Flagstaff Mayoral Forum

On June 20, the Coconino County Democratic Party hosted a forum featuring the two Democrats in the race for Flagstaff Mayoral. For those who live in the City of Flagstaff, Paul Deasy and Jamie Whelen will be on the Primary Election ballot along with one Republican opponent. The top two will advance to the November election.

The forum featured questions prepared by our Executive Committee as well as questions submitted by the public. The questions were not shared with the candidates in advance. We were unable to finish all the questions during the time allotted for the forum; however, the candidates agreed to answer the remaining questions in writing. Those answers are posted below the video.

Additional Answers from Paul Deasy

Q1. Through COVID we have seen all sorts of inequality stack up, especially through our move to online education. Many students do not have tech or Wi-Fi in their homes making school more difficult, so what would you do to ensure broadband and high-speed Internet as a public utility and basic right that is provided for all of our citizens?

Answer:

Internet access is basic infrastructure in the 21st century, just like roads and electricity. To ensure broadband and high speed access are provided for all of our citizens, I would advocate that 1: that the city, county, and public library districts lobby Congress to include funding for this much needed infrastructure in any future infrastructure bill; and 2. The city and county lobby the state to form a new office with the sole mission of overcoming this digital divide.

Q2. The City hires a lobbyist to work on behalf of city interests at the state and federal levels. What policies do you think are most important for that lobbyist to pursue? 

Answer:

Given the Coronavirus pandemic, the City Council should be lobbying Congress for assistance for our local healthcare system to protect public health. It should also lobby for criminal justice reform and a federal infrastructure bill that includes funding to conquer the digital divide.

One of the things that the City Council has never done but should is include lobbying the AZ Corporation Commission to address climate change in its legislative agenda.

Q3. Nationwide protests continue in response to the murder of George Floyd on May 25th. There have been protests here in Flagstaff. On one day alone, over 1000 individuals came out to speak up for themselves & others in our community about their experiences. What is, has been, or should be the role of the mayor & our city council in response to these local protests?  

Q4. Since the murder of George Floyd, we’ve seen protests in cities, including Flagstaff, and around the country and the world.  The City Council has taken public comment but has not agreed to have a conversation with the community about police reform, and all of the other issues related to making Flagstaff a more just and equal city.  It adopted the budget with a minor adjustment.  What grade would you give the City Council in how it responded to the Flagstaff protestors and why? 

Answer to questions 3 and 4 above:

I would give the City Council a D+ for its response to the Flagstaff protesters. It is the job of our elected officials to navigate these difficult conversations.  I am honestly very disappointed in Council’s response to the BLM movement.They have not been communicating effectively with the public (if they’ve been communicating with the public at all) and punted the responsibility to respond to non-profit organizations to hold meetings and have conversations. There’s no guarantee that the City Council and Mayor will even be in attendance at these meetings. Other city councils across the country have had a serious discussion and taken some actions while the current Flagstaff City Council hasn’t even placed a single item on the agenda for discussion related to the protests.

This lack of action sends the message that Council isn’t listening to the public. It takes only one to submit a Future Agenda Item Request (FAIR). People are marching in the streets because they feel unheard. And however loud the people shout, it has fallen on deaf ears by this City Council. Many leaders of the local BLM movement have reached out to me because our current council hasn’t even bothered to respond to emails. I believe this sends a very bad message to the people trying to be heard on very important issues. 

Q5. Is there to be more community discussion on reallocating police budget to help the community more and provide more justice?

Answer:  I think there should be more community discussion on reallocating the police budget to help the community more and provide more justice. While the current City Council has taken public comment, it hasn’t actually had any real discussions WITH the public in response to the concerns raised about policing in Flagstaff.  The issue isn’t going away. Council needs to start having these important conversations WITH the people. Thus far, they have delegated this responsibility. I think the people want to talk with their elected leaders who make the policies and laws that govern the Flagstaff Police Department. This is the job of the City Council. It should not shirk this responsibility.

