arapahoe county commissioner race

Pro-union McClellan wrong for Arapahoe

The blunder of the decade in Colorado government was Bill Ritter’s edict to unionize all state employees. Why on earth would his fellow Democrat, Rebecca McClellan, consider the same idea for all county employees as she runs for Arapahoe County Commissioner? Maybe it has something to do with all the contributions she’s quietly taken from union organizations – some out of state – for several election cycles now. That, and McClellan’s glaring lack of business experience or business support. She simply has no context for understanding how to run a productive payroll or how to foster economic growth.

What a contrast with Mayor Nancy Sharpe – an experienced businesswoman, proven executive, and the only candidate talking about jobs. No wonder McClellan is full of phony indignation about Sharpe’s donations from developers. She has to distract voters from the unflattering matchup of pro-union liberal vs. pro-jobs conservative at a time when most of us in Arapahoe County are tired of the recession and looking for leaner government.

Mayor Sharpe has been endorsed by every member of the city council that serves with her – Democrats and Republicans alike. These are her colleagues who know her best, and they support her even across party lines. Four past county commissioners here in District 2 have also endorsed Nancy, as have the founders of the City of Centennial, the South Metro Denver Realtors Association, and the Home Builders Association.

That’s easy to understand, because her conservative credentials are strong. In the private sector, Sharpe oversaw multi-million dollar budgets and a hundred employees. As Mayor, she ELIMINATED ALL CITY DEBT, created a rainy day fund, and REDUCED SPENDING while maintaining service levels -- all without raising taxes. Few other elected leaders have comparable bragging rights these days.

McClellan, lacking much of a record and weak on the issues, has based her campaign on attacking Sharpe’s character and frightening the voters about transportation. That’s not credible because, after all, it was Nancy Sharpe who led the effort to secure $4 million for current improvements to I-25/Arapahoe to reduce congestion and help KEEP CARS OUT OF NEIGHBORHOODS. I’ve wasted too much time, as you probably have, in the slow crawl on Arapahoe Road, so it’s to see this work finally occurring.

Poor Rebecca is flailing. Her alarmist rhetoric, liberties with the truth, and melodramatic “emergency meetings” have community leaders shaking their heads. I’m concerned that her tactics could poison the whole issue and threaten any future improvements to the intersection – just around the corner from where I’ve lived since 1974.

That offends me, and it offends McClellan’s colleague in Centennial government, Mayor Pro Tem Ron Weidmann. “Don’t believe the personal attacks, misinformation, and mudslinging by Sharpe’s Democratic opponent about the redevelopment of I-25 and Arapahoe,” he warns. “It’s all created as a political tool to further her career.”

Jim Dyer, who is retiring as commissioner in District 2, told me that based on his firsthand knowledge of both contenders, “Nancy Sharpe is the candidate you can trust to bring real solutions and not play politics with the facts. She’s the one who secured those millions from T-REX for widening the Arapahoe interchange.”

So we have one candidate who brings real solutions and the other who simply cries wolf. In the faceoff between Sharpe the conciliator, conservative and pro-jobs, and McClellan the divisive pro-union liberal, I choose Steady Nancy.