Letters to the editor

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Moving 4ward in Ward 4 with Bruce Leslie

It’s easy for partisans to tear down, criticize and malign; it’s difficult to plan, compromise and build consensus. That requires patience and a skill set that is developed over time by working with those who may not share your values or interests.  But, if they share a need for progress, you can get to “yes.” And that’s what Bruce Leslie will do.

Broomfield is changing; its growing. We need experienced leadership. We need advocates who understand how government and large organizations work so we can get  them to work for real people not special interests. We need people who have been bruised and have bounced. Those who are no longer afraid to step on toes to get things done.

Bruce Leslie is such a leader. He is unaffiliated. He has the time, talent and the experience necessary to bring people and together to move Broomfield forward.

Chris and Joe Roarty

The unethical actions of our City Council

As our 2021 election day draws near, I wanted to share with you my disappointment in the recent actions of our Broomfield City Council. They have acted in undemocratic ways to make sure their like-minded friends win elections through appointments, rather than through your vote. The facts that I am sharing with you speak louder than their words, and paint a picture of immoral and unethical behavior that we cannot tolerate.

Before May 6, our election laws require the Broomfield City Council to hold a special election in the case that the elected mayor resigns. But after May 6, the City Council can appoint an interim mayor.

On May 12, Broomfield City Councilmember Guyleen Castriotta officially announced that she will be running for Broomfield mayor.

On May 17, only 11 days after the deadline for a special election, elected Mayor Patrick Quinn suddenly submits his resignation. The Broomfield City Council now has been empowered to appoint an acting mayor until the election.

On June 8, Todd Cohen announced he will be running for Broomfield City Council in Ward 5. Cohen wants to create “Open Space” homeless shelters in Broomfield, a desire he shares with his friend, Broomfield City Councilmember Heidi Henkel. Henkel’s efforts to create such a space were tabled after intense community pushback.

On June 22, during a Broomfield City Council meeting, Castriotta applied for interim mayor and was appointed by the City Council on a vote of 7-1. This appointment, less than five months from our election, has allowed Castriotta to run as the incumbent. Her campaign has sent out flyers to every house in Broomfield making sure you know she is the current mayor, despite never having been elected to the position. The flyer states “Get to know Mayor Guyleen Castriotta” and “Keep Guyleen Castriotta as Broomfield Mayor.” This is the advantage she gets because of the unethical series of actions taken by our City Council.

In addition, the Council was able to appoint someone to fill Castriotta’s now-vacated Ward 5 Council seat. Despite having an available candidate with experience who was not seeking election, the Council appointed Todd Cohen, Castriotta and Henkel’s friend, to the seat on the same 7-1 line. This appointment allows Cohen to also run as incumbent for the Ward 5 seat this November.

I have put together this timeline of their actions so you can make up your own mind about the sum of their behavior. To me, the result of their actions is the unethical appointment of their own friends to vacated seats to run as incumbents. I’m tired of our City Council playing political games and tilting the vote in their favor so they can push their agenda without interference from us, the voters. Please consider their actions when voting in this election.

Russell Winkler

We’re better than this Broomfield

Broomfield is a wonderful small town to live in and for the most part its residents get along well with little conflict. Unfortunately, a national trend has been rearing its ugly head for several years now and it has spread to Colorado and to Broomfield.

As I read letters to the editor in the Broomfield Enterprise when election time nears, so many are filled with vitriol and negativity one might think we live in a community of truly horrible people. I firmly believe that anyone running for a political position in a small town is most certainly a decent person. They are simply  trying to better their community.

The negative letters bring up incidents from many years ago, more often than not with assumptions taken out of context, or, even worse, simply not valid. The letters usually come late in the race, often too late for the actual facts to reflect the reality of the situation. These damning comments often hurt the chances of one running for an office, not to mention the shame and embarrassment it could cause.

PEOPLE, we are a small town. There is no place for this garbage. Let the candidates run on their platforms and objectives. Simply vote for the candidate that best supports your goals. Virtually all of the slates contain unaffiliated choices.

