Charles “C.J.” Whelan has lived in what’s now Centennial for more than 30 years. He is a telecommunications entrepreneur and business owner. He’s a councilmember from District 4, a former mayor pro tem for the city and a former president of the Cunningham Fire Protection District.
He has one bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and another in management science, with a concentration in finance, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Contact: 303-690-4065 or email@example.com
Campaign website: cjwhelanformayor.com
Why do you want to serve as Centennial’s mayor?
I am running for mayor because I am devoted to this city and love living here. Since its founding 17 years ago, I have watched our city grow into an amazing community. I have the experience, skill and vision to not only maintain Centennial’s excellence, but to lead it to the next level. I am an engineer by training and have been a successful entrepreneur for more than 20 years. My many leadership roles include being mayor pro tem, chairing the Centennial Fiber Optic Commission … and (serving as) president of the MIT Alumni Association.
What would your approach be to managing growth and development in the city?
First, accept that growth and development is going to happen. Trying to fight it with initiatives such as Lakewood’s proposed growth restrictions almost always backfires with unintended consequences (Boulder’s skyrocketing home prices are an example of this). For Centennial, smart growth starts with supporting the strong neighborhoods we already have. Then, we need to concentrate on traffic and congestion and provide better mobility options. Finally, we need to have a well thought-out, long-range vision and strategic plan for the portion of our city that has not yet developed, rather than have it become a hodge-podge of unplanned development.
Amid rising housing prices, what can city council do to ensure young families are not priced out of the city?
Our city actually has many relatively affordable neighborhoods for young families. ... Centennial is mostly built-out when it comes to residential development. That is not to say that there is still not some new residential development to occur, especially in our central core (roughly between I-25 and Parker Road), and it is along this corridor that some great opportunities exist for new housing options that would broaden our appeal. For example, more mixed-use to appeal to both younger and empty-nest demographics.
What can the mayor do improve traffic flow in Centennial?
Traffic congestion is not a problem that only the mayor can solve. Clearly, this is a metro area-wide issue that affects not just Centennial and demands cooperation and creative thinking between many government agencies. For Centennial, by further investing in our Intelligent Traffic System (ITS) for smarter signal management, developing new mobility innovations such as our Go Centennial program and cooperating with other municipalities, we can better manage our gridlock.
What two issues need more attention than the current mayor or city council has given them?
The topics already discussed, such as managing growth, alleviating traffic congestion and always keeping us safe should be council’s top priorities moving forward. Two issues that I think could benefit from some more attention from council include senior amenities, such as exploring options for a senior center and providing more support for aging in place, and further enhancing our identity with landmark and wayfaring signage as well as aesthetic improvements to our streetscapes.