BRIGHTON — Water, infrastructure and transportation were among the key issues discussed at the Chamber of Commerce and Business Advocacy Partnership sponsored candidate debate Thursday at the Armory.
The debate centered on contested candidates running for city council, including Ward 1 incumbent Chris Maslanik and candidate Joan Kniss and Ward 4 candidates Peter Phibbs, Dave Rose and Mark Humbert.
Maslanik said his reasons for running haven’t changed since running for council four years ago. He said one of the biggest things he brings to the table is the fact that he’s lived in Brighton for seven years and that the vast majority of citizens are new to the community.
He believes the city could do more to be operating at optimal efficiency such as streamlining its communication system with residents, finding reuse for old city facilities and streamline its business requirements.
Kniss decided to run for city council through the encouragement of her friends, who kept asking her what she was going to do when her term on the 27J Board of Education ended. The decision was an easy one for her since she loves Brighton and has been active in the community 1972.
Kniss said she sees the city’s ability to sustain a solid financial picture while providing residents with the same caliber of services and amenities. She also cited water and the city’s aging infrastructure as key issues the city needs to address.
“In this area of town, we have infrastructure that is 100 years old and planning for that is essential,” she said.
Phibbs thought he was active in the community until he decided to open a bike shop about two years ago but said being scheduled fifth on the council meeting agendas inspired him to run. He believes that a healthy lifestyle is what has been attracting young families to the community over the last years.
He believes transportation issues are one of the biggest issues facing the city. Phibbs would like to see the intersection of the railroad made safer for motorists and pedestrians and also would like to see the Platte River Trail finished and connected to the metro Denver area, especially for cyclists.
Dave Rose is running for city council because he has been in the community for a long time and believes very strongly in doing the best that he can for the community. He believes quality of life issues are important to the City of Brighton and that he was able to help improve those issues by getting involved in the community.
Rose said there’s a lot of challenges facing the city such as water, transportation, housing and economic development.
“I think the bigger part of all of that is, we have to try and balance what we currently are doing, our current infrastructure, our current programs and to take care of roads as we continue to plan for growth, because Brighton is going to continue to grow,” he said.
Humbert is running for the Ward 4 seat because he wants to give back to the community who embraced him and his wife after moving here. He believes water is the biggest issue facing Brighton right now.
“It’s been obvious for more than 20 years anywhere along the Front Range that water is the key issue in the future of any community,” he said, adding that the quality as well as the quantity are also important.
He also believes and supports the city in its plan to update the city’s aging infrastructure.
Uncontested candidates Ken Kreutzer (who is running for Ward 3) and Mayor Dick McLean — who is seeking a second term as Brighton’s mayor — were in attendance and introduced themselves.