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Master Association Board Candidates

2021 Master Association Board Candidates
(in alphabetical order)

Click on the + next to each question to view responses.

Tim Berg withdrew his application for the MA Board Election on Feb. 1, 2021.

Chris Figge

General Information (Contact Info, Community Involvement, etc.)

Email: oxygenchris@comcast.net
Phone: 720-209-4310
Community Area: Valley
Resident Since: 1992
Occupation: Business owner

Community and/or Civic Organizations:
Project C.U.R.E., Ambassador Board
Community College of Denver Foundation Board of Directors (previous)
Boy Scout Troop 686 while my son Michael was in Scouts
Denver Chamber of Commerce – various events over many years
Numerous KCR Committees over the last 10 years

Hobbies: Skiing, Hiking, Road and mountain biking, Travel (not so much in 2020!)

Why have you declared your candidacy for the Board of Directors?

I believe that while the current Board has done an excellent job managing many complex and ever changing responsibilities, there are several areas where my background could benefit the direction we take in the future. My familiarity with numerous issues we have dealt with in the recent past, as I explain below, make me uniquely qualified to achieve a broad perspective of the issues we deal with. Extensive participation on several KCR committees over the years gives me an insight into the issues we currently deal with and will grapple with in the next few years.

What skills or qualifications do you bring as assets to the KCRMA Board of Directors?

I believe that owning my own business has given me a unique perspective on issues related to budgeting, staffing, and forecasting. Having this long-term 6th sense in dealing with the complexities that are presented on a regular basis here in KCR is a result of having previously served on the KCRMA Board of Directors, and I would welcome the opportunity to return to serve our incredible community in the role of a board member. I have served in management most of my adult life, including leading my franchisor organization for over 15 years, as well as honing my skills through various Denver Chamber of Commerce programs and events.

On which committee(s) do you wish to serve as a liaison? Why?

Each committee has a unique set of responsibilities and each serve a very important function in making KCR such a unique place to live and raise our families. These 100’s of volunteers are what make KCR so great, and to them I am grateful. I have previously served on or been the liaison to the Covenant Committee, the Architectural Committee , the Community Planning Committee, the Parks Advisory Committee and the Manor House Task Force. If I’m selected to serve on the board, I am available where and when needed – no real preference in assignment.

What do you see as the major issues facing the KCR community over the next three years, and how would you deal with those issues as a Board member?

Lots of issues to discuss. In no particular order:
We are dealing with the absorption of a dramatic increase in water costs, primarily because we needed to assist the Metro District with their financial situation. Only 5 years ago, the MD paid almost all the water bill – today, the MA’s percentage is around 80% of the water bill, amounting to in excess of $300,000 annually. This needs to be addressed in a proactive, not reactive, manner. A new Parks Advisory Committee is probably needed to address this complex issue of rising prices on an increasingly valuable and expensive resource.
Fencing – most master planned communities have a plan in place to deal with the inevitable deterioration of perimeter fencing. We do not, and we need to develop a plan in cooperation with homeowners. Our property values are adversely impacted by the patchwork approach we are currently using. Denver, for example, has a sidewalk replacement program, parts of which we might model. There are many options in dealing with this.
Survey – The survey we took fairly recently needs to be updated. In fact, the goal should be to do a new, updated survey every 5 years, when about 25% of our homes have turned over to new owners. This is an involved process, and I’ve had the opportunity to participate, develop, and drill down into the two most recent surveys with the Community Planning Committee. It’s quite the process, as those of you who have done this before realize.

What is your vision for the future of Ken-Caryl Ranch?

That we continue to be one of the most desirable places in the entire Denver Metropolitan area to live and thrive. But only through vision and hard work, with a community that collectively volunteers thousands of hours of community service have we been so fortunate to have this gem. So many countless hours have been given by your neighbors in so many ways – that’s what makes us so special. It’s been my privilege to work with so many of you over the years and my goal is to continue that service.

What is your philosophy toward Ken-Caryl Ranch amenities and spending money on those amenities?

We will need to maintain our existing amenities and infrastructure and not hesitate to make sure that we have the resources to make the appearance of KCR something our residents are proud of. Putting off maintenance / repairs usually ends up costing more in the long run. We need to spend your dues (and MD taxes) wisely and with a conservative approach to expenditures. We do need to coordinate very closely with the Metro District, as we are essentially Siamese twins and must always work cooperatively for the betterment of all of KCR, regardless of the source of those dollars. I believe that the Community Planning Committee, of which I have participated extensively, can help guide both boards in making informed and relevant decisions on spending. I think staff and previous boards have actually been effective in allocating resources in a responsible manner.

