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Leyden Rock Metro District Candidate Statement

Name: Christina Ardita

Why should I be elected to the LRMD Board?

My name is Christian Ardita. I am running for a Leyden Rock Metro District seat. I threw my hat in the ring because I want to see our community be the best in Colorado and represent my neighbors. I see so much potential in Leyden Rock and want to bring our community together to create a dynamic and fun environment to live. I’d love to help build bike trails, pocket parks, community gardens, as well as bring our neighborhood together to maintain an active lifestyle and foster a true sense of community. As a board member, I will have an open door policy to listen to our residents and will always work my hardest to make things happen and provide real solutions. We built our home here 6 years ago with a newborn baby, and I hope to be here to watch our children grow and graduate high school from Ralston Valley. I am committed to creating an amazing community for our children to grow up in and a safe place for our older residents, like my inlaws across the street from us, to make friends and enjoy their golden years. I would greatly appreciate your vote in May for a seat on our Leyden Rock Metro District Board. Thank you for your time and support. I look forward to meeting you all in my campaign walks around Leyden Rock!

Yours truly,

Christian Ardita
Let’s make a difference!

[email protected]


Leyden Rock Metro District Candidate Statement

Name: Tanis Batsel Stewart

Why should I be elected to the LRMD Board?

Hello! I am Tanis Batsel Stewart and I hope you will vote for me to fill one of the three opening positions on our metropolitan board.

I am a Navy retiree, with 26 years of active duty in the line and medical corps. My family moved to Leyden Rock in 2019 from the DC area, when my husband was offered a transfer within the DOE. My husband, Brian (known as Stew), worked on several long-term projects in Colorado in the past; I was previously stationed at NORTHCOM and lived in Monument for four years. We have extended family here and we love the state. Our two youngest daughters, Lindsey and Olivia, are sophomores at RVHS. Our older daughter, Sofia, is a freshman at UNC and our son, Ryan, is transferring to Metropolitan State this fall. We are thrilled to be back!

My take on board leadership aligns with the approach Brett, Scott and Tim employ – transparency, frequent and thoughtful outreach, and ensuring board members have a solid understanding of the legal, fiscal and community issues at play.

I have always enjoyed involvement in each community in which I’ve lived, and Leyden Rock has proven no exception. Here, I serve as the Chair of our new Landscaping Committee (lots of great neighborhood improvements coming, thanks to the hard work of the current board in refinancing our bonds) and as a member of our Budget Committee. I’ve been attending board meetings, from which I have a good sense of the concerns and issues our community members have brought up. Two skills I honed while in the Navy are the ability to find solutions to difficult situations and get things done. My primary area of expertise was emergency management and contingency support, especially on the planning side.

If elected, I’ll be focusing on solutions to some of the more pressing issues we are facing, such as better evacuation options (i.e., more than the single route we currently have, and planned, systematic evacuations), safer access to and from Highway 93, control of blowing refuse from the landfill, and neighborhood property security. There are ways to make ourselves heard by the city, county, and state, and my background is helpful there. Perhaps more importantly, there are ways we ourselves can begin to improve conditions until we get buy-in and action from higher levels; I will be pushing both approaches.

From the day we moved in, my family has benefited from the outgoing, Coloradan nature of our neighbors – champagne, an amazing charcuterie creation, home-baked muffins, friendly and welcoming faces all within hours of our arrival. It’s this characteristic I hear about most often from others in the community; it is the foundation we can build upon to make Leyden Rock even better for current and future residents.

I intend to build relationships among our residents by organizing or supporting frequent social/volunteer opportunities, with neighbors joining together to physically improve areas throughout Leyden Rock, or combining skill sets to drive changes to areas outside but impacting on our district when indicated. I’d like to develop a more focused approach than we have on NextDoor or FaceBook for outreach and assistance to each other when needed. I envision community service and leadership opportunities for our teens/Scouts/others, a disaster response group (to plan for that orderly evacuation), and so much more. Growing from these activities, I see relationships where we and our family members recognize and know many of our neighbors all across Leyden Rock, where mentors are readily found and where we look out for each other as a matter of course.

It’s an exciting time to be involved. Whether as a board member, or in any other capacity, I look forward to meeting and getting to know you.


Leyden Rock Metro District Candidate Statement

Name: Ryan Karl Heckenberg

Why should I be elected to the LRMD Board?

