Mark Rudnicki was appointed to Littleton City Council on June 1, filling the spot vacated in May by Karina Elrod, and marking a high point for Rudnicki, a longtime fixture in Littleton civic affairs. …
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Mark Rudnicki was appointed to Littleton City Council on June 1, filling the spot vacated in May by Karina Elrod, and marking a high point for Rudnicki, a longtime fixture in Littleton civic affairs.
Eight residents applied to fill Elrod's at-large council seat after she announced in May that her family was moving to Germany. Elected to a four-year term in 2017, she stepped down May 9.
Rudnicki was appointed by a unanimous vote of the other six councilmembers.
Rudnicki, 71, served on the Littleton Planning Commission for 19 years, from 1997-2007 and again from 2011-2021. He left the commission in March after hitting term limits.
An architect, Rudnicki has designed numerous commercial buildings around the Denver metro area, and custom homes around Colorado.
Rudnicki played a role in crafting Littleton's new Comprehensive Plan, ratified in 2019, that will form the basis of the Unified Land Use Code, a total overhaul of Littleton's land use and zoning codes, scheduled to be ratified in October.
“I'm excited and nervous, but proud to serve,” Rudnicki said after he was sworn in by Littleton Municipal Court Judge Ethan Feldman at the June 1 council meeting. “I felt bad about leaving Planning Commission so close to the end of the line with the ULUC, and this is a chance to see it through.”
Rudnicki said he's taking a “wait and see” attitude toward the ULUC draft plan, which is scheduled to be released in June.
“There's a lot of mystery,” he said. “It's so large and complex. But it's long overdue — the old one is what I call a buggy whip document.”
Littleton Mayor Jerry Valdes praised all the applicants who stepped forward to take Elrod's place, calling them smart and ambitious.
“I'm so grateful to everyone who put themselves out there,” Valdes said. “I hope they all stay involved in city affairs.”
The other applicants were Iftin Abshir, Christopher Bischoff, Joe Greiner, Jason Henderson, Pete McClintock, Gretchen Rydin and Carolyn Wolvin. Council held interviews with all applicants on May 19 and 20, which are available in full on LittletonGov.org.
Rudnicki stood out because of his years of experience with the intricacies of city zoning and land use, Valdes said.
“We need someone up to speed and ready to tackle this ULUC process head-on,” Valdes said. “We want to get this done before November, so we don't have a new council come in who have to start over on studying it.”
Rudnicki's term only runs through November, when the seat will be up for grabs. In his application, Rudnicki said he does not intend to run for reelection to a full term this fall.
“This will give those interested in running for the seat in November an even chance in the fall,” he wrote, “without anyone having a leg up of serving on an interim basis.”
After he was sworn in, however, Rudnicki said “things can change.”
“Never say never, right?” Rudnicki said about the possibility of running to keep the seat in November. “But I'm very busy with my profession. My intention is still simply to fill out (Elrod's) spot. In the meantime, this is a great group, and I'm looking forward to getting to work.”
Four seats are up for grabs on city council this November, and voters will directly elect the mayor for the first time in many decades, after voters overwhelmingly approved a direct-election ballot measure last fall.
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