The three mayors of 17-year-old Centennial: The newly sworn-in Stephanie Piko, founding Mayor Randy Pye and the outgoing Cathy Noon.
BY BOB SWEENEY
It was standing room only in the Centennial City Council chambers on Jan. 8 for the retirement of Mayor Cathy Noon and other outgoing councilmembers and the swearing-in of Mayor Stephanie Piko and newly elected members.
Municipal Judge Ford Wheatley took center stage and swore in Piko as the third mayor in Centennial’s history, the first elected as a sitting mayor pro-tem.
Centennial’s first Mayor Randy Pye also paid respects to the city he helped found. John Brackney, another city founder, was there too. Brian Vogt was also one of the original founders and is now CEO of the Denver Botanic Gardens.
Noon was presented with gifts, including a street sign with her name emblazoned.
With tearful eyes, the popular Mayor Noon bid goodbye to councilmembers, supporters and friends, saying “This seems like the longest goodbye, but tonight is finally the real end of a life’s chapter for me. From representing my HOA at ACCORD, where I learned about the incorporation effort to becoming Centennial’s second mayor, the past 18 years have been such an experience. I never ever planned on being in politics, but I do like to get things done—and done right in my view, at least, so I got involved. Serving for the right reasons can be exhausting, gut-wrenching, effective, rewarding and heartwarming, all in the same day. But the people you meet, the issues you try to solve and the experiences you have make it all worthwhile.”
She concluded, “The future of Centennial is bright and I’m looking forward to our new mayor and council taking us forward. Thank you to the citizens of Centennial for your trust in me, our wonderful staff and contractors for your hard work, all councilmembers that enriched our city, our partner agencies that provide vital services and my family and friends who gave me the strength and support to serve. It has been an honor.”
Noon spoke fondly of her team members who were leaving the council due to term limits or 2017 election results.
Way to go Noon! Outgoing Mayor Noon and new Mayor Piko. Photos by Bob Sweeney
She thanked Doris Truhler for her service saying, “Doris, I know how much you love being on the council and how much you will miss serving. Your professional and community experience contributed to your work on council. … You were a champion of all things ice and snow. … When the flakes fall again, Centennial will be in a better place.”
Noon continued here tributes, turning to Mark Gotto.
She said, “You began your time with Centennial as a citizen on the Open Space Advisory Board and were ready to get to work when you hit the dais as a councilmember. … You focused on what you wanted to get done and worked with staff and council to make it happen. When Mark said, ‘let’s meet for lunch, I need to talk about a few things,’ we were always worried about what he was cooking up. But he did his research, listened to our comments, and if he brought something forward, it was well thought out and ready for primetime.
Noon saluted outgoing council member C.J. Whelan, who lost the mayoral election to Piko, stating, “C.J. and I met at [Centennial Council of Neighborhoods] representing our neighborhoods, so we have worked together a long time. He joined Centennial’s Liquor License Authority, spent years as a citizen representative on the Centennial Budget Committee, served on the Cunningham Fire Board and joined the council four years ago. He knows the issues and was always prepared for thoughtful dialogue on them. C.J. took on some of the most challenging topics for our subcommittees and did such a good job on those committees.”
Noon concluded, “C.J. will leave a legacy with his leadership on our fiber project and the FiberWorks commission. His educational and professional experience was invaluable, and what a contribution to our city’s future. C.J. and his wonderful wife, Holly, graced our city events and truly have dedicated their lives to our community in many ways. Your future has lots of changes on the horizon, but I hope staying involved locally remains a part of it. I can’t thank you enough for your service, your friendship and the ice cream we have shared over the years.”
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