Getting to know you as a City Council candidate
By Carin Kirdegaard; photo by Terri Wiebold
Political elections generally don’t fit the “a little good news” sentiment that our readers are accustomed to, but that is exactly the case for the City of Castle Pines elections taking place on November 2.
Of the four vacancies for city council positions, three have at least two candidates vying for the position, and one – the office of mayor – has three contenders.
“This is an exciting time for the City and for its residents,” stated City Manager Michael Penny. “Citizen involvement is critical for the democratic process, and it is encouraging to see our residents so engaged.”
The Castle Pines Connection provided each candidate the opportunity to submit two questions they thought to be of interest to their constituents. From those, we selected the following questions, which were presented to each candidate. They were asked to answer the questions personally, independent of outside consultation and were given a 50 word limit.
What do you see as the biggest challenge ahead for the City of Castle Pines?
Chris Eubanks – The biggest challenge to me is managing the growth of the City of Castle Pines while at the same time investing in and improving upon the current infrastructure benefiting the residents as well as visitors making Castle Pines a destination.
Roger Hudson – A poorly thought-out long-term plan for a Castle Pines’ economic future. The city has made no plans – as of yet – to create economic drivers for the next generation of empty nesters. What amenities will Castle Pines residents in 2050 need or want?
Chuck Lowen – Responsibly funding immediate reconstruction & rehab of City streets. Opportunity costs from failure of the City to allow the people of Castle Pines to become in-district residents of South Suburban Parks & Rec District and enjoy its recreational facilities and opportunities at less cost. Aligning City spending & constituent priorities.
David McEntire – Responsibly funding immediate reconstruction & rehab of City streets. Opportunity costs from failure of the City to allow the people of Castle Pines to become in-district residents of South Suburban Parks & Rec District and enjoy its recreational facilities and opportunities at less cost. Aligning City spending & constituent priorities.
Ben Price – Roads have been our biggest challenge, but we have found solid solutions and the work is now underway, and we’ll see that progressing constantly. The next big issue right now is obviously a failing water system, in need of millions in repairs, due to neglect and mismanagement by the CPNMD Board.
Tera Radloff – I’m very proud of my accomplishments as mayor – leading Castle Pines to its strongest financial position in its history, my leadership on the home rule vote, guiding responsible development, and recruiting new businesses and amenities that enhance our community. Our challenge is to continue to expand on these achievements.
What would you do to address that challenge?
Tracy Engerman – I would increase sales taxes revenues by revitalizing our commercial in partnership with owners through a Business Improvement District. Reduce red tape to expedite development in the undeveloped commercial areas by creating a Specific Area Plan. I would encourage spending local and investment in startups with potential for rapid scalability.
Chris Eubanks – To address the challenge, I would listen to the voice of the residents to understand what’s important to them and collaborate with fellow city council members to garner their support for new initiatives that can be implemented in a productive and fiscally responsible manner.
Roger Hudson – I’m going to push for a Castle Pines effort to reimagine a city-wide highspeed internet utility that is both reliable and inexpensive. We can’t move forward without being competitive and without the necessary tools.
Chuck Lowen – The answer to this question requires more than the 50-word limit I have here. My website features a fiscally conservative/responsible plan that my colleague, David McEntire, and I developed to rectify those issues. Please check out our plan at: www.VoteMcEntireAndLowenToFixOurCityStreetNow.com.
David McEntire – The answer to this question requires more than the 50-word limit I have here. My website features a fiscally conservative/responsible plan that my colleague, Chuck Lowen, and I developed to rectify those issues. Please check out our plan at: www.VoteMcEntireAndLowenToFixOurCityStreetNow.com.
Ben Price – We need to finish the transfer to Parker Water, and then we know that the City can manage the storm water and parks better, more efficiently, and cheaper than it’s being done currently. We should close this dangerously mismanaged agency and return the savings to the taxpayers of Castle Pines.
Tera Radloff – Continued professionalism and collegiality among our elected officials is very important to attract the companies we need to help Castle Pines evolve in the way we intend. Castle Pines residents deserve a mayor and a council that is open, honest, and intentional about our goals and how to achieve them.
What experience do you have in managing finances/budgets?
Tracy Engerman – Working in Energy & Aerospace sectors, I’ve designed financial software solutions, lead Defense Contract Audit response teams, and managed corporate payroll. I’ve overseen budgeting and financial compliance to align with Federal Acquisition Regulations and Cost Accounting Standards. I’ve established forward pricing rates for RFPs and contract renewals.
Chris Eubanks – I was responsible for a $200M+ labor budget as well as capital & expense budgets that consisted of improvement projects and technology during my career at a multibillion-dollar organization while staying within the confines of the budget and within the communicated timeline.
