Vote 2011: City of Lafayette



Lafayette City Council

Christine Berg x

Steve Kracha

Staci Lupberger x

Alexandra Lynch x

Pete d’Oronzio

Rosabelle Rice x

Brad Wiesley

Christine Berg, 34, has worked as community
outreach manager for the office of Congressman Jared Polis and is a
member of Lafayette’s historic preservation board. She wants to preserve
the past, but develop the potential for the future of Lafayette.

“A plan for more restaurants, outdoor seating, planters
with unexpected foliage (lavender and rosemary anyone?), and a general
respect for the preexisting space with well-conceived additions such as a
children’s park with climbable art all work cohesively together to
build a stronger brand and identity downtown,” she says.

She would like to see increased participation in
Lafayette’s community events, she says, and would promote shopping at
local businesses, farm stands and the farmers’ market. Her vision for
Lafayette includes revitalizing Public Road, community campaigns to eat
and shop local, tax incentives to attract small businesses, and
promoting civic engagement, service and volunteerism.

She believes her background in volunteer management, youth
leadership development and community outreach have given her enough
experience with the community’s issues to have ideas on what to tackle
and how. She’s got a picture for what she hopes Lafayette will be and
knows how to bring people to a cause to follow through on those
projects, so vote for Berg.

Steve Kracha, 51, did not respond to Boulder
Weekly’s inquiries by deadline. Kracha was appointed to the Lafayette
City Council on Feb. 1, 2011. Before being appointed to the City
Council, he served on the Lafayette Planning Commission. While on the
council, he has been liaison on the Lafayette Open Space Advisory
Committee, the Lafayette Cultural Arts Commission and the Lafayette
Public Art Committee.

Staci Lupberger, 40, is one of few incumbents in
the race for City Council. Lupberger, a project manager and a former
small-business owner, has been an advocate for small businesses and
economic development in Lafayette. She says she sees Lafayette as driven
by diverse cultures, education and socioeconomic backgrounds.

“I believe Lafayette is an ‘open arms’ community and
allows individualism and expression, much like you would find in a
metropolitan city,” she says. The latest vision for Old Town, she says,
captures and will enhance those features of Lafayette.

To handle the biggest challenge facing Lafayette —
economic development — Lupberger proposes doing more to sustain current
local businesses.

She says she will continue to support efforts for downtown visioning, while also “walking the talk” by shopping locally.

“We need to be advocates of our town,” she says.

Lupberger has emerged as a veteran leader on the City
Council, and is the only City Council member elected in 2009 running for
re-election. Support her perseverance with re-election.

Alexandra Lynch, 51, works as development director
for the Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence and has lived and
worked in Lafayette for 25 years. She says she thinks Lafayette’s
unique character, history and sense of place distinguish it from other
bedroom communities on the Front Range.

“City Council members can support and promote these
qualities through supporting projects that reflect our community, and by
acting as ‘boosters’ for the City,” she says. “I love Lafayette and am
not shy about sharing that enthusiasm with everyone I meet.”

The ongoing recession is the biggest challenge facing the
community, and the nation, she says, and she sees it as the City
Council’s job to set priorities and oversee the implementation of
strategic economic development in Lafayette. Revitalizing Old Town and
supporting small- and medium-sized local businesses will be key to that
development. She’d also like to participate in a Shop Lafayette!

Her experience in the community includes eight years spent
working for the city as public information officer, which she says
gives her insight into issues, government processes and the people who
live in Lafayette.

“I combine the best of both an insider’s understanding of
the city government, and an outsider’s fresh perspective and insights,”
she says.

Based on her experience with the city and her attitude, we endorse a vote for Lynch.

Incumbent City Council member Pete d’Oronzio did
not respond to Boulder Weekly’s inquiries by deadline. D’Oronzio was
appointed to City Council in August 2010. Lafayette city leaders voted
unanimously for him over another candidate with less experience with
city government. D’Oronzio had previously served on the Planning

Rosabelle Rice, 44, says she is approaching city
council with an interest in drawing on the diverse communities in
Lafayette. Rice has worked as a professional interpreter and translator
for more than 20 years, has represented the Latino community on
Lafayette’s Latino Advisory Board, and has a lifetime of experience as a
bicultural person.

Creating growth while maintaining the affordable, small
mining town feel will be Lafayette’s challenge, Rice says. She would
promote the Lafayette Urban Renewal Authority plan and would like to see
the property at 305 E. Simpson St. and other underutilized properties
used to their full potential, she says.

I think our past two councils
have worked very hard towards bringing in a diverse economic stream to
Lafayette and have created a beautiful downtown plan, of which Festival
Plaza has become a centerpiece,” she says. “I hope to continue to work on making this a welcoming and inclusive community.

Rice is also vice president of the Lafayette Old Town
Association and says she has worked hard to bring diverse cultures on
Public Road to understand and acknowledge one another. To bring her
consensus-building experience and multicultural perspectives to the City
Council, Boulder Weekly endorses Rice’s candidacy.

Retired police commander and current independent consultant Brad Wiesley,
52, says his background working for the city in areas that involve
managing budgets and personnel and cooperating with other departments
has provided him with the experience and knowledge necessary to hit the
ground running as a City Council member.

