Voters choose Allen, Koop and Wiechman for Council

LAKEWOOD – Voters elected two new Lakewood City Council members and re-elected an incumbent  Tuesday.

They also tossed out two incumbent Jefferson County School Board members and balked at allowing a possible third term for a number of elected county officials, retaining the two-term limit now in place. Voters retained two Lakewood municipal judges by wide margins.

Scott Koop and David Wiechman and incumbent Diana Allen will serve four-year terms on the reconstituted City Council.

Koop replaces his wife Councilwoman Debbie Koop as a Ward 2 representative on Council. He defeated banker Frank Teunissen with more than 68 percent of the vote, the night’s largest margin in Lakewood council races. Debbie Koop was term-limited after eight years in office.

“ I’m just incredibly honored that the people of Ward 2 thought that I was the guy to go with,” the newly elected Ward 2 councilman said. “I really need to thank my family first and foremost. They have been super throughout the whole process. I’m just still trying to take it all in.”

Teunissen said he learned a lot in his first political campaign and plans to run again in two years.

“ You know, I woke up this morning, I turned on the news and I hear that there are elections going on in the United States and I’m part of it. And that’s exciting” he said. “As a patriot, to me that’s about as good as it gets.”

Wiechman won the Ward 4 seat vacated by single-term Councilman Doug Anderson, who chose not to see re-election. Wiechman topped Amy Attwood by 245 votes. The race was Wiechman’s second shot at a City Council seat. In 2007 he ran for the Ward 4 seat won by Councilman Adam Paul.

“ On the one hand, of course, I’m very glad to have this behind us and have the opportunity to actually do something,” Wiechman said. “But of course it’s very sombering. The realization that it’s now time to produce is, as I said, very sombering. On the other hand, it’s very exciting. This is why you do it, now you have the opportunity to really make a difference.”

But Attwood said she was waiting for the very last Ward 4 votes to be counted before commenting.

“I want to make sure they have their say, and when we know what the final numbers are then we’ll know how Ward 4 voters feel,” she said. “I’m very proud to have run a positive campaign for Lakewood’s positive and bright future.”

In Ward 5, incumbent Diana Allen will return to Council for a second term after out-polling long-time community activist Natalie Menten by less than  200 votes.

“It’s an honor to serve again, so I’m really pleased with that,” Allen said. “Natalie did a good job, she was a really good opponent. I’m obviously really pleased with the outcome and hope I can get back to work.”

Menten said she will continue to champion grass-roots issues.

“My passion has been advocating for citizens both at the city level and at the state house. I look forward to continuing to serve citizens,” Menten said in a written statement.

Two City Council incumbents, Vicki Stack in Ward 1 and Sue King in Ward 3, had no opponents.

The new City Council will guide the city through the fallout from a budget-busting national recession, the redevelopment of West Colfax Avenue, the on-coming West Corridor Light Rail line, development of the Rooney Valley and a changing of the guard at City Hall.

Long-time manager Mike Rock retired in September after more than a decade and a half as the city’s top administrator. His replacement, Kathy Hodgson, is a career Lakewood employee who started as a lifeguard.

Lakewood ‘s mail-in ballot also included two county-wide ballot questions, both dealing with term limits.

Ballot Question 1A, rejected by voters, would have granted the District Attorney for the 1st Judicial District the opportunity to seek a third term. Colorado’s district attorneys are limited to two four-year terms unless local voters decide otherwise. Because the District Attorney serves both Jefferson and Gilpin counties, the question must gain voter approval in each county to be effective.

Jeffco’s Ballot Question 1B also was rejected. It would have permitted a third four-year term for the Sheriff, the Assessor, the Clerk and Recorder, the Treasurer, the Coroner and the Surveyor.

In the race for the Jefferson County School District Board of Directors, only two seats were contested. Incumbent Sue Marinelli was ousted by newcomer Laura Boggs for the District 2 seat and incumbent Richard Rush was out-polled Paula Noonan for the District 5 seat. Board member Robin Johnson, who was appointed to the District 1 seat after former board member Scott Benefield resigned in June, had no opponent.

Lakewood Municipal Judges Daniel E. Ramsey and Presiding Municipal Judge Anne Stavig were successful in their stand for retention.

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