Two city councilmembers from the same district are vying to become the third mayor in the history of 16-year-old Centennial.
As of Aug. 14 — two weeks before the deadline — those who had filed candidate affidavits to run for the position were …
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Two city councilmembers from the same district are vying to become the third mayor in the history of 16-year-old Centennial.As of Aug. 14 — two weeks before the deadline — those who had filed candidate affidavits to run for the position were Mayor Pro Tem Stephanie Piko and Councilmember Charles “C.J.” Whelan, both of whom represent District 4, the area closest to Aurora and north of Arapahoe Road.The city’s first mayor was Randy Pye, who served from 2001 to 2010. The second is Cathy Noon, who succeeded Pye and whose term ends in January.Both Piko and Whelan have served on the Centennial FiberWorks Commission, which looks at how the city should manage fiber-optic cable underground that provides internet access. Whelan is the commission’s chair.Whelan said traffic and congestion are among Centennial’s biggest issues and suggested building upon Go Centennial, a city program that offered free Lyft Line rides to get people to and from the RTD light rail’s Dry Creek Station. He said he wants to work on further development of Centennial’s central Arapahoe Road corridor.“I have a proven background of leadership, problem-solving and working well with others of any political stripe,” Whelan said.Piko cited transportation and regional growth as the main issues facing the city — and all municipalities in the Denver metro area, she said.“We also have to look for new transportation solutions, and as mayor I will continue to actively seek technological and partnership opportunities that allow for a `smarter’ transportation system,” Piko said.Piko, a Centennial resident since 2001 according to the city website, has two years left of her four-year city council term. So if she loses the election, she still holds a council seat. This is Piko’s sixth year as a councilmember.Whelan, on the other hand, is up for re-election on his council seat, so if he loses the mayoral election, he will hold no office, as he cannot run for both mayor and city council. He said he’s lived in Centennial for almost 40 years — since before it was incorporated as a city in 2001 — and he’s in his fourth year on council.The nonpartisan election will take place Nov. 7 and will also includes races for four of the eight council seats. The mayor is elected at-large, meaning by voters from the entire city. The council is broken up into four districts, with two councilmembers per region, and candidates receive votes only from residents within their district.Candidates for mayor must gather at least 100 petition signatures from registered voters in the city, and council candidates must collect at least 50 within the district for which they’re running. Signatures can be pursued from Aug. 8-28.More about PikoPiko said her family enjoys a range of outdoor activities, spending time at Cherry Creek State Park and, “of course, the Broncos!” She is chair of the Cherry Creek Basin Water Quality Authority and has been a part of Arapahoe Park and Recreation District and other open space-related organizations. She has a background as a technology educator in the Cherry Creek School District, as a small-business owner and as president of a parent-teacher organization and homeowners association.More about WhelanWhelan said he loves working on cars, he’s a “bicycling nut” and he still listens to heavy metal music. He has been president of the Cunningham Fire Protection District, CenCON and the Smoky Hill Homeowners Association. He said he’s an entrepreneur who has “built up successful, multimillion-dollar companies from scratch” for more than 20 years.The city council racesThe following are those who had filed candidate affidavits as of Aug. 14:Kathy Turley (incumbent)Tamara Hunter-Maurer, Nancy Nickless, Walter Bennett Rutledge, Doris Truhlar (incumbent)Stacey Stegman Edling, Michael SutherlandMarlo Alston, John Miquel
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