Political newcomer hopes to leverage skills, link city
Centennial stay-at-home dad Mark Gotto admits he’s not much of a politician, but what he lacks in high-powered partisan prowess, he says he more than makes up for in leadership.
The mild-mannered University of South Dakota graduate decided to run for Centennial’s open District 3 city council seat because he “saw so many opportunities” where his experience could add value.
The 44-year-old former Dish Network executive said he’s got the scoop on customer service, contracting and leading big organizations with big budgets.
And he feels his experience can make a difference.
“I think I’ve walked to and knocked on more than 1,000 doors in Centennial since about May,” he said. “And from what people have told me, there’s still opportunity for improvement when it comes to things like snow removal and communication with residents.”
While Gotto applauds the city for its efforts, he says he feels more could be done when it comes to following up with residents’ queries.
Pointing to Centennial’s aging population, Gotto says plans need to be in the works now to meet demographic changes looming on the horizon.
“We owe so much to our seniors,” he said. “And we need to look at things such as helping them feel comfortable about staying in their homes as long as possible, and we need to explore more ways to that.”
Gotto is also strong on smart growth and developing a city that is business-friendly.
“The city numbers are pretty disparate when it comes to residential and business properties,” he explained. “There needs to be balance, so I think since we don’t have a lot of area available for new development, the city should look at ways of attracting more business.”
But when it comes to civic pride and Centennial’s sense of identity, a political theme in the area for years, Gotto suggests the city itself needs to connect.
“There’s a lot of good things going on, but we’re just not communicating that with each other,” he said.
Gotto thinks the line between east Centennial and west Centennial needs more blurring.
“It’s true, a lot of folks on the west side of the city are going to be asked to vote on things that affect the east side of the city and vice versa,” he said, “things like roads — roads they never travel, but we’ve got to think of the community as a whole and what’s best for the future of the city collectively.”
Gotto resides in Centennial with his wife and two children. To learn more about Gotto and his position on city issues, visit www.markgotto.com.