Profession: Licensed Landscape Architect and Urban Designer
Residence: Secrest neighborhood
Campaign Website: www.MichaelForArvada.com
Why are you seeking this office?
I’m an Urban Designer with 12 years’ experience leading public realm projects and roadway design. Arvada is growing rapidly and the decisions we make today will impact quality of life for generations. I’m running because the citizens of Arvada deserve a qualified design voice with a history of service to guide growth. I believe infrastructure investment and responsible development will drive the future of Arvada while preserving historic charm and empowering existing communities.
What makes you the best person for the job?
With the rising pace of development, traffic, and strain on our natural resources, it’s alarming that our city has never had a City Councilor with a professional background in design, engineering or placemaking. To ensure we maintain quality of life into the next 40 years the city needs the very diverse and unique background that I will bring as a design expert as well as my commitment to focus on local issues and core services.
What are your top three priorities if elected?
The top three issues facing City of Arvada are all related to growth: safety, housing, and traffic. I will address growth with a collaborative and informed approach. I will utilize my leadership background in the design of complete streets and mixed-use developments to prioritize roadway infrastructure and transportation, to build consensus between City staff and my fellow councilors on critical housing issues, and to ensure public safety remains a hallmark for all of Arvada.
Development on the western end of the city has been contentious. What's your approach to managing the area?
Arvada has grown to the point where all new development is infill and will be challenging for adjacent properties. The key is to elect representatives that understand the role of government, the guiding documents, and the material facts that help guide responsible council decisions. My 5 years on Planning Commission and professional background makes me ideal for this challenge. A balanced approach is needed that will preserve commercial opportunities, upgrade roadways, and maintain wide-open spaces.
Now that the city's trash hauling system is up and running, what is your view of how it has worked out?
I am not happy with the city’s decision to leave the Arvada voters out of the decision-making process for trash services. We have seen other communities negotiate better deals by giving the people a voice and a vote. If elected I will prioritize the removal of the penalty fee for opting out of the city trash service. I will also advocate for future issues like this to be placed on the ballot.
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