Q6. Do you think the Flagstaff Police Department should or should not buy surplus military equipment from the federal government to use in local policing? Please explain. Do you know if the recently adopted budget includes a line item for this kind of purchase?

Answer: I do not think there is any reason for the Flagstaff Police Department to purchase surplus military equipment.  Local policing should not require military equipment. It sends the wrong message, especially in this time of protests around the country in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. We do not live in a warzone so we should not allow the police to act like we do. The City should instead focus its efforts and money on setting up ways to address the root causes of the incidents that result in calls to the police rather than spending money to buy military equipment.

I do not know if the recently adopted budget includes a line item for the purchase of military surplus equipment but that certainly is a very good question. If it does, then the City Council should decide not to approve the request to purchase the equipment when it comes up to approve a budgeted item when it comes up on a Consent Agenda.

Q7. What is your opinion on local control issues?  What are some of the most important ones and how would you work with the State to assure we can maintain local control of local issues such as minimum wages, single-use plastic, etc

Answer: My opinion on local control/pre-emption is that it isn’t working for Flagstaff because Flagstaff knows better than our state legislature what’s good for Flagstaff. The problem of our state legislature stepping in and prohibiting cities/towns from enacting local ordinances on certain issues is longstanding. I believe the job of our city elected leaders is to advocate for the values of the people they represent. The ‘one size fits all’ approach of the state legislature is misguided. The state has taken control on several important issues such as penalizing the city for adopting a higher minimum wage, prohibiting cities/towns from adopting regulations governing AirBNBs, and regulating single use plastic bags.

The best way to try and overcome this problem is for the City Council to develop relationships with our state representatives and try to convince them that their efforts to prohibit Flagstaff from passing ordinance on issues that are local in nature and require local solutions isn’t working for the people. I think providing our state legislators with very specific examples of why their approach isn’t working could be helpful.

Q8. There are a lot of city council issues that the Daily Sun doesn’t cover and a lot of people don’t use social media. There is a lot the public doesn’t know about what happens at City Council. Many people want to know what’s happening but understandably cannot sit through the long city council meetings. Please describe what communication strategies you will employ as Mayor to more effectively communicate with the public, especially those who don’t use social media.

Answer: The Mayor is uniquely positioned to implement new ways of ensuring the public has more information about what the City Council is doing. I think the City has relied too heavily on Facebook because a lot of people do not use the platform. I think many City posts are too technical and don’t really break down what the issue is for the public.  Here are some ideas for how the Mayor can communicate more effectively with the public:

a. Encourage the public to sign up on the city website to receive an email newsletter directly from the mayor about what’s going on at the City Council;

b. Give a state of city address once a year; 

c. Hold monthly office hours for the public; and

d. Write a column for the Cityscape, which goes to every city resident, about what’s happening at the City Council.

Finally, when we have crises, I will hold videotaped press conferences that will be put up on You Tube afterwards for the public to watch.

I can’t emphasize enough that there is much more the Mayor and the City can and should do to ensure that the public has different ways to get information.

Q9. Can you please give some detail regarding your experience in running meetings; both executive meetings as well as meetings where the public has been invited to attend and speak?

Answer: In my job, I currently serve on eight government committees, where I regularly lead the meeting, especially when it pertains to data and evidence.  Whether I am leading the meeting or not, my job is to navigate and shape the discussion around the evidence. When I feel that the group is getting side tracked, I get us back on track and focused on the question at hand.

I have extensive experience making presentations at conferences that are open to the public. In these settings, the public asks questions and it’s my responsibility to justify my arguments and proposals with data and evidence.  On the campaign trail for mayor, I was the first candidate to hold virtual public town halls where I clearly and directly answered questions that I was not given in advance. I have all of the skills one could need to run a City Council meeting. It is not rocket science.

Q10. Can you make some remarks on your perception of the importance of NAU on our community and the kinds of relationships you plan to develop with NAU in the future?