As a council member, he would work to protect the
diversity and history of the Lafayette community, he says. His focus
would be on maintaining services provided to the community, such as the
recreation center, parks, water and sewer service, library and public
safety, without increasing tax rates. Expanding the tax base through
economic development activity will assist Lafayette in handling the
budgetary problems governments face in this economic climate, he says.

“I do not support ‘growth at all costs,’ but I do support
reasonable growth that brings needed services and jobs to Lafayette that
are located in areas that are suitable,” he says. “Often overlooked is
the need to work with existing businesses to ensure that they have
proper support to stay in the community and to provide employment and
goods that benefit the community.

Let Berg, Lupberger, Lynch and Rice unite their go-local and urban development campaigns and enact some real change in Lafayette.

City of Lafayette Ballot Questions

All questions on the ballot are from a series of
changes proposed by the City Council of Lafayette and the city attorney
in recognition of the need to update the Home Rule Charter, which was
drafted in 1958. This is the third year of addressing requested changes
to revise or eliminate irrelevant portions.

City of Lafayette Question No. 2A: Special Elections on Citizen Initiatives

Yes x


This initiative would increase by 30 days the time City
Council has to call a special election when there is a certified citizen
initiative presented to the city council. Special elections are called
when no election is scheduled within 150 days of the initiative’s
presentation to council. These have been a rarity.

Proponents argue that it takes more time to prepare for a
special election than it did when the Home Rule Charter section on
special elections was written. Lafayette’s population has increased
significantly since 1958, when the charter established the rules, and
elections now require coordinating with vendors and meeting more
requirements than they did in 1958, according to the city clerk’s

Opponents say this hinders citizens’ abilities to see speedy action on initiatives.

Because there have been so few instances in which this
measure comes into play in the first place, and an additional 30 days
doesn’t radically shift citizens’ ability to see action taken, we
endorse a YES vote.

City of Lafayette Question No. 2B: Creation of Youth Advisory Board

Yes x


“Creation” isn’t really the right word for what this
question would do. Lafayette already has a Youth Advisory Committee,
which currently has 23 members, all between the ages of 11 and 18 who
live in or go to school in Lafayette. The committee, which was founded
in 2005, advises City Council on issues related to Lafayette’s young
people and engages directly in projects, such as the campaign for the
skate park, which opened last November with the aid of city funds and a
$577,000 Go Colorado grant the youth committee was able to secure.

The ballot question would formalize the
committee as a board for the City Council, which will result in new
bylaws that will formalize the application process, require gatherings
of more than three people to comply with public meetings rules, likely
cap membership at 18 young people and move the committee from being
housed under the Lafayette Recreation Center to formal board status. The
new board would be able to approach City Council with issues more
easily, and 2B would give recognition to the contributions of young
people interested in serving their community.

The question was unanimously approved for the ballot by the City Council.

Vote YES to acknowledge the input and contributions of young people in the Lafayette community.

City of Lafayette Question No. 2C: Publication of Ordinances by Title


No x

The current city charter requires the city clerk’s office
to publish the full text of ordinances in a newspaper. This question
would allow for the city clerk’s office to publish the ordinance by
title only and have the full text available for public inspection at the
city clerk’s office and posted at certain locations.

Proponents say publishing the ordinance title in the
newspaper and posting the full text online in the community website and
recreation center is sufficient to distribute the information, and they
say that other cities in Colorado have chosen this option.

The cost of publishing the full ordinances is projected at $6,300 for 2011, according to the League of Women Voters.

Opponents say omitting the details of laws from a local
paper denies residents access to the information, that accessing a
newspaper is something almost anyone can do, and saving a few thousand
dollars from a $43 million budget shouldn’t be a major concern, though
curtailing public access to information should be. Not everyone has
Internet access, after all. Placing the value of information
distribution over a few thousand dollars in a city budget, Boulder
Weekly urges a NO vote on this question.

City of Lafayette Question No. 2D: Resignations and Removals from Boards and Commissions

Yes x


This question changes the Home Rule Charter to standardize
procedures for resignations and removals of appointed members of city
boards and commissions.

It has no bearing on elected officials,
only appointed members. Those members of boards or commissions wishing
to resign would be required to submit written resignations to the city
clerk or a member of the board or commission from which they are
resigning. If resignations are submitted to a member of a board or
commission, that resignation becomes effective when the city clerk has
received and verified it.

Proponents say the clarification is necessary to allow for
smoother workflow in an issue on which the city charter was otherwise
silent or disjointed, according to the League of Women Voters.

Boulder Weekly supports a YES vote to clarify this procedure.

City of Lafayette Question No. 2E: Elimination of Obsolete Charter Provisions

Yes x


Regrettably, Lafayette’s Home Rule Charter doesn’t include
anything as amusing or absurd as the Colorado state law banning
automobile purchases on Sundays (selling alcohol was also illegal on
Sundays until 2008), but the charter is in need of some updates. This
ballot question allows for eliminating language that refers to the
creation of a committee and its provisional memberships prior to its
effective date — in 2002.

It also eliminates contradictory language from the charter
and removes “archaic” and obsolete requirements that the city hasn’t
been meeting for at least 25 years and won’t under modern professional
standards, according to the city clerk’s office.

Vote YES to allow the charter to evolve to meet current professional practices.