Election Results 2021: Voters choose experience for Englewood council

Ward, Woodward win; Wink, Nunnenkamp unopposed

Shanna Maxcy
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 11/7/21

Englewood voters leaned toward experience in the election that ended Nov. 2, choosing Steve Ward and Jim Woodward in the two contested races for Englewood City Council. Ward has served on council …

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Election Results 2021: Voters choose experience for Englewood council

Ward, Woodward win; Wink, Nunnenkamp unopposed

Posted

Englewood voters leaned toward experience in the election that ended Nov. 2, choosing Steve Ward and Jim Woodward in the two contested races for Englewood City Council.

Ward has served on council at-large since being appointed earlier this year and Woodward previously served on council from 2004 to 2013. Woodward served as mayor from 2007 to 2011.

Councilmember Cheryl Wink ran unopposed for re-election to her at-large seat. First-time candidate Chelsea Nunnenkamp, a deputy political director at a political reform organization, ran unopposed in District 2 in northeastern Englewood.

Moving into his first elected term on city council, Ward, who will represent District 4, said he would like to see the city continue the ongoing work on aging infrastructure, particularly for water, stormwater and sewer.

“We've also taken great strides toward building a sense of community in Englewood,” Ward said, “and I'm proud of what we are doing to bring community members together with events like the summer concert series, the Fourth of July event, the various food truck park events and the annual block party.”

Other things on his priority list include discussing how to grant access to the city's public right of way, taking a look at the city's budget and the plans for city hall.

“One area of concern for me is Englewood's vulnerability to economic downturn,” Ward said. “We can mitigate the damage of an economic downturn by thoughtfully growing and then leveraging our city's reserves. Although it is vastly better than nothing, I am not completely satisfied with the city's current reserve policy.”

In unofficial returns updated Nov. 5, Ward was leading by about 15 percentage points in his race against political newcomer Belinda Porter.

CodeNext made the priorities list for both Ward and Woodward. CodeNext is a policy aimed at ensuring that Englewood's Unified Development Code, core policy documents and land use regulations are congruent with the community's goals and values for a sustainable city.

“This is one item that has the ability to significantly affect Englewood's future,” Ward said. “Development is a hot issue in the Denver metro area, and Englewood needs to find a balance between demand for new housing stock and the preservation of existing neighborhood aesthetics. I'm convinced that there is a balance to be found, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to work on that.”

Woodward, who was elected to a two-year at-large seat, said his immediate top priorities returning to council will be to get a better sense of what is going on with the Public Works Department, where he says many things that used to be done by city staff are now being contracted out to the private sector.

“I understand that there may be cost savings, but I question the quality of the work and over the long term whether this is wise,” Woodward said. “I want to keep fully informed (and keep the citizens informed) on the progress of the piping and capital improvements planned to provide our city with better tasting and softer water. This is a major complaint of residents and in meeting with our Director of Utilities I believe there is a good plan in place to accomplish this overdue task.”

When it comes to budget concerns, Woodward said maintaining responsible annual and long-term budgets and adequate reserves is also a major priority for his term in office.

Woodward defeated political newcomer Mary Colecchi by a margin of nearly 2-1.

The next Englewood City Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 15, when winning candidates will be sworn in.

Meanwhile, voters who live within the boundary of the Englewood Downtown Development Authority passed Ballot Issue 6D by a wide margin.

The measure allows the authority to raise its debt limit to $70 million over a 30-year period to fund projects in the downtown area, such as improvements in pedestrian access, parking and bike lanes.

Reporter Robert Tann contributed to this story.

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