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Kyle Schlachter, who was elected to a two-year term on Littleton's city council in 2017, lost his reelection bid in November. We asked him about his time on council, and what comes next.
What are you proud of from your time on city council?
I'm proud we completed the city's first comprehensive plan since the 1980s, and the first-ever transportation master plan. They're great documents, and even if they're not perfect, they're a foundation for city to move forward.
Starting the Next Generation Advisory Committee, which engages millennials in civic affairs, was a heavy lift. It took over a year, but it's a big step toward getting young people involved.
What didn't you get finished?
I don't think anything was left unfinished. Envision Littleton, which produced the comprehensive plan and TMP, was a heavy lift. Finishing those in two years was unprecedented. Instituting a lodging tax would've been nice, but it may have proven difficult.
I hope the new council takes up some of the ballot measures we talked about: a lodging tax, a sales tax increase, short-term rental regulations and direct election of the mayor. This council will also likely have to deal with redistricting after the 2020 census.
Why do you feel you weren't reelected?
I couldn't say for sure. I think it was a close race. Scott Melin, who won a seat, and I held a lot of the same views. I'm glad I endorsed him and I'm glad he was elected. My message was similar to when I ran two years ago: We need to be proactive, forward-thinking, and looking at the big picture. I'm not a single-issue guy. There's not one thing I'm running to push or oppose, just a solid forward-thinking perspective. Being the incumbent, I heard from people who thought I had an advantage.
What's next for you?
I still work for the Department of Agriculture, promoting Colorado's wine industry, so that'll be at the forefront of my activities. I'll be able to spend more time with my kids. On council, I'd be away three or four nights a week, and now have more time to read them books and tuck them in.
At the moment, I have no plans to run for any office. I may consider applying for boards and commissions. Councilmembers Scott Melin and Kelly Milliman asked if I'd be a sounding board as they settle into council, and I said I'd be happy to.
What are your hopes and concerns for this new council?
I hope they stay positive, proactive and forward-thinking. There are multiple potential ballot initiatives to consider, and rezones coming. I hope they can work together and not rehash the past. I hope the mayoral election by council, which came down to a split vote, isn't an indication of the future. Especially since councilmember Carol Fey endorsed challengers to two sitting councilmembers: me and Jerry Valdes, who was selected as mayor.
I really enjoyed my time on council. I thought we got a lot accomplished. I would have loved to keep serving the community, but I'm hopeful that the new council will continue on the path that the prior council set for them.
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