Westminster: Hopefuls outline outlooks

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Westminster mayor and city council candidates shared their views and goals for the city during the Oct. 10 candidate forum at city hall. Hosted by Colorado Community Media, the publisher of the Westminster Window and the Westsider, candidates were asked a variety of questions giving the community an opportunity to get to know the candidates before making their choice in the November Election.

For voters who were unable to attend the candidate forum, the complete program can be viewed on the city’s website, www.ci.westminster.co.us or on cable on Channel 8.

With the three mayor candidates, Herb Atchison, Bob Briggs and Mary Lindsey, currently serving on council, the questions asked focused on how they will use their experience in their role as mayor and were asked about their thoughts on the development of the former mall site. The candidate with at least 40 percent of the vote will be elected mayor to serve a four-year term. If one candidate doesn’t receive at least 40 percent of the vote, a run-off election will take place between the two candidates with the most votes.

When asked about the redevelopment of the former Westminster mall site, Briggs said he thinks the planning team is starting to move in the right direction, but thinks the plan needs a signature piece as part of the redevelopment.

“I would suggest that we look at a signature thing like the River Walk in San Antonio in our downtown to give us that signature thing we are looking for,” he said.

Atchison touched on the change of course the city has taken in terms of the planning of the former mall site. He said the city has failed twice to go with a master developer, and now the concept of breaking the proposed development into smaller blocks is a better opportunity to attract more developers.

“We have to take action and look at different models, which is starting with the recent change of the outlay of the mall,” he said.

Lindsey agreed with what both Atchison and Briggs spoke about in terms of the former mall site, and said she believes the city is on the right track. She spoke about the importance of recycling the demolished material of the former mall and said council has listened to the community to hear what they want for the new downtown.

“We want to draw the people to our side of town to bring in more sales tax dollars,” she said.

Seven of eight city council candidates appeared at the forum including Bruce Baker, Debbie Bergamo, David DeMott, A.J. Elserougi, Alberto Garcia, C. Michael Litzau and Emma Pinter. Suzanne Ramirez was unable to attend due to teacher training. Because all of the candidates are new to city council, the questions focused on background, goals, their views on partnerships with local business and how they see Westminster in 20 years. There are three open spots on council and the top three candidates with the most votes will serve four-years terms.

Mail-in ballots were sent out Oct. 14 and beginning Oct. 16, voter service and polling centers are now open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; Saturday Nov. 2 and Election Day, Nov. 5, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There are a variety of mail-in ballot drop-off locations and polling centers throughout Adams and Jefferson Counties. To view a complete location list in Adams County visit www.co.adams.co.us and for a complete location list in Jefferson County visit, http://jeffco.us.