Jim Fodor

General Information (Contact Info, Community Involvement, etc.)

Email: Candidate chose not to publish
Phone: 303-903-5572
Community Area: Valley
Resident Since: 1983-1991 and 1995-Present
Occupation: Retired dentist, private practice, and Navy Supply Officer, USPHS Dentist 26 years active duty

Community and/or Civic Organizations:
Honorary Life Member of the American Dental Association, the CDA and the MDDS.
Disabled American Veterans, Commanders Club, Silver Leader
Military Officers Association of America (Life Member)
Clinical Assistant Professor, Colorado School of Dentistry, 3 years
KIND (Kids in Need of Dentistry) Volunteer Provider
AMSUS (Active Duty Member)
Board Member, Subdivision HOA, and Architectural Chair
American Correctional Health Services Association. (I developed a Dental Assistant vocational training program which was certified by the Department of Labor and was used nationwide by the Federal Government.)

Hobbies:
Sports were always an important part of my life but the aging process and a service-connected disability have taken a toll.
Presently, limited to hiking, biking, the stationary bike, and resistance training.
In high school: My primary sports were varsity football and basketball. I was runner-up in both intramural tennis and golf.
In college I was curious and took an extra gym course in boxing.
While on active duty in the Uniformed Services: Continued to pursue boxing as a hobby, short distance running (2 to 3 miles), trained in two disciplines of martial arts (one was a job requirement), Basketball, Hiking/biking, Weight Training, Downhill Skiing and playing Chess.
While stationed in the Caribbean (Aruba 3 years): Lots of tennis. Local Aruba basketball team (competed with other Islands). Running, Swimming, Table Tennis, & Snorkeling.

Why have you declared your candidacy for the Board of Directors?

I was stationed throughout the USA and overseas, but my wife and I always loved KCR. We returned, lived here for over 30 years total, and I would like to give back to our community. These lands contain very delicate and fragile ecosystems that I deeply care about. The Master Association is a non-profit which gets funding from our dues (90%) and the Metropolitan District is a government entity which depends on taxes plus fees. Most amenities people
think about: parks, equipment, programs, sports are supported by the MD and not the MA. Most open space and Ranger Staff, equestrian center are MA. How the money is allocated is so important and should benefit all residents more equitably.

My experience as a Navy Supply Officer in budget management can provide utility. MA Funds should have been prioritized for neighborhood needs and less emphasis placed on additional dirt tails. Property values increase when landscape and aesthetic improvements are made in the vicinity of our homes and not miles away. Trees make a difference. Funding for tree replacement in general has been $10,000 per year. I feel that has been grossly inadequate. This is only one of many examples voiced by residents in general and at meetings that I have regularly attended since 2014. Fence replacement has been overlooked. The 2009 trail plan was controversial, but it was still accepted. The initial configuration was challenged, and the environmental concerns remain. What I prognosticate has the potential to be even more alarming and divisive than the $70,000+ Docmann Loop Trail, which in my opinion, was one of the most environmentally damaging decisions ever in KCR. There are trends which would not just have environmental impact, but could create far more disturbing consequences. Hopefully, they will not reach fruition. Please read on.

What skills or qualifications do you bring as assets to the KCRMA Board of Directors?

The Uniformed Services leadership and management experience gained in my 26-year active-duty career in addition to 10 years in a private dental practice has provided adequate preparation. I have a business degree in management and economics and completed Navy Supply Corps School. I was stationed at three commands with the responsibility of managing money and services, accounting, procurement, and overseeing the budgets of other departments. Supply Officers are the business managers of the Navy. Duty assignments included sea duty, stateside duty, and an overseas three-year tour:

  • Supply Department Head on the ship.
  • Division Officer at our shore base (Received an early promotion from 0-2 to 0-3)
  • Executive Officer at our Petroleum Inspection Command in the Caribbean.

We inspected petroleum products loaded on commercial tankers and inspected airports throughout South America. When this tour of duty was completed, I attended Dental School and was promoted to Lieutenant Commander (0-4) in the Navy Reserves. After graduation the Navy offered a two-year post-graduate school option, but I chose the US Public Health Service which is a uniform service. I retired as an 0-6, Director Grade Officer, working at one of the highest levels available to dentists within our government bureau. My diversified career has provided the tools for effective decision making.

