BY FREDA MIKLIN
There are three new names on the list of 10 candidates for eight seats on the Greenwood Village City Council that will be filled on November 7. They are Ann Nelson in District One, along with Michael Lopez and Michail Sidorov in District Two.
Nelson and incumbent Paul Wiesner are the only candidates for the two seats in District One. Lopez and Sidorov are challenging incumbents Anne Ingebretsen and Dave Kerber in district two. Ingebretsen and Kerber are running for an eighth and final term, although they could technically run again if they sit out at least two years after serving eight in a row, as they had when they ran in 2017.
City council representatives in most Colorado cities serve four-year staggered terms, a practice that forces candidates to run on their own. In Greenwood Village, all eight seats—two from each of GV’s four districts—are up for election every two years. Since there are two representatives for each of the city’s four districts, it is not unusual for two candidates to run as a team, which is an advantage to a new candidate if that person is recruited and supported by a known incumbent. That system also makes it mathematically difficult for a third person in the race to be successful, since each citizen has two votes and if they like one person on a “team,” they are likely to give their second vote to the other. Cities with four-year staggered terms include Centennial, Littleton, Englewood, Denver, Lone Tree, and Cherry Hills Village.
Lopez and Sidorov are both residents of The Landmark Towers, which has been trying, without success, to get included in the city’s trash and recycling program, for some time, since other condos in GV receive that service. Landmark homeowners pay city property taxes based on the value of their condos, no different than those who own single family homes. The average price of the four Landmark condos currently on the market is $1,438,000 and two of those are one-bedroom units.
In 2021, over 150 Landmark residents signed petitions to the city council requesting that they be included in the program.
When the question was raised for discussion in a city council study session in January 2022 by District Two Representative Anne Ingebretsen, who said that excluding Landmark from the program “creates a feeling of inequity,” five members of the council—the other District Two Representative Dave Kerber, Paul Wiesner, Libby Barnacle, Donna Johnston, and Judith Hilton—voted to simply table the discussion, eliminating any possibility of formal consideration of the residents’ request. Council Member Dave Bullock, who represents GV District One and is not running for re-election due to being term-limited, disagreed with his five fellow council members, asking, “Why have these units been excluded?…It’s not a tax issue. It’s a fairness and equity issue.”
Barnacle and Johnston, both of whom are running unopposed for re-election to a third term this year, questioned whether GV could afford to provide the trash and recycling service to Landmark residents. Staff pegged the cost at $30,000 per year. According to its most recent Annual Financial Report, GV had an unassigned fund balance in its General Fund of $45,700,436 as of December 31, 2022.
Another concern of some residents of GV District 2 has been the poor condition and lack of redevelopment in the area just south of the Landmark Towers, near the Orchard Light Rail station.
Although the campaign for city council has barely begun in earnest, The Villager Googled the three non-incumbent candidates to find out more about them.
Sidorov, according to LinkedIn, has been a regional director for Datasite, “a premier online Virtual Data Room (VDR) solution that efficiently houses critical business information for mergers and acquisitions, fundraising, IPO’s, technology transfer and IP licensing, contract management, and much more.” He is also an attorney and member of the Colorado Bar Association.
LinkedIn also told us that Lopez is a partner at Plante Moran, Denver’s second-largest CPA firm that provides audit, tax, consulting, and wealth management services, and that he leads the managed information technology section and its project groups in the Rocky Mountain region.
Nelson, who lives in The Preserve, has no presence on any social media or professional website that we could locate. She is running unopposed and supported by Wiesner, thus will fill the seat currently held by Bullock.
Neither Sidorov, Lopez, nor Nelson have previously served on any GV board or commission.
Rounding out the candidates running in GV on November 7 unopposed are Mayor George Lantz, who will be elected to a second and final four-year term, District Four Council Member Tom Stahl, who will be elected to a second two-year term, and District Four Council Member Judith Hilton, who will be elected to a fourth and final two-year term.