In his final State of the Town address, Mayor Mike Waid had the pleasure to announce things are good—"in fact, beyond good,” he said.
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“We’ve enjoyed economic prosperity, responsible growth, low crime and so many other positive things,” Waid said.
Waid made his final State of the Town address Feb. 26 at the PACE Center in front of a crowd of community leaders. The annual event examining the town’s progress is hosted by the Rotary Club of Parker. The rotary club recognized three individuals with their Parker Impact Award, honoring members of the community who embody the club’s motto of “service above self." The Legend High School string quartet provided entertainment.
The Parker Impact Award recipients were Russ McCracken, former pastor of the Southeast Christian Church and founder of Southeast Community Outreach (SECOR) Cares; Bill Kraemer, longtime community volunteer; and David King, former police chief for the Parker Police Department.
Waid compared the town to a garden—something that requires tending to and nurturement in order to yield fruit. He encouraged his audience to “consider the next crop,” the town's next horizon. The town is 75% built out and the final major housing development is underway in Hess Ranch.
“In the not-too-distant future we will be done growing and we will need to be prepared for what our future looks like beyond that,” Waid said.
Waid said the key to the town’s continued success as an enviable place to live is in the citizens of Parker.
“Parker is not a place. Parker is a people,” Waid said. “The answer to the question of ‘what makes Parker so amazing?’ is simple. It’s not the things. It’s not the stuff. It’s you. It’s the people. It’s how you choose to interact with those around you. It’s not how you tend your garden, but how you help others tend theirs.”
Waid cautioned his listeners of allowing online negativity to cloud facts. He said Parker’s No. 1 issue is not growth, though growth has been the center of debate among residents as Parker and the Denver area continue to see a surge in population.
“It’s those who try to poison our growth for their own self-glorification and narcissistic desires,” Waid said. “It’s those who do not have the foresight to look down the road and plan for what is coming next while they are focused on what’s in it for them.”
Waid said that negativity is the vinegar to Parker’s garden—the greatest challenge the town faces.
“They’re there. They’re on social media, they’re on NextDoor. They’re around, but they are never facing you in person,” Waid said. “We can all enjoy a fruitful garden when we remember it’s not about the ‘I,’ but it’s about the ‘We’ in Parker.”
To close, Waid gave a heartfelt tribute to Parker citizens, staff and council colleagues about his time as a public servant. Waid, 46, has been involved with the Town of Parker since he was 29. He served on town council from 2008-12 and has spent the last seven years as mayor. Waid calculated he had spent 8.9 million minutes in public service for the town.
Waid thanked the people of Parker for making it what it is today.
“A lot has changed over those years, but the gift you (the people) have given me of a place my wife is proud to call home and my kids are honored to be part of is greater than anything I could ever provide back,” Waid said.
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