It wouldn’t be going very far out on a limb to call the at-large city council race Littleton’s most interesting. There are two seats available …
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It wouldn’t be going very far out on a limb to call the at-large
city council race Littleton’s most interesting.
There are two seats available for three candidates. Incumbent
Peggy Cole hopes to continue to fill one of them, while recently
retired police Cmdr. Bruce Beckman and businessman David Novinger
are each mounting promising campaigns.
The leading vote-getter will win a four-year term, while second
place will serve for two years.
A look at the candidates:
Cole, who has served a pair of two-year terms after first being
elected in 2007, places a heavy emphasis on thoroughness in all of
her activities on council. She promises to continue delving into
all documents to ensure they’re worded correctly — which is to be
expected of a former college English professor — and asking
rigorous questions that examine all sides of an issue.
“I think I see the larger picture, but I also realize that in
everything you do, the devil is in the details,” Cole said.
Cole is campaigning on the platforms of government transparency,
economic and social vitality, and fiscal responsibility. From
conversations with her constituents, she believes Littleton is in a
good place and wants to put a premium on maintaining and expanding
the city’s offerings.
“My experience so far would be vital to moving forward in this
challenging economy,” she said.
Cole also says she takes pride in always being available to her
constituents. She’s spent a lot of time walking door-to-door during
her campaign, and she promises to continue following up immediately
when citizens contact her about city-related issues.
Among her proudest accomplishments from the past two years, Cole
lists expanding the Littleton Police Department headquarters,
formulating a prudent budget and selecting a new city manager.
Cole was born in Laurel, Md., and became associated with
Littleton in 1968 when she took a job teaching at Arapahoe
Community College. She has lived near Sterne Park for 34 years. She
earned her undergraduate degree in English from Western Maryland
College, now McDaniel College; her master’s degree in English from
the University of Arizona; and her Ph.D. in education from the
University of Colorado Denver. She also owns a second bachelor’s
degree in psychology from CU-Denver.
Beckman retired from the Littleton Police Department only a few
months ago, but he’s wasting no time joining his wife, Arapahoe
County Commissioner Susan Beckman, in the political arena.
“I’ve lived in the city, raised my kids here, worked here and
had a tremendous experience in the community. It’s my opportunity
to continue serving the citizens of Littleton,” he said.
In addition to his career in law enforcement, Beckman served in
the Colorado Army National Guard. He attained the rank of colonel
before retiring. He holds an undergraduate degree from Washington
and Lee University in Virginia and a master’s degree in public
administration from the University of Northern Colorado.
His long career in public service gives him a deep understanding
of city government and the local community, Beckman said. He
believes his vision for Littleton can re-energize the council,
though he also says he would emphasize protecting current amenities
and expanding within the city’s means.
“The challenge is to find ways to keep that excellent service
that we’re all used to, while revenues have been dropping. There’s
a need for some kind of reconsideration of how we spend our money,”
Beckman said. “I believing having first a vision, and then a
strategic plan to get it, with a tremendous amount of community
input … is the role of the next council.”
Beckman said Littleton’s main issues are the economy and
property values. He wants to focus on bolstering those, attracting
strong businesses to the South Broadway corridor, strengthening
partnerships with local organizations and garnering citizen
A businessman with a background in real estate and construction,
Novinger believes his experience working with municipalities from
an entrepreneur’s perspective would be crucial to strengthening the
“I’d like to add my experience, I think it’s something the
council needs,” he said. “I kind of have felt for a while that
maybe Littleton is not as productive as it could be.”
Novinger promises to be wise and flexible in setting the city
budget. He believes it’s possible to create additional revenue
without imposing increased taxes or fees. He also wants to empower
the city employees to do their jobs without too much micromanaging
from council, which he says will increase productivity.
Novinger and his wife have lived in the area for nearly four
decades. He graduated from Heritage High School and she from
Littleton High School, and their two sons have each attended
Littleton Public Schools.
He plans to tackle complex issues by trying to find a middle
ground. He says he doesn’t have an agenda, but rather wants to
determine the most important issues facing Littleton today and
finding out how best to deal with them.
“In business, you’ve got to find solutions. You’ve got to find
how to make things work sometimes,” Novinger said.
Among the challenges Littleton will face over the next four
years, Novinger said the biggest will be smartly managing money and
continuing to fund crucial city services.
“We need to maintain what we like, fix what we don’t, and plan
for the future,” he said.
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