We are not going to solve the world’s political woes in Broomfield. We only want to do what is best for us. Responsible Republicans and Democrats, urge your party leaders to put a stop to this negativity. Defend both candidates rather than denigrate one. This is now a true sickness in our nation and it needs to stop. We cannot change the face of a nation in one day, but we can start with one small step here in our town. Make the elections about positivity, not the opposite.

Ron Segal

A vote for Bruce Leslie

We were educators (principal and high school counselor) in San Antonio, Texas, when Bruce Leslie was the president of the Alamo Colleges District. We witnessed firsthand the improvements to these five community colleges under his positive leadership. Beginning with registration and leading into quality instruction, students received excellent preparation toward their next step in life.

We now live in Broomfield and will be voting for Bruce Leslie for our councilmember in Ward 4. We would appreciate your vote as well.

Gary & Pam Chambers

In support of Bruce Leslie

Reading Sunday’s letter to the editor from Dave Setter “Leslie not right for Broomfield” appalled me. It was nothing more than a political hack piece, presenting half-truths and comments taken out of context, something that all too often has become the hallmark of federal, state and big city elections.

We firmly believe Broomfield politics should always remain civil, respectful and truthful. Rather than attempting to denigrate an opponent, we should focus our energy on highlighting the candidate’s experience and qualifications. This is what voters should consider when casting their vote.

At the end of the day, it should come down to who is the most capable and competent candidate to sit on City Council representing the citizens of Ward 4. It is unfortunate that Mr. Setter resorted to partisan political attacks in order to make up for his preferred candidate losing ground as a result of last week’s Chamber of Commerce candidate forum.

We are putting our trust in the voters of Ward 4 to see through the untruths and misdirections and express their disapproval for these tactics by supporting Bruce Leslie for City Council.

Gary & Genia Gallagher

Toxic politicking has no place in Broomfield

Broomfield is renowned for being a great place to raise a family. As a community, Broomfield has been lauded as one of the best places to live in the United States.

So, why are our local elections being now rife with mudslinging, besmirching and slandering of candidates?  Our local election should be about debating ideas and working as a community to continue to make Broomfield a wonderful place to live.

Instead, there are several social media forums on Nextdoor, Facebook and dark websites that intentionally hide who is behind them, whose only purpose is to destroy people’s personal reputations and, yes, win elections while leaving their sludge in their wake.

These small factions that use the tools of personal hatred, incivility and winning at all costs have no place in our community or our election. No. Place.

If you want to understand who you are voting for, take the time and talk to the candidates who are running to represent you. Do not waste your time visiting salacious and slanderous websites hastily put together with no other purpose than personal destruction.

Case in point, please get to really now Chriss Hammerschmidt who is running for Ward 1 City Council. I have gotten to know Ms. Hammerschmidt, and she has an incredible story, one of perseverance and passion for her work and for her community. If you take the time to speak with Ms. Hammerschmidt, you will hear the story of a young single mother who poured her life into raising her son to give him the best life possible.

You will find a strong, independent woman who put herself through college, earned multiple science degrees, and worked with honors for the Department of Commerce. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you will meet a mother and wife who has lived in Broomfield for 20 years and is passionate about protecting your right to raise your family in the way you see fit.

Broomfield deserves better than the destructive election politics that bring a stench of ugliness to our community.

For the candidates who are running for City Council this year, each and every one of you need to denounce these nasty tactics.  It is your place and your obligation to raise the bar.

For those who are taking part in dirty tactics need to be ridiculed and ignored, they do not deserve the time it takes to load that destructive website or the time to read the garbage produced. Ignoring these individuals is the best course.

When voting, select candidates that reflect what Broomfield is really about. A community where all voices can be heard. A community where everyone is treated with respect, not one where destroying your fellow citizens is rewarded. In Ward 1, that choice is clear, please vote for Chriss Hammerschmidt and the integrity and dedication she will bring to serving Broomfield.

Sheryl Fernandez

What does the mayor do?

Some may think the mayor is just a figurehead and the most prominent elected official in municipal government. There is only one mayor, one person who is the leader for the community, elected by the people – or in a few cases appointed by their City’s Councilors – to hold the top spot in their local governments.

