Boy, can we use a new year. The past one gave us economic turmoil that devastated some and certainly rattled everyone paying attention. So long, …
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
Boy, can we use a new year. The past one gave us economic
turmoil that devastated some and certainly rattled everyone paying
So long, 2009. Hello, hope.
But if 2010 really signals a fresh start, it’s in the same way a
person trying to lose weight starts a diet. You begin with unwanted
pounds and push forward from there.
Of course, you also start with the knowledge acquired from past
years. Too much cake makes you fat, too much spending makes your
In Arapahoe County, there’s a full plate of issues facing
officials, businesses and residents as 2010 begins. It seems the
economy permeates most of them in some way.
With an unemployment rate of 6.6 percent, Arapahoe starts the
new year in better shape than many counties around the state and in
much better condition than the nation as a whole, which has a
jobless figure of about 10 percent.
While experts will tell you that serious job growth is probably
another year off, more work was already on the way in our local
communities late in 2009.
In December, both Sierra Nevada Corp. and Norgren Inc. announced
they would be adding jobs — a combined 240 — at facilities located
in our backyard.
We’ll see if more companies follow suit.
As the year unfolds, we’ll also learn more about the economic
impact of the fledgling Streets at Southglenn in Centennial. The
development offers a wealth of retail and dining, as well as a
residential aspect, and could become a major draw for southern
School districts like Littleton Public Schools are feeling the
squeeze of the recession as much, if not more, than most segments
of our county. The district is looking at increasing budget cuts
even more in 2010-11 than it did in 2009-10, a school year that
opened on the heels of the closing of two elementary schools.
Let’s not forget, however, that dedicated teachers and dynamic
technology abound in our classrooms.
The economy’s impact on the world of politics will surely be
seen in 2010. In Colorado, two of the biggest races will be for
governor and U.S. Senate, both seats presently held by Democrats
who are seeking to retain their posts.
Arapahoe County was a key battleground in 2008, when for the
first time, Democrats outnumbered Republicans in the county. As
2009 came to a close, the county was blue by a margin of about
That’s a small gap when you consider there are about 340,000
registered voters in the county, including more than 100,000 who
are neither Democrat nor Republican. Keep that in mind and you can
see why Arapahoe residents’ votes will be courted with dogged
While the addition of businesses would always seem to be welcome
in this economy, some new neighbors have created a firestorm in
several of the county’s cities.
Medical marijuana dispensaries started popping up in greater
numbers in the summer of 2009. But this is a trend that could be
Englewood, Littleton and Centennial each have passed temporary
moratoriums on the opening of new dispensaries. The cities are
grappling with this issue for a variety of reasons, but the main
one is that they didn’t see it coming. Further complicating things
is that federal and state laws are at odds.
Officials in local cities are taking care to give this dilemma
plenty of thought, so look for them to make decisions that strike a
balance between patients’ right to access and the communities’
Sure, there are plenty more issues that will crop up in 2010.
But none of them will be what you’ll remember most about the
Maybe you’ll run your first 10K. Maybe you’ll enjoy an afternoon
at Western Welcome Week with your family. Somehow, you’ll make
memories that will push the weighty stuff to the background.
Come to think of it, maybe 2009 wasn’t so bad after all.
Chris Rotar is a news editor for Colorado Community
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.