Three will enter, two will emerge in Littleton at-large council race

One among Cole, Beckman and Novinger will be the odd person out

Posted 9/28/11

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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Three will enter, two will emerge in Littleton at-large council race

One among Cole, Beckman and Novinger will be the odd person out


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:

Peggy Cole

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.

Bruce Beckman

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 input.

David Novinger

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 city’s economy.

“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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