Answer: NAU is part of the Flagstaff community. As Mayor, because of my professional position with the university, I will be uniquely positioned to improve the City’s relationship with NAU. I speak the language of university decision-makers. As someone who grew up in Flag, I also understand Flagstaff’s history and the concerns of us locals. A big difference between me and the other candidates for Mayor is that I already have developed many relationships with NAU leadership.

Q11. List three characteristics that qualify you to be mayor. 

Answer:

1. Thoughtfulness in decision-making: My profession as a government analyst is providing information to government leadership to make decisions. I comb through information from many sources to pursue the best decisions possible.  I won’t just read city staff reports, but assess other cities’ approaches, discuss thoroughly with stakeholders, review academic literature, outside studies, and identify best practices to addressing Flagstaff’s most important issues.

2. Conviction: Because I base so much of my decision-making on information and data, I need very compelling evidence to change my mind once I take a stand. I don’t flip-flop from this issue to that.  I don’t say one thing and do another, because, until I am certain that my values and decisions are backed by information and evidence, I don’t make decisions or make promises I won’t keep.

3. Communication skills: This is a fundamental characteristic of a successful mayor. Government operations and policies are complicated, and we need leadership that can explain what we are doing, why we are doing it, and how we are going to get there. Not only the message itself, but understanding the means of communication.  This is the 21st Century where social media and electronic communication need to be better understood and employed by elected leaders to reach the people. Without a thorough understanding of communication strategies in the modern age, we cannot develop the civic engagement necessary to uphold our democratic republic.

Q12. What is your platform or where can we find it?

Answer: You can find my platform on my website: www.deasyformayor.com

Here is my platform:

1. I will advocate for new Council transparency laws and disclosure rules. Too often, Councilmembers go back on their word to the public after meeting with developers and others who want the City to give them money. One way for the public to have more information about what their city elected leaders are doing is to have a new rule that requires Councilmembers disclose before they vote on land use issues and corporate handouts who they met with, what they discussed, and any quid pro quo involved in their decisions.

2. I will advocate for responsible financial management: In the last 3 years Council has doled out over $2.6 million in corporate subsidies without even looking at a financial statement from the company asking for money. All it takes is for a company to ‘ask’ city staff and a recommendation by staff that Council should approve the request for the Council to give away taxpayer money to large corporations. This is an irresponsible way to manage public funds. I will advocate that Council change the process and require that any applicant for city funding be required to prove the need by providing written documentation. The current practice treats the little guy different from the corporations. Today, small businesses and non-profits have to jump through a lot of hoops and complete paperwork to get city funding. All the corporations have to do is ask.

3. I will advocate for policies that protect Flagstaff’s natural environment. Many people choose to live in Flagstaff because of the natural environment. I will continue to advocate for protecting our environment, which includes things like thinning our forest to protect us from catastrophic wildfires, conserving our water supply, and preserving key open spaces.

4. I will not rezone land for more enormous student housing projects.

Q13. We hear city council members campaign on transparency, but we don’t always see transparency in action. In the interest of ensuring more transparency, do you support or oppose a disclosure rule that would require, before any vote on conditional use permits or rezonings, that council members disclose who they met and/or spoke with on the applicant’s team, what was talked about, and whether the council member committed to vote a certain way?

Answer: Yes, I have been campaigning on this since I announced my candidacy in last January. The status quo is unacceptable. Something must change when it comes to the lack of disclosure. The city council can do more when it comes to actually being transparent. It’s time to move beyond the rhetoric.

Q14. Prior councils have tried unsuccessfully to adopt a code of ethics for the Flagstaff City Council.  Would you support or oppose adopting a code of ethics that would apply to the city council?

Answer: I would support the City Council adopting a Code of Ethics. It’s unfortunate that past efforts to pass one have failed. In fact, I have been discussing this since January when I launched my campaign. As an institutional analyst, I can’t stress enough the importance of a code of ethics to ensure accountability in government operations. This seems to be more important than ever. We have to institutionalize transparency to ensure that it lasts far past the individual elected leaders’ tenure. In a country where we are experiencing a rapid decline in the public’s faith in public institutions, we need to more clearly define the parameters that govern the behavior of our city elected leaders.

