Starker has lived in the same house in Wheat Ridge since 1975. He began working carpentry in college, before starting his own construction company.He and his wife also built and own the West 29th Restaurant & Bar.He previously served on city council 2011-2015, and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science form CU Boulder.Contact: Bud@budformayor.net or www.facebook.com/budformayorCampaign website: www.budformayor.netWhy do you want to serve as mayor?We have unique opportunities now for our future in Wheat Ridge. I have the experience and temperament to listen for great ideas and the skills to help move them forward. I am committed to our community and the future we can build together.Top three priorities if elected?Safe and secure neighborhoods. Safety is job 1. I will enhance neighborhood watch programs, promote police-community communication and ensure necessary resources to our first responders.Economic growth and financial stability. Growth in Wheat Ridge spurs development in retail and job creation which is important for the city’s fiscal health. But it is important to foster economic growth that does not destroy our unique small-town feel.Small-town feel. We must preserve the quality of life and small-town atmosphere we cherish and create strategies that honor our rural roots, support strong neighborhoods and foster a shared sense of community.What should the city’s role be in regards to homelessness?Homelessness is a state-wide issue. All levels of government need to work together to solve the problem. As mayor, I will be active with others from Jeffco at the county level and work with the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative and the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. While we address the root causes and seek solutions to this issue, we must also maintain safety and security in all areas of our city.How would you balance retaining the city’s character, and encouraging redevelopment and growth?Preserving the open land with which we are still blessed and experiencing sensible growth and development can go hand in hand. That is not impossible. But our city’s character is not just about architecture and open space. It is about a sense of community and our small-town atmosphere. We must do everything we can, even as we grow to maintain that. To foster civic pride and engagement with new neighbors and old.The debate about the width, and parking situation along 38th Avenue seems perennial. How should the city proceed?How to approach redevelopment of West 38th Ave. has been a divisive issue in our city for more than a generation. The successful redevelopment of this area will require more collaboration, consensus building and compromise with a wide variety of stakeholders. This is not as simple as a three-lane or four-lane issue. I believe there are significant areas of negotiation and compromise that can be achieved if we can bring everyone to the table. I will use my best efforts to find common ground in this process.
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