The other candidate for the Arvada at-large seat is Jeff Cannon
Bob Fifer’s road to city council started from inside a children’s toys and games shop, which he ran in Olde Town for three years. Local government wasn’t on the agenda. But running a business led to sponsoring the Arvada Festival Commission, and getting involved with the festivals led to joining other community groups, like the food bank, now Arvada Community Table.
By 2011, Fifer found himself running for city council. Having been elected to the at-large seat in both 2011 and 2015, the Arvada resident is running for his third term this November.
Over the past eight years, Fifer has worked with council to implement many changes in Arvada, he said. He has facilitated better communication between the city and its partners, such as the Apex Park and Recreation District, and he was part of the shift to community policing, which reduced fuel consumption and created better connections between officers and citizens, he said.
He also worked to increase spending on road maintenance from approximately $3 million per year in 2011 to today’s figure of roughly $10 million.
“We tightened out belts down to find the money,” he said. “Now, we’ve got to get to $16 million.”
If reelected, he would like to put resources toward easing traffic congestion, potentially through adaptive traffic signals, new RTD options or a ride-share service partnership with Lyft or Uber.
The Jefferson Parkway could also alleviate traffic, he said. The planned toll road will run through northwest Arvada and the former Rocky Flats site.
The Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority has run tests this year to determine whether the Rocky Flats land, previously cleaned up for plutonium contamination, is safe to build through. So far, testing has shown varying results and is scheduled through December.
“If we can safely assume the soil samples are coming out fine, then I support it moving forward,” Fifer said. “Regional traffic should not be on our local roads.”
Fifer would also encourage thoughtful growth throughout the city. He said that over the past eight years, council has often been asked to approve the rezoning of commercial areas to residential districts, but he has advocated — and would continue to advocate — for the preservation of commercial zones.
Perhaps his biggest focus will be the issues of homelessness and attainable housing, he said.
Raised by a single parent, “we’ve been close to these situations of homelessness,” and he’s always hoped to help people connect with the resources they need, he said.
If reelected, he would ask the city to focus its resources on the “invisible homeless,” or those who may live in their cars or with friends, but do not have a stable place to live.
“We can partner with entities like the Community Table to make sure those folks don’t fall further down into homelessness,” he said.
Just as important to him is promoting community safety.
“We need to adhere to the laws and ensure the respect of the community is upheld,” he said. “I want everyone to feel safe and respected, on both sides.”
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