Stephanie Piko has lived in Centennial for 16 years. She’s a substitute teacher for the Cherry Creek School District and an office manager and information-technology support for Intelinet Imaging, a teleradiology service provider. She sat on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission from 2008-2011 and chaired the Open Space Advisory Board from 2007-2011. She’s the current mayor pro tem and is in her second term on city council. She represents District 4.
Piko is a former Orchard Valley homeowners association president and Fox Hollow Elementary School parent-teacher organization president. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology from the University of Michigan.
Campaign website: stephaniepiko.com
Why do you want to serve as Centennial’s mayor?
I have enjoyed the past six years as a city council representative. I find it challenging, rewarding and I especially enjoy the opportunity to connect with citizens. It is so important for Centennial to keep moving forward with its innovative approach to local government. It’s exciting! Not only do I want to continue to be a part of it, I want to help lead the way.
What would your approach be to managing growth and development in the city, if elected?
Smart growth comes from smart planning. It is important to find the right balance not just between residential development and commercial development, but within developments that embrace residential components and commercial components. We need them to be complementary to each other and to the opportunities to create mutually beneficial spaces. Planning spaces offers the opportunity to retain the character of our neighborhoods while still managing growth.
Amid rising housing prices, what can city council do to ensure young families are not priced out of the city?
City councilmembers can encourage development to include a variety of home options, not just for young families but for our aging community as well. The city can also encourage the purchase of homes in need of renovation by streamlining processes to make renovations and updating homes easier and less costly.
What can the mayor do improve traffic flow in Centennial?
As mayor, working closely with the leadership of our bordering municipalities will be of utmost importance in being able to implement successful Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) throughout the city. This includes furthering our relationship with CDOT as a partner in alleviating traffic congestion along our main thoroughfares. By working with CDOT on traffic-light signal timings and controls, Centennial will be able to provide a more adaptive traffic management system capable of providing real-time responsiveness.
What two issues need more attention than the current mayor or city council has given them?
The current city council has taken the first steps toward developing and embracing an identity signage program that will let people know that they are entering Centennial. The original plan was shelved in 2010 due to costs, but councilmembers Mark Gotto, Kathy Turley and I have dusted it off and adapted it to meet our current needs, and implementation is underway. I hope this will also help connect the residents within our borders, but especially those on the edge of our borders. We need to work harder at bringing the heart of Centennial to every edge of our city.