Candidate for Flagstaff Mayor
01. How long have you lived in Flagstaff and how deep are your roots here?
I graduated from NAU and have lived in Flagstaff for 42 years.
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 most pressing issue facing Flagstaff is housing costs. Increases in Flagstaff’s population (students and non-students) have created a situation where we do not have enough housing inventory – houses or apartments. This has caused prices to skyrocket, (that is assuming you can even find a place.)
Unfortunately there are no new residential subdivisions on the horizon, mainly because the city requires a developer to build more infrastructure (streets and utilities) than needed to serve any one subdivision.
As a solution, the city could build the infrastructure for a large area and then recoup the expense as subdivisions are built. (Impact fees.)
This would allow the city to guide the type and location of developments and the flow of traffic. Note that the city would not be paying the cost for developers. All city funding would be recouped as houses are built. A new supply of housing will make ALL housing more affordable.
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?
Not that I can think of. I’m always open to change if it helps.
04. Recognizing that when businesses thrive, our community thrives, what are your plans to create an environment that businesses can grow in?
Our business incubator and accelerator should help local entrepreneurs. Also, there is a continual need to make all contacts with City Hall easier and more efficient with less confusing regulations. (e.g. the sign code is confusing and other ordinances are too complex.)
05. What are your feelings about mandating a living wage and how do you think it will impact local businesses and the City?
I oppose the $15.00 minimum wage. I support small business. If Flagstaff loses small businesses then people will lose jobs. Many small business owners have told me this will drastically hurt their business. Many businesses cannot pass on increased wages to their customers, so they will be forced to cut employees. I am also concerned about non-profits that have limited funds and/or clients that cannot be placed at $15 per hour. I am concerned about first time workers that need job experience as much as a wage.
06. Should the City spend tax dollars to sue the State or Federal government when they pass laws the City does not agree with?
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?
My answer to Question #2 addresses the housing situation in Flagstaff.
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 believe the current police department is well situated. No military type equipment is necessary.
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 voted for the ordinance. I have some concern that it may result in neighbors bothering neighbors. Hopefully not. Personal food production should be allowed.
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?
I do not think the council should spend time and resources addressing non-binding resolutions. I do not believe city councilmembers were elected to offer their opinions on state and federal issues. They are elected to conduct the business of the city.