BY FREDA MIKLIN
A look at Mike Coffman’s life leads to the conclusion that he has a servant’s heart.
Coffman was a 17-year-old Aurora high school student when he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He earned his high school diploma while serving. In the 21 years that followed, Coffman served in the Army, the Army Reserves, the U.S. Marine Corps, and the Marine Corps Reserves. He is a combat veteran of both Iraq wars. After high school, he went on to earn a political science degree from the University of Colorado.
Coffman has been a permanent resident of the City of Aurora since he was 9 years old. He knows what makes the city tick and believes he is ready to successfully assume its helm. Among the challenges facing the city, he sees revitalization, achieving the right balance between commercial and residential development to maintain a strong tax base and employment base, ensuring necessary public safety and transportation resources, enhancing outdoor recreational opportunities, and maintaining a strong, smart relationship with Buckley Air Force Base, which serves over 92,000 active duty, National Guard, reserve and retired personnel. It is the largest employer in Aurora.
After finishing college in 1983, Coffman founded a property management firm in Aurora, which he owned as a partner for 17 years. He won his first elective office in 1989 and spent the next 30 years serving the citizens of this area and Colorado as state representative, state senator, state treasurer, secretary of state and United States congressman.
Coffman is well-known for his ability to work across the aisle. Last April, the Lugar Center’s Bipartisan Index rated Coffman No. 12 among the 435 members of Congress for his demonstrated efforts to work with members of both political parties. Coffman said he was honored to be so recognized, and went on, “Finding bipartisan solutions not only makes sense but clearly is the most effective way to make public policy. Representing one of the most diverse congressional districts in the country has shown me that when all voices are heard, the results are always better.”
Coffman also developed a reputation as a problem-solver during his 10 years in Congress. He stepped in and took the necessary steps to remove the construction managers who made significant mistakes building the Veteran’s Administration hospital in Aurora. Coffman replaced them with staff from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, who lead the team that got the hospital finished, ultimately preventing some of the cost overruns that were previously anticipated.
Coffman plans to use his collaborative skills to weave together diverse groups in the city to achieve goals that will benefit all. He will also work with other cities in the region through the Denver Regional Council of Governments to address the transportation challenges we are all experiencing as our population continues to grow. Aurora is currently home to 375,000 people, up 13 percent since the 2010 census.
One place Coffman plans to lead Aurora is to be even more of a family-friendly city by providing well-located and affordable quality housing and working with the public-school districts to promote the high-quality education they provide at both traditional and charter schools. He intends to co-locate parks and recreation facilities with schools to benefit students as well as neighborhoods.
2018 All Rights Reserved. Villager Publishing |