BRIGHTON — Chris Maslanik is seeking a second term on city council to represent the residents of Ward 1. The incumbent, who is defending his seat from candidate Joan Kniss, would like to see a lot of the projects that have started since he’s been on council through.
“I’ve got a lot of things I’d like to see happen for Brighton, I’d like to see our downtown take some more progression, I’d like to see some of the growth that we’ve started out on the eastern side of town completed, I’d like to see some of the road connections done out there as wee keep moving forward,” he said.
Maslanik believes that water, infrastructure and managing the city’s growth are among the biggest challenges council faces.
“I think now it’s time to really make our growth deliberate and make it what we want as a city and make it what our citizens want and at the same time, be able to know that we can manage that from a water standpoint, from a regulation standpoint, from an infrastructure standpoint,” he said.
In Ward 1, Maslanik would like to see some of the ward’s existing infrastructure completed. He said there are roads with medians meant to be divided roadways but they’re only built on one side. He also would like to see more sidewalk connections into Brighton and see the Bridge Street and Interstate 76 interchange completed.
In 2010, part of Maslanik’s private life became public after he caused property damage to Chili’s over an unpaid contracting bill while he was contracted to snowplow for them. He said it’s important for the residents to know it was a bad time in his life and he acted in a way he shouldn’t have.
“I feel that even through my personal tribulations I have done my job as a council person and I think its definitely taught me a different way to look at things and different ways to approach problem solving,” he said. “The day that it happened, I had told all of the council members that it happened. I was never secretive about it. Everyone knew up front that it happened. I’ve got nothing to hide from it.”
Maslanik believes its his experience as a council member that sets him apart and makes him the best candidate for the Ward 1 seat. He believes his business background is also important, as he understands the realities business owners and homeowners are faced with.
“Being on city council is not just about a popularity contest. We are faced with tough decisions that are coming up. Most of them deal with growth and most of them with water and also aging infrastructure,” he said. “It’s important that whoever takes this position – and I feel that I am best for this position – that you need to understand that your decision is not always going to be a popular decision.”
When he’s not working or serving on city council, Maslanik enjoys woodworking and biking on his Harley Davidson. He also serves as a judge for the district and state DECA conferences and has been involved with Court Appointed Special Advocates since 2009.
Q&A with Chris Maslanik
Why are you running for office?
I am running to continue being a leader and a voice for Brighton, its residents and its businesses that keep the city moving forward. I want to make sure Brighton is a desirable place to live, a strong city that can support both small and major business and that Brighton doesn’t lose its charm as it continues on a growth plan. I also want the citizens and businesses of Brighton to feel that they receive quality services and amenities for the tax dollars and other funds that are provided by the city government.
What makes you the most
qualified candidate for this office?
I am the candidate in the race for Ward One that has the experience of what the office and the people it represents demand and deserve. I also am very active with many cities along the Front Range and I have good gauge for how the city is performing on a regional level. I have a strong sense for what is necessary to keep our city moving forward and continuing to be one the top cities in the Metro area. I am also a quality community steward outside the duties of my office.
What do you feel is the top priority
for City Council heading into 2014?
Defining the limits of our growth as it relates to population, land area and land use. Without these parameters being defined; a plan for water, transportation and a comprehensive city plan will be difficult to establish.
What do you believe you can do to support and promote locally owned and small businesses in Brighton?
I think that Council can challenge staff to come up with an incentive package for small businesses like we have for large businesses that want to move to Brighton. We can also work with businesses to get them exposure through walk in traffic and traffic and parking patterns that make sense in our business districts. I believe it also very important to continue using our “local preference” policies with our Procurement department.
What issues do you hope to bring to Council’s attention specific to your Ward?
I hope to be able to get the development finished that has been started. I would like to get all of the proposed parks completed and available for citizens to enjoy. I believe that it is imperative that our transportation pieces of Ward 1 come together. They include; sidewalk connections, trail connections, making current narrow roadways in Brighton East Farms full width and safer to drive, connecting Tower Road and Southern Street and I will be pushing for an interchange to be completed at Bridge Street and I-76. From an amenities standpoint, I will be pushing for the ancillary pad sites around the new King Soopers and the new 7-11 to be developed so that Ward 1 residents have the services they rely on close to their homes.
What other specific issues within Brighton do you hope to address?
I will continue addressing the needs of our older neighborhoods to have updated water and sewer infrastructure. It is very important to me that our citizens feel that they have adequate services for the money that they pay to live in our city. I will be pushing for our land use codes and zoning areas to be reviewed and updated to ensure that we are providing equal opportunities for businesses, development and quality of life for our residents. Another thing we can never do enough of is communicating with our residents, I have been and will continue to be a strong advocate for increased communication measures with the people and business that call Brighton home.
What expertise or experience can you bring to City Council to better connect with citizens and keep the public engaged?
I come from a generation that has the largest number of non-voters and least amount of residents connected with the cities they live in. At the same time they make up the vast majority of our city’s population at an age of 32. It has been a mission of mine to change this. I will be pushing people of my generation to get involved, whether it be on a Board or Commission or helping the youth of our city or dragging them to a Council meeting to see how our City government operates. I feel that I can set a good example of how younger people can be a force within the government and that you don’t have to be “over 50” to be an effective leader.
What do you believe city government can/should do to ensure a sustainable supply of water in the years to come?
We absolutely need to put hard numbers to the business plan for water that was recently submitted to council. We also need to look at the city itself and identify the areas in which we can conserve water within our vast park system. It is important to understand that we are not “out of water.” We however do need to set the parameters of our growth as a city and what we can realistically sustain. We don’t need to stop growing, we just need to define and quantify our growth so that we have the necessary reserves for augmentation water. Once these parameters have been established, then we can implement a plan for purchasing and storing more water.