Candidate for Flagstaff City Council
01. How long have you lived in Flagstaff and how deep are your roots here?
I have lived in Flagstaff for 29 years. I graduated from Flagstaff High School. I attended NAU for 2.5 years before the family business (Odegaard’s Sewing Center) became a priority. My grandparents opened Odegaard’s Sewing Center in 1969 right here in Flagstaff, so I’m a third generation small business owner.
02. What is the biggest problem facing Flagstaff? If elected what will you do to address this problem and how will you pay for your solution?
The biggest problem I see is economic opportunity especially for our small businesses. If I’m elected I will be deciding on who will be our next City Manager which I find critically important for the economic future of Flagstaff.
03. Is there anything the City of Flagstaff is currently doing that you feel goes beyond the proper role of City government? Are there services you feel the City should provide that it is not providing already?
Yes, when it appears that an outside developer, such as Core Campus, the developer of The Hub, gets the fast track while our small businesses such as Fat Olives has to jump through a number of hoops to put in a parking lot? It appears we have a problem.
Simplifying the city’s zoning code could help. That would give both outside and local investors a greater idea of what to expect and make the process easier.
A service that I would like the city to provide is at City Council meetings where we an informational person to provide information and direction when people come to the meetings for I believe it’s confusing when a new person attends meetings and that would create more transparency.
04. Recognizing that when businesses thrive, our community thrives, what are your plans to create an environment that businesses can grow in?
Your right in that sales tax generates the income for the city to run efficiently. Simplifying the zoning code will help. Creating partnerships with successful businesses like Gore and Teva, to promote Flagstaff attraction with healthy economic climate.
05. What are your feelings about mandating a living wage and how do you think it will impact local businesses and the City?
The $15 minimum wage would be terrible for small businesses. I think if they had $10, I believe most residents of Flagstaff would be receptive, $15 will be a job killer.
06. Should the City spend tax dollars to sue the State or Federal government when they pass laws the City does not agree with?
No, I believe in having relationships with our state and federal representatives is a better way to go to get any legislation that would be good for Flagstaff.
07. Polls show that the cost of housing is a big concern for Flagstaff residents. Is there anything the City should be doing to foster more affordable housing in town?
Yes, on the Water Commission where I serve as Vice Chairman I voted to lower the impact fees and the majority on the Council agreed. It’s a small step, but it’s a step in the right direction to lower the cost of living in Flagstaff. We have to be smart with planned development to increase our supply of housing.
08. How do you respond to concerns about Flagstaff’s police becoming militarized? Would you vote to accept DHS and other grants to provide military equipment to the Flagstaff Police Department?
I’m not concerned about our local police officers. Grants for the gang task force is necessary. I would like to see more money for officers in continuing education for I believe they will be a better officer if they can continue their education with a college degree.
09. What are your thoughts on the recently passed Animal Keeping Ordinance? Do you think it is important to promote and encourage local food and urban farming in Flagstaff?
I’m all for it as long as it is not infringing on your neighbors rights also. Good job FLA with the ordinance.
10. How important do you think symbolic non-binding resolutions are to conducting the business of the City? Should the council spend time and resources addressing these issues?
Totally against political resolutions. Staff time in resources is taken up to make a political statement that causes division the community. I do not believe in confrontational governance.