Roger Hudson – In addition to being a successful small business owner, I also manage multimillion dollar budgets within several companies. My budgets continue to balance from year to year. In addition, I have taken several extension classes designed to be preparatory for an MBA program – I’ve found them very helpful.
Chuck Lowen – As highly successful entrepreneurs owning/managing our respective companies, (Chuck Lowen as a commercial property manager & David McEntire as a homebuilder), the Lowen & McEntire team offers decades of direct, private-sector budgeting & finance expertise. That expertise informs & enhances our public decision making as CPNMD directors and City leaders.
David McEntire – As highly successful entrepreneurs owning/managing our respective companies, (David McEntire as a homebuilder & Chuck Lowen as a commercial property manager), the McEntire & Lowen team offers decades of direct, private-sector budgeting & finance expertise. That expertise informs & enhances our public decision making as CPNMD directors and City leaders.
Ben Price – I’m CEO of a national organization, and I’ve been managing multimillion dollar budgets with responsibility to answer to stakeholders for several decades. I believe in fiscal responsibility, and the skills and knowledge I had to offer in this area were part of the reason I originally volunteered to serve in Castle Pines.
Tera Radloff – I have extensive professional background in project management and finance. I have successfully managed large scale infrastructure-based projects for The Transportation Security Administration (TSA). In the private sector, I have worked with large telecommunications companies such as Charter and Comcast on projects with tight timelines and strict budgetary parameters.
Merri Sheh – I have managed multi million dollar corporate budgets for over 20 years. I have also personally financed my own successful business venture and managed funds through a global pandemic without incurring significant debt.
What to you believe is the most effective way to engage with residents?
Tracy Engerman – To reach residents where they are, not wait for them to come to me. People have busy lives, so engagement must be easy, clear, and straightforward. I will listen to every voice, not just the loudest or most engaged and communicate through multiple channels, social media, public events, and social/civic/volunteer groups.
Chris Eubanks – I believe the most effective way to engage with the residents of District 1 is face to face at community events, city council meetings, and other local activities. In addition, connecting through email, phone conversations, and social media are effective when not in person.
Roger Hudson – Always, on the resident’s terms and always when the time and day is right for them. I still take the word “servant” in public SERVANT to heart… I truly believe in my role as a councilman, I am there to serve the mission set forth by the resident.
Chuck Lowen – Like David McEntire, I thrive on working directly with constituents to identify and solve problems. As a public official, I also pride myself on being accessible and substantively responsive. I find Facebook and NextDoor less-than-ideal mediums for discussing and solving constituent problems, and prefer face-to-face, Zoom, phone, text, and email.
David McEntire – Like Chuck Lowen, I thrive on working directly with constituents to identify and solve problems. As a public official, I pride myself on being accessible and substantively responsive. I find Facebook and NextDoor less-than-constructive mediums for discussing and solving constituent problems. I prefer face-to-face, Zoom, phone, text, and email.
Ben Price – I think meeting folks where they are is best – meaning we have to be available in whatever format residents want to interface with us. The bottom line is residents want transparency; they want to be able to easily give their feedback to their representatives on the City Council.
Tera Radloff – My favorite part of being mayor is interacting face-to-face with constituents. I’m inspired by how educated, caring and committed our Castle Pines neighbors can be on many subjects. I rarely miss an opportunity to gather – such as Food Truck Frenzy, Summer Stage, or Party in the Park.
Merri Sheh – I believe the most effective way is to generate listening opportunities by organizing network events, resident feedback forums and attending city gatherings and social events. The key is to be both proactive and reactive. When I observe issues or something that does not look right, I reach out and connect with those it will impact as well as those that can do something about it.
Give an example of a successful stakeholder collaboration you’ve been a part of.
Tracy Engerman – I collaborated on a new recreation facility project with public and private partners. I ensured the partnership held and planning continued through the COVID economic downturn with business owners, landowners and city staff by collaborative financial problem solving – resulting in success and a public announcement at the end of October.
Chris Eubanks – As an experienced leader, I’ve been involved with and led a multitude of stakeholder collaborations where various functional groups work together toward a common yet measurable goal, inclusive of leaders, decision makers, influencers, and individual contributors.
Chuck Lowen – Serving as CPNMD director is an ongoing exercise in collaboration and cost-cutting. The recent voter-approved Inclusion (merger) of our water and wastewater utilities with the Parker Water & Sanitation District would not have been possible without substantial collaboration with colleagues, constituents, staff, consultants, and PWSD.
