3 candidates vie for each of two Foothills board seats

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By Emile Hallez

  Three candidates are vying for each of the two Foothills Park & Recreation board seats up in the May election in Wards 3 and 4.

The terms of two board members, Walt Frankland and Janet Shangraw, expire this year. Meanwhile, 2010 marks the beginning of Foothills’ new ward-voting system. A recent legal challenge brought by the Mesa View Estates neighborhood attempting to block the ward system in the upcoming election has so far not been successful, a district spokeswoman said. Board members were previously elected at large, which allowed multiple directors living in the same area to serve at the same time.

The new ward-voting system, which was approved late last year, split the Foothills district into five wards corresponding to the five board seats.

The May election will be conducted through mail-in ballots, which will be sent to voters in Wards 3 and 4 between April 12 and 16. Election day is May 4.

Six candidates are running in the two ward races; winners will serve four-year terms. The Ward 3 candidate list consists of Michael Venturini, John Winn and Judy Johnson. Ward 4 candidates are Patrice Thomas, John Bradley Jr. and Thomas Dittemore.

  The candidates   Ward 3  

• Michael Venturini is a 14-year resident of Ward 3 who emphasizes a desire to further the district’s fiscal responsibility. Venturini stated he would like to increase efficiency and help identify revenue sources not generated through taxes.

• John Winn has lived in the district since 1999. Winn’s background includes business ownership and management, computer applications and budgeting. Winn listed capital, budgetary and litigation concerns as among the top issues. He can contribute strongly to budget development, he said, and supports executive director Ron Hopp.

• Judy Johnson is a 26-year resident of the Foothills district and president of the Water’s Edge Home Owners Association. Johnson is also vice president of the Mountain States Girls Hockey League. Johnson identified financial management as a top priority, emphasizing the importance of maintaining existing facilities and assets.

  Ward 4

• Patrice Thomas, a Ward 4 candidate, is a 21-year resident of the district and has a background working for nonprofits. Thomas said maintaining the district’s quality of assets and staff as the top need facing Foothills. She favors implementing training programs that would reduce employee turnover.

• John Bradley Jr. is a 33-year resident of Ward 4 and cited his time working for the National Park Service as valuable experience relevant to a director position with the district. Bradley also taught parks and recreation marketing courses at three colleges, including the University of Colorado. He identified expanding community support, identifying new revenue sources, marketing improvements and increasing offerings for youth and senior populations as top priorities.

• Thomas Dittemore has lived in the district for 29 years and has served in board positions for the Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame, Carpenters Local 1068 and other organizations. Dittemore said communication with Foothills employees, area homeowner associations and other groups is among his priorities. Foothills also needs to work to increase revenue, he said.

The Courier will provide additional information about the Foothills election and the six board candidates in the coming weeks.


Contact Emile Hallez Williams at emile@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22. For updates, check www.ColumbineCourier.com.