My answers to the questions from the League of Women Voters below:
• Describe your background experiences that prepare you to serve as Mayor of Fort Collins.
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this first term as Fort Collins’ mayor. I have the experience and provided the leadership for keeping Fort Collins a wonderful place to live, work, play, raise a family, study, grow a business, innovate, and improve the city’s natural environment.
I have served on City Council for the last 10 years. I was elected Mayor in April 2015. Prior to that, I was a City Council member representing District 4, first elected in 2007 and re-elected in 2011.
While Mayor, I have served on the Platte River Power Authority board, chairs the Northern Colorado Regional Airport Commission, served on the Colorado Municipal League Executive Board, chair the city’s Futures Committee, and is past chair of the University Communities Council of the National League of Cities.
• Should the City offer broadband services or contract with a commercial source? Why? Explain your answer.
Broadband is a key issue before to be determined over the next two years. The City Council will likely determine our collective broadband future for our community. I don’t believe that status quo broadband services are an option at this point. The incumbent broadband providers have not provided a viable plan that addresses future-proofed broadband infrastructure for Fort Collins. The City Council will make the decision to go to 10 G broadband in one of three ways – enter into a franchise agreement, develop a public-private partnership with Axia as an infrastructure capital and deployment partner. As Mayor, I want to evaluate the three options later this spring that will be forthcoming from an extensive public engagement and City staff evaluation process. I plan to support the best option that comes forward. I also will be working with our regional communities and Platte River Power Authority what are currently evaluating broadband looking for areas to collaborate and leverage broadband opportunities in the best interest of Fort Collins.
• What steps should the City of Fort Collins take to help alleviate the issue of homelessness and its effect on the downtown merchants and tourists?
Over the past two years, City Council has made progress in addressing homelessness issues in Fort Collins. Specifically, the City acting as a catalyst and convener through the Office of Social Sustainability and the 30+ non-profits and faith-based organizations now have coordinated services that prevent homeless, provide shelter, food and clothing to anyone wanting shelter, and providing support services assist in breaking the cycle of homelessness. City Council has invested in the Street Outreach program that reaches out and engages in meeting with specific individuals in Old Town and connecting with impacted businesses. City Council is now addressing disruptive behaviors that many citizens and business owners have experienced in Old Town. To address very specific concerns, I am supportive of measures that will assist in addressing public safety needs in Old Town.
• Should the City of Fort Collins act more strongly to accelerate air pollution reduction? If not, why? If yes, what are the priorities and actions that the City should take?
Fort Collins has always been a leader in reducing air pollution and improving our air quality. This is particularly important as Fort Collins to become more of a mid-sized community. Many city plans directly and indirectly provide measures to improve our air quality. Current and past City Councils have enacted ordinances that improve our air quality. Measures are being taken throughout the City’s organization including use of natural gas as a transportation fuel and more use of electrified equipment such as vehicles. City Council has supported the Climate Action Plan framework and the operationalization of this plan through the Road to 2020. The Road to Zero Waste also plays a key role in air pollution reduction. The City Council has also acted to reduce the fugitive dust for in large construction projects. Platte River Power Authority is taking actions that will reduce air pollution in the region when producing our energy supply.
The North Front Range MPO has continued to improve our air quality in the regional transportation system such the improvements to I-25 North and the addition of climbing hill third lane. Being a active partner in the region with our neighboring communities are important to improvement of air quality.
Planning is a hallmark of why Fort Collins. Planning for ur future is important to creating systematic improvements to air quality. The next two years are critical to Fort Collins as the City embarks on it new City Plan update that will include transportation and transit master plans. Leadership during this period is continuing our air quality into the future as Fort Collins builds out.
• Do you believe the city is on the right track to support job growth and business development and if not, what could be done differently?
As Mayor, I have strived to bring practical, common sense leadership to civic issues that impact individuals, families, neighborhood residents and business owners who live, work and care about Fort Collins’ future.
I will continue to provide leadership for 1) economic health and prosperity for all citizens, 2) substantive actions and accountability for a sustainable future, and 3) collaboration and partnerships throughout our community and region.
It is the citizens that make Fort Collins a great place. People are passionate about Fort Collins. We care about quality of life and employment and having strong businesses are key. I look forward to being re-elected mayor to continue providing leadership for this wonderful community.