J.E. “MAC” McFarlin Jr. Officially Announces Decision to Run for City Council of Ward I in November's Election

June 4, 2009

Hello, from J. E. “MAC” McFarlin Jr.

This morning on the 58th anniversary of My Parents saying, what in the Heck Is That? I took the pleasure of announcing my desire to run for the Ward 1 Council Seat in this November’s City election. It was especially gratifying to share this announcement at the CCBPA meeting among friends and associates who share a love for the City and People of Commerce City.

Ward 1 is faced with a number of challenges for the future. The restoration of the Derby area, the Highway 2 and Highway 85 corridors, the redevelopment of the old AC High School sight, Fastracks station along Colorado Blvd., possible redevelopment of the IvyK area, the need to annex the unincorporated enclave areas into the city, and of course the I-70 changes coming up. These will of course have to be handled along with challenges that are specific to the other three wards and the City as a whole. I look forward to working with our partners, SACFD, SACW&SD, SD14, SD 27J, Adams County, Denver, and the rest of the area communities and special districts. Only with cooperation and collaboration will we be able to continue to improve Commerce City and the northeast metro area.

I’ve had the privilege to work with a lot of citizens (both residential and business) and a lot of dedicated city employees, and officials (elected and appointed) over the last several years. Surprisingly, none of us had all the answers individually, some didn’t even know the questions, but by listening, learning, and working together, we’ve been able to build a great city to Live, Love, Work and Play in. I believe our best days and years are still to come. Whether I’m elected or not I will continue to work with and for the people of Commerce City.

A brief history;
Family moved to Commerce Town from Aurora in 1959.
Attended Kemp Elementary, Central Elementary, Kearney Junior High and Adams City Senior High School. Graduated in 1969.
Enlisted US Army, 1970-1972
Outside Sales Rep. E & G Terminal, 1987-present
Married to Lona, April 1st, 1989-present
CIAC, Citizens Improvement Advisory Committee, Co-Chairman 1999-2008
Prairie Gateway Authority, Board Member, 2003-2007
Commerce City Planning Commission, 2000-2003 alternate, 2005-present Chairman
CCBPA, Commerce City Business & Professional Assoc., 1999-present, past VP and past Board Member
CCBPA, Citizen of the Year, 2004
Candidate for Commerce City, Ward 1 City Councilperson, 2009


Sarah said...

I don't know Mr. McFarlin, but looking at what he has done in the city so far. I would say he is more then qualified for the position.

Sarah, Commerce City

Robert said...

If this guy gets in, he is going to have his hands full! I70, Derby.

I Love that he knows the BIG issues already.

Best part of his announcement is "Whether I’m elected or not I will continue to work with and for the people of Commerce City."

Shows the guys got class.

Robert, Northern Range

Nik said...

He's thinking regional!

Perfect man for the job, I would vote for him if I lived in Ward 1.

But I am stuck with Benson.

Nik, Reunion, Commerce City

Long Time Supporter said...


Trex said...

I am happy that Mr. McFarlin has decided to run.

I do have questions, like what are his thoughts of the recent forced annexation Commerce City did in Ward 3? and what are his plans to help the struggling Derby area? (by the way for all of you who don't know, Derby is now part of Ward 1).

Trex, Concerned Commerce City Resident

Mac said...

Hi, all, welcome to the start of a long 5 months! It's good to see encouraging comments right off the getgo.

Trex, Has 2 real good topics.

Annexation is a tool that has two sides. The good side is voluntary annexaton by the property owner.
The not so good side is involuntary annexation (some might call it forced), this usually happens when it becomes necessary to build new infrastructure to sustain new developement and the demands that development puts on the old systems. The annexations in Ward 3 were inevitable, but have been expected since the residential development has takenplace. River Run, the Dunes, and Belle Creek are part of the wrap-around of the annexed area that is required by CRS (Colo. revised statutes) for a minimum of three years prior to the annexation. That being said, once the decision was made by Council, the City Planning staff made an extrordinary effort to work with the 170 some property and business owners, to make sure that they were properly zoned to cover thier current and future needs and useages. As I said earlier these annexations were expected by everyone in the area for many years.
There will be more annexations to come in the future. These will be the enclave areas north of 70th Ave. and north of 72nd Ave. west of Highway 2. These areas have been wrapped around for years, and when conditions dictate, they will be involuntarily annexed also. Not necessarily pretty but essential to unify services and safety. I do not have a time frame, but again they are inevitable.

