What is your view about the Jefferson Parkway project?
I believe the Jefferson Parkway project will add a long-standing, regular form of income for Arvada and therefore will be good for the community in the long-term. I do however believe that the lines of communication to residents and future residents were not fully open at the time the project was finalized and that has of course affected the residents. Growth of cities such as Arvada and surrounding communities can provide difficult circumstances that can only be resolved by opening those lines of communication. I think as the project progresses there needs to be a renewed effort to include residents in the area, and work to address the concerns brought forth by them as well as the City of Arvada. It will be difficult and sacrifices may need to be made by the City as well as residents, but by looking at the health of the community as a whole I have no doubt in the end everyone can look forward to being satisfied by the results.
What are your views on the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA)?
AURA has had its obvious controversies and is not geared in the best way to encourage transparency and citizen involvement. That being said, the issue of urban renewal (and how to properly and responsibly pursue it) needs to be addressed in Arvada. I believe that AURA can effectively pursue its mandate by working more closely with Arvada citizens in good faith towards one common goal.
What are your views on using tax increment financing (TIFs) as an incentive for businesses to develop in Arvada?
I think that both sides of economic growth vs. local income need to be closely examined in regard to TIFs. The use of TIFs should be examined on a case-by-case basis, should always include a multipronged-upshot for Arvada and not become the norm. Local TIFs are becoming normalized in our national landscape as a way to increase competitiveness when a large company can bring thousands of jobs to an area. Some of these deals have been done in the shadows and I will work to make sure any deal Arvada pursues is done in the sunshine. I A careful and public reading of short- and long-term costs and benefits should happen before any TIFs are offered or any contracts signed. Taxing authorities need to have a say in all city decisions as well. Anything used for urban renewal projects should also have citizen involvement as it directly impacts Arvada residents.
What should the city's role be for utilities such as zoned trash and recycling haulers and broadband internet?
I think ultimately decisions regarding residents’ home utilities and services should be up to the residents. The city’s role should be to find options that are cost-effective, educate the public on the best available options, and work proactively to reach goals that help reduce confusion.
Working towards “Smart City” goals should continue to be a priority for the city. While the overwhelming majority of Arvada residents have responded that they have access to reliable internet, I think a study should be done regarding the possibility of FTTH and if it would reduce costs for residents while also avoiding a negative impact city revenues in the long-term.
What is your plan to help the city reach 100% use renewable energy by 2035?
Bringing Arvada to 100% renewable use is something I think is possible but requires significant financing and phase-in plans - and resident approval. I plan to move forward with a detailed study of this feasibility. Looking at solar panels on all city buildings is one way to pursue 100% renewable. Encouraging wind development in the foothills can also reduce our use of the traditional power grid. Moving our buses and city vehicles to 100% renewables will be a long-term challenge because the current stock of vehicle batteries may not be able to handle the hills and environment of Arvada. Only by keeping up with technology and working with our residents can we meet this goal.
What does the city need to do to address the needs of the homeless in Arvada?
Homelessness is a prominent issue in the city. To address it properly we need to look at it from many different perspectives. What can we do for the current situation? The city should work proactively with current nonprofits to help meet their housing and treatment needs. What can we do for the future? To prevent people from reaching these situations we can also look at increasing access to educational facilities, health care, and job placement programs as well as working to promote more affordable housing in the city.
How do existing city policies encourage gentrification? Will you support a zoning plan that has an emphasis on affordable housing?
Current policy as well as market conditions have made it increasingly difficult for the average Arvadan to afford living or moving into many neighborhoods. City zoning needs to consistently be re-examined and adjusted to prevent marginalizing people who wish to move to our community or forcing current residents to move or leave. I would support a zoning plan focused on affordable housing as long as it considered and properly addressed the issues associated with such developments; rents, locations, subsidies, tax incentives, and associated community issues.
Walk-ability and bike paths are increasingly popular, what are your ideas to increase the walk-ability of neighborhoods and assist the ease and safety of riding bikes?
Arvada’s paths and trails are a huge benefit to the community. By maintaining our current system and taking input from residents for improvement we can increase the walkability of our neighborhoods. I will take time looking at areas where crosswalks can be installed with up-to-date signage, where repairs are needed, and finding areas where paths are lacking. Identifying the areas where cyclists and pedestrians say they feel the most unsafe will inform the possibility of creating or widening paths to separate foot and bike traffic from auto traffic.
How will you promote fair and equitable treatment of diverse and marginalized communities in terms of fair policing, economic advantages, and employment?
Proper oversight of city departments is the best way to ensure proper policing and treatment of residents. As a city councilmember and citizen, my doors are always open. Encouraging residents to speak out on the issues that affect them the most and acting on them is the only way to ensure that their needs are being met by the city. I will support policies which provide ease of entry to Arvada’s economy such as job placement and training for our most in demand industries.
Tell us about your involvement with city issues, City Council, and city staff. Have you worked for any progressive, local issues, and how did you champion them?
As an Arvada resident I have worked with city staff on multiple occasions in regards to community involvement. Bringing people together is something I enjoy. I am energized by it. I was involved in the community design and construction of the Seacrest Center. We host an annual block party where we have people from all over the nearby neighborhoods come and enjoy food and drink and activities for their children. My children have attended multiple schooling programs at Apex facilities in our neighborhood.