Since Broomfield is also a county, the mayor serves concurrently as the Chair of the Board of Health, the Board of Social Services and for the last 20 years, the Chair of the Housing Authority. I view the role of mayor as a facilitator for the City Council’s policy priorities which are informed by community input. The city councilmembers also serve as county commissioners in Broomfield and make up the legislative branch of our government. They provide oversight on the City and County Manager’s office – the executive branch.

City Council agendas cover a wide range of community business including making the city and county’s laws and regulations. Broomfield has a “weak” mayor system of government, so the mayor only votes in a tie. The mayor does have veto power, but this can be overridden with a supermajority on Council. In my opinion, if a mayor is doing their job well, then they should be able to bring the Council to consensus to avoid a tie breaking vote. I can’t imagine ever using a veto to override the will of the Council majority.

Mayors are collaborative, working together through such organizations as the Metro Mayors Caucus and the Northwest Mayors and Commissioners Coalition. These boards lobby at both the state and federal level for funding and legislation for the betterment of Broomfield. This mayor also presides over the Northwest Parkway Public Highway Authority Board and serves on the Mile High Flood District Board, North Area Transportation Alliance and the Metro Area County Commissioners.

To me, being the mayor is about being responsive and showing up to support our residents, staff and community partners. The mayor and mayor pro tem meet twice weekly with staff to plan meetings, future agendas and priorities. Having strong relationships with staff and councilmembers are key to productivity. Sure, the mayor receives invitations to fundraisers, ribbon cuttings, groundbreakings, school events, etc., and I love going to as many as I can. But my favorite part of public service is without a doubt, advocating for my neighbors and community.  I welcome the engagement from residents who bring forth issues that I may not have known about if they hadn’t reached out to me. I also love being able to help them get resolutions.

So to sum it up, the mayor is more than just a figurehead. The mayor is the go-to person, in the service of the citizens of their community. The mayor brings ideas, energy and people together at the top to make our community a better place to live, better for all who call Broomfield home.

Guyleen Castriotta
Mayor for the City and County of Broomfield

Leadership in Broomfield

A recent letter to the editor suggested that Broomfield needs to be kept “whole.” When I read it, I assumed the thrust of the article would be about the political redistricting being done in the state. However, the letter went on to suggest that our elected officials, because they have different values from the writer, do not represent him or others like him.

This is not entirely true: once elected, our officials do represent us all, in that they make decisions that affect us all. This does not mean that all of us will always agree with City Council decisions. Indeed, our current council and staff have been so informative and transparent that it is possible to vigorously express our views with them.

When discussions are public, there will be views from many sides of an issue. These views often represent a diverse set of values. For example, in discussing the issue of homelessness in Broomfield, one might value such community qualities as kindness, compassion, public health and public safety, a balanced budget. We don’t all prioritize our values the same, but can reach a consensus in one or more public forums about how to reach a balance between such values.

Many of our incumbent councilmembers and candidates, such as Guyleen Castriotta, Todd Cohen, Deven Shaff, Bruce Leslie, James Marsh-Holschen and Austin Ward, will all work toward decisions based on upon values that serve our community. We know this because these members and candidates have all demonstrated their capacity for excellent leadership. If you want to give input to these values, you can attend the public meetings and /or write the Council about your views. If you have an extremely strong view about an issue, remember this, as Aldous Huxley said, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” Well-researched ideas that lead toward value-based solutions that fairly serve our community are what we need going forward.

Another way of thinking about the values that will best represent Broomfield is this: “In organizations, real power and energy is generated through relationships. The patterns of relationships and the capacities to form them are more important than tasks, functions, roles and positions” (by Margaret J. Wheatley). Have you noticed how many votes are unanimous with the current Council, even though ideologically it’s a very diverse Council? That is because councilmembers work hard to find common solutions to complex problems.

I say Broomfield should strive to follow a set of values rather than aiming to be “whole.” The kind of wholeness that the earlier author described doesn’t appear to welcome “outsiders,” but only self-interest. Sometimes when folks point fingers, we must recall that most of the fingers are pointing at themselves!

Let us welcome a diverse, kind Broomfield that plans for the future of all its citizens. Let us define leadership as “the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work,” as author Seth Godin suggests.

Joan Murahata