Dental Officer positions held:

  • Chief Dental Officer
  • Health Services Department Head
  • Northeast United States Regional Dental Consultant

While on active duty I received the Hazardous Duty Ribbon, the Commendation Medal (twice), the PHS Citation, and the Outstanding Service Medal among others. I have taken many leadership courses and voluntarily assumed collateral duties not related to my primary responsibilities. I finally retired after 10 years from an award-winning private practice which had a contract with the US Air Force.

On which committee(s) do you wish to serve as a liaison? Why?

First, as a liaison you need to sit quietly and listen. Only interject if absolutely necessary. I have regularly attended Open Space Committee meetings for years, and this committee has been given more responsibility than merely advisory. Therefore, I feel it is important to fill these committee seats with balance between those persons who emphasize development and those who lean toward conservation. Candidates for these seats should be personally interviewed prior to selection. Resumes alone do not suffice.

I have attended Community Planning Committee meetings which are important because those members are looking forward and predicting future financial contingencies. This committee also develops the periodic residential survey questions. The questions needed to be more specific judging from the large number of responses in the handwritten section. The responses were subsequently typed and comprised thirty-eight pages in small print. By far the most prevalent category were comments about the open space and excessive dirt trail development. All of the committees are important, but due to my familiarity with the two aforementioned committees, I would like to serve on either the Open Space or Community Planning Committee.

What do you see as the major issues facing the KCR community over the next three years, and how would you deal with those issues as a Board member?

There are predictable serious issues that could surface at any time and wrong decisions would radically change a quiet residential community into something quite different. We must protect KCR private property and our way of life.

  • A recurring issue is how and where Master Association revenue is expended. There is a fiduciary responsibility, so proportionally less money needs to be spent to develop the far borders of Foothills Open Space.
  • Reintroduce Mountain Bike Races in KCR: This is a bad idea. There were bicycle races in KCR open space in 2009. The trail plan was submitted by the Trail Club that same year. In my opinion KCR has adopted a trail configuration that is fit for mountain bike competitive events like no other in the Denver front range. It is attracting outside groups honing their skills on our MA property. Aggressive mountain biking activity and serious accidents have occurred. This needs to be addressed ASAP. Recommendations: Update KCR Trail Use Rules: 1. “The sole purpose of bicycling is to reach points of interest.” 2. Restrict bicycle racing or competitive behavior. 3. Define aggressive practices and enforce compliance.
  • The proposed South Docmann Trail: (Renamed: Wildcat—) As excessive trails go, this is as bad of an idea that I can imagine. I predict community resentment will build as future consequences are realized. The problems will transcend environmental issues because: Jefferson County property borders on the east, Deer Creek Canyon Road to the south, an elk meadow to the west and this is virgin land. It will only be a matter of time when this area is open to Jefferson County mountain bikers and other non-residents passing through county property and from the road. The KCR mountain bike highway thus becomes a superhighway and traffic proliferates into residential areas. There’s more.

What is your vision for the future of Ken-Caryl Ranch?

I envision observation areas in a designated portion of KCR Foothills Open Space where the Docmann Gulch can be viewed in its unimpeded natural state as it once was. In time there would be no trail running through it, but a trail would be at a professionally calculated distance away. Ultimately, you would see some amazing biodiversity, rare flora and abundant fauna during the daylight hours. The wildlife that have become nocturnal or are seeking refuge elsewhere will reemerge. The population of the raptors would grow with their foraging area undisturbed. Hopefully, the sounds of the rare Oven Birds would once again ring through the air. With luck the Golden Eagles would return, and the elk will appear. This end product would be the KCR Conservation Area.

There needs to be a starting point. The MA Board needs to take the initiative. There will be no monetary cost to start. The Association already paid for two biological surveys that recommend the foothills area south of Massey Draw as a Potential Conservation Area. It constitutes approximately 20% (one-fifth) of MA open space and just a third of the foothills. Similar to the successful Wilderness Act of I964, all mechanical means of transportation would be prohibited here. Bicycles would still be permitted on the other 80% of KCR open space. Our open space is valuable. It is so important to preserve at least a slice of it for future generations. This is feasible if the business community would please get behind it and the residents, the Trail Club members and hopefully, the TC leadership would support this incredibly wonderful concept. It has already been embraced by Jefferson County and other communities. There is more vision to come with recommended action items in the next Amenities section. Stay tuned and thank you.

What is your philosophy toward Ken-Caryl Ranch amenities and spending money on those amenities?