Q15. I keep seeing employees of food trucks, grocery stores, and more who are not wearing masks, or are wearing them with their nose and mouth exposed. Is there any enforcement associated with Health Department of the mandate to wear masks in public? Or is the alternative just not to patronize these businesses?

Answer: The Flagstaff Police Department is responsible for enforcing the new mask mandate. If someone sees a violation, then the best course of action is to call the non-emergency police number at (928-774-1414) and give a report. It’s my understanding that an officer will be dispatched to the location and talk with the business owner/manager about the mandate. The officer can issue a fine to a violator of the mandate.

Additional Answers from Jamie Whelen

Q1. Through COVID we have seen all sorts of inequality stack up, especially through our move to online education. Many students do not have tech or Wi-Fi in their homes making school more difficult, so what would you do to ensure broadband and high-speed Internet as a public utility and basic right that is provided for all of our citizens?

Answer:   Two years ago, Council began discussion that in all city public facilities community members would be able to access free internet. During Covid, Council has given direction to intentionally boost our signals so that community members may access the internet in the areas surrounding our public libraries and public buildings. I have worked hard to ensure high speed internet become a public utility. As Mayor, I will continue that work and support actions that lead to this becoming a reality. As Vice Mayor, I was part of the Alliance. This group is made up of decision makers; the members are City of Flagstaff, Coconino County, FUSD, Coconino Community College, NAU and NAIPTA (Mountain Line). This group has already taken action to join together and to implement a plan that ALL public facilities throughout the city have free WIFI accessibility. The idea is to form a grid across Flagstaff making the WIFI accessible to all. As Mayor, this will continue to be one of my priorities.

Q2. The City hires a lobbyist to work on behalf of city interests at the state and federal levels. What policies do you think are most important for that lobbyist to pursue? 

Answer:  The most important policies for our lobbyist to pursue are those set by our community and carried out by Council.  The lobbyist takes direction from Council Goals which represent community voice.  For example, at the federal level, we realized that due to changes in minimum wage, some individuals were no longer eligible to qualify for HUD housing. CDGB funding was also impacted.  Our lobbyist were asked to begin work to lobby for adjustments in federal income limits that would fit the needs of our community in an effort to prevent our members from being so negatively impacted by wage changes.

Actions and goals set can be different at the State level vs. the Federal level.  While our State and Federal lobbyist are in constant communication with the City and Council on legislative actions and bills that are being presented they are also working to further Flagstaff’s goals.  Another example was Transportation and other public infrastructure; deliver quality community assets, to advocate and deliver high quality multimodal assets is a goal.  During my term on Council projects that have been set aside for years like the Rio de Flag have been delivered $54 million.  The RIO project will bring our historic southside neighborhoods and businesses out of the 100 year flood plain, allowing individuals who have lived there for generations to be able to improve their homes and drop expensive flood insurance payments.  The 4th Street bridge project will alleviation traffic congestion on the north south corridor and enable our students to walk and ride safely to their schools.  As chair of the Mountain Line Board over $54 Million was awarded to NAIPTA for a Downtown Connection Center to centralize transit services for Flagstaff and during Covid funding has allowed Mountain Line to provide free transportation to essential workers while keeping drivers and riders safe.  These are only a few examples that show the importance of working together with our state and Federal lobbyist to further Flagstaff’s goals.

Q3. Nationwide protests continue in response to the murder of George Floyd on May 25th. There have been protests here in Flagstaff. On one day alone, over 1000 individuals came out to speak up for themselves & others in our community about their experiences. What is, has been, or should be the role of the mayor & our city council in response to these local protests? 

