John Haney: City Council District 1 showdown, part 4

Over the past several years, northwest Denver has been the site of heated clashes over new development, struggling schools and other hot-button issues -- and the political pot got stirred into a frenzy when Denver City Council District representative Rick Garcia split for a gig with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Ten candidates are vying to fill the vacancy; the contenders range from veteran politicians to neighborhood activists to longtime local business owners. (For details on voting in this special election, click here.)

To sort through the mess before the ballots are counted on May 4, Westword sent all ten candidates a pointed (and, yes, at times irreverent) questionnaire. We'll be publishing the unedited results over the next week (links to all of the responses so far can be found at the bottom of the blog). Here are the responses for candidate John Haney.

Please provide a three-sentence bio about yourself. I was born and raised in North Denver. My wife, Kathy and I own Haney's Coffee Shop here in North Denver. I am a Denver Police Detective, the father of seven and the grandfather of ten children.

Some reports suggest northwest Denver has the highest concentration of dispensaries. Do you believe additional medical marijuana regulation is needed and, if so, what should it be? I believe they should be required to have twenty four hour security on site and increased lighting around the business.

Bonus question: If you were a strain of medical marijuana, what would your name be? Haney's Coffee Pot. It will keep you up all day, pain free.

District 1 schools are struggling. Please give concrete examples of how DPS can accomplish significant improvements while also providing equal opportunities for all local families. DPS should have a program that sees a child from ECE through their high school graduation.

Bonus question: To test your street smarts, answer this quiz question submitted by Geeks Who Drink: How many Oscars has Keanu Reeves won? None. It was totally bogus that he wasn't nominated for best actor for 1989's Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. (Correct)

What specifically would you want done to the new zoning code before final vote on June 21? I believe the zoning code should be passed as is. If any issues come up after June 21st we will deal with them as we have the last 50 years with the old code.

Bonus question: Include the name or address your least favorite building or house in District 1. Any Starbucks anywhere in the City and County of Denver!

Name two potential areas of the city budget that you believe could be trimmed and name two potential new revenue streams for the city. I think if any area of the budget needs to be trimmed we should look at the upper levels of City Administration. As far as new revenue sources I would look at seeking out new businesses to locate in Denver.

Bonus question: In which District 1 bar/coffee shop/restaurant/dispensary are you most likely to be spotted, and what would you be consuming? Of course it would be Haney's Coffee Shop. A nice dark roast with cream and sugar in my favorite Blue coffee mug.

Many changes are possibly afoot for city parks -- and in the meantime, rec fees are skyrocketing . What are your opinions on new proposals on the table such as expanding off-leash areas, as well as new revenue initiatives such as allowing parks to host admission-based events? The off-leash areas could be expanded, keeping in mind the size of the park. I think the Parks and Rec policy on park usage, as it stands now, is good and if any changes need to be made they should work with City Council and the neighborhood.

Bonus question: If the city were to hold a karaoke concert in Berkeley Park, what song would you sing and who would you have on back-up vocals? Since I can't carry a tune and I can never remember all the words to a song I'd go with something easy like "Born to be Wild". My back ups, Bob Dylan, Steven Tyler and Sheryl Crow.

What should be done to diversify transportation options in District 1, while at the same time encouraging pedestrian traffic and drawing visitors to the area's business districts? North Denver needs more buses into the area until light rail is in place. The rent a bike program could also be looked at as means for our residents to shop and enjoy our business districts.

Bonus question: If there were a three-way gang war between the Highland Mommies, northwest Denver dog walkers and local urban homesteaders, who would win? Highland Mommies all the way. My Campaign Manager is a H/M and trust me we are all scared of her.

Editor's note: Click on the appropriate name for the other candidate responses so far: Chris Jeffrey; Randle Swan; Susan Shepherd.

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Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner