LETTERS 4-28-22

We can disagree on policy, but let’s stick to the truth

In the article “Kellner Doesn’t Shy AWay From The Truth”, GOP Attorney General candidate John Kellner claims he is running against current Attorney General Phil Weiser because he believes that our AG didn’t show up for some bill hearings at the State Capitol.

Odd.  Because I know that AG Weiser is regularly at the table at the statehouse and active on many crime, consumer protection, and civil rights bills.  He has testified in committee and directly lobbied legislators on hundreds of bills.  And he crafted and pushed pro-law enforcement measures like body-cam funding for officers, police recruitment dollars, and rural sheriff training grants.  And this month, AG Weiser is pushing for comprehensive legislation that would provide a mix of public health, education, prevention, harm reduction and law enforcement resources to fight deadly fentanyl.  And what’s more, he is pushing hard to amend legislation to add more law enforcement resources to fight high-level fentanyl traffickings and disrupt the drug supply chain coming into our state.

Mr. Kellner makes occasional appearances at the Capitol for bills.  But for what reason?  Last month he was scolded on the record by a state senator when he disrupted a committee hearing to have staff snap campaign photos of himself while seated at the witness table.

I’m not too surprised at Mr. Kellner’s dishonesty.  After all, he pledged to voters he wouldn’t use the District Attorney’s office “as a political stepping stone.”  Yet, a little more than a year after taking office as the DA for the 18th Judicial District, he announced a run for higher office to be AG.  As I am a constituent in JD18, I look at that as a dishonest move and a disservice to those he now represents.

We can disagree on policy, but let’s stick to the truth – the whole truth.

Lynne Popkowski

Rich Sokol for South Metro Fire Rescue Board

Now more than ever, we need people with business sense and integrity at all levels of government. If you agree, then I urge you to vote for Rich Sokol for the South Metro Fire Rescue Board. 

I have been a resident of unincorporated Arapahoe County for almost 50 years and I have watched both our community and South Metro Fire Rescue grow. Shepherding South Metro’s growth was its Board of Directors. From 2010 to 2020, mostly as Treasurer, Rich served on the Board. Now Rich is running again for the Board of the newly redrawn district.

While Rich was on the Board, South Metro Fire Rescue received the highest possible ratings for its outstanding service to citizens. In fact, South Metro Fire is one of only 13 urban fire departments in the world to achieve such recognitions. At the same time, with Rich as Treasurer, South Metro was able to cut the tax rate for many of the citizens..

If you want great fire and ambulance service, while your taxpayer dollars are being wisely spent, Rich is your guy! He has been Chief Financial Officer of several companies and is now a successful health care entrepreneur. Given his background in finance and healthcare (most of South Metro’s calls are medical emergencies), he is uniquely qualified to serve on the Board. He did a great job before and is eager to serve his fellow citizens again. He is hardworking and dedicated to helping others.

If you believe as I do that business sense and integrity are important traits for our local officials, please consider voting for Rich Sokol.

Bill Banta
Arapahoe County

There’s no question about Dave Heller’s qualifications… 

Professional fire protection engineer, risk and emergency manager for a major utility, and a law degree that makes him a powerful influencer.   Dave Heller’s not running to return to the South Metro Fire Rescue Board (SMFR) because of ambition, but because he cares for his community.

Dave and I served together as South Metro Fire Board Directors.  As a result, I know firsthand that he is the right person for the role.   As Board President, and along with the entire Board, Dave advocated and developed the strategic plan that has resulted in the strong regional presence of SMFR, with the consolidation of the South Metro, Parker, Cunningham, Littleton and Louviers Fire Departments. It takes big thinkers, and big doers, to pull that off.  This strategy demonstrates Dave’s creativity, expertise and leadership.  The result for you, as a resident?   Improved fire and paramedic service by reducing response times, and allowing better coverage for major incidents.  Another benefit is controlling costs and assuring SMFR’s ongoing financial viability.  

How many fire board members do you know with these qualifications? 

  • Bachelor’s degree in fire protection and safety engineering technology from Oklahoma State University
  • Master’s degree in environmental policy and management from the University of Denver
  • Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver School of Law.

He has displayed the passion, experience and track record of community service, much of it focused on public safety and the fire service.  That’s reinforced SMFR’s capabilities and reputation, and benefits our entire community as the organization continues to grow and adapt.  

SMFR’s critical mission deserves dedicated non-partisan Board members who are singularly focused on the direction, strategy and funding for SMFR.  A vote for Dave Heller ensures that he’ll follow the principles to ensure South Metro Fire Rescue protects this community with the best leadership and operating philosophy that board members can provide.  That’s why Dave Heller should be one of them. 

Pete Webb, Littleton
Former SMFR Board Member & President