Mayor-elect Toborg sets sights on grocery tax, RTD

Parker's seventh mayor promises change at town hall

Nick Puckett
npuckett@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 11/10/20

The Parker electorate voted for change in the town's elected leadership on Nov. 3, starting with the mayor. Jeff Toborg, 50, the IT executive and now-former town councilmember who ran as the …

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Mayor-elect Toborg sets sights on grocery tax, RTD

Parker's seventh mayor promises change at town hall

Toborg
Toborg
Courtesy photo
Posted

The Parker electorate voted for change in the town's elected leadership on Nov. 3, starting with the mayor.

Jeff Toborg, 50, the IT executive and now-former town councilmember who ran as the candidate for “change” at town hall, will be sworn in as the seventh mayor of Parker on Dec. 14. Toborg defeated two rivals in the race for mayor: two-term Councilmember Joshua Rivero and Jonathan Bollefer.

Toborg won 43.1% of the vote for mayor, edging out Rivero by 2 percentage points (40.7%). Bollefer, a corporate security executive and self-described outsider candidate, won 16.2% of the vote.

Parker, like the rest of Colorado and the country, saw record voter turnout this year for the mayoral and town council races. According to the Colorado Secretary of State's Office, 30,628 votes were cast for mayor in Parker, a 23% jump from 2016.

Toborg received 13,200 votes, the second-most votes for mayor in Parker's history. Mayor Mike Waid still holds that record, having received 16,240 votes in 2016. Rivero received 12,471 votes, the third-most votes for mayor of Parker.

The election reflects the town's desire for change, Toborg said Nov. 4.

Toborg campaigned to repeal the town's sales tax on grocery items, despite apparent opposition from the town finance department, and said he will ask the town council to examine rewriting the grocery tax “as soon as they are sworn in.”

“I ran touting my Republican values and conservative values,” Toborg said. “I think a little bit of that is that 'maverick' in all candidates that want to strike out and do something different than you do today.”

Rivero is also a registered Republican and is unabashed about his conservative ideologies. Rivero, for the most part, refrained from using partisan politics in the nonpartisan race for mayor.

The town is in the works of hiring a new economic development director, whom Toborg said he will be in close communication with as they establish the vision for Parker's economic future.

Toborg said he has already been in touch with state Rep. Kim Ransom and state Sen. Jim Smallwood to draft legislation to withdraw the town from RTD, an uphill battle that will likely face strong opposition from RTD lobbyists.

The mayor-elect touched on other issues concerning Parker, including the ongoing drama between the Tri-County Health Department and Douglas County over public health mandates.

Toborg is on the board of directors for the newly formed group Faith, Education, Commerce United, or FEC United, a group born out of the Reopen Colorado group that began last spring to protest stay-at-home orders issued by Gov. Jared Polis in March. Toborg said he believes in voluntary compliance of mask-wearing, but said he did not see the justification for wearing a mask at a restaurant, for example, if patrons are allowed to remove their mask when seated.

“When the governor does it, it's a different story,” Toborg said. “I think it gets down to a fundamental belief for me, and that's the personal freedom.”

Rivero, the owner of Fika Coffee House in Parker, a 14-year resident and graduate of Ponderosa High School, had support from Waid and many prominent small business leaders in Parker. Rivero also led the field of mayoral and council candidates in campaign contributions with more than $16,000 as of Oct. 15 — more than double Toborg's total of $6,000.

Toborg, however, also received campaign help from a local political group, Hometown Colorado, which raised almost $4,000 campaigning for Toborg and council candidates Laura Hefta, Nate Matthews and Fritz Freund. Hefta was elected to her first term on town council.

Rivero took to Facebook to thank his supporters.

“There is nothing more beautiful than our republic and I will humbly accept my loss,” Rivero wrote. “Am I saddened, yes, without end. Do I still believe in our community, by all means. I will not be your Mayor but I will be your voice to Town Hall. It is my charge and I will continue to shape the future of our Town. I am not going away and, if anything, have gained a louder voice. We will continue to thrive Parker. I love you all and I'm still here.”

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