Mike Hanbery is running for a seat on Centennial City Council, but not because he is dissatisfied with the current state of affairs.
“I don't really have an ax to grind,” says Hanbery. “I think the city is on solid footing. Any time you're rated one of the safest and best places to live in America, you've got to be doing the right things.”
A Southglenn resident and self-described “community advocate,” Hanbery is running for the District 1 council seat currently held by Rick Dindinger, who is term-limited. His opponent in the race is Kathy Turley.
Hanbery, 42, says he has a great “working relationship” with both Dindinger and Vorry Moon, the other council representative in District 1. He also is “a big fan” of Mayor Cathy Noon.
“I'd be stepping into a situation where I'm already comfortable with my counterparts,” he says.
Estimating he's talked to more than 200 city residents so far, he adds: “Since entering the race, I've become infinitely better informed about the city.”
Born in Mississippi, Hanbery has lived in Colorado since 1985 and has been a Centennial resident since 2003. Married and the father of two, he decided to enter the city council race in mid-July “after a number of people started asking me to run” and he has just started putting out campaign signs last week.
“The next four years will be more developmentally active for Centennial than the last four,” Hanbery says. “The city deserves council representatives who will study the issues, show up prepared and take a critical and nonpartisan approach to decisions impacting our residents and businesses.”
One of the planks in Hanbery's platform concerns the city's proposed move to make use of fiber optic cable beneath its streets.
“If 2G passes at the ballot, as I expect it to, the city will need a business plan,” he says.
Employed as the director of new media strategies at Webolutions, a Greenwood Village-based marketing agency, Hanbery says that earlier in his career, he helped develop business plans in telecommunications, including designing and negotiating content delivery systems for video production studios and a digital signage business.
“I worked in the cable and satellite TV business for 15 years,” he says. “I have the perspective and experience to ensure this new (2G) initiative is framed to benefit Centennial for the long term.”
Hanbery has a master's degree in business from the University of Denver's Daniels College of Business, and his resume of volunteer work includes serving with the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce's Business Leaders for Responsible Government group. He sits on the board of advisers for the chamber's Centennial Business Coalition and has been an adviser for its Streets at SouthGlenn Merchants Association.
South Metro Denver Chamber CEO John Brackney has endorsed Hanbery's candidacy. “Mike will be a superb city councilperson for Centennial. I live in his District and he has my vote,” says Brackney.
An early signer of the national “Campaign to Fix the Debt” petition, Hanbery is an aggressive advocate of fiscal responsibility. “That starts locally,” he says. “It's one thing to sign a petition. It's another thing to try to do something about it.”
If elected, Hanbery promises to represent District 1 with “a strong spirit of efficiency, accountability and cooperation. The worst thing that happens,” he adds, “is I lose this election and have a wonderful life experience.”