Amenities are what makes Ken-Caryl a great place to live but having amenities requires managing them properly. Amenities must be affordable and reasonable. Facility and equipment preventive maintenance is paramount. The parks, the greenbelts, the building architecture, and even the open space should appear aesthetic and uncluttered. Children’s programs are important to me having lived in a city where there were organized activities and programs for kids and then moving to a new suburb where there were none. Providing the best we can reasonably give to child development adds value and pride to a community. “Reasonably” means safe and cost effective.

A few ideas:

  • The KCR Conservation Area & Wildlife Protected Habitat.
  • A simple Incident Report Form with an icon on the front KCR webpage. (Smart phones report incidents in real time.)
  • Request a Dog Park on Jefferson County property down Valley Road west of the Hogback where a parking lot is located. We do a lot for Jefferson County; staff the Community Center, manage Parcel A, provide activity/program access for a modest fee and even mow the intersection area of C-470 and Ken Caryl. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
  • Pay for neighborhood signs. (vice build new dirt trails)
  • Re-evaluate the controversial Willow Springs Agreement.
  • Utilize our Ranger Staff and their expertise more effectively. Responsibilities for trail management have been delegated to residents who lack the credentials.
  • Our media: (improve communication and transparency)
  • The 2017 KCROS Management Plan should reincorporate a few paragraphs from the 1997 Plan. These paragraphs had much greater clarity and were more succinct.
  • For safety purposes the 1997 Plan mentioned passive activity for KCR open space.
  • For safety purposes the “Open Space and Parks Use Rules” should be more specific defining what constitutes acceptable bicyclist behavior.

Andrew Lydens

General Information (Contact Info, Community Involvement, etc.)

Email: andy.lydens@gmail.com
Phone: 303-931-2634
Community Area: Valley
Resident Since: 1994
Occupation: Healthcare Analytics

Community and/or Civic Organizations: KC MA board member 2018, 2019, 2020
Hobbies: Hiking, Biking, Skiing, Sailing, Eating

Why have you declared your candidacy for the Board of Directors?

I just completed serving a 3-year term on the MA board. Given my experience and the collaboration of the current board in helping drive a positive impact on community, I have the desire to continue helping to ensure Ken-Caryl continues to be a great place to live. My three daughters were born and raised in Ken-Caryl, and my wife and I have been here for 20 years. We feel blessed to have enjoyed all the amenities and serenity our community has to offer throughout that time. Now that the kids are all adults, the time is right for me to focus on giving back to the community which has given so much to my family and me.

What skills or qualifications do you bring as assets to the KCRMA Board of Directors?

I have lived in three different homes in both the Valley and the North Ranch over the past 20 years. All three of my children went to primary and intermediate school in Ken-Caryl. This gives me a long-term and broad perspective on what is important to families in different areas within our community. I am responsible for managing a multimillion-dollar budget at my workplace and operate daily in a team environment. I have served on several committees, workgroups and task forces throughout my career and within Ken-Caryl over the past two decades. I understand that the role of a board member is to represent the common interests of the residents, so listening and understanding what the community desires is paramount. I think I will offer a unique balance of experience, pragmatism, and creative problem solving in helping to address the challenges and opportunities presented to the board.

On which committee(s) do you wish to serve as a liaison? Why?

The previous two years I have served as the Open Space liaison and prior to that I served one year as the MD liaison. I believe all these committees focus on important staples that have a huge impact on what makes Ken-Caryl so unique. I have a broad interest in all these areas and it’s very important to the legacy of our community to uphold the mission that of each of these committees represent. My family has enjoyed many of the aspects that these committees are all about, from open space and parks to historical sites, and I’d be happy to serve in any capacity needed to contribute. If given the choice, Community Planning, Open Space, and Parks Advisory would be my priority given what I am most interested in.

What do you see as the major issues facing the KCR community over the next three years, and how would you deal with those issues as a Board member?

I think we need to continue focusing on the issues that are most important to our residents and allocate the resources necessary to fix the issues, address resident desires, and maintain what we have within our unique community. While we have made great progress on the new pool and other improvements over the past couple years, there are several other amenities, services and programs that warrant attention. The fences throughout Ken-Caryl need to be repaired and upgraded, water conservation efforts around greenbelts and entryways must be addressed, and diseased tree groves need to be replaced. Additionally, the MA board needs to continue overall cooperation with the MD board in all areas, including safety/vandalism and protecting valuable open space areas. The upcoming resident survey will be very important in guiding the board on how to allocate resources. This will help maintain priority to the areas that are most important to our community. The results of the survey will be a fantastic starting point on what the community desires, where we spend time and a basis for allocating funds within our budget. The board should continue to listen to the KC committees, Ken-Caryl residents, and then take a collaborative approach in decision making.

