Before we launch into our list of choices for city council and school board candidates, we want to salute all of the candidates who showed enough interest in the future of their city to take the time to run.
Serving on either panel is a part-time job that requires a nearly full-time commitment to do it properly. The fact that so many Brighton residents wanted to serve on these boards shows volumes to what they think about their city and its future.
We don’t believe our endorsements or the results of the election will change their opinions of their town. But we do believe that the residents should thank them for their interest.
Brighton City Council Ward 3
While we are big believers in the importance of experience when it comes to maintaining the continuity of the city council, we also know that experience can sometimes be overstated.
We believe that is the case in the Ward 3 race. Yes, Rob Farina has rightfully earned the title of a veteran city councilor because of his committed service to the city over the past four years.
But we don’t believe the experience gap between Farina and Baca is as large as one might think. Baca’s work with Adams County and the city of Aurora makes her well versed in the inner-workings of government. More so, we like that Baca offers no pie-in-the sky plans for her time on council. Instead, she wants to see the city develop a long-term financial sustainability plan for many of the projects that have occurred in the past several years. That just sounds like good common sense.
We endorse Lynn Baca for Ward 3.
Brighton City Council Ward 1
We are left in an unfortunate predicament in the Ward 1 run between Rich Rodriguez and Kirby Wallin because we were unable to interview Mr. Wallin. We’ll abstain from a true endorsement but we’ll say this:
Rodriguez brings some interesting points to the table about how the city conducts its business with small businesses. Anyone who knows Rich knows his New York-background leaves him to rarely mince words.
We like that kind of openness and frankness. And a lot of Rodriguez’s ideas for ways to improve our community, especially the downtown area, make you scratch your head and wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
At the same time, if Rodriguez is elected, we hope he can maintain what is clearly a burning passion for Brighton but work in concert with the rest of the council to make sure our community moves forward.
Brighton City Council Ward 4
It’s great to see several candidates in the race for Ward 4. We think having multiple candidates in a race is a good way to ensure the best candidate is selected.
Jeff Blair gets our nod.
We think Blair’s institutional knowledge about government and what works is enough to send him to office. His approach to solving problems seems to build coalitions. It would be a start toward making some needed progress in such areas as revitalizing downtown or combining the Pavilions and downtown into a cohesive unit.
We support Brighton’s institution of a lodging tax on local hotels and other lodging establishments. While Brighton is not a tourist destination spot, our hotels do maintain brisk business whether it’s from business visits or out-of-state teams needing a place to stay during sports tournaments.
If we can generate additional revenue from those visits that could be channeled into better marketing of the city, with the cost being passed down to out-of-towners and not Brighton residents, why would we not support that?
27J Board of Education District 3
Voters in District 3 have the luxury of knowing that they are making a quality choice in either candidate. Incumbent Russ Carr has made countless contributions to our community and has been a strong and steady guiding hand on the board of education for the past four years. Challenger Donna Petrocco not only brings a tremendous business background to this race, but she has a tremendous heart for kids, evidenced by her hard work with the Boys & Girls Club.
While we don’t doubt that Carr would continue to do a quality job on the board, we like the change that Donna
Petrocco would bring and we endorse her for the District 3 seat.
27J Board of Education District 4
There are four candidates in the race for the District 6 seat. We like the idea of fresh faces stepping up to lead this school district. But, in this case, we feel Virginia Guzman should get a full term on the board. Though Guzman has only been on the board for a few months as an appointee, we know from her previous time on the board that she will be an unwavering voice of support for what’s best for all district students.