The year 2010 will mark the first decade since the vote that launched Centennial’s beginnings as the newest city in the immediate Denver metro …
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The year 2010 will mark the first decade since the vote that
launched Centennial’s beginnings as the newest city in the
immediate Denver metro area.
Not surprisingly, Centennial — an idea hatched at a Greenwood
Village pancake restaurant in 1998 — has been feeling its growing
pains in recent years.
The pains were born of change. In 2008, voters approved a
home-rule charter, which has allowed the city greater autonomy
under the Colorado Constitution. The city has also made headlines
for its low crime rate and relative affluence.
But the municipality crafted from unincorporated Arapahoe County
still struggles to find an identity. And while Centennial grows,
critics — including some of its founders — think the city has lost
sight of its original vision of limited government and grassroots
As the new decade turns on Jan. 1, Centennial will celebrate the
10th anniversary of the vote that created it in 2000, though it did
not actually become a city until the first council was elected the
Centennial, stretching from Littleton to Aurora, is a city of
103,000 and a socio-economically diverse community whose people
often make the news in ways that captivate the blogosphere.
2009 was no exception for the government or the people who
As the economy wanes, the City of Centennial launches Explore
Centennial, a campaign to encourage residents to support local
businesses and keep their sales-tax dollars in the city.
Outgoing Mayor Randy Pye accepts a senior vice- president
position with Capitol Solutions, a firm that lobbies on behalf of
the development industry; the move draws quiet criticism from some
After months of fielding complaints and reviewing data, the city
unveils a multi-pronged education and mitigation program to address
Cathy Noon, chair of the elected commission that drafted
Centennial’s home-rule charter in 2008, announces her candidacy to
become the 8-year-old city’s second mayor.
District 4 City Councilmember Todd Miller declares his candidacy
for mayor in front of the new Centennial Civic Center with founding
Mayor Pye at his side.
In the face of growing criticism of code enforcement, the city
council holds off on stricter rules — including one that would have
allowed officers to view violations from a neighbor’s property.
Term-limited Mayor Pye delivers his final State of Our City
address nine years after leading the incorporation movement,
proclaiming, “My job is done.”
The city council begins considering plans to turn 11 acres
surrounding the new civic center into an expansive, multi-faceted
Centennial the second most affluent community in Colorado, second
only to Highlands Ranch.
Centennial vegan Kelley Coffman-Lee makes national headlines for
her unsuccessful efforts to receive a personalized license plate
Due to declining enrollment in Littleton Public Schools, Lewis
Ames Elementary closes its doors.
Fourteen new U.S. citizens from nations as disparate as Poland
and India are sworn in as the newest office of the U.S. Citizen and
Immigration Service opens in Centennial.
District 3 City Councilmember Rebecca McClellan, Centennial’s
representative on an intergovernmental coalition formed to
reconfigure the busy I-25/Arapahoe Road interchange, launches vocal
protests of an unexpected alternative that would send Arapahoe
traffic into residential neighborhoods.
McClellan and other civic activists begin raising fiscal
concerns about the council’s plans to use $4.78 in Arapahoe
County-provided open-space funds to build a civic center park.
In a sign of things to come, Southglenn Public Library opens its
new location at the still-incomplete Streets at Southglenn
District 1 City Councilmember Betty Ann Hamilton [formerly
Habig] abruptly moves out of her district and resigns, prompting
the council to set a special election in November to replace
A pick-up truck crashes into the west side of the Centennial
Civic Center; no one is injured.
After many delays and rumors, the $310 million Streets at
Southglenn officially opens amid fanfare on the site of the former
Littleton Public Schools cancels elections due to a lack of
contested races; the district announces a slight growth in
enrollment after years of decline that had resulted in recent
Mayoral candidate Todd Miller raises more than twice the money
of his nearest competitor, Cathy Noon.
The City of Centennial honors nine local businesses — large and
small — at the second annual Best of Centennial ceremony.
District Attorney Carol Chambers officially opens her new main
office for the 18th Judicial District in Centennial.
By a seven-point margin, Cathy Noon is elected the second mayor
of Centennial and the first woman to hold the job.
Civic activist Ron Phelps wins the crowded special election to
replace Betty Ann Hamilton by 42 votes.
Andrew Graham, 23, is found murdered in the Willow Creek
neighborhood — Centennial’s first homicide investigation in three
For the fifth consecutive year, Centennial has Colorado’s lowest
crime rate on a list of larger U.S. cities.
The assets of Centennial-based Speed of Wealth are frozen as the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigates its ties to an
alleged Ponzi scheme.
CannaMart, Centennial’s only medical-marijuana dispensary, sues
the city after being forced to close.
The city hosts its first official Christmas tree lighting at
Streets at Southglenn.
In anticipation of the 2010 census, an office of the U.S. Census
Bureau opens in Centennial and the city launches a campaign to
encourage residents to participate; it will be the first national
count since Centennial was founded in 2000.
Centennial’s Wayne Watson, the first known consumer case of
“popcorn lung,” settles his lawsuit against a manufacturer of
artificial flavoring for microwave popcorn; details are not
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