Optimism high as new Brighton council takes oaths

Mayor, City Council sworn in with an eye towards improving city

Scott Taylor
staylor@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 1/6/22

Mayor Greg Mills kicked off the Brighton City Council's 2022-23 term on Jan. 4, saying he expected great things to happen but urging residents to get involved. “Support your local elected …

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Optimism high as new Brighton council takes oaths

Mayor, City Council sworn in with an eye towards improving city

Posted

Mayor Greg Mills kicked off the Brighton City Council's 2022-23 term on Jan. 4, saying he expected great things to happen but urging residents to get involved.

“Support your local elected officials, whether you voted for them or not,” Mills said during his inaugural address in the city's Armory Performing Arts Center. “Just care. Serve on a board, serve on a commission and do something to help the community you live in. Don't just make Brighton a place you sleep when you go to work someplace else — care.”

Mills and returning councilors Matt Johnston and Ann Tadeo were joined by incoming councilors Peter Padilla and Jan Pawlowski as they swore their oaths of office and took their seats for the new term. They joined sitting councilors Adam Cushing, Mary Ellen Pollack and Tim Watts.

City Council veteran and former Police Chief Clint Blackhurst was also sworn in despite not seeking reelection. Councilors had selected Blackhurst to replace Councilor Kris Jordinelli after he submitted his resignation on Dec. 3.

Councilors also selected Cushing to act as Mayor Pro Tem for the next two years.

Come together

Mills had a tougher-than-expected path to retain his seat, facing challengers Laurie Lozano Maier and Wayne Scott in November's election. He and Lozano Maier moved on to a run-off after the two claimed the most votes. Mills had 3,599 in the November election, compared to Lozano Maier's 2,682 and Scott's 1,337.

Mill was able to claim the win in the Dec. 7 runoff, collecting 2,751 votes — 54% of the total votes cast — compared to Lozano Maier's 2,340 votes.

At the Jan. 4 inauguration, Mills acknowledged his opponents, saying he had talked to them after the elections.

“They were great challengers, and we challenged each other this past fall,” Mills said. “But now is the time to come back together.

He urged residents to do the same.

“The next four years, we have to get back to basics,” Mills said. “We have to address our needs. We have water needs, infrastructure needs like our transportation needs. And you are going to see a lot of transportation decisions made this year, and water decisions too. All of us are going to be involved with them. Some might be hard decisions, but it's time to build a better Brighton together.”

In his address, Mills acknowledged how nervous he was at first but said he thinks the City Council did great things. He said he expects more.

“I'm looking forward to the next four years,” Mills said.

Padilla, a City Council newcomer, said he wants to help keep Brighton a wonderful place to be.

“We need to acknowledge that city that was a little farming community of 10,000 people when I was a child here is a city of 45,000 people and it will be many more than that by the time we get to the next census,” he said. “Not everybody here has been here their entire lives, so we need to welcome people into the fold of the city as it grows. That is the core of what we need to do.”

Mayor Pro-tem

Three members of the new council stepped forward to serve as Mayor Pro Tem, the person tasked to lead meetings in the mayor's absence. Johnston, who served in that position, said he was done.

“It has been an honor to be Mayor Pro Tem, but I feel that this should be a one-term gig and out,” Johnston said. “So I am going to decline.”

Former Mayor Pawlowski put her hat in the ring, as did council veterans Watts and Cushing. After two ballots, councilors voted Cushing into the seat. He was optimistic as well.

“I appreciate the confidence that councilors have in me, and I'm really excited to be working with the new members,” Cushing said. “I think it's going to be a good year and it's always exciting at the beginning of the new year to have a lot of hope.”

Humbert says goodbye

Brighton's old City Council met for one last time prior to swearing in the new councilors and it was an opportunity to honor outgoing Councilor Mark Humbert. He was sworn in a new councilor in 2014 and said he thinks the outgoing group did a good job.

“We still managed to get back to the nuts and bolts of providing more and better water to our residents, new and improved parks, trails and recreation options and a new City Manager that brings Brighton's best interests to the top of mind,” Humbert said. “In my eight years on council, from what I hear, I think I did OK.”

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