Derby is an easier topic. The PUD document governing the Derby Area redevlopment came from an ongoing collaborative effort of business and property owners, homeowners, residents in and around the area, City staff and public agencies. This effort started as the 4th of a series of unrelated studies/plans, dating back almost to when CC became a home rule City 30+ years ago. This is only the beginning of a long committment by the current and past Councils.

I will continue to support and do what ever I can to make sure Derby prospers. The Derby effort is the roadmap and model for the Adams City area, the IvyK area and possibly the Rosehill area as well.

You see you can't work on Ward 1 and not work on Wards 2,3 and 4 also! All of our challenges are interelated. Good thing we have 9 Council persons, 1 or 2 just can't do it all.

A few things I've learned as a Colorado native; If you don't like the weather, hang around awhile, it'll change; If you look, listen, and use Common Sense for the Common Good, you and your friends and co-workers can get a lot done.

If this discussion is to long, next time we can hook on email, or flip for coffee.

My email is mac4ccw1@q.com

Mac, CC Ward 1

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mac for running. We are proud of your positive attitude towards the city.
We don't have to worry about you going around "trashing" our city, but will do what is needed to make the future bright!

Tim Dalton said...

Well written response, I think you are going to make a good council member. It will be a nice change from some of the clowns we have up there now.

Tim Dalton

Erin NW said...

Being new to the area, I have a couple of questions, Where is and what is the IvyK area? Second is what is CIAC?

I do not live in your Ward, I live in the Ward of Reba Drotar's, which I think maybe ward 3, I am not sure about this after they changed it.

I thought I would ask, if I have these questions, I am sure others do to.

Erin NW

Anonymous said...

Mac is the MAN!

ccSpeaks said...

Hello Mac,

I do live in your Ward, and I think you are going to make a great council rep. You should have done this years ago.

Best of Luck,


Seth said...

I have a question for Mr. McFarlin, I am sure we are ALL wanting a answer too!!!!!!!

Mac, do you think you can work with this current council?????

Seth, Commerce City CO

Anonymous said...


Mac said...

Erin, the IvyK area used to be the old King Soopers shopping center (now Rancho Liborio) between Ivy and Kearney streets and 64th and approximately 63rd Avnues. It's now generally accepted as the area starting at Kearney Street, and heading west to highway 2, between 63rd and 64th Avenues, this includes the dogtrack and the event center on the northside of 64th Ave.

The new Ward maps and Ward ordinance #1761 are not on the City website yet. If you will email me your address I will check it out for you, and email you back. I've got a copy of both.


Seth, on to your ?
With the exception of Mr. Benson and Mr. McEldowney, who've been involved for approx 4yrs. The rest of the current Council members have been involved in City matters in a wide variety of divirse venues, from 6 to 40 years. Because of that fact I've worked with each and every one of them, in some way over the last several years. Has it always been fun? Well, DUH YEAH!!
See if you can figure out who did it.
One fell asleep in my bathtub while installing tile.
One did the marrying ceremony for Lona and I.
One used to make me feed every bird in Commerce City.
One turned 60 years old 2 years before me!!! HE WON!!
One used to cater parties out of a VW.
One used to appear in Fireman BEEFCAKE calendars.

I've had the pleasure of grilling all of them except Jason, in Candidate forums over several City election cycles.

I may not always agree with them, but I can and will work with all of them, in one way or another.

via email from Mr. McFarlin said...

Answer to Erin NW question, "What is CIAC?"

Citizen’s Improvement Advisory Committee (CIAC)

The CIAC began as the Citizen Core City Investment Advisory Committee on April 14, 1999, in response to City Council Resolution No.R99-09. The committee was charged with formulating and developing a plan for future development, and ensuring the continued investment in the “Core City” of Commerce City. They were to give input to City Council concerning the current Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) and any additional projects, which was completed through the course of five meetings in April, May, and June of 1999.

On May 27, 1999, the group unanimously voted to rename the group as the Citizen’s Improvement Advisory Committee. The Committee believed this would enable them to address concerns about the City as a whole, not just the Core City, and would more likely draw people from all areas of the City to participate. They also elected two Co-Chairpersons (Roland Russell and Mac McFarlin), who served the committee from 1999-2003.

