Name: Josh Rivero
Profession: Fika Coffee House owner
Biography: My parents, siblings and I originally moved to Parker in 1989. I am a small business owner, my wife Anna and I own Fika Coffee House(s). In 2012 I ran and was elected to Parker Town Council. I then ran for reelection in 2016 and was victorious. In April of 2021 I won a special election to fill a vacated council seat. In this, my last bid for elected office, I bring experience, knowledge and community lineage to a position that I hold with honor. I have friends and family throughout the community, some who may not always agree with my decisions but have the utmost respect for me as their representative and leader in our hometown.
Why are you running for council?
I’m running for Parker, all 60,000 of us. I bring experience in leading this town through my previous 10 years on town council. I have the experience needed to both listen, understand and then negotiate the importance of ensuring we retain the amenities and services our citizens demand. Parker is my hometown and I work for her.
What do you see as the biggest issue facing Parker right now and how will you address it?
Social media says it's growth but there are factors that embellish this perception. There has been, and continues to be, growth surrounding Parker that is perceived as within the town. Yet the growth inside our town limits remains well managed. I believe the number one issue facing our community is offering the full complement of housing choices. We need to increase the inventory for our aging population and for our young Parkerites. Both of these needs can be answered in partnerships with private industry.
Town staff reports that housing affordability remains a problem locally. How can the town council address this?
I believe in the free market. I believe that our housing issues were instigated by bad state policy. Colorado on a whole is woefully short of owner occupied multifamily (condominiums). This has lead to folks either staying in rentals and inflating rental prices (and thus a boom of apartments) or entering the single family market too soon and being "house-poor" or not being able to compete at all. Parker Town Council needs to continue to encourage owner occupied projects, including senior focused housing, and continue to advocate for less state regulation.
What are some of the initiatives you would like to see put in place by the town council?
I would like council to continue to look at our town code and update wherever possible. We are currently finishing up a rewrite of our land development ordinance which gives more definition where needed but also eliminates archaic ordinance where applicable. I would encourage council to continue this work is other areas of our laws. Secondly I look forward to updating our master plan, our guiding document. Parker is approaching buildout and our master plan needs to reflect an emphasis on future redevelopment.
What is your philosophy on growth and maintaining town character?
While Parker continues to grow we are nearing buildout. Parker will remain the town it has always been. The citizens demand amenities and services that make Parker great. Parker traditions are what make us Parker: Mayor's Treelighting, Parker Days, Christmas Parade, Wine Walks, etc. ... these are the things that make us special. Parker's hometown feel is not decided by how many of us there are, it is about how we treat each other, how we celebrate together, and how we live together regardless of where we came from or when we got here.
Many businesses in town say they are struggling to recruit employees. What can the town council do to help?
As a small business owner I know this to be true and I have heard it from my fellow business owners. I have staff that live in Denver and Englewood and commute to Parker to work in their hometown. That is not a good trend. We will lose the very lifeblood and future of our community if we do not have affordable housing for our youth. Council must encourage balance in our housing inventory that will allow a correction in the rental rates and thus more affordability for our work force.
What do you see Parker becoming in the next 20 years?
In 20 years we should be a fully built-out, full service community. Places of work will change in my opinion, more satellite offices and more work remote options and Parker needs to be ready to answer that transition. A place where we can truly live, work and play. I look forward to redevelopment along Parker Road. A road that should be our Broadway but currently looks like a frontage road. Parker will always be Parker, we are something special and we will always be. I look forward to retiring here and watching my kids and their peers take the reins in their hometown.