What three attributes do you consider to be Flagstaff’s greatest assets and why? How would you use your position to maintain and strengthen these attributes?
A significant portion of residents are invested in our community and are actively engaged in making it stronger. City staff and council rely on this volunteer expertise for assistance and for help implementing smart policies.
The educational and scientific institutions and expertise in Flagstaff create many opportunities: cultural, economic, conservation, and policy.
The number of locally owned businesses make our community unique and stronger. These businesses are critical to our economic health and community vitality.
As Mayor I will continue my record of listening to all voices and seeking out expertise within our community to help me make good decisions.
Flagstaff’s 10-Year Housing Plan and Carbon Neutrality Plan both call for incorporating appropriate density into residential neighborhoods and reducing parking minimums to meet their respective goals. What is your opinion of the value of increased density and reduced parking minimums?
Density, parking minimums, transportation, and diversifying housing types must be planned in coordination because each impacts the other. Implementing shared solutions to both challenges can lead to a stronger, healthier, and more connected Flagstaff.
Higher density housing, known as “missing middle housing,” not only affects affordability but can also lower our community’s carbon footprint by increasing the walkability of neighborhoods.
Reducing parking minimums is tied to transportation options other than cars being readily available and attractive. Diversity of transportation options is tied to appropriate density. Climate action that creates lively and strong neighborhoods can help solve the Housing Emergency, too.
How would you balance the competing needs of drivers, pedestrians and cyclists and what emphasis would you put on vehicle access versus alternative modes of transportation in local transportation projects?
Multi-modal transportation depends on development patterns that facilitate its creation. Historically, Flagstaff’s transportation investments have favored the movement of cars. Increasing investment in cycling, walking, and transit infrastructure benefits all residents as the ease of accomplishing even some daily tasks without a car eases movement for the remaining cars. I’ve been an advocate of investment in multiple modes of transportation and will continue to advocate for transportation that operates as a system and allows for mobility of people of all ages and abilities.
The city of Flagstaff recently partnered with Terros Health to launch the CARE unit, an alternative-response model to replace police in matters that don’t pose a threat to public safety. What is your opinion about this model as a means to supplement traditional policing methods? What additional ways can we reduce the incarceration of the homeless and mentally ill and better serve these individuals?
I participated in the committee discussions of alternate responses to some public safety calls from the time I was elected Vice Mayor until I had to resign to run for Mayor. I remained part of this effort through Council’s approval and budgeting for our alternate response and contract award to Terros Health. I’m a strong supporter of the “Housing First” model as research demonstrates that crime rates decrease when previously unsheltered individuals become housed. Expanding the City’s alternate response model and prioritizing housing can help reduce incarceration and serve our community’s most vulnerable residents.
The 10-year Housing Plan has a goal to reduce the current affordable housing need in our community by half over the next ten years. Do you think that this goal is feasible? What local and state strategies would you pursue to address Flagstaff’s affordable housing needs?
It’s feasible if our community demonstrates the will to accomplish it and affordable housing becomes a higher state and federal priority. State laws prevent the City of Flagstaff from enacting some affordable housing strategies that we might otherwise utilize. We can, however, provide incentives for inclusion of affordable units, can partner with non-profit and for-profit developers on city-owned land, and prioritize affordable housing through the budget process. Short of changing State law (which I also advocate), utilizing Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) is a state strategy that we should continue to support.
What strategies do you think are essential to securing an adequate water supply as Flagstaff grows? What is your opinion specifically of the Red Gap Ranch project and proposals to increase our drinking water supply with treated wastewater (potable reuse)?
A pipeline from Red Gap Ranch to Flagstaff will be expensive and there currently isn’t any funding identified. I support exploring all proposals that show promise of being feasible, safe, and within our reach economically. This includes additional conservation measures and potentially the treatment and reuse of wastewater. I’m open-minded about a future possibility of utilizing groundwater from Red Gap Ranch after we’ve accomplished additional conservation and possibly reuse projects.
Do you support Flagstaff’s Climate Emergency Declaration and the Carbon Neutrality Plan that was developed to assist the city in achieving carbon neutrality by 2030? Explain in detail why or why not.
Yes. I publicly advocated for the Declaration and voted in support of the Carbon Neutrality Plan. Residents of Flagstaff are already experiencing negative impacts from climate change. Drought, increasing intensity of catastrophic wildfire, flooding resulting from these fires, decreased air quality, and increasing discomfort in many of our homes from rising summer temperatures. These impacts will continue to intensify, and we’ll increasingly become a haven for “climate refugees” from areas impacted even more by rising temperatures. Not adapting to these impacts will result in our declining quality of life and negative impacts to our community’s health and safety.
What is your opinion of the draft Active Transportation Management Plan? How would you ensure adequate funding to implement the specific bike and pedestrian improvement projects outlined in the plan?
I support the plan and appreciate the help and expertise that so many in our community provided to its drafting and input given during the public comment period. We provide adequate funding first by prioritizing increased investment in bike and pedestrian improvement projects locally and actively seeking state and federal funding. Flagstaff has a strong track record of successful partnerships with regional, state, and federal agencies and organizations. These partnerships are critical to completing our future projects.
In Flagstaff, our indigenous community has been marginalized for centuries. Nationally, some groups are trying to limit the teaching of the history of Black people and the rights of LGBTQ individuals. How do you think these histories should inform local policy decisions? How would you ensure that Flagstaff is an inclusive and welcoming community?
Continually teach these histories locally and prioritize inclusion of diverse voices in policy decisions. I support efforts already undertaken, including: creation of the Coordinator for Indigenous Initiatives position and the Indigenous Commission; the Lived Black Experience programming; and the Civil Rights Ordinance, for which I publicly advocated. This isn’t enough. We need more diverse representation on the City’s commissions, council, and staff. I have actively sought out individuals with backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives different than mine in hopes of building relationships and seeking input as this is a priority for me.
What are your three greatest concerns regarding Flagstaff’s future and what steps would you take to help address them?
Safe, decent, and affordable housing is a vital part of Flagstaff’s infrastructure and a basic human need. I helped to create the City’s 10-Year Housing Plan and I will work hard to implement it.
I prioritize forest health and addressing climate change through an equity lens, thus ensuring we help the most vulnerable in our community become as climate adapted as possible.
If we aren’t decisive in our efforts to address affordable housing, climate change, and job creation, I’m concerned we will suffer diminished economic, ethnic, cultural, and ecological diversity. I’m committed to ensuring Flagstaff is increasingly diverse and vibrant.