Mayor (Four-year term, vote for one)
Boulder Weekly has endorsed Chris Leh in his two previous bids for council and we think his nine years of experience are critical to the council.
If given another term, Leh says he wants “to continue to help make Louisville an even better, more welcoming small town in which to live, work, do business and visit.” His top priorities are economic vitality, maintaining and protecting open space, effective climate action to reach sustainability goals, expanding housing options and bringing Marshall Fire Survivors home.
Leh has concrete plans for how to create more affordable housing in Louisville through zoning changes and transportation-oriented development near McCaslin. He hopes to use strategic acquisition of residential property, deed restriction and land banking as avenues to build more attainable housing stock to meet Louisville’s 12% goal.
As a partner in a law practice, we know Leh pays attention to detail and can balance a budget and operate a business. His law career has also made him a natural at listening and communicating, which has drawn Leh endorsements from his fellow councilmembers Caleb Dickenson and Dennis Maloney. Leh’s answers to our questionnaire were short but to the point and indicative of someone who understands what’s going on in city government — bullet points highlighted Leh’s primary goals and concerns.
But three-year Louisville resident Josh Cooperman impressed us with his thoughtful, compassionate and detailed answers. He has clear plans for building more affordable housing, achieving zero carbon goals and improving multi-modal transportation options. When he’s not working as a theoretical physicist, Cooperman sits on the Louisville Sustainability Advisory Board. A father of two kids and former professor and tutor, we think Cooperman would be great at communicating difficult topics with patience. He’s moved around a fair amount, residing in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, England, California, the Netherlands, and New York. It gives him a lot of perspective, but could raise flags for voters looking for a longtime resident to sit on Council.
Our endorsement for Chris Leh puts a lot of weight on experience, which we think is crucial to navigating the labyrinthine bureaucracy of municipal government. However, we genuinely hope to see Josh Cooperman on the ballot again.
Ward 1 (Four-year term, vote for one)
Caleb Dickenson (incumbent)
Boulder Weekly has endorsed Caleb Dickenson before, however, this year he failed to return our candidate questionnaire. Still, he’s running unopposed. This will be his second term as councilmember for Ward I.
Dickenson was born and raised in Boulder and moved with his own family to Louisville in 2010. He’s a financial advisor for Aspen Property Management and also coaches soccer for FC Boulder, according to his LinkedIn page. He has a bachelor’s in business administration and management.
Ward 2 (Four-year term, vote for one)
Deborah Fahey (incumbent)
Deborah Fahey is the incumbent (and we imagine she’ll win), but she did not respond to multiple requests to fill out our candidate questionnaire.
George Colbert is a longtime resident of Louisville, and his responses to our questionnaire were thoughtful and specific, but Fahey’s nearly decade of experience on council — as well as her background working in service-oriented jobs such as the activity director at a memory care facility — will lend knowledge, compassion, communication skills and consistency to Council. We worry that Colbert’s job working for Helmerich and Payne, a petroleum contract digging company, might color his perspective on renewable energies.
Ward 3 (Vote for not more than Two)
Second choice: Dietrich Hoefner (incumbent)
First choice: Barbara Hamlington (incumbent)
The candidate with the highest number of votes will serve a four-year term. The candidate with the second highest number of votes will serve a two-year term.
Barbara Hamlington and Dietrich Hoefner are both current councilmembers who bring a lot to the table. We endorse Hamlington as the primary choice (to get a four-year term) and Hoefner as the second choice (to get a two-year term). The two candidates don’t differ much on policy, with both prioritizing economic vitality and affordable housing. And though both have the same nine months experience on council, we think Hamlington’s job as a senior director of medical affairs for a company that works to develop cancer treatments gives her less conflicts around things like renewable energy than Hoefner’s job as a regulatory lawyer for industries like energy and natural resources.
Ballot Issue 2C — Parks and Open Space Funding
Yes / For
No / Against
This particular sales tax agreement has been approved by voters twice before, in 2002 and 2012. This current iteration of the extension increases the tax by 0.125 percent, for what the city estimates will be a total of $1.5 million extra. This fairly modest increase will enable long overdue, critical open space environmental protection and wildfire mitigation.
The revenue from the 0.375% tax is the primary source of funding for the operation and maintenance of parks and open space.The tax also funds programs, capital projects, equipment, staff and management work associated with the parks. The funding also goes toward volunteer and educational programs, as well as non-traditional methods of vegetation control, such as the use of goats to mitigate weeds.
Issue 2C will also fund the construction of new connector trails, more trail maintenance, mowing and plowing, as well as signs and maps.
We endorse a yes on Louisville ballot issue 2C.