Q&A with John Diak, candidate for Parker Town Council

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Campaign website: www.johnforparker.com

What makes you the best choice for this office?

Being a councilmember for the last eight years, I'm very familiar with the town's operational process and the many boards, committees and commissions I would be asked to sit on to represent the town. My strong financial background and diverse land use knowledge provides the competency to understand and participate in resolution of complex local and regional issues. My collaborative approach within my council duties and external board assignments have achieved uncommon results. My leadership ability has been recognized by my peers — being unanimously selected by politically diverse boards to assume leadership duties to oversee organizations of regional significance.

If you're elected, what is one single issue that will be at the top of your agenda?

Transportation/infrastructure. The last Town Citizen Survey ranked this as one of the biggest items the town could address to improve quality of life. We need to commit town funding as well as seek other funding sources through partnerships. Previous to 2012, Parker was only able to secure $730,000. Since elected in 2012, I have worked at the regional level to bring back over $6 million of federal transportation funding to Parker. Looking ahead, we will see an additional $78 million of non-town money spent on improving roads in/around Parker over the next five years.

If you're elected, what must you accomplish in order for you to consider your term a success?

I would consider my term a success if we can increase our accountability and transparency to our citizens by continuing to build out the town's strategic plan, update the Town Master Plan to incorporate citizen comments and concerns on future development, maintain our fiscally conservative approach toward town operations, assist our local businesses by creating and encouraging local activity, construct the Hilltop (E-470) Trail connection over Parker Road, reduce E-470 tolls and secure agreements to realize the $78 million in non-town transportation funding that will improve Parker area roadways over the next five years.

In your view, what is (or should be) the role and responsibility of a Parker Town Council member?

Councilmembers have duties — create policy, approve budgets and oversee 2 1/2 employees — but the role of a councilmember is dependent on the skill set, drive and willingness to give 30+ hours of service per week to their community. The responsibility of a councilmember should be to educate themselves on the current town ordinances and master plans through self-study and staff assistance; seek continuous improvement within their duties/roles; listening to citizens; engaging in open and honest, two way communication with both staff and council; and having the willingness to work together to reach consensus for the betterment of the citizens.

Why are you seeking this office?

Parker has been my home for the last 37 years and I feel a sense of duty to utilize my knowledge and skill set to further the interests of the community. Additionally, I have assumed leadership roles within various regional organizations — DRCOG, Regional Transportation Committee, E-470 — providing Parker's voice to the region. With Commissioner Partridge term limited, I provide continuity and a succession plan not only for Parker but for Douglas County within these organizations. I desire to fulfill my leadership commitments and be a mentor to the next generation of elected officials to ensure continued local and regional success.

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