Covenant control and protection of our open space is another ongoing and significant issue that warrants continued thought and discussion. As our neighborhood ages, so do our homes and yards. Old failing fences, overgrown and dead trees, shrubbery, and landscaping can all encroach on open space and easements. All of this has implications well beyond the visual blight from lack of covenant control. Erosion and drainage, damaging tree roots, noxious weeds, wildfire prevention, maintenance and other adverse environmental impact considerations need to be continually addressed.

What is your vision for the future of Ken-Caryl Ranch?

I’d like to see Ken-Caryl continue to be the most historically and aesthetically unique community in the greater Denver metro area. A combination of a traditional community feel with unparalleled amenities and open space make it one of the most desirable places to live in the state. We need to continue to invest in our community to ensure that our amenities remain safe for residents, especially the children. All of this has the added benefit of maintaining and increasing our property values. We need to continue to be good stewards of our environment and ecosystem and strike a balance between protecting our open space and wildlife and maintaining the trail system that is utilized so extensively by resident hikers, bikers and runners.

What is your philosophy toward Ken-Caryl Ranch amenities and spending money on those amenities?

It is vitally important that we listen to the residents and gain a consensus on activities and amenities the community desires. A small vocal minority should not sway the wishes of the silent majority of Ken-Caryl. We need to understand what needs to be improved, maintained and to uncover areas where we should expand. We must have a plan to maintain and improve the community amenities, especially those the residents utilized the most. Our plan must be methodical, not reactionary and within the constraints of allocating our limited resources within a $3+ million annual budget.

The top activities in Ken-Caryl have historically been utilizing the paved paths, dirt trails, pools, open space and tennis courts. The list goes on from there, but it seems logical to make sure the board allocates funds according to the most utilized amenities. The residents will have an opportunity to provide a blueprint for what they want via the upcoming 2021 resident survey, and I suggest we use this as a guide.

I consider the staff and management of Ken-Caryl to be another very valuable amenity we have. We need to appreciate the work they do every day to keep operational order and the ownership they take in making our community great. The leadership of the Ken-Caryl staff has instilled a great culture that needs to be maintained. It is the responsibility of the MA board to make sure job satisfaction is high and the positive culture is maintained. This might be the best investment we as residents can make in our community. Finally, the MA board has done a great job maintaining an adequate reserve fund, and we need to continue maintaining these funds to allow the flexibility to address emergencies, infrastructure improvements and unexpected projects as needed.

David Seagraves

General Information (Contact Info, Community Involvement, etc.)

Email: daves@kcranch.org
Phone: 303-242-7221
Community Area: Valley
Resident Since: 1986
Occupation: Project Manager

Community and/or Civic Organizations:
Ken-Caryl Ranch Board of Directors – 2018 to present
Boy Scouts of America – Cubmaster, Scoutmaster – 1997 to 2015
Bradford PTA
South Jeffco Sports Association Coach

Hobbies: Skiing, Hiking, Golf, Travel, Family Activities

Why have you declared your candidacy for the Board of Directors?

I am honored to have served on the Master Association Board the past three years. This past year has been the most challenging and also the most rewarding. The COVID pandemic impacted the community in many ways, and I’m proud of the actions of the Master Association and Metro District Boards in making decisions that have continued to provide first-class services and amenities, while maximizing the safety of staff and neighbors.

Two of the most impactful actions of the MA Board in 2020 were the contracting and construction of the new Ranch House pool and the hiring of a new Executive Director. The new pool will open in May 2021, and it will be an asset we will all be proud of and will serve the community for decades. Many thanks to the MD board for their financial contribution from the Plains District settlement fund, and to the other MA board members for their insight in providing the remainder of the funding to make this project a success.

And finally, the most important vote I made was to hire Victoria DeSair as the MA Executive Director. I cannot be more proud of Victoria’s leadership since she became Executive Director. Her passion is infectious. Her dedication to this community has been unwavering, especially during this most difficult period. I am so grateful to Victoria and Traci Wieland, our MD Manager, for their guidance and thoughtful management throughout this past year. We are lucky to have them both.

My reasons for my candidacy are simple. I want to continue to serve my neighbors in this special place we all call home, to make a difference in providing the resources to continue to keep us safe and to enjoy all the amenities we are blessed with. I welcome your input and appreciate your consideration.

What skills or qualifications do you bring as assets to the KCRMA Board of Directors?

