BY DORIS B. TRUHLAR
The Centennial City Council at a recent meeting discussed and adopted an apparently controversial community value statement, approved a Centennial Airport Influence Area Map, and approved various Capital Improvement Program projects.
The most controversial of the three actions, judging from the discussion, appeared to be the value statement, which garnered some opposition, even though approval appeared to be unanimous when a vote was taken.
The value statement, which has been in the works for some time, states: In Centennial, we value kindness, integrity and diversity in order to build a strong, unified and inclusive community in which all citizens feel welcome and safe. In Centennial, we value protecting the community’s physical and emotional wellbeing. The City of Centennial is committed to upholding, demonstrating and living these values and takes pride in this statement.
Councilwoman Kathy Turley, who represents District 1, the most western of the city’s four council district, said the value statement “is inappropriate” and urged the council “not to get out of our lane.”
Councilman Ron Weidmann, who represents the eastern-most district, thanked city staff for its work on the statement, said staff had done “a good job on this” and called the value statement “perfection … a good statement.”
Another council member, Ken Lucas, who represents District 3 and lives in the Fox Ridge Subdivision, said he agreed with Turley. Councilwoman Marlo Alston, District 4, said she “loves” the statement and said that any business organization should have a value statement. It is “what the city should stand for,” she added, also stating that it should be “inclusive.”
Councilman Mike Sutherland, District 3, said he was “very pleased with the value statement.” One council member said the statement should be “permanently added to city buildings” and put on business cards. Council members appeared to either be staunchly supportive of it or, on the other end of the spectrum, fiercely opposed.
Mayor Stephanie Piko asked the city staff to make recommendations to the council on the ways the value statement may be used.
City manager Matt Sturgeon, in his report to the council, said the federal shutdown has had “no effect” on Centennial and that the city “is good” with “business as usual.” As an example, Sturgeon said passports are being processed.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Turley stated that she wants to be Mayor Pro Tem, which is an assistant mayor who is empowered to run meetings and take other actions when the mayor is not available. There was no comment in response to Turley’s statements. It is unclear whether there is anyone else who wants to be Mayor Pro Tem.
Several council members commented on a recent meeting with Dana Crawford, a well-known Denver developer. The consensus appeared to be that the meeting was not successful, in terms of attempting to develop an identity for Centennial. It was noted that the city “welcomes ideas” on the future development of Centennial.
In other business, the council approved an Airport Influence Area map for Centennial Airport, heard a report on capital improvement projects in the city, and received a report regarding open space funding in parks located in the city. Council also adopted a 2019 capital projects improvement program.
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