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Harris Questionnaire 2022

1. In Flagstaff, our indigenous community has been marginalized for centuries. Nationally, there are efforts to limit the teaching of the histories of marginalized populations in the U.S. How would you ensure that Flagstaff is an inclusive and welcoming community and do you have ideas for how to include historically marginalized groups in local policy decisions?

In order ensure that Flagstaff is an inclusive and welcoming community, we must see tangible signs of inclusion.  Examples would include representation in our city government, our courts, our police and fire departments.  Other visible signs could include representation in our public art that shows the contributions of people from diverse groups.  We can not just do window dressing we have to really be committed to inclusion and keep it at the forefront of all we do.  As for including marginalized groups in local policy decisions, we need to make sure that our boards and commissions include diverse people.  We must continue to take city meetings to various parts of the city.  Council could perhaps meet once a quarter in the community rather than at city hall. 

 

2. Northern Arizona Healthcare is proposing to move Flagstaff’s hospital from the center of town to a new location near Fort Tuthill. Do you have any concerns about the impact of this move on the Flagstaff community? How will you approach NAH to ensure that all new construction is in line with the city’s carbon neutrality plan, including the utilization of clean energy sources? How will you ensure that the city is not burdened with expenses associated with the move, e.g., with the need for an additional bus line, emergency services, etc.?

Flagstaff is the largest city north of Phoenix.  We are the nearest trauma center in this part of the state.  I am in support of the move.  Yes, the community will be impacted, but not as impacted without this move.  We will need to manage the impact to the community and look at ways to minimize negative impacts.  As for the construction, the city staff will need to ensure that the builders are following our building codes and policies.  We will need to trust city staff to make sure that guidelines are being followed. As for additional bus lines, keep in mind that other people who will not be visiting the hospital will be able to use the additional service.  I am sure that we will be able to work out a compromise so that one group/organization is not bearing all the cost.

 

3. Which state laws do you see as impediments to the city’s ability to craft appropriate regulations? Which of these would you prioritize as a target for the City’s lobbyist?

We need to focus on getting control of our local issues.  This is easier said than done, but we need to continue to work with our lobbyist to find ways to influence law makers to put control of our cities and towns back into the hands of our local government.  The one law that I would want us to focus on would be laws around housing.

 

4. The uncertainty of climate change impacts on Flagstaff’s water supply, coupled with projected growth means that the city is looking for additional sources of water for Flagstaff’s residents. What is your opinion of the Red Gap Ranch pipeline project and proposals to increase our drinking water supply with treated wastewater (indirect or direct potable reuse)? What do you believe is the best way to protect our water resources from contamination by compounds of emerging concern? How can the Flagstaff City Council ensure that growth does not impact an adequate and safe water supply for our population now and into the future?

We all know that water is critical to all life.  We will need to educate ourselves on issues related to water.  We will find that even our experts disagree about water contamination, as well as issues related to the treatment of our water.  This issue, in my opinion, will be the largest issue we will need to address as Flagstaff continues to grow.   I do not have all the answers, but I do know that we will need to continue to address this issue.  Bringing all voices to the table is critical to our water issues.  How does this challenge affect our most vulnerable populations? 

 

5. The needs of the residents of Flagstaff are changing and will continue to do so as climate change impacts are felt locally. We face the disastrous cycle of severe wildfires (e.g., the Tunnel, Pipeline, and Museum fires) followed by devastating flooding. How should the city respond strategically, proactively, and equitably to predicted local impacts on our neighborhoods?

The recent flooding and wildfires in our community effect all of us in one way or another.  Someone that all of us knew were affected by the wildfires and flooding.  Those effected were our friends, family and colleagues.  This was personal for all of us.  We have to act quickly and strategically.  Our technology can be helpful in assisting in identifying potential areas that may be impacted.  Putting a response plan in place and educating the entire community of the plan.  Having identified shelters before the emergency will help us to evacuate people quickly should that be needed.  All of our neighborhoods are important and should all be treated equally.

 

6. The city has begun the “Visioning” (Phase II) of the Flagstaff Regional Plan 2045. This plan is mandated and is a policy guide focused on land use. The Regional Plan covers a range of topics with information on current conditions, the community's vision for the future, and goals and policies to realize the future vision. What is your vision of the future of Flagstaff related to land use and development and what goals do you believe should be included in the Plan.

Flagstaff is growing rapidly.  There is no doubt about that fact.  Those of us who have been here a while have seen the changes and the growth.  Our Plan can assist us in managing our growth.  It can identify areas that can be used for development and open space.  We have to be careful not to put all the density housing in one or two areas.  Our plan can assist in identifying areas where we can grow and add to the population of those areas. My vision for the future of Flagstaff is a place where people can experience a good quality of life no matter what neighborhood or community, they live in.