BARBWIRE BOB – 6-27-24

Hail Caesar, But It Is Ron Rakowsky Leaving Town

The word first came from our wonderful colleague and governmental reporter Freda Miklin that former Greenwood Village Mayor Ron Rakowsky and his wife Margaret, were moving away. This was big news, and shortly thereafter a going away party was held at a Greenwood Village Silo Park for the departing “Revered Father”  of Greenwood Village. No doubt, he is the most popular mayor the city has had since Mayor Nancy Sharpe’s leadership.

One of the most active mayors was Freda Poundstone who was responsible for much of the growth of the city, some annexations and the success of the Koelbel Library and the Koelbel Preserve neighborhood. Freda was somewhat like Donald Trump; she was fearless and just got many projects completed. She didn’t care about what anyone wrote or said about her.  I really admired Poundstone, and we worked closely together for many years.

The Villager has now covered Greenwood Village, in one capacity or another, for 43 years. We have saved every issue published and have a professional bindery of all the issues. We have a huge assembly of history of the city going back to the days of DTC developer George Wallace. I had lunch often with George at his DTC office and the last time we dined he was wearing oxygen and still smoking.  He was a genius, and his goal was to build a beautiful office complex close to an airport so people could live, play, and work close to air service. He accomplished his goal with excellence. During his career he was a pilot and had a twin-wing acrobatic airplane out at the airport and would go up and do stunts in his little plane. He didn’t like Denver and would tell me things that I could never print.

Ron and Margaret Rakowsky

The days of Mayor Poundstone included the death of council woman Susie Ocrant’s husband who was found shot in bed at their home on a Sunday morning. Susie and the kids were at breakfast or church and there was some suspicion that fiery Susan might have shot him. It was ruled a suicide. The lone GV police chief destroyed the gun found on the bed. Ocrant was cleared of any charges, but some suspicion still lingered about the death. A TV program called “Unsolved Mysteries” did a feature on the death and interviewed me as the reporter at the scene. I always felt that she was innocent and said so on the late-night TV series that ran for years. Susie and Freda were a powerful team who worked well together on behalf of the city.

One of Freda’s great loves was the annual Christmas toy drive for children. Freda was a famous lobbyist and the Poundstone Amendment on state schools was her legacy.

There are so many stories and incidents with mayors leading right up to the current Mayor George Lantz whom I admire. We have breakfast at McDonalds periodically and talk about the city and life in general. George has a great family and was a champion wrestler at The University of Wyoming.  

John Madden, who we just lost recently, was another Greenwood Village titan. His buildings and the Museum of Outdoor Art and Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater are part of his legacy, along with the Greenwood Athletic Club.

Getting back to Ron, I think what really made him so popular was his love of people, and a caring attitude about the residents of Greenwood Village.

He was constantly involved in city functions, attended countless breakfasts and dinners (he loved dining at Benedicts), events, ceremonies, and served on county and state boards. He was an incredible mayor.

Ron was everywhere and now he and Margaret are headed back home to Ohio to live near family in their golden years. The Villager newspaper will be a gift to them so he will keep tabs on his city after his 17 years of service. I think he deserves to have a street named after him.

Thank you, Ron and Margaret, for being great public servants.