BY DORIS B. TRUHLAR
The “i’s” have it for Centennial’s second mayor. The “i’s” in this case are the city’s infrastructure projects and its identity. These are the areas of major accomplishment for the city’s (now retired) mayor, Cathy Noon.
Noon, who was elected by a landslide of 75 percent the second time she ran for the office, was recently interviewed regarding her two terms in office, as the second mayor of Arapahoe County’s second largest city.
In identifying “infrastructure” as one of her two major accomplishments, Noon explains that she was instrumental in getting the funds set aside for some major infrastructure projects in the city. “The money is in the bank for designated purposes” and Centennial has done an excellent job of bringing the streets up to a better standard. “We’re saving for some of the big projects and we’re really getting things done.”
In counting “identity” as the other major accomplishment of her eight years in office, Noon was quick to say that she was not the primary impetus for the push for the city to claim its own character, as there were others on the Centennial City Council who also pushed for the second biggest city in the county to become identified to its own residents and others in Arapahoe County.
“We worked hard on it,” Noon said. “Now, people know where Centennial is. I am proud” of our efforts. She said that, when she first took office, she would ask someone from the city where they lived, they would say “Cherry Knolls or Palos Verdes.” But, now, more often than not, most residents will simply say, in response to the question where they live, “Centennial.”
Thinking back to her initial months in office, Noon said that the “hardest thing” for her was learning the “dynamics of the council. From the outside, you don’t see the interaction between council members. The other council members were very patient those first few months.”
Noon said it took her a full year to learn how to be the mayor “because you need a full cycle” to learn about topics such as the budget. After two years, there also are some new city council members,” which means there are additional adjustments to be made.
In response to the inquiry about how she knew she wanted to be mayor, Noon recalled that she first ran for city council in 2005 and lost. At that time, she said she wouldn’t run again. But she was a member of the Centennial Charter Commission (the entity attempting to have the city become a Home Rule City under Colorado law). “The Charter Commission “energized me,” she said. So, she ran again, the second time for mayor, and won.
Noon also recalls that there was a ground swell and a feeling that Centennial was becoming a “really good city.” She had lived in Aurora for 24 years, before moving to her present home in southeast Centennial. She and her family “moved between middle school and high school,” that is after one of the Noons’ children (with husband Jim) had graduated from high school and the other child was finishing middle school.
One of the most difficult times for Noon, she recalls, was when the city council was considering discipline of Sue Bosier, a former council member who was accused of an ethics violation. It was a hard decision of how to discipline her. She felt that City Attorney Robert Widner was a tremendous help in figuring out how to handle the situation. There were people in Centennial who felt that Bosier’s ethics violation was also a crime.
Thinking back, Noon credits City Manager John Danielson with doing “a lot of great things in the beginning of his tenure with the city.” She feels it is too early in the tenure of City Manager Matt Sturgeon to comment on his performance, but she has high hopes for his future.
Noon does not rule out running for office again, but states emphatically that she will not run for an office for which a party identity is necessary, “not in a partisan election”. She could – maybe – run for a board for which party identity makes no difference.
Noon recently was invited to join the board of directors of Mobility Choice, something that excites her.
When asked if there was anything else that she would like to say about her time in office, Noon was quick to say, “It certainly was a great experience serving as mayor. I am so grateful to the voters. I treasure my time in office.”
These days, Noon is working more, and assuming grandmother duties, such as picking up her grandchildren from school. She also says she never realized how little sleep she was getting when she was mayor. “I am sleeping more these days.”
Thanks, Mayor Noon!
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