David McEntire – Serving as CPNMD president is an ongoing exercise in collaboration and cost-cutting. The recent voter-approved Inclusion (merger) of our water and wastewater utilities with the Parker Water & Sanitation District would not have been possible without substantial collaboration with colleagues, constituents, staff, consultants, and PWSD.
Ben Price – One of the most satisfying experiences of my career was bringing together all the health insurance plans in the state along with parents and others in a collaboration that resulted in insurers returning with child-only plans those parents could buy at a time when no insurer offered those in Colorado.
Tera Radloff – One of my personal favorite collaborations with the City has been truly magical. Working with Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation, an organization with a vision for changing the world for disabled athletes, we are creating an accessible hockey facility to be located right here in Castle Pines. Learn more here: https://rink.dawgnation.org/.
Merri Sheh – Complex stakeholder collaboration is a cornerstone of my successful coworking business. Identifying and promoting opportunities between compatible businesses is one of my strongest attributes and passions. This is community building and directly correlates to the opportunity ahead of us in Castle Pines.
What background or skills do you possess that would help you guide the infrastructure and development of a growing community?
Tracy Engerman – My personal and professional background has fostered excellent skills in conflict resolution, team building, contract management, collaboration, leadership, budgeting, and emotional intelligence all necessary to lead a growing community to success and create a sustainable infrastructure.
Chris Eubanks – I’ve held various senior leadership roles in my career where decisions are based on fact with desirable outcomes through my own knowledge and expertise, as well as guided by the knowledge and influence of subject matter experts from every level.
Roger Hudson –First and foremost, I’ve been developing infrastructure plans for Castle Pines over the last four years. While my opponent was living on the East Coast, long before considering Castle Pines, I was here raising money to rebuild the parkway, developing a doable infrastructure plan and getting a community buy in.
Chuck Lowen – As a successful entrepreneur, I managed over $1.8 billion in commercial assets, over 11.4 million square feet of office and retail space, and over 5,000 apartment and condominium units. My career encompasses all aspects of commercial and residential property and HOA management, asset management, leasing, sales, brokerage, construction, and consulting.
David McEntire – As a successful entrepreneur/homebuilder, I offer a lifetime of expertise in every facet of relevant municipal infrastructure development (including streets, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, medians, landscaping, erosion and flood control, parks, trails, open space, and much more) as well as the associated financing, designing, building, operations, and maintenance.
Ben Price – I’m near the end of my first term on the City Council, and with years of policy making experience, and a good feel for the pulse of the City, I have the expertise to help keep our projects on track and achieve our goals for the next four years.
Tera Radloff – During my tenure on Council and as Mayor I have garnered considerable direct experience working with our current development partners in Lagae, Castle Valley and the Canyons. With my leadership and collaboration with Council and staff, Castle Pines is working together to create a sustainable, beautiful, and welcoming community.
Merri Sheh – I have decades experience in the insurance industry that has given me a deep understanding of risk and risk mitigation. I am an effective communicator, complex problem solver, and take pride in my ability to integrate diverse perspectives.
List one accomplishment you would like to see at the end of your four-year term?
Chris Eubanks – At then end of my four-year term I anticipate that Castle Pines will be a destination for retail, dining, services, and recreation providing the opportunity for residents to stay within the city for leisure activities and drawing non-residents to the city for the same while at the same time increasing overall revenue.
Roger Hudson – Obviously, I will be extremely happy when the last foot of asphalt is laid on the aged-out road rebuild and we know It’s paid for… But a larger goal for me personally will be the redevelopment of the current Safeway lot. I see a multi-use beautiful gateway to our city.
Chuck Lowen – In year one, the reform team of Lowen & McEntire will have implemented our plan to fix City streets without raising taxes. Voters will have approved our proposed merger with South Suburban Parks & Recreation District and will enjoy its recreational facilities and opportunities at less cost.
David McEntire – In year one, the reform team of McEntire & Lowen will have implemented our plan to fix City streets without raising taxes. Voters will have approved our proposed merger with South Suburban Parks & Recreation District and will enjoy its recreational facilities and opportunities at less cost.
Ben Price – I’d like to see our roads fixed, and to see our water system brought to modern standards, with our storm water, parks and trails governed by the people of Castle Pines and not outside entities, without raising taxes. It can be done.
Tera Radloff – Looking back on another successful four years as Castle Pines’ mayor, I fully expect to reflect with pride on a collaborative effort to completely rebuild our two major roadways – Castle Pines Parkway and Monarch Boulevard – without raising taxes and without taking funds from our neighborhood street maintenance plan.
Merri Sheh – I would like to see an intimate and vibrant city center that reflects the charming character of Castle Pines. Responsible growth is paramount. Balancing the Integration of new with existing commercial, retail, and residential development will define the future of our city.