Hello to all of you who are making your final decision just before the last ballots are taken and the count decides our future. If you’re wondering why you might consider voting for me, I’d like to offer a few remarks on this last push to the finish line.
I’d also love to offer myself up for questions. If you have direct questions, PLEASE ASK ME! Most people just make up ideas and stories about candidates and ballot initiatives based on limited information because, well, it’s easier to do that isn’t it? Of course, when it comes to State and National politics, you really don’t have a choice but to go off of what you see in all the campaign fodder and nonsense those circus shows have become. Here in our small city, however, you can literally just reach out to me. You can email me or send me a message on my facebook or website, you can text me (303-562-6770) and even call. I will return your call.
Maybe you don’t want to read through all the stuff here on my website? -It’s a lot, I wanted to be thorough. Maybe you have a question or three you don’t feel I’ve answered? Whatever the reason, just reach out. I think that local elected officials should be reachable and you should be able to speak to us directly. I can’t read your mind though and I don’t know what you like or don’t like if you don’t tell me. So please, reach out?
I outlined in briefly in my last and final newspaper ad (which is included in this post) but I want to state my case for the final time here…
The absolute most important thing you need to know about me and how I will behave as your Mayor is that I will take YOUR input. I believe in representative democracy and that means that I represent the whole community, not just the opinions from one or two people who I like and who share my personal ideas. I want the whole gamut. I want to hear those who disagree, those who have better ideas, those who have concerns – everybody. The problems that we have here in Cripple Creek are largely due to strong held silos where well-meaning people talked themselves out of the momentum we’ve needed here, took the input from select few, and failed to prioritize and goal set.
If you know some of those folks, they hate my guts right now. You know what? I’m okay with that. 100%. Many of them have made up stories about me, spread rumors and lies, and spent these past several months with my name wrapped up in vitriol in their mouths. That’s how it goes. Politics are not for the faint hearted, these positions do not make any of us heroes or saints, and no matter how hard we work on this, that, or the other thing, someone is going to hate us for whatever reason they’ve decided.
I want to make this clear: I do not “hate” any of the gentlemen I’ve talked about who have been in these positions over the past decade. I have lost a little respect in this election season after some of the behaviors that I witnessed but I do want to say that my opponent has not, to my knowledge, participated in that. Unfortunately, it’s the crowd he’s spent the most time with over the years and if he does manage to secure a win, I hope he steps above that for us all. In that scenario, I’ll still be on council to hold feet to the fire as I always have.
Each of the past elected officials came to their roles with decent intention, many of them with heartfelt intentions to do good. At the end of the day, what Cripple Creek has really and truly needed to see happen didn’t happen. Milford was at the table for 8 years and with all the good intention, did not move the big picture forward. That’s what this should come down to at the end of the day. When any of us step up to the leadership table, we are responsible. We have to be responsible for our shortcomings and we have to be willing to take that responsibility as an ongoing process. It’s okay guys, we’re all human. What’s not okay is pretending nothing happened or ignoring what needs to be handled.
What I think truly upset me these past years is that there were many times where people asked for the elected leaders to do the work to move forward on some of the larger issues and for whatever list of reasons, they just didn’t. One member showed up 50% of the time, many violated open meetings laws, a friend was hired at 40% over the previous job pay rate without going through a transparent hiring process, and small things were given weeks and months of time and dramatic attention at the cost of the big picture.
Sure, there were good things that happened, too. Bennett Avenue got redone, but if history remembers, that was a project that was pushed by the State in considering changes to Highway 67. The project was not a council-led initiative. It didn’t boost the business traffic like everyone hoped, and before too long here we’ll be opening our main street up again because the gaskets on the water lines were not replaced which could have and should have been done then. We saved a little over $100k so we could have ourselves a million dollar project in the future. (Extra accolades are due to our Public Works Department for securing grants to help us correct this unfortunate oversight and reduce our expense on the mishap.)
