2023 Denver mayoral race: Candidate Robert Treta shares his platform

Posted at 3:13 PM, Feb 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-22 18:13:48-04

Born and raised in New Jersey, Robert Treta came to Denver in 1996, and now he’s looking to lead the city. According to his campaign website, he’s self-employed at Treta Consultants, Inc.

City data shows Treta did not qualify for Denver Fair Elections Fund. At the start of February, he received $125 in campaign donations.

March 22 update |Response to the shooting of two deans at East High School in Denver:

After COVID we are back to the reality of our kid’s and teacher’s safety. These problems just don’t go away. We need police officers in every school. Our kids and staff are the most important assets of our city. We need to protect and restore confidence. Now!

Denver7's Chief Investigative Reporter asked Treta about his plans if elected as Denver's next mayor. Watch their conversation or read a transcript below.

2023 Denver mayor race: Candidate Robert Treta shares his platform

Tony Kovaleski: Introduce yourself. Tell us your story.

Robert Treta: OK, my name is Robert Treta. And I'm running for mayor. I grew up in New Jersey. I moved here about 27 years ago to start a construction company. So, I've been doing business with the City and County of Denver for 27 years. And I decided to run for mayor because I don't see anything getting better out there and I want to make some real change backed by common sense.

Tony Kovaleski: Insiders tell us the four most important issues in the city of Denver right now in this race are crime, homelessness, housing and transportation. Rank them from most important to least important and explain why.

Robert Treta: OK, well, I think the first three are directly linked. I mean, I think you take care of the homeless problem and you take care of crime naturally. I think you — well, I think you solve affordable housing first, that takes care of a lot of things also, I mean, it kind of all spills into different areas.

Tony Kovaleski: So, which is No. 1?

Robert Treta: I would say affordable housing would be No. 1 because I see that as the main bucket spilling into the other buckets.

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Tony Kovaleski: Then based on your No. 1 priority, affordable housing, what is your pledge to voters on how you will address it that may be different than your opponents?

Robert Treta: OK, the building department is a complete disaster. I've been doing business down there for, like I said, 27 years. People are waiting over a year for a building permit. It is just completely unacceptable. When I first moved to the city, we take one day to get a basic building permit on a residential building. It's taking 12 months and longer. When that happens, residents have to occupy two addresses. It takes inventory off the market, it starts to spill over into affordable housing. You know, any builder or developer trying to do a project has to hold onto that land for an extra long period of time. And we all know time is money. And that cost is going to get passed on to the consumer.

Tony Kovaleski: Like many cities, Denver has a lot of financial needs. If elected, what would you prioritize and what would you trim on the finance side?

Robert Treta: Well, we are — we're hearing one number: how much we're spending on the homeless situation. And we're not hearing the number that I want to hear, which is how much per person we're spending and how much we can cut that budget. Like, I can take care of the homeless situation for 5 and 10% of what they're spending right now. I'm a builder. I know how to do it. I'm a designer. I can design for all purposes. Whether it's an Airbnb rental or you want to, you want a house on a budget — I can design that. You want me to house the homeless, I can do that. Right now. We are spending entirely too much money on that problem. And it's just out of control. We need some common sense. We need a builder to run the city. And this is the most important issue right now.

Tony Kovaleski: Denver is a wonderfully diverse city, as you know.

Robert Treta: Oh, yeah.

Tony Kovaleski: Will you make a commitment if elected to make sure your administration reflects the diversity of this city?

Robert Treta: Good question. Diversity is important. But right now, what I am seeing is diversity being put in front of our safety, like the police force right now. They're trying to recruit a more diverse workforce, which I understand. I get. But they're having recruitment problems. So there are a lot of people that want to join the force, and are, I have a feeling, they're getting turned down, because they're not seeing the diversity and that can't happen. We need to have more police on the streets, regardless of where they're from. Keep in mind diversity, yeah. But don't put that in front of our safety. That's a mistake.

Tony Kovaleski: City council has the potential for huge changes after this election. How are you planning to work with the new council? And what will that relationship look like?

Robert Treta: Well, I'm all about making relationships. I'll make relationships anywhere, any way I can. Listen, my candidacy, I am the common sense, logical candidate for mayor, OK? I want to put real solutions in front of people. And I think when you look at some of the solutions I have, they're all based on common sense. I mean, I don't think anybody can argue with some of my ideas. I mean, they're kind of, you know, some of them are no brainer ideas. And I think they need to be implemented. And I think once I put my ideas in front of city council, I think they're gonna look at it and go, "You know what? Yeah, I think so."

Tony Kovaleski: If you could ask one other candidate — as you know, there's 17 total — if you could ask one other candidate one question, who's the candidate? And what is that question?

Robert Treta: It would definitely be Debbie Ortega. And I would like to ask her what makes her think that her 28 years on city council, you know, qualifies her to run for mayor? I have not seen any results. Everything has gotten significantly worse. She has had her chance and why is she now running for mayor?

Tony Kovaleski: This is a chance to get to know you. What is the last book you read and why? And what do you do for fun?

Robert Treta: I really don't read books. I read magazines. I read engineering reports. I read technology articles. I am factual. I just want facts. I want facts around the homelessness situation, all over the place. I will read newspapers, articles, magazines. You know, if it's a nonfiction article or book, I'll read it. But you know, fiction? I'm not much for it.

Tony Kovaleski: And what do you do for fun?

Robert Treta: I work a lot, you know. Right now, I'm building an Airbnb out in Limon, Colorado. It's an Airbnb recharge. It has a six-unit Airbnb with six charging stations for EV road trippers, so they could spend the night and charge. What I do for fun is I think of different ideas to serve a better purpose.

Tony Kovaleski: And finally, a chance for a closing statement. Look into that camera. Now, you've got about a minute and a half. Tell voters what they need to know about you in making this decision on who they'll vote for for mayor.

Robert Treta: OK. I think I have the knowledge to fix the problems that we're facing right now. I have the experience. I've been a small business owner for 27 years in Denver. I think I have the know-how to fix the building department to really take care of business, not just talk about it. We need to do action. We need some action, and we want it, we need it now. Right now, Denver is at a critical moment. The next mayor could serve for 12 years, and that is a likely outcome. We need somebody to really get in there, not just talk in circles. We need somebody to do something. I want to build for the homeless. I want to take care of affordable housing. I want to take care of renewable energy and EV transportation. We, Denver is not ready for any of this stuff. We need to act right now, and I will do it.