This November, Englewood voters will make choices among current city councilmembers and challengers, including business owners, two Ph.D. holders, a marijuana business official and a pastor.
Three incumbent councilmembers — Steve Yates, …
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This November, Englewood voters will make choices among current city councilmembers and challengers, including business owners, two Ph.D. holders, a marijuana business official and a pastor.Three incumbent councilmembers — Steve Yates, at-large; Linda Olson, District 2; and Rick Gillit, District 4 — are all running for re-election. Dave Cuesta, chief compliance officer for pot dispensary Native Roots, is vying for Gillit's spot. Cuesta is also a former criminal investigator for the Marijuana Enforcement Division of the Colorado Department of Revenue.Yates' seat is contested by Cheryl Wink, a software architect, and Joe Anderson, a community pastor. Olson faces no challenger in her district.Englewood's mayor is elected by city council and thus has no public election. Englewood city elections are nonpartisan, meaning candidates do not run under a party label.Here's a little about each city council candidate.At-large candidatesCheryl WinkWink holds a Ph.D. in statistics, a master's degree in international studies and a master's degree in music from the University of Denver. She works as a software architect and is chair of Englewood’s Cultural Arts Commission.In her words:"In my 12 years as an Englewood citizen and while on the Arts Commission, I have established positive relationships and demonstrated strategic thinking, adaptability, effective leadership and a drive for results. I offer voters a fresh perspective, experience within (city) council and city departments, and personal integrity and professionalism, both crucial for city council."My platform makes Englewood a greater place to live, work and play through placemaking, supporting economic growth and inspiring accountability across municipal government."I love Englewood’s citizens and our shared passion for our city. My hub, my mainstay, my life and my heart are here ... in Englewood. Think Wink on Nov. 7, and allow me to give to Englewood!"Joe AndersonAnderson has an undergraduate business management degree and a master's degree in biblical studies. He's an ordained pastor, and he started and runs a publishing company that provides educational materials to churches and Christian schools.In his words:"For the last two years, I have been leading Unite Englewood, a coalition of churches and nonprofits that partner with businesses and city government to serve the city. I think city council could benefit from (that) kind of collaboration ... and I’d like to help develop it."Having been to a number of council meetings over the last two years, I can tell you (the) issue hampering progress in our city is infighting and division on council, which has far-reaching effects beyond just the council meetings."I have noticed that Englewood residents are more isolated and lonely than ever. Our elderly population is increasingly isolated, we’re struggling with how to address growing homelessness and our at-risk youth are underserved ... I am presently working on all these issues by collaborating with residents, businesses and the faith community. As a councilmember, I would keep these issues at the forefront."Steve YatesYates has been an at-large councilmember since 2013 and has lived in Englewood for 30 years. He owns Mr. Fire Sprinkler, an Englewood-based company that installs, inspects and services fire sprinklers, fire extinguishers, kitchen hood suppression systems, fire suppression systems and paint booths.In his words:"Currently, I am involved in many projects that I want to continue working on, such as reclaiming the methane from the (Littleton-Englewood) Wastewater Treatment Plant and refining it into a usable gas the city would sell and, as a result, reduce the city's carbon footprint while earning money for our community."Other projects are: keeping our budget in the black, rebuilding Broadway, creating an environment with more housing that families can own, improving our parks and trails (and) building stronger business districts."When I ran four years ago, I ran on a balanced budget. We are now in the black. Another difference is transparency in government. We were previously one of the least transparent cities in Colorado; now, we are one of the most transparent cities ... based on our interactive online budget tools and streaming video of city meetings."District 4 candidatesDave CuestaCuesta was raised in Englewood and, through AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, has worked with Habitat for Humanity, local food banks and trail restoration projects. He works as chief compliance officer for the Native Roots marijuana dispensary chain.In his words:"I will embody my campaign theme of 'Responsive Representation.' Neighbors can call or email me with any concerns, no matter how large or small, and I will promptly begin seeking out answers and solutions."My approach ... will be to visit with my District 4 neighbors every chance I get and listen, listen and then listen some more ... I will rely directly on the constituency to set the agenda of what council should be addressing.""I’ve knocked (on) close to 1,000 doors in District 4, and I plan to keep 'walking and knocking' ... Neighbors have expressed concerns regarding a truly balanced city budget, a welcoming business environment ... careful monitoring of residual levels and the timely disposal of 'sludge' from the water treatment plant, and the continued preservation and expansion of the Englewood Parks and Recreation system."Rick GillitGillit has been a councilmember since 2009 and is a United States Air Force veteran. He works as a real-estate agent and is the owner of Home Mortgage Lending.In his words:"When I came on eight years ago, the city was in fiscal turmoil. I was trusted to work diligently to navigate through the struggles and bring true leadership to our city, which I believe I have done. We now, for the first time since the early '90s, have a budget surplus."Many of our buildings are aging and need refurbishment as well as roads and bridges. We need a policy to deal with the extra cost coming down the road ... I will work as long as it takes to get the people the best community, parks, recreation centers, and government services that I can!"I have enjoyed working with businesses to ensure that our city provides the best infrastructure possible to allow them to have the best possible success in their endeavors."District 2 candidateLinda OlsonOlson has been a councilmember since 2009 and is the interim dean of the Colorado Women's College at the University of Denver. She has a Ph.D. in communication.In her words:"Having created and approved a new comprehensive plan this last year, I am re-energized by the city’s mission 'to promote and ensure a high quality of life, economic viability and a uniquely desirable community.' This requires balancing diverse interests to keep neighborhoods stable, increase productive economic activity and nurture (Englewood's) small-town feel and values."I have ... a track record of working with diverse voices both on council and across our community. I am willing to study issues, listen to all perspectives and find common ground to make solid decisions for the public good."Promoting economic growth and residential stability are critical. Creating new revenue streams to (maintain our) quality of life ... is a challenge and opportunity alike."
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