Littleton voters elect their first mayor and pass sales tax increase

BY FREDA MIKLIN
STAFF WRITER

Former Littleton City Council Member Kyle Schlachter will be Littleton’s first directly elected mayor.
Gretchen Rydin will serve on the Littleton City Council at large.

For many years, Littleton’s mayor was chosen by its city council from among its members. On November 2, for the first time in recent history, city residents voted directly for mayor from among three candidates. Former City Council Member Kyle Schlachter, who served from 2017 to 2019 and works for the Colorado Department of Agriculture as the marketing coordinator for the Colorado Wine Board, won decisively with 48% of the votes cast. Jon Buck received 31% and outgoing Council Member Carol Fey got 21% of the vote. Current Littleton Mayor Jerry Valdes, who did not run for mayor and whose city council term expires in 2023, will continue to serve on the council but give up the gavel to Schachter. 

Patrick Driscoll was re-elected to a second term representing Littleton District One.

There was also an at-large seat open on the Littleton City Council. That seat was won by Gretchen Rydin, a social worker and addiction counselor, 53% to 47%, over conservative Denver Post opinion columnist Krista Kafer.  In District One, incumbent City Council Member Patrick Driscoll edged out challenger Candice Ferguson by 50 votes out of 2,924 cast.  In District Two, program manager for a nonprofit organization that provides services for water infrastructure projects for low-income communities Stephen Barr bested Paul Bingham, a 59-year Littleton resident who said during the campaign, “I’ve gone to every city council meeting for 15 years just to keep track of what they’re doing,” by a margin of 57% to 43%.

Stephen Barr will represent Littleton District Two on the city council.

On the question of whether to raise the city sales tax by 0.75% from 3% to 3.75%, resulting in a combined city-county-state sales tax rate of 8% to raise $9,773,087 annually to pay for a list of specified infrastructure repairs and improvements throughout the city, the voters said yes by a decisive margin of 59% to 41%. 

Littleton Public Schools Board of Education

In the race to fill three positions on the Littleton Public Schools Board of Education, the winners were incumbent Angela Christensen, appointed in February to fill the unexpired term of Carrie Warren-Gully who was elected Arapahoe County Commissioner, Joan Anderssen, who teaches economics and finance at Arapahoe Community College, and Andrew Graham, small business owner and former board chair of the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce. Each will serve four-year terms. All members of the LPS Board of Education serve at large.

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