Campaign Statement (Times-Call, 1-20-2008)
It is one thing to name lofty visions and desirable goals. It is quite another thing to be able to attain them.
My background and accomplishments demonstrate that I set reasonable goals and then act, not just dream and talk. High-minded principles and windy statements by aspiring politicians are one thing. But ability is another. In choosing whom to vote for, compare the abilities and the demonstrated performance of the candidates.
I ACT for jobs and business, the lifeblood of family and community. I am working to create, and have in fact created, jobs in this area. I am a technical reviewer for the metro-Denver WIRED, a federally funded initiative to develop jobs and placements. I spent NASA money in championing the transfer of a new technology from lab bench at CU into what is now CDM Optics, a healthy company employing over 50. I similarly directed almost a million dollars to Longmont’s DisplayTech, and the technology there now supports another Longmont company, InPhase, in its world-class holographic data storage. I am an advisor in optics to CTEK and a member of Magellan Research Center, both in Longmont. I sit on the Economic Vitality Task Force and wrote Appendix A that deals with growth within our limits. I am a respected technologist (Fellow of international optics organizations; multiple patents; book; etc.) and as such I speak the lingo and have early access to emerging technology. On Council I’ll be in a position to court promising businesses to locate here. New high tech businesses will also add many more jobs in other areas such as restaurants, retail stores, city work, etc.
I ACT for community. From serving on my HOA board (in third term as president) I understand and foster community within neighborhoods. I liked getting an unsolicited note saying “Hi, Richard, Thanks for your hard work on our behalf for the HOA. You keep us thinking about the community and up to date on its events. For awhile I had forgotten we had an HOA but not anymore.” Reading that made my day. Helping distribute federal funds for community development within the historic east side gave me a lot of insight into Longmont’s problems.
I ACT for science and the arts in Longmont. I’m in my second year representing Longmont on the Boulder County committee that distributes SCFD tax money.
I ACT for education. For years I have taught optics to middle schoolers and judged at the State science fair. I mentored dozens of students working in my NASA lab and renting rooms in my house. A perennial complaint from my neighbors is school overcrowding. On Council I will work to re-establish building benchmarks, preventing over-construction of new residential areas that would overcrowd schoolrooms. This requires coordination among City, school district, and developers. It requires firm resolution on the part of Council, and I have that. Developers adapt to clear direction from the City, and it’s in the best interest of the community.
I ACT for the citizens at large. I reject support by PACs or cabals of financially self-interested individuals who would hope to steer decisions of “their” candidate on council. I am retired and I have no personal financial axe to grind in this election. Of course business interests will be respected, too, especially as they advance the community - that is, the entire citizenry. I would think the owners of vacant houses, business parks, and warehouses should support me for my activism in bringing jobs to Longmont. I’ll work for jobs to fill foreclosed houses and empty offices, and to hold up the value of all our homes.
I respectfully request your vote.