When T.O. Owens drives around Arvada, he sees the Fitzmorris Recreation Center, Griffith Station Park, Ralston-Central Park — one project after another that makes the city a great place to live, he …
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When T.O. Owens drives around Arvada, he sees the Fitzmorris Recreation Center, Griffith Station Park, Ralston-Central Park — one project after another that makes the city a great place to live, he said.
Those projects are also ventures that he himself worked on over the years.
“One of the things that gives me the most joy is when I see all these projects. They’re really making people’s lives better,” he said.
After working on a variety of such projects and serving on several community committees, Owens is running for the District 2 seat on city council.
An Arvada resident for about 20 years, Owens serves as chairman for the city planning commission. He became involved in the city after following the advice of his wife, who suggested he work to improve the community, and following his “need to serve,” which he says he developed while attending the Air Force Academy.
As chairman of the planning commission, Owens says he emphasized organization, and streamlining processes by making sure each team member “has an area of focus” for every project.
If elected, Owens said he would use that organizational experience to address several key issues in Arvada, including transportation. He would like to work with city engineers to identify two or three of the city’s most impactful transportation projects to potentially be funded by bond money.
Owens also approves of the Jefferson Parkway, a planned toll road that would run through northwest Arvada, near the Rocky Flats site. However, he would not approve of the parkway if testing shows the route is unsafe. Testers are currently working to verify previous test results that showed elevated plutonium levels in the parkway’s path.
Hoping to create more attainable housing opportunities, he would advocate for the relaxation of certain restrictions, like parking or building height requirements, for developers who would bring attainable units to the city. Owens would only favor high-density housing in neighborhoods that can accommodate the number of people who would move in, he said.
He would also like to create better access to recreation for residents in neighborhoods like Columbine and Tennyson Knolls.
His organizational skills would again be useful as the city’s homeless population increases, he said.
To promote safety in Arvada, “when we see people law-breaking, we need to fairly enforce the laws,” he said, including by continuing current efforts to keep areas like Olde Town safe.
He would also prioritize connecting homeless individuals with organizations that provide resources, such as meals and job openings, and encourage closer collaboration among those organizations.
“One way would be to offer a monthly meeting place (for the groups),” he said. “Incidentally homeless families can almost always benefit from a hand up. I would help to organize that.”
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