As many of you already know, I’m a passionate person, and when I dedicate myself to something, I give all my efforts and abilities to that purpose. I’m lucky to have inherited common-sense from my parents, and I believe I provide good judgment and bring rationality to the board’s culture. I am open-minded, and I look at both sides of an issue and try to understand all opinions before rendering my decision. I try to be fair and balanced – I am not a member of the Trail Club, but my wife and I hike the trails often. I very much appreciate their community service and efforts to keep the trails well-maintained and safe. I am not a member of the Conservation Committee, but I admire their efforts to protect and preserve our open space. I hope that we can all find common ground on contentious issues. If elected, I will use my 34 years of experience in living in Ken-Caryl Ranch and what I have experienced over the past 3 years as a board member to continue to serve the community with passion and professionalism.

I want to say something about my fellow board members, Scotty Martin, Tom Bratschun, Chris Schroeder, and Andy Lydens. These gentlemen are not just my colleagues on the MA Board. I greatly admire their intelligence, their commitment, and their fellowship. Their backgrounds in public service, entrepreneurship, engineering, computer information systems, law, and construction management, have served the board and this community very well. I’m proud to serve alongside them.

On which committee(s) do you wish to serve as a liaison? Why?

In my three years on the MA Board, I have served as Treasurer, and board liaison to the Historical Society, the Election Committee, and the KCR Water and Sanitation District, a position we added because I thought it made sense considering how much money we spend on irrigation and other domestic water usage. If elected, I look forward to serving in any position that will benefit the community.

What do you see as the major issues facing the KCR community over the next three years, and how would you deal with those issues as a Board member?

Until around five years ago, I was like most of the community, the silent majority of KCR residents who were generally pleased and didn’t say much about what the Master Association and the Metro District were doing. Only after my sons finished school and moved out did I have the time to get involved in community issues. It’s concerning that more people aren’t very inclined to provide ideas on direction and priorities, until they are upset about something. Well, I guess that is human nature.

The 2017 community survey was helpful in getting more residents to respond and provide input. One disappointment was some of the survey questions were ambiguous, and it has allowed both sides of an issue to claim the responses supported their agenda. The MA Board approved funding for a 2021 resident survey, and I want to encourage all residents to participate to provide that direction that the members of the board need and want.

Most decisions the board makes are easy, especially when staff provides clarity in the need for a particular expenditure or change in policy. Victoria and Sean Warren are very good in providing appropriate documentation to support their requests. But, there are issues that are contentious, like new trails, social awareness flags and signs, and neighborhood perimeter fencing, etc. that the board wishes the entire community to provide input, since any changes to existing policy could be substantial. But I have always felt that I serve the community, and it’s important that we hear from the whole community, before we make important decisions on the direction of Ken-Caryl Ranch. I encourage all of you to contribute your thoughts and wishes to the 2021 resident survey. I, and the rest of the MA Board, work for you, and this is your opportunity to be heard.

What is your vision for the future of Ken-Caryl Ranch?

My wife and I have lived in our home in Ken-Caryl for 34 years, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. We have very close relationships with all our neighbors and consider them among our best friends. I have spent much of my adult life giving back to the community, as a coach, PTA board member, and Scout leader, and most recently, MA Board member, and I would like to encourage all of you to find a passion in the community and to share your skills and your time to make a positive impact on our neighborhood. That’s my vision, for everyone to contribute something to make Ken-Caryl special. It’s disappointing that as a board member, we receive feedback consistently from the same few dozen people, and never hear from the large majority of residents. I would like to encourage more of the community to provide input and ideas to help us with direction and prioritization. The future is what we want to make of it!

What is your philosophy toward Ken-Caryl Ranch amenities and spending money on those amenities?

I believe management of our amenities is arguably the most important function of the Master Association board. Our amenities (and our friends and neighbors) are the reason that my wife and I have lived here for 34 years, and have no desire to move anywhere else. Amenities are the reason why new families want to move to our neighborhood. We just funded and built a new pool at the Ranch House at a cost of almost $4 million, and I believe it is vital that we continue to maintain and upgrade our amenities as needed, and add new amenities as the community chooses.

One thing that most of the community might not know is that to fund the Ranch House pool, the MA Board postponed funding for long-term capital improvements in drainage and irrigation replacement, and made only modest increases in dues during that two-year period. Now that the pool construction is completed, the MA Board has resumed funding irrigation and drainage projects, without raising dues. I believe that shows the board is fiscally responsible and represents all residents. This past year, the MA Board also focused our resources on safety, making improvements to the Ranch House to increase security for the staff, and at other venues. We approved funding for street crossings and signals and want to continue looking at other opportunities for making improvements at additional crossings. We approved reroutes of several trails to improve bike and pedestrian safety. We completed work with the Equestrian Center Task Force and the Brannon Gearhart Task Force, and thank those volunteers for their input. We will be funding and completing enhancements in the next few years per their recommendations. If re-elected, I will always value our amenities and prioritize expenditures toward them.