Leyden Rock homeowners, my name is Ryan Heckenberg and I’m am excited to seek election to the Leyden Rock Metropolitan District Board of Directors! I am one of the rare exceptions these days where I am not only a Colorado native but an Arvada native at that! Growing up in Arvada has allowed me to experience the tremendous transformation of our city. I remember driving down the dirt road of 82nd ave as it connects to Highway 93 – which is now the main entrance to our great subdivision, I have seen neighborhoods flourish into communities, and watched the vacant land of West Arvada transition into the Leyden Rock subdivision it is today. I graduated Pomona High School where I went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Metropolitan State University. When I was 15 years old, I began working for a local, family ran, residential home builder. After 11 years with the same builder, I transitioned into commercial construction where I was apart of large development projects in commercial retail, schools, industrial, and multi-family housing. Using my construction experience, I decided to obtain my Class A general contractor license where I started my own successful construction company building an apartment building, multiple commercial tenant finish projects, office renovations, and various restoration projects. Today, I wear a different hat as I am going into the fifth year of business working beside my wife Brittany as a full-time real estate advisor. We are celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary this August. Brittany, who is also a Colorado native and I have four children together, three of which are enrolled at Three Creeks Elementary while the fourth is starting at Ralston Valley this fall. My kids have loved and embraced our transition into Leyden Rock where they have made many new friends around the neighborhood and are looking forward to all the summer days on the trails, playing at the parks and keeping cool in the pool.
My past experience and skills in construction, real estate, construction finance and law will serve the board well in filling the open positions. I have over 15 years of experience working directly with the City of Arvada obtaining building permits and going through the entire building/inspection cycle. I have worked with developers on all sides of new construction including land development and infrastructure. I have negotiated single construction contracts in excess of $15M and have a lifetime construction management portfolio in excess of $100M. I am capable and comfortable screening all types of contract labor and have many past relationships that can be a benefit to the district. Outside of the construction industry, my real estate business is constantly ranked amongst the top teams in Colorado where I have successfully negotiated deals in residential, commercial and land transactions. This experience provides me the leverage to be intimately involved in active negotiations with lenders, owners, contractors, title companies, county assessors, and attorneys – all areas the Board of Directors has ample engagement with.
My Goals as Your Board Member (in no specific priority):
• Provide high level of service and consistency to the Board and the community.
• Be sensitive to the cost of the annual budgets while balancing the needs of the community.
• Listen to and provide feedback from the Board.
• Ensure Leyden Rock Metro District continues the path of excellence for management, vision, service, amenities and recreation.
• Provide recommendations that ensure property values remain high throughout the community.
• Support various amenity upgrades.
• Voice family concerns/ideas and bring that perspective to current and future Board decisions and debate.
• Communicate and be transparent, accountable, approachable, and responsive to members.
• Bring a balance of construction and real estate related experience to the Board.
I am interested in the Board position because I care about the standards of our community and the power of advocacy we have as a group. I am running for the Board to ensure the Leyden Rock community remains one of the top valued and desired communities not just in Arvada, but all of Colorado. I look forward to meeting, listening, engaging, and supporting the community with its needs while ensuring the integrity and neighborhood appeal is not diluted. Our community is large and individualistic compared to surrounding neighborhoods, unique with its own landscape, amenities, challenges, and distinction which will take enormous effort to ensure the characteristics are upheld and continually improved. I am up for the task of the Board position, ready to voice concern and to be a representative for and to the neighborhood. My diverse work experience makes me a strong candidate for the position and given this experience and sense of purpose, I hope you will select me so that I can contribute to the improvement of our community.

Thank you.

Ryan Heckenberg


Leyden Rock Metro District Candidate Statement

Name: Michael Vallone

Why should I be elected to the LRMD Board?

My name is Mike Vallone and I have been a resident of Leyden Rock for just over six years. I live with my wife, Kelly, and two children, Michael and Aubrey. I believe that, with the $4.7 million our district has to spend on improvements to the community over the next two and a half years, I would be a good fit to serve on the board because of my background and experiences.

I have worked in the vertical transportation industry (elevators, escalators, and all related equipment) for over twenty years. I have performed all functions from installation and maintenance/repair of vertical transportation to supervision of field employees and supervisors. This experience allows me to have a greater amount of insight when dealing with trades and contracts. I will carry this knowledge with me to the Leyden Rock Board to help choose the best contractors for the improvements that are going to be coming to our community.

While in the field I was required to coordinate with the other trades on the job to make sure that all aspects of the elevator installations went smoothly. I was also required to coordinate with other trades as a supervisor to make sure they completed all the work that was required in order to get my installers to have everything they needed to complete the install of the elevator. This has provided me with the knowledge and vocabulary to discuss projects in detail with multiple types of trades people and their management/sales reps. Based on my experience I have a better understanding of what questions to ask and a knowledge of what the answers should be to those questions. This will help me communicate with various trades performing work around Leyden Rock as we are improving our neighborhood.

As a supervisor and operations manager for Otis Elevator I was required to read and interpret contracts. This experience allows me to read through a contract to make sure that the details are correct. It also allows me to make sure that the terms and conditions of the contract have been met by the contractor performing the work. I will use this information to help compare contracts from multiple vendors as we receive quotes to verify that we are comparing apples to apples with the quotes that we receive.

