Information for Voters


Below are the final results of the Ward 5 Special Election. 


Jenny O'Neill


Paula C. Nystrom


Last updated: 11:40PM / 2-9-2024
These are the final (official) results from the Friday, February 9th canvass. 

Ward 5 Special Election Candidate Profiles

JANUARY 30, 2024


Paula C. Nystrom
Occupation: Manager of Project Controls – Ulteig Engineering
Best way for voters to contact you:
Your website/social media:

Paula-Nystrom.jpgWhat about your background and experience would make you an effective mayor or council member?
I believe that I would be an effective council member due to my years of leadership experience in both the military and civilian sector. I strive to learn something new every day and to gain understanding that can help me help others.

As a leader I have developed the ability to engage with others and listen to a range of feedback, both positive and constructive. Incorporating and acting on that feedback every day is essential to making progress and effecting change. 

I am an empathetic person, and my passion is helping others. Understanding the needs of my fellow citizens, ensuring their voices are heard, and working to develop comprehensive solutions to their concerns will be my focus.   

I earned a master’s in business administration (MBA) from the University of Miami, which enhances my perspective and understanding of complex matters. I also believe it is important to look at the big picture to understand overall implications and impacts of issues and solutions.    

What are three goals you would like to accomplish as a City Council member?
1. More transparency in Government decisions and enhanced communication methods to ensure awareness of those decisions. 

Many citizens of Lakewood feel disenfranchised, and polls reflect the rating of city government performance has steadily declined in the last 12 years. Engaging citizens and incorporating their opinions in policies will go a long way to turning that around. Critical decisions around budgets, planning and other key decisions should be made with the citizens’ voice at the forefront.

2. Future development plans should incorporate the sustainability and affordable housing goals of the city and its citizens. 

Continuing to build high end rental properties does not address the critical need for many people in our community. It also does not provide an opportunity for citizens to purchase a home to build equity and establish home security for the future. 

New developments should be focused on LEED certified building ratings for healthy, efficient, and cost-saving buildings. Xeriscaping, as well as planting and maintaining trees needs to be an integral part of the planning and implementation process. This will improve water conservation, increase absorption of emissions while providing shade and habitat for many at risk birds, bees, and other wildlife. 

3. Ending homelessness in our community.

As a Veteran and a human being, I am very passionate about this topic. Many veterans who have faithfully served our country are now homeless, this needs to change. 

There are many successful programs and new ideas to help people who find themselves in this situation. Creative options have been put forward in public comments at City Council meetings, and those ideas should be explored. 

Homelessness happens for many reasons and educating citizens on the root cause of the problem is critical to increasing empathy for those less fortunate.

What would you like to see for Lakewood in five, 10 and 20 years?
I would like to see the enactment of the City’s stated aspirations via concise actionable plans with targeted goals. Sustainability, economic growth, improving quality of life for everyone, are all objectives that are interconnected. Reported outcomes via Council meetings and media updates are essential for community awareness and engagement. There is a lot of good work being done, we need to make sure the community is aware of it. 

An aggressive plan to improve sustainability, tree canopy and water conservation is imperative to the future of our city and our planet. Projecting out 20 years is not possible unless every one of us is doing our part. The City should use its resources, programs, and policies to drive this effort.   

How would you approach controversial policy issues?
With any issue, I would do the legwork to gain a comprehensive understanding of the problem and the controversy surrounding it.  I would reach out to constituents to listen to and understand their perspectives.  I would use that feedback and knowledge to work with colleagues to come to a consensus with citizens’ concerns at the forefront.      

For those in races with more than one candidate, tell us what distinguishes you from your opponent(s)?
Throughout my military and civilian career, I have led with compassion, empathy and setting the example.  Effective communication and collaboration drives change and success.  I respect the opinions of everyone I work with, even if I don’t agree with them. 

I believe that experience and my desire to make Lakewood a more sustainable and affordable community for all our citizens, makes me the right person for Ward 5 City Council representative.  

Jenny O’Neill          Jenny-ONeill.jpg
Occupation: Project Manager, University of Colorado Boulder
 Best way for voters to contact you: 303.949.3508, call or text
 Your website/social media: / Facebook Page, Jenny O’Neill, Jenny For Lakewood

What about your background and experience would make you an effective mayor or council member?
I’ve worked in the architectural design industry for over 20 years. I’ve also been a self-employed commercial designer for the majority of my career. Working through obstacles and finding solutions with my clients has taught me the very valuable skill of openly listening and forging creative partnerships.

A large portion of my work, is to create feasibility studies by gathering all project details, assessing budgets, schedules, and engaging key stakeholders to provide knowledge and history. This process also helps to identify potential risks, liabilities, and overall viability of a project.  I plan to utilize this structured approach of vetting, collaboration, and investigation, to problem solving, and creating policy if seated as your next Ward 5 City Councilor.

What are three goals you would like to accomplish as a City Council member?

  1. Repairing community trust and dialogue.
  2. Create transparency in policy and decision-making regarding development.
  3. Address housing affordability.

What would you like to see for Lakewood in five, 10 and 20 years?
In the coming decade, I would like to see Lakewood become a more vital city with multi-economic facets to each neighborhood. Where families can afford to live, work, and age in our community.
In the next 20 years (or sooner), I would love to see a Lakewood that is less car dependent, more public transit routes with added frequency. Neighborhoods that have been thoughtfully structured to allow for better walkability, and connectivity.

How would you approach controversial policy issues?
My approach to controversial policy issues would be to ask a lot of questions. It’s important to me in my decision making, to understand all proposed details, intentions, legal implications, and history of any given topic. It’s vital that difficult issues be handled in the most public and transparent way. Of equal importance is the opportunity to engage with impacted community members. I believe this approach will allow for a holistic analysis in all difficult policy decisions.

For those in races with more than one candidate, tell us what distinguishes you from your opponent(s)?
As a resident of Lakewood for over 20 years, and having lived in multiple wards within the city, I believe my perspective is unique. In addition, my service on Planning Commission, has allowed me to experience the difficulty of tough decision making while working within the constraints of existing city policy. I’ve learned so much from listening to our Lakewood community members during this time and have identified multiple areas in which I believe we can improve our processes. I would be most humbled to earn your vote, and to have the opportunity to serve our community as your next Ward 5 City Councilor. 

Important dates to remember

Monday, February 12, 2024: The winning candidate will be sworn-in at the Feb. 12 City Council meeting, if no re-count is required.

Here is the full election calendar for the January 30th Special Election. 

Which ward do I live in?

Zoom in to our interactive ward map to determine which ward you live in, which affects what candidates you can vote for.

Voter Service & Polling Centers

Please reach out to the Lakewood City Clerk's Office if you need any of the following on Election Day: 

  • Drop off your mail ballot
  • Get a replacement ballot
  • Voter registration questions

Lakewood City Clerk’s Office
480 S. Allison Parkway, first floor


The Lakewood City Council includes a mayor elected at-large and 10 council members, two from each of the city's five wards. Lakewood has staggered terms; one council seat from each ward is filled during each regular municipal election. The mayoral election is held every four years. The mayor and council members are elected to four-year terms and may serve two consecutive terms. Terms begin at the first City Council meeting following the election. The City Clerk is the elections official for all regular and special elections held by the City of Lakewood. Regular municipal elections for the City of Lakewood are held on the first Tuesday in November in odd-numbered years. Special elections may be called by City Council.