Philip Varley

General Information (Contact Info, Community Involvement, etc.)

Email: philipvarley@gmail.com
Phone: 303-946-1941
Community Area: Valley
Resident Since: 1993
Occupation: Consultant CFO and Board Director

Community and/or Civic Organizations:
Ken-Caryl Water District: Director, 2020 – present, and 2004 – 2010, Chairman 2010 – 2012
Ken-Caryl Community Planning Committee: 2019 – present

Hobbies: Hiking, skiing, flying, travel

Why have you declared your candidacy for the Board of Directors?

I have lived in Ken-Caryl for 27 years. I moved here because I appreciated how green and beautiful it was, a recipient of the “Tree City USA” award, and the best kept “oasis” within the metro area. It had attractive recreation amenities, open space in abundance, and community pride (remember Pride Days, held until 2010?). In the last ten years, Ken-Caryl’s uniqueness has diminished, as maintenance has lagged, trees have not been replaced, and trails have doubled in length and width, many being concreted, creating urban eyesores.

The community spirit, which was a big part of being a resident in the 90s has devolved into special interest factions. And even though resident surveys have shown a desire for a balance between conservation and development in our unique and precious open space, the Board has approved, almost unanimously, every request to build more trails, ignoring the concerns of those residents who are worried at the effects on wildlife, and the visual scars such developments have created.

Now that plans have been submitted for potentially another thousand new homes on two development sites just east of C-470, we will need to effectively blend the needs of these new residents into our existing operations.

I believe that the MA Board should accomplish the following:

  1. Assure budget and fiscal integrity.
  2. Preserve, protect and enhance our priceless, signature landscape and our unique flora and fauna from fragmentation and visual degradation caused by poorly designed, aligned and constructed trails.
  3. Promote a safe, enjoyable and world-class experience for all users of all amenities, including trails, pools, tennis courts, and buildings.
  4. Ensure adequate maintenance of existing facilities, particularly fences in the Plains, so that the visitor’s first impression of Ken-Caryl is one of delight.
  5. Enhance our home values and quality of life.

What skills or qualifications do you bring as assets to the KCRMA Board of Directors?

Having been part of the community for 27 years, I have historical knowledge of the issues, and remember what the “original KCR” was like – welcoming, family oriented, vibrant, green, rural, especially with the equestrian center, tidy, well maintained, and with pride in our surroundings. I have served, and currently serve on the Ken-Caryl Water District Board, and am a member of the Ken-Caryl Community Planning Committee. In the wider world, I serve on a Strategic Advisory Board at Imperial College, London, from where I obtained my Chemical Engineering degree. I also act as a Consulting CFO for a number of clients, having spent 30+ years of my professional life as a CFO in the private sector. I hold an active CPA license.

On which committee(s) do you wish to serve as a liaison? Why?

Open Space: As metro-Denver continues to expand, with every piece of available land being developed, we here in Ken-Caryl are fortunate to privately own over 5,000 acres of open space. Leaving this land in its pristine condition, rather than fragmenting it as we have by building more trails, and allowing the widening of others, is very short sighted. The Open Space Committee is responsible for providing open space stewardship recommendations to the Board, and their charter requires that there is a balance between conservation and other uses. For the last ten years, there has not been a balance, as the OSC has promoted completion of the entire TMP, ignoring the negative environmental consequences. Wildcat Ridge, the last trail from the 2009 plan is now in the review stages. Once it has been built, residents need to be aware that there are plans for a new TMP, with multiple “connectors,” and incorporating many of the proposals in 2009 which construct a large number of east-west trails up and over the Hogback, and on the east facing slopes of the hills to the west. Those residents who will be heartbroken to see such scars on the landscape and by the degradation of the nesting environment for the wild birds need to be heard. I will be the voice for preserving our legacy.

Community Planning: One very badly worded question in the 2017 Resident Survey allowed for ambiguity regarding trails. The question asked “should the MA maintain or increase the amount of trails”. Probably 95% think we should provide trails, but based on the written comments, more than 80% did not want any new trails constructed. I would like to ensure that the questions in the proposed 2021 survey are much more specifically written, asking questions which have only one possible interpretation.

