Candidate for Coconino County Board of Supervisors District 3
01. How long have you lived in Coconino County and how deep are your roots here?
I have lived in Coconino County for almost ten years. I own property in Parks and plan on living here for the rest of my life. I love the beauty of nature that you can find in Northern Arizona no matter where you are, but especially when nature decides to walk through your yard in the mornings!
02. What is the biggest problem facing Coconino County? If elected what will you do to address this problem and how will you pay for your solution?
Coconino County faces a unique problem with availability of resources. As the second largest county in the lower 48 states, we have a land size larger than some countries, however our population accounts for only 2% of the state’s population. So many County residents live in dispersed, rural areas that getting resources and services to them is time and money intensive. I do not have a solution for this problem at the moment, but I am looking forward to working with the brilliant minds in Coconino County to help find creative solutions to the issue the County has always faced.
03. Is there anything the County is currently doing that you feel goes beyond the proper role of County government? Are there services you feel the County should provide that it is not providing already?
Right now, I feel that Coconino County is doing an adequate job providing most services to its residents. I would love to see the County focus more on the basics, like road maintenance and bringing utility infrastructure up to a more uniform standard. I would also love to see some more resources, even if creatively managed, put into providing basic health care needs to our more rural residents. For the population centers of Coconino County (Williams, Flagstaff, Page, etc) I think that the County does an adequate job, but those living further out are often left until the very end, when resources are limited or unavailable.
04. Recognizing that when businesses thrive, our community thrives, what are your plans to create an environment that businesses can grow in?
I look forward to creating and building relationships with businesses and organizations throughout Arizona, especially those that are looking to establish a presence in Northern Arizona. I believe that making Coconino County a level playing field for all businesses, small and large, is what needs to happen to see jobs and trade flourish.
05. What are your feelings about mandating a living wage and how do you think it will impact local businesses and the County?
I think that mandating a minimum wage is ill-advised for a town like Flagstaff. While I do believe that everyone has the right to earn a wage to provide for their families, I do not think that it should be at the expense of the small business owners trying to provide for theirs.
06. Should the County spend tax dollars to sue the State or Federal government when they pass laws the County does not agree with?
It depends. Much of the time, I think my gut reaction would be to say no, however, I could see instances where the State passes a law that significantly detrimentally affects Coconino County. I cannot say that I would oppose the County spending tax dollars suing the State every single time, although I would want to do as much research into the issue before moving forward with such a lawsuit.
07. Polls show that the cost of housing is a big concern for Flagstaff residents. Is there anything the County should be doing to foster more affordable housing?
I love the concept of AirBnB and other short-term rental programs. I think that allowing people to partially pay their mortgage by allowing visitors to rent a room(s) in their house is a great way of showing capitalism working at its finest. I would greatly support the County in allowing and providing for such a market. A recent article I read said that nationally, home owners are earning $3000 – $4000 a year by using their home as a short-term rental; for many people that could be 2 to 4 mortgage payments that are covered. That makes home ownership much more affordable.
08. How do you respond to concerns about the Sheriff’s department becoming militarized? Would you vote to accept DHS and other grants to provide military equipment to the Sheriff’s department?
On the whole, I am against local police forces getting military equipment of any sort, from the government or through their own purchases. While I do understand that society is a much more dangerous and weaponized environment than it was 40 or 50 years ago, I think that police forces upgrading their weapons and equipment to military spec gear has only increased the tension between law enforcement and citizens. I would much prefer to find other avenues to keep our law enforcement officers and citizens safe than increasing the firepower that the Sheriff’s department has at its disposal.
09. What are your thoughts on the recently passed Animal Keeping code? Do you think it is important to promote and encourage local food and urban farming in Coconino County?
I am ecstatic about the new County Animal Keeping Ordinance! I think making these changes to allow County residents to raise more of, and a more varied sort of, backyard farm animals is a fantastic way to allow County residents to be more self-sufficient. In recent years, I think we have all see the usefulness of being able to provide at least some of our own food and goods, whether that’s eggs, fruits and vegetables, or even home-sewn clothing. I would love to see County residents produce more food and goods to be brought to the local economy, furthering our own incomes and sustainability.
10. How important do you think symbolic nonbinding resolutions are to conducting the business of the County? Should the County Board spend time and resources addressing these issues?
County resources would be wisely spent on furthering the community with effective and responsible ordinances. Nonbinding resolutions do nothing to further our community economy, vitality, or safety. In my experience, the County does not spend much time, if any, on these sorts of resolutions, which is something I will encourage to continue, if elected.