BARBWIRE BOB – Ramblin’ around the corral with Bob Sweeney

I was always told while publishing the Craig Daily Press for 19 years that many people, who had moved, kept subscribing to the newspaper to read the obituaries.  Now, as I age, and losing friends fully understand the importance of knowing about departed friends, associates, and notables.

Reading the Sunday Denver Post on October 3 I was saddened to see the obituary of Natalie Meyer, one of the greatest ladies in Republican politics for many decades and a wonderful person. She was a former Secretary of State of Colorado.  But, far more than that, she was Ms. Republican in party leadership for decades. Harold, who preceded Natalie in death, resided in Littleton where they raised their family. Natalie passed away Sept. 21, 2021 and a memorial service will be held for her October 18 at 3 p.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Lakewood with burial services at Ft. Logan.

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Many  newspaper leaders have emanated out of Littleton with  well-known Littleton Independent publishers Ed Bemis, Garret Ray,  Hous Waring and Jerry Healy.  In the basement of the old Littleton newspaper building were some great historic murals painted on the walls. They are fantastic and should be preserved, if still intact.  About one year ago, prior to the Littleton Independent being sold to the non-profit Colorado Sun in Denver, I had lunch with Littleton publisher Jerry Healy, and he told me his  24 newspapers were for sale.  But, along with that, he offered to purchase The Villager.  I declined, and I offered to purchase the Littleton Independent, he declined as well.  Interesting business philosophies,  The Villager has joined the South Metro Denver Chamber to promote business while the other papers have joined a tax-free non-profit funded by foundations and grants.

Elsewhere in this issue I have done a political commentary about the Littleton Business Chamber candidate forum September 30 at Riverwalk.  So I was reflecting my opinion on what I heard from the nine candidates as an interested observer, not a candidate. 

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In Greenwood Village, for the first time in history we have 15 candidates running for city council.  This is a record number since the city was incorporated in 1971.  More to come in week’s ahead.

The Villager, Denver South Metro Chamber, and the Douglas/Arapahoe Co. League of Women Voters hosted a Greenwood Village candidate forum September 27 that was well attended by 14 candidates and about 100 guests.  The session was recorded and those interested in viewing the event can find it on You Tube.

Our stellar governmental reporter Freda Miklin has captured the high points in her coverage of the event.  A last-minute computer glitch wiped out several paragraphs on page 6 of her report that has been rephrased in her article this week.  

Council member Dave Bullock had a prior trip planned on that date and missed the debate.  He has related to us about something that was said about him that he wished to rebut.  However, the rules of the game for the debate were that any campaign rhetoric outside of the debate should be in an ad format.  I can say that the thrust of his memo was that most successful candidates for political office in Greenwood Village start at the bottom on boards and committees and work up the ladder.  This experience gives them insight as to how the city government functions.  Greenwood Village is a very successful city with over $51 million in cash reserves, making this city probably per capital, the richest city in Colorado.  Now, unfortunately, they are   promoting not printing their legal notices in any newspaper with a ballot question in November.  Voters should vote this down and make the city be fully transparent.  Frankly, if you don’t read The Villager you really don’t know what the city is doing.  This newspaper bought and paid for the live coverage video link, spearheaded the forum,  and covered the event. We are the only newspaper to care about Greenwood Village for 40 years this November..  Meanwhile, the city is running their legal ads in another city from a vengeful resolution that might conflict with state publication laws.

Going back to Bullock’s point, in almost every organization one starts at the bottom, and striving to become a leader, learns the basic steps up the chain of command.  I’ve followed this philosophy all my life, starting at the bottom in Lions, the National Newspaper Association, and military service.  It’s good advice for those seeking office or working at a job.

You will find almost all of the incumbent GV council members have served on their HOA boards and on city council committees and boards prior to seeking office.

Not to say that new ideas aren’t welcome  and different philosophies can  exist from some of  the very talented newcomers in this current election.

Lastly,  we tend to criticize our elected officials more often than giving any praise for a job well done.  It seems the norm these days is  to criticize far more than praise.   Exceptions, our wonderful outgoing mayor Ron Rakowsky who we all love and respect.

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October is a very busy month and we have a spirted Cherry Creek school board election that is heating up.  Some new candidates are seeking office and we’ll be following this election closely.

Lastly,  state ballot Proposition 119 is upcoming on academic programs funded by a .05 percent tax on recreational marijuana. A second  Proposition 120 will permanently reduce the statewide property tax assessment rate for several classes of property. Locally,  Littleton seeking an increase up to .08 percent on city sales tax.

Would suggest that you subscribe or renew your subscription to  The Villager and be an informed voter on these many issues.  Address and details in our masthead or  Ph. 303-773-8313.   We invite letters to the editor up to 300 words if you have an opinion on any of these issues at no charge.  However, endorsement of candidates will be considered advertising.  We’ll be printing the state ballot proposals shortly and ballots are being mailed out to voters now.  The election “Bluebook” has already been mailed to registered voters.

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We’re pleased to have former Rocky Mountain News sports editor Denny Dressman on board writing a weekly column on baseball, football, and the broad sports arena.  Order one of his books and enjoy his talented writing and observations that are right on target from his 25 years at the beloved “Rocky.”  He resides in the area.

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On a sad note, I lost a related paternal grandfather, Tom Dorrance, who passed away recently.   We shared  two of our grandchildren. Both of his sons, Ted and Mike,  played championship  football for coach Tesone at Cherry Creek High School.  Teddy is the resident priest at St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church and conducted the funeral ritual for his own father October 1, 2021.  A difficult task for a loving son, but the service was well-done and a lasting memorial in the beautiful mural walled Greek church.  Tom coached my grandson Sean in early junior league football that ended up with Sean playing linebacker on  a high school  state championship Elizabeth Cardinal football team.  Tom was a great friend,  father, grandfather, and husband.