of the City Charter to clearly define filling vacancies and create wards/districts so there is true representation of all residents and community issues.

Discuss economic growth in your community. How can you balance economic opportunity with current residents' desire to preserve their way of life?

By understanding the needs and concerns of our community — balanced with a private-sector driven economy — is critical for Westminster. However, to overturn circular, compounding effects of insufficient planning and management, the community needs a new perspective on council, someone who will listen and be accountable to all residents. By electing me, residents will have a council member that will govern to make sure basic services are provided efficiently and effectively.

Last winter, Westminster selected three new City Councilors after a lengthy public interview process but without a public vote. Was this a fair public process or not, and why?

While within the means to appoint, the process was not respectable to residents. Based on the intent of the City Charter, a special election for residents should have been conducted. Instead, 40 percent of council was appointed by others and not by our community.

Having gone through the interview process it's clear we need to amend the Charter to allow for true resident representation when multiple vacancies occur because this could very well happen again.

Patricia Moore

P.O. Box 825, Westminster

Background: I am Texas born and New York raised. I am a military child, the oldest of eight. I am a 35-year resident of southern Westminster, married for 38 years, mother of three children and retired. I was the parent representative between Headstart and Meridian Naval Air Station, Girl Scout leader and a Political Activist. Professionally I have a background in Accounting, Legal Secretary, Personnel Secretary and a CNA graduate.

Contact: 720 363-6367; moore4westminstercc@gmail.com

Please describe your leadership style in three words.

Implementing, Motivator, Organizational

Describe the skills that make you the best candidate for the job.

Hardworking, willing to listen to both sides of and issue, willing to compromise,

being able to think outside the box.

Please list your top three priorities if elected.

Housing, Economic Development, Homelessness

Discuss economic growth in your community. How can you balance economic opportunity with current residents' desire to preserve their way of life?

Before you can work on economic growth you first must help and promote those businesses that are already long-standing and established in the community.

Then you can work toward bringing more businesses that benefit the community and that will complement the established businesses, working together to build more economic opportunities within the resident's desires and the business community.

Last winter, Westminster selected three new City Councilors after a lengthy public interview process but without a public vote. Was this a fair public process or not, and why?

Whether you felt the public process was fair or not does not matter. The rules of the Charter must be followed. If you don't like the Charter rules then work to change the Charter. I am a firm believer in following the rules. However, I believe that if the rules no longer work for the community then work for change; That is called democracy.

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