Charley Able, candidate for Lakewood Ward 1

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Profession: Former Rocky Mountain News reporter and editor,

Neighborhood: Ward 1

Contact: charleyforlakewood@gmail.com

Why are you seeking this office?

As a journalist, I covered local governments and often saw elected officials approve legislation despite potentially harmful impacts for families, neighborhoods and folks whose voices often are not heard. I can analyze and recognize the potential pitfalls that elude decision-makers who don’t do their homework. I know first-hand the difficulties working families face and I recognize the tough decisions many parents face when trying to provide for their children.

What makes you the best person for the job?

I listen! And I am accessible to our community members and responsive to our community’s concerns. I have a wealth of experience with and knowledge of Lakewood’s government and am aware of its many successes as well as the missteps taken by past City Councils. My long-term involvement and activism in community affairs and observation of city governance has resulted in effective representation for all of my Ward 1 constituents.

What are your top three priorities if elected?

Enhancing public safety by bolstering Police Department funding to ensure that neighborhoods remain safe and peaceful. Equity for Ward 1, which has fewer parks and less funding to update aging infrastructure and redevelopment than any other area of our city. Mitigating the effects of the spiraling growth we experienced when residential construction increased four-fold after Zoning Ordinance revisions in 2012, straining the capacity of our streets, sidewalks, and parks.

How should the city implement the citizen-approved growth ordinance?

Our City Charter requires that we implement the exact, expressed intent of citizen-initiated ordinances without alteration by City Hall. Any interpretation of the ordinance should involve its authors. And Council, which regains review of large residential projects, must use the ordinance’s required pool of permits for attainable housing to restore balance to a housing inventory now dominated by high-rent apartments and lack of affordable ownership opportunities.

How much do you foresee yourself working with the other members of council?

In my four years on Council, I have worked to build consensus among my colleagues, fashioning compromise agreements on development fees for Open Space, a campaign finance ordinance that keeps special-interest money out of our elections, development issues, funding for updated police equipment and many other issues. As evidence of my collaborative efforts, I am currently serving as the unanimously elected Mayor Pro-tem.

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