12/09/1948 – 09/07/2015
Bill Berens was born December 9, 1948, to William and Clementine (Teney) Berens in Montrose, Colorado. He is survived by his wife, Tami, two sons Bill (Analisa) and Andy (Gwen), step-son Chris Muniz (Michelle), and four grandsons: Drew, Jake, Nick and William.
Bill served our nation as a US Army Infantryman and Drill Sergeant and was honorably discharged. He attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He went on to become a Licensed Professional Engineer in six states. He also held a Master of Business degree from the University of Northern Colorado.
After graduating from CU, he moved to Broomfield in 1975. He ran for City Council in 1985 and was elected as a council member for Ward 1. He became Mayor Pro-Team in 1987. He was elected Mayor in 1994 and served four terms, becoming Broomfield's first Mayor to be term-limited in 2001.
During his tenure as Mayor, he coined the term "Team Broomfield" believing that the dreams of Broomfield's citizens, elected officials, and staff could be achieved through careful planning and by working together. And, many "dreams" did come to fruition while he was Mayor. In 1998, an amendment to the Colorado Constitution creating the City and County of Broomfield, was approved by Colorado voters by a margin of 62%. Broomfield seceded from Adams, Boulder, Jefferson, and Weld Counties. During his tenure as Mayor, staff was hired and buildings were built to meet the statutory requirements for services provided by a county. The buildings were built on time and under budget, including the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Library and Auditorium; the combined courts building housing Broomfield's Municipal Court, County Court, and 17th Judicial District Court; the Detention Center, and the substantial remodel of the City and County Building and the building currently housing the Health and Human Services Department. Additionally, a new water system and treatment facility were brought on line to replace the system near Rocky Flats, and Broomfield added a reclaimed water system. As a result of the combined City and County of Broomfield, resident's baseline property taxes were cut by 20%.
Mayor Berens spearheaded the effort for City Council to create the Broomfield Police Department's first SWAT team. The City Council approved the request, and a 12 member team was formed in 2001. Mayor Berens attended many ribbon-cutting and ground-breaking ceremonies including those for the opening of the Flatiron Crossing Mall, the 96th Street bridge over US 36 in Interlocken, and dozens of other business' openings throughout Broomfield. Mayor Berens served as Chair of the Board for the Northwest Parkway Public Highway Authority for five years. The Authority was successful in obtaining a $413 million bond issue under his leadership, and the Parkway was under construction when he was term-limited in 2001.
Governor Bill Owens appointed Mayor Berens to the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District. He also served on the Denver Regional Council of Governments, Broomfield Local Licensing Authority, Broomfield Planning and Zoning Commission, and was a founding member of the US 36 Mayor's and County Commissions Coalition.
Mr. Berens was elected to the Colorado Legislature in 2004 as a state Representative. As a freshman in the House of Representatives, he served as a Ranking Member of the Local Government Committee. He also served on the Capital Committee, Health and Human Services Committee, Transportation Committee, and the Police and Fire Pension Committee. He was appointed by the Speaker of the House to two national committees. He is remembered for the "Berens Memo" that presented a five-year capital and expense budget for the state legislature and governor. This was the first five-year budget in the state's history.
Legislative bills sponsored by Representative Berens included a Military Fund (funded by a voluntary checkbox on state income tax forms) that assisted active and reserve military members who needed financial assistance. He sponsored "Jessica's Law," which would have set minimum sentencing standards for sexual predators. The bill did not pass - his greatest disappointment during his time in the legislature. He was fondly called "Mr. Mayor" by legislative staff and fellow state representatives and senators. Governor Owens fondly referred to him as "Mayor Billy" even though he was a State Representative.
Mr. Berens served as a President of the Broomfield Rotary Club and Foundation. He was elected to the United Power Rural Electric Cooperative Board of Directors in 2009, and served on the United Power Board until his passing. A celebration of Bill's life will be held at the Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church in Broomfield on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 10:00 a.m. Memorial donations in Bill Beren's honor may be made to The Broomfield Community Foundation, P.O. Box 2040, Broomfield, CO 80038 or to the Wounded Warriors Project.