City Attorney Helps Developers Avoid Scrutiny

In the category of making lemonade out of lemons Lakewood City Attorney is seeking to turn the political debacle involving the City’s “gift” to the Rooney Valley developers into a back-door green light to develop Dino Ridge, Bandimere and the remaining open areas of Rooney Valley. In 2007, Lakewood gave $3 million and Jeffco gave $6 million to a developer group (Green Tree metro district) to build the freeway interchange…

Campaign Finance Reforms are Toothless

Knowledgeable voters are aware of the role special interest campaign contributions play in local elections.  Due to their close relationship with the monied special interests, candidates affiliated with the establishment are always able to garner far more money than their independent opponents. The 2018 de-TABOR election was a classic example.  The pro-government Our Lakewood campaign committee raised nearly $30,000 (including $20,000 from public employee groups) or about 12X times as much as the citizen…

Campaign Finance Violation Complaints Filed Against deGruy

In the category of you have to appreciate the irony comes this story about two youngsters running for City Council.  Ward 5 Councilor Dana Gutwein boasted on her Facebook page that her membership on the Council’s campaign finance subcommittee led to Lakewood’s new rules being “the best in the state”.  [Technically the new rules do nothing to stop the unlimited flood of special interest money to independent expenditure committees, similar to political action committees,…

Trash Hauling Regulation Moves Closer

The City continues to move closer to the long-awaited single-hauler trash disposal system.  The current focus is on devising a semantic scheme that avoids using the term “single-hauler”.  Some of the ideas to implement a “contract waste collection” system without using the phrase single-hauler include dividing the City into different zones.   In this way the City could contract with one hauler for each area thus ensuring a monopoly at the local/zone level…

Are Tax Dollars Supporting de-TABOR Sales Job?

The long-awaited effort to persuade voters to let the City keep people’s TABOR-mandated refunds has finally begun.  Although it’s been on the establishment’s to-do list for years, they have avoided putting it on the ballot for fear of a voter backlash.  However, this year’s refund has gotten too large to pass up.  With the recent hail storms, there was a lot of fees and taxes paid by insurance companies to…

Single Trash Hauler Issue Resurfaces

           A couple years ago, city staff made it clear they want a single trash hauler system in Lakewood similar to the one in Golden.  However due to political opposition it was decided to do this in gradual increments.  The first step, to register all the trash haulers, was accomplished a year or two ago.  The second step, currently underway, is to build up public support…

Mayor Interferes In Water Board Election

Water and sewer services in Lakewood are generally not provided by the City but rather by scores of independent water districts run by an elected Board of Directors.  In the May of even numbered years there are elections to fill seats on these boards.  Ordinarily they don’t generate much interest but the Green Mountain Water District is turning into a battle between the backers of development and those who would…

Junior Councilor Cries Discrimination When She Doesn’t Get Her Way

Politicians get power because they seek power.  They support their friends and hurt their opponents.  This gang mentality is nothing new and the fact it occurs at a local level comes as no surprise.  In Lakewood power-hungry politicians flock together as the ruling establishment.  By looking out for each other and scratching each other’s back, politicians are able to stay in power.  However in November candidates independent of the establishment…

The Art of the Smear

It’s been standard practice for years for political hacks to fling mud at opposing candidates.  While it is appropriate to compare/contrast qualifications,  issue positions, funding sources and an incumbent’s voting record most people agree character assassination is inappropriate.  The most common form of the “smear” is liberal/leftist accusing their conservative opponents of being “bad people”.  This is often in the form of “racism”, sexual impropriety and/or the always popular “you’re…

Lakewood Voters Not For Sale

The most expensive City Council race in Lakewood history ended with a resounding defeat for the establishment candidates.  In Ward 4 David Skilling was elected with nearly 53% of the vote which almost matched the 54% achieved by his predecessor David Wiechman against Betty Boyd in 2015.  Mayor Adam Paul’s selected candidate LaDawn Sperling came in third with 21% of the Ward 4 vote.  In second place was the Democratic…