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?
1) The people of Flagstaff! Flagstaff citizens and our diversity creates a beautiful sense of community and responsibility to one another. 2) Flagstaff’s culture! The ethos of our city deserves to be protected and celebrated. It (ethos) is a reflection of so many creative, varying experiences and walks of life that span generations. 3) Flagstaff’s future! While I believe we are at a crossroads in many ways, I am full of optimism that we as a city will begin to see smart and healthy growth that promotes the health of our city and citizens! I will use my position as mayor to ensure that the greatest resource Flagstaff has – its people, from young to old, will be at the forefront of my decision and policy making process!
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?
I certainly see the value of increased density and parking minimums; however, it must be done very strategically and thoughtfully to ensure it is realistic, sustainable, and beneficial for each community and neighborhood.
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?
Balancing the needs of drivers, pedestrians and cyclists is not a citywide competition, rather found in specific areas of our city. We need to focus on those areas with balanced, community minded conversations with accurate data, to meet the “area specific” needs are necessary prior to any decisions being made. I do believe we need to increase our access to alternative modes of transportation ensuring that people have their transportation needs met.
With that, this partially is an issue of equity and accessibility. Balancing the needs of transportation, requires us to focus on the issue of workforce housing.
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 believe the program has potential and I applaud the work being done thus far. It does deserve and require, for the health and safety of each person on each call, need to be under close scrutiny and supervision. I do believe this is one step, in what I see as a multi-step approach to addressing this community issue.
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?
The current plan as I see it currently written be difficult to achieve. We need to remove punitive requirements from developers and builders that increase bottom lines on the housing market. I would look intently into every option, local, state, and federal to pursue a more affordable housing market, both rental and ownership.
Additionally, in considering the accessibility to affordable housing, this must be a shared responsibility of each neighborhood, rather than a select few.
I would provide the leadership necessary, local, regional, and statewide to address this issue.
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)?
There are currently some amazing efforts to secure the water necessary for smart growth being done by local and county governments across Northern Arizona. I would increase collaborative efforts to ensure Flagstaff has access to water. Regarding the Red Gap Ranch, that was decided by voter initiative in 2004, to ensure that the future of Flagstaffs water would be preserved. Having access to the water (whether we utilize it or not) gives us leverage to honor the agreements of the past as well as ensure that we have the ability to access water in the future.
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.
I support the concept of the Carbon Neutrality Plan, however, as it is currently written, it will be difficult to achieve due to several factors, including; 1) a Two Hundred Million Dollar plan without the voters full knowledge and input, 2) With the obvious unknowns of interstate and highway traffic volume, various trains and the certainty of wildfires, and, 3) the lack of focus on housing, allowing workers to live where they work, rather than traveling from the surrounding communities.
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?
Walking and biking are essential to Flagstaff for a variety of reasons most of which are stated in the ATMP. The city of Flagstaff’s budget is a reflection of our shared values as a community, a consensus document that ultimately is created by the citizens and voted on by the council.
We can ensure alternative modes of transportation are all throughout our city, invest monies, all without the certainty that people will utilize them or have access to them.
If we would address the issue of workforce housing with a meaningful approach, we would find that people would more greatly embrace alternative modes of transportation. However, as our current reality shows, there are a number of factors that negatively impact our resident’s ability to utilize alternative modes of transportation.
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?
While this is an incredible question, it highlights and speaks to our need to thoroughly address colonialism in every form necessary. The unfortunate fact is that our country and our city has historically and erroneously marginalized groups of people for centuries. It is up to us, collectively to do better. I support people, all people equally. I have come to the conclusion that each person’s real, lived experience has great value and that value should be taken into great consideration to any and all discussion at the dais. Personally, I have dedicated my life to serving people – all people, as well as inviting and welcoming them to share the space that I am in.
What are your three greatest concerns regarding Flagstaff’s future and what steps would you take to help address them?
It all comes back to people for me – there is a growing divisiveness and US against US situation that I observe. I will work to unify and celebrate the diversity for those who call Flagstaff home. For me, it is not only about housing, transportation, and carbon neutrality, if we accomplish every objective, yet have a divided city where we live afraid and suspicious or our neighbors, we have accomplished very little. This is about WE THE PEOPLE. I will work hard to return us to that truth, that deep sense of belonging and community. All while developing a deeper respect as we work together, amidst our differences.