In my current role, I am an expert witness for legal cases involving vertical transportation. When there is an accident involving vertical transportation, my job is to perform a forensic investigation to determine what happened. I then use that knowledge to testify in court to help educate the jury about the circumstances that took place. In this role I am required to have a high attention to detail. I am required to review records and contracts to determine what evidence is relative to that particular case. This attention to detail will carry over to my position on the board by allowing me to ask questions that will help clarify issues and recommendations as they arise.

I also have a finance degree and am very fiscally conservative. I will look to get the best services at the best price as we move forward with community improvements.

My goal as a board member, aside from helping to get the most out of the money we have for improvements to the neighborhood, is to make sure that the rules within Leyden Rock don’t get to be too much. I would like to make sure that we enforce the rules that we have or lessen them while keeping our community a great place to live and raise a family.

I look forward to working with the other members of the board and to hear from all the residents in Leyden Rock with their ideas and concerns. I believe that the board should act for the community and in the best interest of the residents. I know that I am not a well-known name on Next Door, but I am more than willing to keep the residents informed with any information that I can if elected. That could be in the form of more social media posts, or it could be phone calls or visits from residents. I think making the residents of Leyden Rock as knowledgeable as possible about the decisions made by the board and the concerns of the neighborhood only helps us become a better, closer community.

I thank you for your time in reading this and I hope I can count on your vote in the upcoming election.

Thank you.


Leyden Rock Metro District Candidate Statement

Name: Jeffrey Cunningham

Why should I be elected to the LRMD Board?

Background – I grew up in Carleton, Michigan, and graduated from Flat Rock High School. I went to Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan and majored in Accounting. I also lived in Saginaw, Michigan for 4 years, Traverse City, Michigan, for 10 years, Atlanta, Georgia for 10 years and Chicago, Illinois for 5 years. I moved to Colorado in 2013 and have lived in Leyden Rock since 2016. My wife, Kathe, and I have been married for 36 years and our three sons live in Arvada, Severance and Urbana, Illinois.

Occupation – I am a Certified Public Accountant and a partner in the Denver office of RubinBrown, LLP, a top 50 accounting firm. My focus is on real estate development companies across the country, particularly those who work in multi-family and affordable housing. Our office also has clients who are metro districts similar to the Leyden Rock Metro District.

Why should I be elected to the LRMD Board?

Kathe and I believe that Leyden Rock is an awesome place to live. With the development company board members leaving the board and the bond refinancing, I believe this is a unique opportunity to shape the future of Leyden Rock. I want to be a part of structuring the future, and leave Leyden Rock as an awesome place going forward.
Following are my thoughts on a issues that I believe affect Leyden Rock:

Financial Responsibility – I have volunteered on the Leyden Rock Budget Committee for the past two years. Serving on this committee has provided insight on how the District’s finances operate. The District received a set amount of money per year from your tax dollars, and there were many debates about how to best utilize this money to keep Leyden Rock a great place to live and properly fund reserves for future capital improvements.

The accounting firm in which I am a partner audits the financial statements of other metro districts. These audits and possible introductions to board members of other metro districts would provide insight in to how other metro districts are faring and resolving issues that other candidates may not have.

Bond Refinancing – The District is presented with a unique opportunity due to the recent bond refinancing. The District has over $3 million of proceeds that need to be spent over the next couple of years, or the money must be refunded. I want to ensure this money is spent in a manner that will benefit the district going forward. I am open minded on how the money should be used, and want to hear suggestions from the Leyden Rock Community.

Community Management – The Board is responsible for oversight of the management company that runs the District’s daily operations. There was a debate in the Budget Committee a few years ago about including in budget funds to allow the management company could hire a third person to improve the community management. I want to make sure that the he Board is ensuring that the management company is delivering as promised.

Jefferson Parkway – I am opposed to the Parkway for both safety and financial reasons. Homes were allowed to be built too close to the Parkway, and the berms offer little protection from a fire sparked by a vehicle or an out of control vehicle. I am also opposed to building any kind of wall, which would destroy mountain views. I also don’t understand how the parkway can be financially solvent based on its current configuration.

Thank you for your consideration. Should you have any questions, please contact me at [email protected]


Leyden Rock Metro District Candidate Statement

Name: Sally Van Teylingen

Why should I be elected to the LRMD Board?

I want to join the Leyden Rock Metropolitan Board of Directors to serve the community I live in. Being an active part of my community on a personal and professional level has always been
something that is very important to me. This is an exciting time for Leyden Rock Metropolitan Board as this is the first time it will be made up of all residents. As residents we see our
neighborhood in a different light than others that do not currently live here. By listening to the thoughts and concerns of my neighbors, I believe we can continue to make Leyden Rock a
highly desirable community.