In order to maintain autonomy, the group decided to be an adhoc committee with an open membership. The group concurred that it would look at CIP issues, but would serve as an input resource to City Council on other issues as well. Since then, the CIAC has been involved in virtually all major issues of the City. This has meant learning about specific issues, discussing each topic, and sending the committees’ thoughts, ideas, and concerns to City Council.

In 2003, the group elected Co-Chairpersons, and determined that one should be from the northern area (Paul Natale) and one should be from the historic area (Mac McFarlin). Meetings held on odd months would be at the Municipal Service Center and meetings held on the even months would be at the Recreation Center. No meetings are held in August or December.

On June 23, 2005, the group elected to have one Chairman (Mac McFarlin) and one Vice-chairman (Dick Smith) to serve the committee. Charlene Jaramillo volunteered to serve as Secretary. They served through April 2008.

Examples of past issues include: Derby cleanup, revitalization of the Derby and Ivy-K areas, annual CIP discussions, bomblets found on the Arsenal site, Arsenal cleanup efforts, transportation issues, Hwy 85, Hwy 2, Quebec St., the NE quadrant RTD & DRCOG planning, School Districts 14 and 27-J issues, the Conter Property, the Youth Zone, code enforcement concerns, water issues, Fire Department issues, annexation issues (i.e. unincorporated areas between 72nd Ave. & 80th Ave.), and more. Additionally, CIAC has partnered with the Commerce City Beacon, The Gateway News, School District 14, and the City of Commerce City to annually hold candidate forums and election issue forums.

It was decided in April of 2008, that the CIAC had more than completed what it had been asked to do. After 9 years the Tents were folded and Camp was struck, CIAC then rode off into the beautiful Commerce City sunset.

Red Barn Rebel said...

Great Answer Mac! Is Reba the one who cater parties out of a VW?

Red Barn Rebel

Terri & Carla said...

Mr McFarlin,

You are well spoken and have the exact personality needed for this current council. You Have my Vote!

Terri and Carla, Commerce City Ward 1

Anonymous said...

Make us proud mac.

Anonymous said...

Mr McFarlin,
I like your answers.
You are real, not slick like some who have been on our council, and you are not a lawyer. Both a major plus in my book!

Mac said...

To Red Barn Rebel; That's an affirmative.



Robbie, Commerce City said...

Your Ward MAC!!!!!! What do you think of Medical Marijuana?

Gateway News said...

Just to clarify, there is no plans for a Medical Marijuana business to be located in Commerce City.

Gateway News

Mac said...

To really clarify there's no outlet for RX POT, yet! And if you look at the map, due to the New Wards, this will be a shared challenge for Wards 1,3, and 4. Sorry Ward 2, no Pot for you.
It's a good idea to be proactive on an issue like this, rather than wait till it's already here setup and ready to go.



Neve said...

Dear Ward 1 Candidate,

What are your thoughts of the "grimey" image article that was put out by the Denver Post and also put out by the Channel 9 TV News station?

Neve, Commerce City, CO

Mac said...

Neve, the recent articles are good examples of modern day journalism, shortspan, short sighted, probably shot as they were driving west in one of the I-270 afternoon traffic jams, and probably using stock photos and notes from the 1960's.
They obviously haven't been here!
Also they not been in the Denver Metro area long or they would have seen a lot of areas, a lot worse than Commerce City on a bad day!!
Of course I'm not biased!!!
I've just heard it all over the years, sooner or later the guilty parties get to spend some time with us and they realize just how wrong they were.

I could spend hours on this and related topics, but not today.



Supporter of the Derby Area said...

Mr. McFarlin,

Thoughts of the EXTREME violations in the Derby area as far as weeds and trash!

Why does it have to get this bad before anything gets done?

And we are celebrating an "AWARD" for the Derby Area? What happened to common sense?

Mac said...

Not knowing where you're pointing your camera? The problem stems not from the roadmap, but from the parties that are not riding in the same car. The afterhours residents of the area, the buisness and property owners that either don't care or are so frustrated and tired of picking up after the others, that they quit caring.

Fortunatly there are more that do care and continue to try and keep the area clean.
The challenge is not only in Derby, as I go about all over town, my pet peeve has become the people that don't keep thier own yards clean and neat, but worse yet are those that manicure the lawn behind the fence, but leave the area between the fence and the sidewalk looking like a pigpen. Front, Side, or Back yard, it doen't seem to matter! Also look at the businesses that have no pride in their own place of business, and they wonder why folks don't like to trade with them. Like I said I can go North and South and all areas in between and see the same thing.

