City Council Spotlight: Janet Spangenberg

Janet Pic 080413
What led you to run for City Council?
I had a desire to contribute to the community in a meaningful way. Council had made a lot of tough decisions in the past few years, and had the City moving in a positive direction on many fronts. I thought my past experience might be of benefit regarding the redevelopment of 20th & Depew. When a couple of people asked me to consider running in the last election, I was eager to for a chance at working with a council I already had a deep respect for.


What part of the City Council role do you enjoy? 
I’m now in the process of discovery. I’d like my role to be complementary and compatible with those of my fellow council members, and flexible enough to adjust to immediate needs.


What are the challenges in your role? 
There is much to learn. Being new to Council, I have to get up to speed quickly. My nose is often buried in the Municipal Code book, City Charter, or Colorado Revised Statutes. Council makes laws and resolutions regarding a wide range of subjects, all of which I must be well informed. There are laws governing how I communicate with my fellow Councilors, and what issues I’m allowed to discuss with citizens. These laws are necessary, but unintuitive. There are many people to meet and know, from the Board and Commission members, to City Staff, and fellow residents. Remembering peoples’ names is a challenge for me! All this will become easier with time, though.


I expect the biggest challenge will come once I reach a certain comfort level and familiarity.  An advantage to being new is the naturally fresh perspective. I question things that now “pop out” at me, but could easily blend in as I become accustomed to them. The challenge will be to maintain that fresh perspective. Things do need to be reexamined from time to time, since what used to make sense once may not later on. Being new, I also experience a fair degree of awkwardness, and make a number of mistakes. The challenge here will be trading this for the discomfort of taking measured risks, over settling for the comfort of routine or succumbing to “group think”. I believe the best way to address these challenges is to engage as much as possible with, and listen to, all the people of Edgewater — those who live, work, shop, and play here.


What makes Edgewater unique? 
In my opinion, Edgewater’s long history as a home rule city, along with its location, created the town we know and love today. We’re small enough and big enough, all at the same time. If there’s something we don’t have, it can be found across our borders, but most everything we need is right here. We have an independent spunky spirit, with the confidence to make our own decisions, without feeling the need to follow trends of the larger cities surrounding us. We may be independent, but we’re not aloof. This is the friendliest town I ever encountered, and “strangers” don’t exist once they walk into town, they’re treated as one of us… as long as they don’t tell us what to do!


What do you hope to see happen in Edgewater over the next 3-5 years? 
When I look into the future, I envision our small town Main Street on 25th Avenue  bustling from day into evening with people enjoying the character of its restaurants, cafés, and eclectic shops. The brewery is perfect at transitioning from Main Street to uptown urban shops on Sheridan. Further north, Edgewater Marketplace continues to provide large scale retail, grocery, and other services. The 20th and Depew site has become a thriving mixed used development providing steady income from retail, and perhaps a new City Hall with police buildings.


I see our City’s infrastructure fully updated along with a sustainable maintenance plan, designated bicycle paths in use, and our housing stock maintained, upgraded, or new. Cultural amenities continue with our festivals such as the Celtic Harvest Festival, Farmers’ Market, street celebrations, Community Picnics and Fireworks, parks, and perhaps the Heritage Museum building is alive and well as a community hub. The City is encouraging of organizations such as the Edgewater Collective, Jovial Gardens, the local Business Group, and Edgewater Arts, who all work at meeting needs beyond the purview of City Council/Staff. I see Edgewater as being known for its engaged and informed community, quality of life, and vibrancy. It is a safe and thriving place to visit, eat, shop, do business, and the best place to call Home.

Be the first to comment on "City Council Spotlight: Janet Spangenberg"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.