Centennial City Council candidate profile: Candace Moon

Longtime public servant vies for reelection in District 1

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Candace Moon wants to keep listening to you.

That's how the current city councilmember from District 1 characterizes her approach to growth in Centennial, which continues to see new business and housing development amid a years-long Denver metro population boom.

In November 2015, Moon won her spot on the council, succeeding her husband, Vorry Moon, who could not run again due to term limits.

She's run through a laundry list of public service roles in her life and retired from her post a supervisory immigration services officer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in March. She worked at Avaya, a telecommunications company, as a manager and ran a small business with her husband. She serves on the Centennial Airport Noise Roundtable Committee.

She served on the board of directors for the Arapahoe Highlands Civic Association in her neighborhood for roughly a decade. Moon is also a veteran of the Air Force and Air National Guard.

Council District 1 is the far west part of Centennial, encompassing most of the portion between South Broadway and South Colorado Boulevard.

Here is a look at Moon's policy positions in her own words. Responses were lightly edited for clarity.

What's the most important thing you want to accomplish in office?

Managing our growth.

'Smart growth' is an often-used buzzword. What does that look like to you?

Defining smart growth, to me, is listening to what our residents are saying, staying abreast of current trends that are showing up in growth and deciding, what are the city's best options? I think it's just important first to understand what's happening and why it's happening.

What is your approach to transportation and 'smart city' initiatives?

I think we need to do something about our transportation. To be solely reliant on gas-powered automobiles at this point is maybe not the way we should be looking at. We need to encourage electronic vehicles. We need to encourage alternate modes of transportation by looking at e-bicycles, scooters, building better sidewalks so people can commute by foot to errands, having better trails. And keeping a strong public transportation system.

The city does work with RTD, and we work with the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce and several organizations in south metro area (on transportation).

What is the best way to maintain retail sales tax base in Centennial?

One of things we try to do is encourage businesses to come to Centennial by showing the benefits of living here: the great neighborhoods, the education of the population, the relative age and income of the population. That we are located close to and have businesses that are in the sciences and technology in the city. If they're not in the city, they're very close and adjacent to the city. We have really good schools, supported by two different school districts. One of them has a (career-technical campus), the Innovation Campus, that kids will be able to go to school and graduate and be certified to work in electronics, mechanics, STEM (and other practical fields).

What issue is city council not paying enough attention to?

I think we do pay a lot of attention to everything. One of the (areas) we need to give more attention to is environment — caring for our environment, caring for our ecology. Making sure we are keeping our city environmentally safe and clean. We are beginning to talk that way, but it's an area that, with science changing, we need to look at it more. That would include making sure we have clean areas: that our open spaces are clean and our storm and sanitation (systems) are well maintained.

How can the city best take care of its increasingly aging population?

We have a Senior Commission that is very active in getting programs for seniors. We definitely need diversity of housing for seniors, and public transportation. And we also need to look at mental health care for seniors.

As people age, they move out of their single-family homes, and they have a tendency to want to downsize and still maintain control of their property in the sense that they're still homeowners and not be subject to rent fluctuation.

I think with housing and public transportation, (the best way for the city is) coordination and advocating with agencies that provide housing and public transportation. We have taken a step on mental health in funding a co-responder program with the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office. So that's mental health, to include seniors' mental health concerns.

How can the city best address high housing costs and the regional issue of homelessness?

I think that is really where we talk with providers that can assist with housing. We have the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, the body that helps families and residents get into affordable housing. Continuing to work with organizations like CHFA and letting developers know what kind of housing the city needs based on input from residents.

On the homeless issue, I really believe we really may be in a great position to coordinate with other cities and communities within the south metro area and with the universities that are studying housing and why people become homeless. I think if we are able to join in all our communities, I think we'll be able to come up with a workable plan to take care of people who have lost their homes or a place to live.

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