Warnick appointed to Highlands Ranch Metro District board

Background includes much special district experience

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John Warnick has been appointed to the Highlands Ranch Metro District board of directors to fill a seat vacated by Kelly O’Sullivan, who resigned in February.

Warnick, one of two candidates who challenged O’Sullivan for her seat in the May 2012 election, was appointed by the board out of a pool of four candidates who expressed interest in serving the southwest district after O’Sullivan’s resignation.

An owner of a construction management business, Warnick has master’s degrees from the University of Denver in construction management as well as real estate with an emphasis in finance.

He moved to Highlands Ranch in December 2011, but has an extensive background in working with metro districts. He has been involved with the Special District Association of Colorado since 2004 and is also a former CEO of Small District Management Services, which manages 200 different special districts in Colorado.

“Highlands Ranch is the largest metro district in Colorado,” he said. “However, it is in a small minority of the 1,600-plus special districts in the state that has its own staff and is self-sustaining. The smaller districts require outside companies to come in and manage them, and that’s what SDMS does.”

In addition to helping run smaller districts, Warnick has served on metro district boards in Aurora, Weld County, and Lincoln Creek Village in Douglas County.

“I know a lot about the special district world, and this is the community I live in now,” he said. “I wanted to make sure I was a part of it and that we were providing the best service to all the residents and really watching the taxpayer dollars wisely.”

When he ran last spring, he said it was his goal to never have to go to voters for a tax increase and to ensure that the budget was handled efficiently.

“I’m kind of getting the orientation by firehose at this point,” he said in regard to getting up to speed on the current issues facing the district.

Warnick will serve the remainder of O’Sullivan’s two-year term and will be up for election in May 2014 if he chooses to run. According to Metro District spokesperson Sherry Eppers, O’Sullivan resigned from her board position for personal reasons.