As a government body it it imperative to listen to the entire community. City council has the role of listening to all the voices of its citizens. Recently, Council has listened to over 7 hours of public participation. I have meet with the Southside Community Association, I have spoken to a representative of Black Lives Matter, I have met with the Indigenous Circle of Flagstaff, I have scheduled meetings with Plaza Vieja Neighborhood Association and the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association.  I have met with Chief Treadway and Deputy Chief Musselman of FPD.  The black lived experiences must be engaged.  It will be the first time in the history of Flagstaff and it is just a beginning.  Council supports the will of the people when it pertains to the health and welfare of the people.  We saw a clear example of this during the protests. Council continues to support the voices of our community by creating the space to have this dialogue.  Council has also directed that our police officers continue to be trained in the areas of de-escalation, community policing, racism and bias.  I believe that our community is stepping into a process that will create change.  It deserves the time and resources it needs.  It is essential to listen to all voices and take direction through community forums and then act to set policy driven by the needs of the community.

Q4. Since the murder of George Floyd, we’ve seen protests in cities, including Flagstaff, and around the country and the world.  The City Council has taken public comment but has not agreed to have a conversation with the community about police reform, and all of the other issues related to making Flagstaff a more just and equal city.  It adopted the budget with a minor adjustment.  What grade would you give the City Council in how it responded to the Flagstaff protestors and why

Answer (to the two related questions above):  

I would give our City an A!  This is just one example where experience and leadership matter.  As Mayor, to understand and have not only the knowledge and the experience to move items through either the agenda process or to take an administrative route is paramount.  Flagstaff City Council has chosen both.  Council and the Mayor have had many discussions about Black Lives Matter.  We have directed staff to estimate the cost and the content of training for our officers, we have given direction to support both financially and structurally the staff and services to conduct the community discussions. Two FAIR items have been introduced and will go through the FAIR Process… this takes time.  I have had Chief Treadway and Deputy Chief on my “Town Hall” to discuss steps forward and possibilities of either strengthening the Citizens Liaison Committee.  Because of our Charter, certain steps must be taken before the discussion of a Citizens Review Committee can happen.  We will continue to look at options.  Our Charter states it is the administrative duty of the City Manager to review employees job performances and it prohibits interference by Council in such review matters.  As Mayor, my focus will be equity in community voice, and leading Council into a budget process that reflects these conversations and recommendations.

Q5.   Is there to be more community discussion on reallocating police budget to help the community more and provide more justice?

Answer:  Of course, there will be more community discussion on reallocating the budget!  It was under my leadership that Council had the opportunity to approve moving from a base budget approach with incremental bumps in funding to one of priority based budgeting.  I saw that the old way of doing things was not based on community direction.  We will have opportunities to discuss reallocation of the police budget, we will have conversations of justice equity and cultural competency in order to provide justice for all.  Our future budgets will tie into these discussions.  Even though we just approved the 2020-2021 budget, we will begin our planning and work on 2021-2022 when we come back from Council break in August.  We will talk about the responsibilities and calls to which our Police Department responds and we will come up with social service options to meet the needs of underserved community.

Q6.  Do you think the Flagstaff Police Department should or should not buy surplus military equipment from the federal government to use in local policing? Please explain. Do you know if the recently adopted budget includes a line item for this kind of purchase.

Answer:  The Flagstaff Police department should not buy surplus military equipment.  There has been no line item in the 20-21 budget that authorizes this kind of purchase.  Chief Treadway stated that in the past 8 years of his leadership, the Flagstaff Police Department has never accepted any military surplus equipment except for winter jackets and other clothing. Under his leadership to accept equipment to “militarize” the police force has not been acceptable.  As your mayor, I will continue to support that ideal.  The approved police department budget was cut over 1 million dollars this year and it does not include a line item for purchase of military equipment.

Q7.  What is your opinion on local control issues?  What are some of the most important ones and how would you work with the State to assure we can maintain local control of local issues such as minimum wages, single-use plastic, etc?

