Phil Cernanec, candidate for District 3 of the Littleton city Council

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Phil Cernanec has lived in Littleton for 27 years. He is recently retired from financial advising, and has also worked as an actuary, international business consultant, compliance supervisor, sales manager, adjunct professor and leadership facilitator. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame, and is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and Chartered Life Underwriter. He has served as the District 3 representative since 2009 and was mayor from 2013-2015. He is also a board member and treasurer of South Suburban Parks and Recreation District.

Contact: phil.cernanec@gmail.com

Campaign website: facebook.com/LittletonPhil

Why do you want to serve on the Littleton City Council?

During my tenure on council, I have been advocating for a comprehensive plan review and now, with recent personnel additions, we are poised to move forward, starting with broad citizen engagement to develop a community-based future vision for our city. From there, we revise the comprehensive plan and make appropriate changes to codes and ordinances. I have the experience (both local and regional) to make a positive difference in this process. If we do not move ahead with this approach, it’s likely citizens will continue to be frustrated by the processes currently in place.

What would your approach be to managing growth and development in the city, if elected?

A prudent approach is to manage growth and development in keeping with a revised comprehensive plan, at the root of which would be a community vision created collaboratively with robust citizen engagement. Economic vitality, safety (police/fire), maintaining the unique character of Littleton, traffic patterns, preserving and improving infrastructure, housing and transportation all need to be carefully considered. Until we revise our comprehensive plan, we do the best we can within the current constraints. Zoning (the contract between city and property owner) and codes are an important part of the comprehensive plan that needs to be reviewed and updated.

Amid rising housing prices, what can city council do to ensure young families are not priced out of the city?

We are fortunate to live in a community where we have great schools, parks, employers, and neighborhoods that attract every demographic. Unfortunately, council cannot control the market price of housing. I believe the problem of inflated pricing is due to the lack of overall housing inventory, and because of state legislation that currently discourages entry-level home development. I have testified at the Capitol to work toward removing this hurdle at the state level. Locally I have taken the lead in passing an ordinance that would encourage the development of housing that would be appropriate for younger families.

What can city council to do improve traffic flow in Littleton?

Problem areas like Santa Fe at Mineral require regional solutions, collaborating with RTD, CDOT, and neighboring cities on things like traffic signal timing. The Denver Regional Council of Governments Board, on which I serve, provides transportation grants that will be needed for solutions to these regional issues within Littleton. Actions to provide near-term relief during peak drive times through working with Littleton Public Schools and local businesses to coordinate school and shift start-times so that they are better staggered. Council, working with our recently hired traffic engineer, can also make improvements to traffic flow at neighborhood entrances.

What two issues need more attention than the current city council has given them?

The review of our comprehensive plan is finally on the agenda for 2018. I have been advocating for this for years. The process begins with robust citizen engagement to develop a community vision for Littleton’s future. Using this as our guide, the comprehensive plan (including review of zoning and codes) is revised. I believe this will help eliminate surprises and disappointments in the future.

We need to deal with long-term issues related to our growing and aging population. Transportation and infrastructure, improved mobility and safety are top concerns that need to have fiscally responsible and sustainable solutions.

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