State of the City

Paul urges Lakewood to be bold in State of City

Vows to tackle childhood hunger in the city

Posted 3/13/18

Mayor Adam Paul had one simple message for community leaders and residents alike during his third State of the city speech — be bold. “2019 will be Lakewood’s 50th anniversary. Let’s use this …

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State of the City

Paul urges Lakewood to be bold in State of City

Vows to tackle childhood hunger in the city

Posted

Mayor Adam Paul had one simple message for community leaders and residents alike during his third State of the city speech — be bold.

“2019 will be Lakewood’s 50th anniversary. Let’s use this anniversary to focus our thoughts on what this city will look like over the course of the next 50 years,” Paul said. “Let’s think about what we can, and must do to make sure that 50 years from now our children are still filled with hope, compassion, and a spirit of collaboration.”

Paul spoke at the Sheraton Denver West on March 8. To watch the speech, go to www.lakewood.org/soc.

As is the case every year, the mayor’s annual State of the City speech was a who’s who of the city’s movers and shakers, from current and past city council members to organizational leaders like Bill Marino of 40 West Arts and the West Colfax Community Association, Tom Quinn of the Alameda Gateway Association, Rep. Brittany Pettersen, Jeffco commissioner Casey Tighe, and Joe Margotte, owner of Chicago Beef and Dogs.

During last year’s speech, Paul focused on doing everything possible to make Lakewood a better place for the next generation of leaders and residents. By encouraging everyone in Lakewood to take innovative approaches to the issues facing the city, Paul said he hopes people will think outside the box to address everything from development to community policing.

For himself, Paul said his bold goal for the year is addressing childhood hunger in the city.

Here are the top three ideas Paul discussed in his speech:

Point 1: Community leaders — During his speech, Paul highlighted Lakewood residents who are already exemplifying the “be bold” spirit that he wants everybody to embrace.

People like Gary and Judy Hardy, who founded Lakewood’s Bicycle Advisory Team and launched the Cycling Without Age program, and Sonya Estes, who operates Runners Roost in Lakewood, and is part of the Soles 4 Souls program, which has donated millions of shoes to people in African countries. She supports the city’s recreation programs, and year after year, has provided gifts for dozens of families at Alameda International High School so they can celebrate Christmas.

Then there’s Pastor Drew Ross, of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, which launched Living Well Showers, a trailer outfitted with several private shower stalls to provide hot showers to homeless people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to them. And Principal Ester Valdez, of Rose Stein Elementary, who is tapping into the energy around the newly reopened school to inspire students and families alike.

Paul also celebrated Nicole Hensley, Green Mountain graduate who played goalie for the U.S. women’s hockey team from the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Point 2: Development in the city — Lakewood has been facing development concerns for years, and lately residents’ concerns have been coming to a head in the past few years. Mayor Paul addressed the fears of development and need for affordable housing in his address.

“As we continue to discuss growth this year, we need to understand the long-term impacts of new policies on affordability, attainability and ownership for living in our city. Let’s not make it harder for those who most need housing options to call Lakewood home,” he said.

“We are in a boom and have the opportunity to make generational changes - changes that will protect our city for decades to come,” he continued. “This boom won’t last forever. When we have an opportunity to control our own destiny, we must act and move forward or face the consequences of not making a choice. Let’s create the legacy that says we acted, we acted boldly and we created today an amazing tomorrow for our great city.”

Point 3: Council leading the way — Paul commended city council for the work it has been doing recently, and urged them to think outside the box when it comes to tackling future issues.

“City council has established important priorities for the coming year, including expanding open space, increasing our sidewalk replacement program and addressing our growing infrastructure needs — to name a few,” he said.

“The biggest challenge? How do we fund it?”

One possible path forward Paul put forward was looking at TABOR’s effects on the city.

“With our current funding, it would take decades to address these. Maybe it’s time to talk about using the financial tools that fund large projects, like municipal bonds or de-Brucing from the impact of TABOR, he suggested. “Lakewood residents have done this four other times in our history. We can do it again.”

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