Ron Weidmann grew to be known as the “sage” of the Centennial City Council.
That's what the former councilmember, who served District 4 from 2006-14 and again starting in 2018, says when looking back at his long history in office.
Mayor and former District 4 Councilmember Stephanie Piko's election to the mayoral seat in 2017 left one of the seats for that district vacant, and Weidmann prevailed as the council's choice to fill the seat after several residents applied for the position.
District 4 is the northeastern part of the city, mostly in the vicinity of East Smoky Hill Road.
Weidmann has served on numerous local boards, governmental districts and community organizations, including the Centennial Land Use Committee, Arapahoe Park and Recreation District, the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce Legislative Action Committee and the Smoky Hill Homeowners' Association.
He last worked as a commercial security and disaster planner in the commercial and federal sectors. Weidmann is retired but still sits on the board of the Southeast Metro Stormwater Authority.
Weidmann has lived at the same address in what's now Centennial for 40 years. His term ended earlier this month. Here are his reflections on his tenure.
I received many calls from citizens concerned about a multitude of things, mostly street repairs, and ice removal in the colder years. One person did want me to shovel his driveway and yes, I declined. Mostly, citizens wanted to understand issues and wanted to be part of the solutions.
After serving 10 years as a councilmember, I brought a historical perspective to council meetings and the reasons why decisions were made. Council called me the “sage,” and I also like to have the last word. My best accomplishment was fighting for funding and building of our great Centennial Center Park. When our park opened, it was a golden moment in the city's history.
My learning curve started in 2003 and lasted until I finished this year. Our city staff helped me understand every issue that came before city council. I learned something every council meeting that helped me make the best decision possible at the time. The main thing I took away from city council was majority rules — “the wisdom of five” — which usually made the best outcome for the citizens.
I was challenged and fought hard to establish funding for Centennial Center Park along with several other councilmembers. Now we know it turned out to be a great gathering place for everyone. It is an award-winning jewel for the City of Centennial. We still improve our park and trail system every year. Another challenge I believed in was Centennial being represented in the National League of Cities. Thanks to Mayor Piko, the city has established us as active members in NLC. It is a big step forward for our city.
I believe that keeping the city debt-free is a monumental challenge. When citizens and councilmembers demand more services from the city, it will inevitably take more money to meet the increase in services. The city was formed as a limited government, which is a unique challenge and worth preserving for future generations.
Also, redevelopment of aging shopping centers will be a great challenge for citizens and councilmembers. If developers can't build or redevelop in Centennial, our city will decay and taxes will diminish. Change is inevitable.
Thanks for tolerating my humor, but make no mistake, the City of Centennial's well-being came first. I loved and cherished my time in serving the citizens of Centennial. I hope I was worthy.
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