What do you see as the major issues facing the KCR community over the next three years, and how would you deal with those issues as a Board member?

The major issue facing the community is the disunity between residents who wish to preserve from development the last remaining undisturbed portion of open space that was set aside in the original Covenants, and those whose goal is to apply everyone’s HOA dues to build more trails which non-residents are currently allowed to use, free of charge, for bike racing training. The cost of new trails and their patrolling, over $1 million in ten years, has led to ignoring the maintenance needs of other ranch assets, which I address in answer to question 6.

It is a travesty that those residents who write letters to the editor or show up at MA Board meetings asking for a moratorium on new trail construction are ignored. However, ten years after the Trails Master Plan was implemented by the Board, in complete disregard to the over 100 members who turned out in July 2009 to oppose it (the largest ever turnout for a Board meeting), all but one trail has been built, notwithstanding environmental studies advising in general against such trails, and notwithstanding the preamble to the plan which states that “adoption of the plan does not require a specific timeline or commit any funding for implementation.”

With the 50 miles of trails we currently have, Ken-Caryl has ten times the number of miles of trail per resident than all of Jeffco. Despite being asked numerous times, none of the Board Members has answered “how many miles is enough.” They have not demonstrated with any objective metrics why more trails are needed. And they have refused to promise not to build connectors to Deer Creek Canyon Road or South Valley Park, providing easy access to non-residents. It’s time to say we have enough. It is time to preserve what’s left.

What is your vision for the future of Ken-Caryl Ranch?

I would like to leave a “legacy for my grandchildren” of a Ken-Caryl which is the most sought-after community in metro Denver, and which is even more appealing than it was when I moved here with my 6 month old daughter in 1993. At that time, the open space was a haven for wildlife, with Elk migrating through the valley, and frequent sightings of coyotes, foxes and raptors.

The Community Center was surrounded by trees, and within the swimming pool fence, there was plenty of space, in the shade, for relaxing. Now the pool’s area is inadequate even for loungers, and the trees have been cut down, replaced by hundreds of cubic yards of heat reflecting ugly concrete. What was previously a pleasant, relaxing area of grass and shade trees surrounding a fishing pond at Dakota Lodge is now also an ugly, concreted heat island, and the green spaces surrounding the red rock outcroppings are now disfigured by a myriad bike trails.
Many of the original trees along our roadways and in our parks are reaching the ends of their lives, and there are no plans to replace them. And there are proposals by at least one other candidate to continue to remove trees and grass along our roadways and at the entrances to subdivisions and replace cooling greenery with heat reflecting xeriscape. This was tried about five years ago, and the resultant furor caused the Administration to remove the map of proposed “xeriscaping” because the majority of residents were displeased with the dying trees and grass caused by failure to irrigate, and ruining the natural beauty for which Ken-Caryl is prized.
We must maintain the beauty that was created when this community was planned, by budgeting for replacement trees, adequate irrigation, and prevent any further concreting of Association land.

What is your philosophy toward Ken-Caryl Ranch amenities and spending money on those amenities?

Whenever I spend time at our pools, I consider myself incredibly lucky to be experiencing “resort living” for less than the cost of a cell phone subscription. Whenever I hike our hill trails, I chuckle that I have not even had to start my car. But whenever I see lack of maintenance on fences, railings, buildings and landscaping, I become upset because failure to perform preventive maintenance has allowed the disrepair to escalate to such point that replacement seems to be the only option. Nothing is more important to extending the lives and reducing the total cost of ownership of our assets than preventive maintenance, and I will prioritize those expenses over anything “new.”

Examples of lack of maintenance are horribly visible along our major roads where fences have been whitewashed by sprinklers, and in many cases are falling down, instead of being treated every five years with cedar stain, a practice which Ken-Caryl Water District follows and as a result, the original perimeter fencing still looks new.

Failure to protect our exterior wooden structures has over $100,000 to REPLACE fencing at the Ranch House, along Valley Parkway, and other locations, and this year, another $35,000 will be spent REPLACING a just 20-year-old Ranch House cedar deck. We build new trails, originally defined as “single track” yet we allow existing ones to become 10 to 20-foot wide eyesores – Lower Massey Draw is possibly the most visible example. And more money is wasted converting what were once rural looking dirt trails between subdivisions, pleasant on which to take dogs for a walk, into 10ft wide concrete “roads.”

I would use the results of the resident survey to identify areas most in need of maintenance and create a rolling 30-year maintenance schedule for all of our fixed assets.

Ken-Caryl Ranch