Little withdraws from Ward 4 Council race

LAKEWOOD – The race for City Council’s Ward 4 seat became a bit less crowded late Monday when Randy Little announced he is withdrawing.

Little’s decision to leave the race cuts the field to two candidates – Dave Wiechman and Amy Attwood – in the campaign for the seat now held by Doug Anderson, who decided not to seek a second term.

Little said his business, RKL Consulting Group, is an advertising medium that works with local businesses and residents. That, he said, poses an ethical problem.

“The consultants I have talked to and the group I have talked to have recommended that I step down as a candidate for City Council,” Little said at Monday’s City Council meeting.

He encouraged other candidates with similar interests to do so, as well.

“I don’t think we should use people’s influences in different areas like that to run for office,” Little said. He did not identify the candidates or the issues he was referring to.

Wiechman said Little’s decision to leave the race “is very positive news for my campaign” because their political positions are similar. Wiechman said that similarity could have split the Ward 4 vote.

“This allows me to reframe the debate,” Wiechman said Tuesday. “Instead of a matter of the who’s the best leader, now we can put in terms of ‘Do you want a leader instead of a politician.’”

Attwood said Little’s exit from the race would not impact her campaign.

“I’ve always said I’m running not against someone, I’m running for what’s best for Lakewood,” Attwood said. “The voters will choose who best represents them.”

Attwood said Little’s decision to leave the race “demonstrates a high regard for ethical conduct. I respect his interest in and contribution to Lakewood and its businesses.”

Little, a native of Sioux City, Iowa, is a 28-year Lakewood resident and served on the city’s Commission for an Inclusive Community, including a stint as its chairman. He also is a member of a number of Lakewood business and professional agencies.

Little’s campaign focused on three main issues: better communication between City Hall and Lakewood’s citizens, responsible growth and transparency.

“Communication, in my opinion, is poor,” Little said in an interview with the Edge earlier this year.

“They (City Hall) communicate, but timely manner is of the essence. They tend to tell people about things two or three days before they actually vote on them,” he said. “I think we need a better communication scenario where it gets out there as soon as this stuff is brought up.”

Little also called for easier public access to the city’s financial records, including City Hall’s expense account ledger and checkbook.

Little attended Boulder Valley Schools and worked in the dairy and food industry for 20 years. After retiring from the dairy business in 1990, he launched a computer and video business, RKL Consulting Group. He also designs web pages and has developed two local business sites, MyLakewoodGateway and MyLakewoodCard.

He and his wife Kathy have three grown children, two of them full-time college students.

Kids romp, play and learn at Family Fire Muster

LAKEWOOD – Big red fire trucks and beaming young faces seem to go together and there were plenty of both at Saturday’s West Metro Fire/Rescue District’s Family Fire Muster.

The event at Red Rocks Community College drew hundreds of families for the fun, but the event has a serious side, as well.

“We want the families to come out, be together, have the chance to experience a bunches of fun venue and a safe venue, but really get to see the public safety components we have Jefferson County,” said West Metro Fire Chief Douglas McBee.

The Muster, which offers kids a chance to play while learning safety, marked its 15th year Saturday.

The event is filled with activities that not only are fun, but teach kids fire-safety and give them a chance to work with firefighters as they train fire hoses on target “fires,” maneuver tricycles through an obstacle course, toss “life-saver” rings to ducks in a wading pool and sit in a kid-size replica fire truck brought over by the Wheat Ridge Fire Department.

They also climbed aboard the real thing: fire trucks, ladder trucks, ambulances and water rescue craft, practiced escaping from through low-hanging “smoke” simulated by low-hanging tarps, fleeing through the window of an inflatable house and making a 9-11 call by talking to a real emergency operator.

“They get a chance to meet firefighters and other emergency responders in a real positive light here trying to help them as opposed to just seeing them at their house” during an emergency, McBee said. “It’s not just family-friendly, but pro-educational.”

More than 20 emergency, health, and safety organizations were on hand at the muster.

The muster began in 1994 when what then was the Lakewood-Bancroft Fire Authority, recognizing the fascination big red fire trucks spark in kids of all ages, rolled its fire-fighting equipment and other emergency vehicles to the parking lot of Carmody Recreation Center. Several hundred people showed up to get a closer look at the vehicles and visit with fire fighters.

The Fire Authority later became West Metro, and the Muster continued, and in 1997 turned it’s focus to offering families a free, fun and informative event to kick off their summer. The Muster unfolds the second Saturday of June each year.