Answer:   I feel very strongly about retaining local control and continue to work with the Arizona League of Cities and Towns to support the importance of Home Rule (local control) to our city. Local issues such as short term rentals, the use of plastic bags, the ability to raise our minimum wage, the ability to change zoning codes are just a few examples.  Let me be clear… Flagstaff Minimum Wage will never be an issue of local control. The only way our minimum wage law could change is by the voters. The minimum wage is the Law and it is time we stop distracting ourselves with it and accept it as is. We need to come together and work on making sure our employees are given the  wages that they deserve and that our businesses stay strong so that they can employ our community members.  It is a balance and it will need all of us working together especially in this time of COVID and financial challenges.  With that said, Home Rule (local control) must be protected.  The first step it to vote in new legislators like Coral Evans, Art Babbot, and Felicia French to make sure we have a voice in the State House and Senate.  It is the only way to get things moving in a direction that will benefit Flagstaff and our Northern Arizona Region.  As a member of the Arizona League of Towns and Cities, I understand the importance of Home Rule and seek to support our continued fight to maintain local powers.

Q8. There are a lot of city council issues that the Daily Sun doesn’t cover and a lot of people don’t use social media. There is a lot the public doesn’t know about what happens at City Council. Many people want to know what’s happening but understandably cannot sit through the long city council meetings. Please describe what communication strategies you will employ as Mayor to more effectively communicate with the public, especially those who don’t use social media.

Answer:  As Mayor, I will continue to support the infrastructure that allows community members to easily access Council discussions and actions and increase the ease of submitting public comments.  Council has had this conversation many times and has given direction to reevaluate its website and to provide a user friendly site.  I will ask the public to join in these conversations.  We now have a permanent and talented public information officer who has started focusing on creating solutions to this question.  We can improve and we are improving.

Q9. Can you please give some detail regarding your experience in running meetings; both executive meetings as well as meetings where the public has been invited to attend and speak?

Answer:  My experience is extensive and I would point you to my Vita currently on my website (jamiewhelanformayor2020.com) for all my qualifications and experience.

As Vice Mayor, I attended agenda review meetings and ran and facilitated Flagstaff City Council Meetings. Currently, I have the following leadership positions; NAIPTA-Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority, Mountain Line President of the Board, ALLIANCE- Member of Flagstaff Leadership Alliance representing the City of Flagstaff and others member include NAU, Coconino County, Flagstaff Unified School District LAUNCH- Member of Executive Board, Flagstaff Free Preschool for 4 year old children, NACOG – Member of the Council on Economic Development, Member of the Executive Council, Regional Council Head Start Committee,-Vice Chair- NORTHERN ARIZONA MUNICIPAL WATER USERS ASSOCIATION (NAMWUA), FLAGSTAFF WATER COMMISSION, Council Liaison, STRONGER AS ONE COALITION,  Chair of Youth Commission, focusing on mental health and wellbeing of youth and the community.

My entire career as a special educator for 36 years involved the organization and facilitation of running Individual Educational Plans (IEP) team meetings where students, parents and advocates were empowered to speak and participate in the IEP; as faculty leader of Just Individuals Voicing Equality (JIVE) a student group that organized in-service training for students and staff at Sinagua High School; and as a Senior Lecturer at NAU for over 12 years.  I was Assistant Chairperson of the Educational Specialties department where the duties included to attend and facilitate organizational meetings with department members.  I was an active member in the Teachers Academy and the President’s Council of University Women leading subcommittees of colleagues to focus and work for purpose. As the College of Educations Teacher of the years, I participated in mentorship programs for new faculty and new faculty orientation.  I have been the Board President of Coconino County’s Victim Witness and a member Coconino County’s Fatality Review Board.

Q10. Can you make some remarks on your perception of the importance of NAU on our community and the kinds of relationships you plan to develop with NAU in the future?

