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Whitman, Dodge win in Northglenn

November 04, 2011 | 08:13 AM
Residents of Northglenn's Ward I overwhelmingly chose a council candidate who will join his wife on the board, and Ward III voters bumped an incumbent in favor of a challenger.

Wayne Dodge, a longtime activist in city life, beat opponent John Thomas almost 3-1 in Ward I, where incumbent Sheri Paiz is term-limited. Dodge received 628 votes and Thomas got 214 in unofficial results. Dodge will join his wife, Carol, in representing their ward on the council.

In Ward III, Marci Whitman won the seat held by incumbent Erv Baker when she received almost half the votes in a three-way race. Whitman got 400 votes, while Baker received 249 and Brian Park had a total of 174.

Ward II incumbent Leslie Carrico was unopposed, as was Ward IV incumbent Gene Wieneke.

Dodge, the owner of a sign company in the city, plans to push economic development, which he said is crucial to Northglenn, while also focusing on keeping core services going.

"I hope to get to know as many staff people as I can," he added. He had already spent part of the morning after Election Day at City Hall talking with staffers, and said he "would have gone out with the snowplow guys this morning" if he were serving on council.

The incoming council will have about 730 days to work before the next election, he said, and he wants to "move the city forward and get things done" in that time. "I don't want to dilly-dally," he said.

Thomas, who was reached when early results indicated he was losing to Dodge, said, "I didn't campaign very hard, unfortunately, so it wouldn't surprise me."

A health challenge hindered his campaigning, Thomas said, and he thought he would have more money available, but he's going to stay involved in civic life.

"Northglenn still has big, big challenges," he said, including looming problems if the city doesn't take care of its fiscal responsibility.

Ward III winner Marci Whitman said she started knocking on doors around Aug. 20, and managed to reach every part of her ward except "one little portion of the townhomes by Webster Lake."

"One of my big plans on council is, I really want to see greater involvement in bringing in businesses and an active role in the economic development office," she said.

Whitman, a marketing consultant and business owner, said too much of the burden has been on the city's economic development office. "As a business owner, I want to see the whole city working together to bring in business," she said.

Whitman also wants the city to "find ways to get people to have pride in their neighborhoods," a quality that she thinks has declined in the past couple years.

Baker was reached when only early returns were available. "There hasn't been, historically, much change after the first bunch comes in," he said. "So therefore I lost."

"I provided technical input to council when they had very little other technical input," he said. "So my legacy was providing technical input to the council."

He said he doesn't plan further involvement in the nuts and bolts of city government "unless the attitude toward the business aspect of the city changes."

"Much of council is behaving as a social club instead of a business-run situation," he said. "I'm 81 years old. More than likely I'm just going to enjoy living."

Park said running for council "was a growing experience" in which he learned what residents wanted. He plans to stay involved in civic life, and noted that he serves on the Victim Assistance and Law Enforcement board.

"It was interesting to meet all the people," he said. "I'm glad the city chose someone who will represent the ward well."

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