Charley urged Council to ensure we attract new Lakewood Police Department agents and to retain more of our seasoned Agents by rewarding longevity and increasing retirement benefits; add non-sworn agents for parking enforcement, freeing up sworn agents for more pressing duties.
Parks and Open Space
Charley sought and won acquisition of the first Open Space acreage to Ward 1 in more than 10 years, increasing the acreage comprising Sunset Park. Worked with neighbors to persuade City Hall, Consolidated Mutual Water and an irrigation company to set aside and develop a multi-use trail along Maple Grove Reservoir' s west bank, linking Chester-Portsmouth Park to W. 20th Ave. Although the project has been postponed recently, Charley continues working to pursue its completion. Charley has been conferring with neighbors of the Meadowlark Cottages on South Cody Drive at Bayaud to fashion a plan for the use of this soon-to-be pocket park.
As a member of the Development Dialog Commiittee, Charley proposed that new and updated Neighborhood Plans be compiled and added to the Zoning Ordinance to guide future development within and adjacent to exisiting residential areas to ensure neighborhood character remains intact. The previous neighborhood plans were laboriously crafted by neighborhood organizations but were scrapped in the 2012 revisions to the Zoning Code. The first rejuvenated neighborhood plan process - Union Boulevard - already is under way and includes a vigorous community outreach component. And Charley was the first Council member to question approval of single-use residential projects in Mixed-Use areas, which instead should be used for employment opportunities and amenities that would serve nearby neighborhoods.
Lakewood elections for far too long have been dominated by special interest groups, which pump thousands of dollars into City Council campaigns, buying influence and making the cost of campaigning too steep for folks who work for a living or get by on fixed and limited income. The remedy came earlier this year when City Council unanimously approved new Campaign Finance Ordinance that was crafted at his suggestion by a Council Committee Charley chaired. The result is more transparency, reasonable contribution limits and more opportunity for future candidates. The resulting ordinance won praise from voter-advocacy groups, including Common Cause, as a model for campaign regulations across the state.
Addressing Lakewood's increasing infrastructure needs has been, one of Charley's top priorities. Our sidewalks, where they exist, are largely inadequate. Charley urged Council to re-prioritize our sidewalk program to ensure that children have safe routes to school and to adopt a "Last Quarter-Mile" plan that connects existing sidewalks to schools via new sidewalk connectors along side streets. And he has lobbied for a catch-up plan to eliminate our 20+ year storm-water drainage backlog that imperils too many neighborhoods and commercial areas.
Charley is working on a proposal to create an independent Sustainability Department by shifting those responsibilities from the oversight of the Development Assistance Team leader because sustainability goals and development goals can be in conflict for obvious reasons. Charley has urged that Lakewood require each residential trash hauler to offer recycling services and guarantee that recyclable materials actually are recycled. And Charley sees the need to address the effects rampant development on limited water supplies to avoid a potential crisis. Charley also wants City Hall to sit down with our urban agriculture businesses to enhance our Farm-to-Table potential.
Mitigating effects of development
After revealing that development fees had not been adjusted for more than three decades, Charley negotiated an agreement updating the fees levied to soften the impact of large residential projects, bringing those fees more in line with those levied by other Metro-area cities.