Answer: The Flagstaff community struggles with the rapid growth of NAU.  NAU Leadership has not always felt comfortable in creating an open discourse of dialogue with community members.  We have tried on both sides to create those dialogues and they don’t last.  The City Council has no jurisdiction over NAU, they get their direction from the Arizona Board of Regents who are appointed by Governor Ducey. With that said they are one of the largest employers in our City,  they heard community say help and they along with the city have hired a very successful Neighborhood liaison who has improved our student/community relations. They have offered many of us the opportunity to increase our educational goals and they educate our children.  And they lead as a research institution in cyber security, financial outlook, anthrax research and covid work. They are educating and training our Healthcare workers and our forest professionals and I am sure there are so many more things for which we could be grateful.  The effect on educational systems during covid are deep and we will continue to uncover the impacts.  Housing will be effected, growth as we know  will be different.  Unemployment and opportunity have been turned upside down.  As your Mayor, I plan to walk beside the leaders of NAU because there is no other way.  Lines of communication must stay open, collaboration must be strengthened, and we must embrace  our future teachers, doctors, nurses, scientists as they grow up in our City.  I will continue to break down barriers at every turn.

Q11. List three characteristics that qualify you to be mayor. 

Answer:

1. I am ethical and honest.

2. I possess calm measured competence.

3. I have a wealth of leadership experience.

Q11. What is your platform or where can we find it

Answer: 

Affordable housing​ for our workforce is paramount! I will continue to push for the creation of attainable housing and programs to support rental assistance and down payment assistance.  

I believe in the importance of a city that adheres to ​a budget that is thoughtfully planned and executed ​in a fiscally responsible manner. 

I support the ​expansion of a public transit and multimodal transportation and infrastructure systems​ that serves the needs of our community members.  

I encourage ​the development of a strong early childhood education system​ in which the role of the City is to play an important community partner as we create an impactful cradle to career programs for our Flagstaff young people. 

I advocate for ​the completion of our Flagstaff Urban Trails system. ​Emphasizing the importance of our city-wide network of pathways and trails and recognizing their importance to the quality of life for our neighbors and out of town visitors. 

 Please see my website, JamieWhelanforMayor2020.com

Q12. We hear city council members campaign on transparency, but we don’t always see transparency in action. In the interest of ensuring more transparency, do you support or oppose a disclosure rule that would require, before any vote on conditional use permits or rezonings, that council members disclose who they met and/or spoke with on the applicant’s team, what was talked about, and whether the council member committed to vote a certain way?

Answer:  Absolutely, I would agree to participate. I don’t believe it is needed because if you would ask me, I would be happy to have that discussion.  My calendar is public. I have been and will always be available to meet, to receive and answer emails, and take phone calls. I have a monthly Java with Jamie meeting for community members and will continue that outreach as Mayor.

Q13. Prior councils have tried unsuccessfully to adopt a code of ethics for the Flagstaff City Council.  Would you support or oppose adopting a code of ethics that would apply to the city council?

Answer: We are already in the process of codifying a Council Code of Ethics for Flagstaff City Council, I agree with having one and as Mayor, I will support it fully.Do you think the Flagstaff Police Department should or should not buy surplus military equipment from the federal government to use in local policing? Please explain. Do you know if the recently adopted budget includes a line item for this kind of purchase?         Answer: Chief Treadway stated that in the past 8 years of his leadership, the Flagstaff Police Department has never accepted any military surplus equipment except for winter jackets and other clothing. Under his leadership to accept equipment to “militarize” the police force has not been acceptable. As your mayor, I will continue to support that ideal.

Q15. I keep seeing employees of food trucks, grocery stores, and more who are not wearing masks, or are wearing them with their nose and mouth exposed. Is there any enforcement associated with Health Department of the mandate to wear masks in public? Or is the alternative just not to patronize these businesses?

Answer: The Health Department is solely the jurisdiction of the County which functions as a branch of the State. As you know Home Rule was recently reinstated by Governor Ducey and Mayor Evans immediately issues the Proclamation to Wear Masks. The City has consistently given that message. Council has repeatedly made pleas and videos for the wearing of masks. I have always said that I believe it is a decision made by the individual and I see that it is not only an act of self-protection but a show of respect to my fellow community members. I currently enter businesses that I feel take my well-being into consideration, a place in which I feel safe.

Posted in Latest News and tagged , , .