There are several issues within our town that need to be addressed in order to ensure the success of our town in the future as well as in the present. Being a councilmember means being a part of the solution. In order to address the main issues, the question must be asked of what is important to the people of Parker? After asking this question a lot & listening to the answers, I have been able to collect enough information to address the issues.
RESPONSIBLE GROWTH IN THE RIGHT PLACES
The reasons for living in Parker are for the most part consistent, people move here for the hometown feel, the award wining parks, the remarkable community, the safety, and the schools . Parker has been rated one of the top places to live in the US and it shows.
The best part of Parker is that Hometown Feel that we all have grown accustomed to. Our community, or rather the wonderful people in our community show up for one another. We support our local businesses, we wave to each other and help each other out. Our town doesn’t simply have this hometown feel, we create it. It doesn’t matter how many people live in Parker, or what year it is, the People of Parker make it a hometown.
Maintaining that feel takes work. It takes a responsible Town Council to ensure that the Master Plan is being followed, that the criteria set forth in our town to protect the residents, the businesses, and the open space is protected while still planning on growth. Many of our parcels of land have been designated and zoned for decades. As a town council it is not our place to say what can go on someone’s land, but we can make sure it fits in our town and follows our rules.
We need to plan for our growing population as a younger generation as well as our retired generation and everything in between.
RESPONSIBLE GROWTH IN THE RIGHT PLACES
The reasons for living in Parker are for the most part consistent, people move here for the hometown feel, the award winning parks, the remarkable community, the safety, and the schools. Parker has been rated one of the top places to live in the US and it shows.
Many of our parcels of land have been designated and zoned for decades. Yes, Parker has grown exponentially since the 1990s. However, in the last decade, our town of 57,000 residents, was the slowest growing town in Douglas County, with a growth rate of 25 percent. With the current plans our community will be built out at 72,000 citizens, much less than some of our neighbors.
As a town council it is not our place to say what can go on someone’s land, but we can make sure it fits in our town and follows our rules. We need to plan for our growing population as a younger generation as well as our retired generation and everything in between.
Maintaining that hometown feel takes work. It takes a responsible Town Council to ensure that the Master Plan is being followed, that the criteria set forth in our town to protect the residents, the businesses, and the open space is protected while still planning on growth. That will be one of my top priorities on Town Council.
SAFETY & HEALTH
Parker continuously ranks amongst the top 10 safest places to live and as someone who has a family member who serves on the Parker Police force, I take pride in knowing my children and our families are safe here. Our law enforcement officers are highly dedicated in protecting our town including a strong presence at our schools and throughout our town. Partnering with Parker PD and South Metro Fire District to put in place key elements that other cities are successfully doing in order to assist our first responders and address mental health is one of the main things I want to accomplish with Town Council.
As a town council member, I understand my responsibility & duty will be to not only uphold our current policies, but to create them as well. This is not a role that I take lightly and this position is not a position left to chance for me. I know and respect that each decision I make and each action I take will affect the lives of not only our current residents but future Parker-ites as well.
As a Town Council Member it will be a priority of mine to help ensure our officers have the resources they need to continue to keep our town safe as well as additional resources to ensure our officers are taken care of.
LOCALLY OWNED BUSINESSES
The local business community which I am proud to be a part of, whether they are a big box, a franchise, or a mom & pop shop and everything in between are owned by Parker Residents and all play a vital role in our community.
These businesses provide support for our local schools, they provide jobs to our residents, sales tax revenue and most importantly they help with our hometown feel. This delicate eco-system is a large part of what makes Parker thrive and they need to be protected.
One of my priorities as a Town Council Member will be to help revitalize Downtown Parker through the sale and development of the 5 parcels of land owned by the Town of Parker located off Mainstreet in Downtown Parker. Currently our Downtown is suffering from large gaps and a lack of retail space. Residents of Parker are heading out of town to Southlands, Castle Rock & Lone Tree which is taking revenue away from the Town of Parker and our Local Business Owners.
Our downtown businesses thrive when people shop & walk downtown. It is vital to have walk-a-bility in our downtown area. The idea of these parcels is to create a “park once & spend the day” atmosphere. The company looking to develop these parcels has done a phenomenal job in Castle Rock creating this walking environment & drawing more people to the downtown area. Other businesses that were struggling before have seen a drastic improvement in their business as more people are drawn into town.
I believe that if we all work together we can approve a development of these pieces of land that fits the hometown feel of Parker while benefiting local businesses & attracting more businesses which contributes to our residents in many ways.
In order for our Town to continue to Thrive and support our residents, we need to provide affordable housing for the employees of those businesses.
The perception of Affordable Housing is usually unfairly judged and confused with low-income housing. Low income housing and affordable housing are apples & oranges and many residents don’t know or haven’t been educated on differentiating the two.
A perfect example of Affordable housing is a friend of mine who is a very well educated single man who makes a living working in computer engineering. He is well rounded and would love to live in Parker as it has many qualities that appeal to him. However, he doesn’t qualify for a mortgage high enough to live in Parker. So he bought in South Aurora instead. He needs Affordable Housing in Parker. Another client of mine is a retired couple who are on a fixed income now but want to be close to their kids & grandchildren who live in Parker. They unfortunately had to also buy in another city as there were no affordable housing options for their income.
A great example of Low Income housing is someone who rents and is receiving government assistance in order to survive and can’t afford to live anywhere without government support. There is a strong difference between the two and shouldn’t be confused with one another.
As a town we need to look at our growing demographic and address the situation that is arising. Affordable housing is no longer a question of if we need it, but rather how we make it happen now.