Arvada candidates get first round of questions

Posted

The candidates in the 2013 City Council race all seem to be in agreement about some of the key issues facing the city.

The candidates answered questions about incentive use to attract businesses, marijuana prohibition and support of the Jeffco beltway at the Arvada Chamber of Commerce candidate forum.

The forum was held at the Arvada Center on Aug. 30, and gave those running a chance to answer questions as official candidates.

For the councilmember at-large race, incumbent Don Allard and Ascenzo Di Giacomo were on hand, as well as District 3 candidates John Marriott, Ted Terranova and Justin Vicory, and incumbent Rachel Zenzinger, who is running unopposed for District 1.

All five candidates were given the same five questions and had two minutes to answer each. Since she is running unopposed, Zenzinger spoke at the end of the forum about her goals for the city.

All five candidates voiced their support of incentives to attract businesses to the city, though they all urged that caution should be used, and that council should look at it on a case-by-case basis.

“We have to do it — it’s a matter of competition in the market,” Terranova said.

Vicory added that it is a matter of creating business opportunities that will end up benefiting the city and growing in the future.

A question regarding transferring operational control of the Arvada Center to a nonprofit foundation was met by skepticism by the candidates, mostly because not a lot of information has been shared about the idea.

Terranova said the issue came down to money and control, comparing the center to a “loss leader” — a business term that even though may lose money, brings in other benefits.

All of the candidates agree that waiting to see how other communities across the state handle marijuana would be a wise move, and so do not currently advocate allowing marijuana to be sold in the city.

“I would like to see how it is handled in other places, and I don’t think it’s just about us in council, but we should go out to the community and see how they feel,” Di Giacomo said.

Marriott said the will of the people on Amendment 64 is absolutely clear, and so in the future the city will certainly need to take a closer look at allowing these kinds of businesses, but said that now is not the time.

The candidates all seemed happy with the direction the city is heading in now, and when asked about their vision for the city, many voiced a desire to continue along the same path, with some renewed area of focus.

The city has undertaken a revision of its comprehensive plan, and these areas could perhaps receive more attention in a new plan.

Allard said the city the city needs to focus on taking care of what it has, while Di Giacomo said that he would like to see transportation issues get more attention.

Marriott expressed an interest in seeing neighborhoods being protected, and Terranova said the comprehensive plan should be really indicative of what the community wants.

“I’d like to see more youth injected into the community,” Vicory said. “We have low income housing, but we need places for people to work, too. The average drive to work for an Arvada citizen is 26 miles, and I’d like to see that come down.”

All the candidates expressed support for the completion of the Jeffco beltway.