Neighborhood Services is a big help, but they're not the cure.
We all have to take part in the education and persuading of these people, after all we're the ones that live and work next to them.

I'm not for certain, as I'm not the one that gave the award, but I would guess that the Award is for the Planning and the progress to date, by those involved, and not for a finished project.



Anonymous said...

Hello -

I have know Mac for several years and have always found him to be honest, sincere, and willing to listen.

I also appreciate how he stays on top of the issues, in a positive, solution oriented way. Can all of our candidates say that?

Make no mistake, Mac would be good for council and good for Commerce City!

ccSpeaks said...


The city manger is coing up on his 2nd year anniversary.

How would you critic how is he is doing?


Mac said...

How is Mr. Flannery doing? An interesting Question.
I would say he's doing very well, considering that he has 9 immediate overseers to please, and through them 40,000+ people to look after. He seems to know that it's important to have an excellent team of Managers, Department Heads and City Employees to keep this ship afloat.
He's made changes in methodology and major personnel as any good Manager would have done, to keep things moving forward in an orderly and positive manner.
The City is a much easier Entity to do business with as a result of this team's efforts over the last two years.
As one Irishman about another Irishman, you didn't expect me to call him a nogood bum, did ya???

Very honestly I look forward to continue working with Jerry, for at least another 4 years.



Yuri said...


You are doing a great job with the questions. I admire that you are willing to take on any issue. Something not that common among some politicians!

Love the idea that you are a established resident!


Hyde said...

Mr. McFarlin,

Your level head and great communication skills are going to bring you pretty far in your political endeavors.

I see you as council member for 4 years and mayor for 4 years.

Hyde, (another Irishman in Commerce City)

Trina and Yuri said...

Mr McFarlin,

I am one of those who wanted the 2 per ward council positions.

After reading you explanation, I have changed my mind.

I think that you are making a mistake by running at Ward 1. You should strongly consider re-running for at-large.

Trina and Yuri, Commerce City (Northern Range)

Anonymous said...

Trina & Yuri-
I too live in the north, having said that, it is important for all of the city that there are good, fair, knowledgeable,& honest representatives in all wards.
I know Mr McFarlin, he is a good representative. He will look out for Ward 1, but also look out for the best for our entire city.

Anonymous said...

Ward representatives don't always represent their ward, look at ward 2.
His mind set is not on his ward unless he is trying to win points.

"Mac" please run for Ward 1, you are needed there!!

Gateway News said...

In order to reduce miscommunications, the Gateway News encourages anyone who “hears” something about a candidate to please verify and have a open discussion with the candidate in question before posting your comments.

Mac said...

Thanks ever so much for the positive thoughts.

I've given a lot of thought to which seat to run for, over the last 8 years. That's when folks first started urging me to run.

I've always tried to not fix something, if it wasn't broke.
Having lived and worked in Ward 1, for the last 20 years, I feel that's where I belong.

I'm hoping to try and fill Scott Jaquith's rather large shoes. Having worked with Scott on a lot of issues over the years, I've learned a lot from him, patience, perserverance, how to listen, and knowing when and how hard to swing the bat!!! The last one is the hardest thing to learn, he tells me.

Win or lose at Ward 1, I'll still keep working with and for, the good folks of Commerce City.



supporter of mac said...

keep rollin mac!

Anonymous said...


Will there ever be any way to bring the northern range and core city together on issues? It seems like all anyone likes to do is blame the other.

Mac said...

You've hit the nail right on the head!!!!

Where there is a WILL, there is a WAY!

There are a lot of folks all over town, who've been working that WILL, for the last 10+ years. You say you never heard about them? Just the way they work, in the dirt, working for the people, don't care about the spotlight or the headlines, just get the job done. Let someone else hog the attention, it gets them out of our way. One less roadblock.

Most of our issues are common to the whole of the city. It's a matter of balance and shifting priorities to solve the challenges, but they remain "our challenges" to solve.

Turn off the rhetoric, put on the work gloves, use North and South as the compass point indicators as to where we are going to work at next, together, in Commerce City.

Common Sense for the Common Good


PS: Dustie, please print the previous post and this on the other election sheet as well.
tks, Mac