Yes, the Veteran’s Rally came back to Cripple Creek. Despite rumors, no, I am not against the event. I have a positive working relationship with the event promoters and I strongly support our veterans. While that’s a truly great thing to be celebrated, it didn’t diversify our business economy, it didn’t build more workforce housing, and it didn’t improve our infrastructure. It’s a deeply moving event that impacts the lives of heroes, reminds us the sacrifices they made and creates the kinds of connection we need in this world now more than ever. That all said, we cannot sit at the self-congratulatory table when so many other things needed attention and hard work. We cannot cling tightly to the little wins when the big losses have added up.
Doing good things for the community is just a part of the job of an elected official. Most of the really good things here in Cripple Creek are done by the staff and our numerous volunteer organizations who devote amazing amounts of time and energy to improving the community and quality of life here. We have to empower more of that and lead more efforts of support in the daily workings of the community while the leadership tackles the big picture challenges head on.
Not prioritizing and not strongly goal-setting has hurt Cripple Creek this past decade and more. Period. Whether anybody likes that truth or not is completely irrelevant. The truth stands and speaks for itself.
I am asking for this job so that I can turn our focus strongly onto the big picture. I want to work with staff and the community on our infrastructure challenges, our workforce housing, bringing more services and businesses to our community, creating a better culture in our city’s workplace, finding ways to engage the community and empower individuals to take on those projects that cannot be tackled at the legislative table. It isn’t my way or the highway, it won’t be “how I say it’ll be” and I can’t and won’t do it alone. The most effective leaders in history have shown that it is through stepping out of silos and setting clear and ambitious goals that we accomplish the greatest feats. It is through supporting and empowering others that dreams come alive.
I am not asking to be comfortable nor for accolades. You don’t ever have to address me as “Madam Mayor” or any of that nonsense. I don’t see the position as an elected official as belonging to some elite club and power is an illusion. I am asking for the opportunity to work myself to the core and take on new challenges that we need to gain momentum on now more than ever. I will go out and talk to businesses in the region, speak with other communities, have conversations with developers, contractors, and service operators to see how we can meet more of our needs. I will continue to work with legislators at the state level to make sure our interests are front and center. I will have more sleepless nights than ever, be more present in the office than we’ve ever seen here, and my focus will be on the BIG picture. I have no intention to get lost in the weeds, that is not the job.
I am asking to take a heavy load on my shoulders, immerse myself in the responsibility of that, and the opportunity to help make an amazing future possible for all of us. I know not everyone has been sold on me. I’ve been a disrupter since I got on council. Hell yes I have. I said no to conversations that should never have happened. I called out behaviors that do not embolden public trust. I asked loudly for more engagement with the community. I shed light on some uncomfortable truths.
I am not sorry.
I spoke truth to power and I’d do it all over again, louder and harder. I believe in doing the right thing even when it is uncomfortable and I believe in real transparency everywhere possible. Period.
If I am elected to serve as your Mayor, I expect to be kept in check. I expect criticism and I hope you’ll offer that directly instead of through the drunken rumor mill that needs to stop here. I’ll be posting monthly updates so that nobody has to wonder what the city is up to. I’ll be available for uncomfortable conversations, chats about inspiring ideas, conversations about what might be possible, chats about what might have gone wrong. The job is uncomfortable, it is challenging, and I am completely and fully ready to take it on.
I want there to be a good future for people of all ages and walks of life here. A place where we celebrate our history and embrace a sustainable future. I want Cripple Creek to be good for the families who live here, an amazing experience for the tourists who come here, a home with a quality of life that we all can be damn proud of. I envision more conversations about how we can create better working environments for all who work here and that starts with addressing the long standing problems we’ve had at the city. I want our staff to feel inspired and safe to bring their best ideas to the table and empowered to make the great things happen that they know they can and that the community is asking for. I want us to have the hard conversations in open air and move through them rather than stonewalling, avoiding, or taking complaints to the rumor mill. Things have to change here and it starts with having faith in that change.
I am connected to that possibility, I am connected to the future, and I see broad and bold hope for Cripple Creek.
A vote for me is a vote for hopeful changes and a more trustworthy and transparent local government. It’s a vote for strong focus on the big picture.
Thank you for your time and consideration and if you aren’t completely sold on the idea, contact me. Again, you can call me at 303-562-6770. Text me. Send me a message. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together we can make Cripple Creek the great place we all know it has the potential to be.