Adam Shimoni for City Council

 

PRIORITIES: What three specific issues will you bring forward to the City Council if you are elected (What are your three main priorities)?

  • Attainable Housing
  • Water Conservation
  • Economic Development

CITY COUNCIL CRITIQUE: Among City Council decisions in last 24 months, what is one decision that you support and one that you were disappointed with and why?

I appreciated the way council worked together to amend prop 414. When both 206 and 414 passed, minimum wage was to jump from $8 to $12 within months. Locals supported the minimum increase but some feared the impact on small business and nonprofits. This was a difficult decision for council, but their effort showed collaboration, willingness to listen and understand both sides. We could be doing more to hold NAU accountable for their influence on the housing market. NAU continues to increase enrollment without building housing to accommodate growth. This increased demand results in fewer rental opportunities for higher prices

EXPERIENCE WITH CITY GOVERNMENT: Please describe your experience serving on City boards, commissions, or task forces and describe your involvement so far in shaping City-level policies.

I served on the F3 board for 2 years, attending hundreds of commission meetings, task force meetings and individual meetings with city staff. I founded a group called “Speak Up: Bridging the Gap Between Local People and Local Politics” to reconnect people to their representatives. I invited members of the city staff, commissions, council members and the mayor to discuss city issues. Many of these efforts influenced city level policies. Whether meeting with individuals or groups as a board member or as Speak Up’s organizer, I work to empower community voices in the creation of city policies.

NAU: Are you satisfied with the relations between the City and NAU? What are some areas for improvement?

I am not satisfied with the cities relationship with NAU and the Arizona Board of Regents. Since the Standard first came to town a few years back, I have been advocating for the needs of the community and doing my best to negotiate with NAU and these developers to bring forward projects that best suite our needs, don’t displace people, and don’t disrupt neighborhoods. In speaking with president Rita Cheng, it seems she doesn’t see NAUs growth to be an issue to flag. This is a major concern of mine, since she’s responsible to communicate our towns needs to ABoR. I look forward to tackling this subject and holding NAU accountable for their growth.

WATER: Do you support or oppose having our limited local water resources be taken into consideration when planning for growth and development in Flagstaff? Why?

Yes, I support taking our water resources into consideration when planning for growth and development. If Flagstaff plans for adequate water usage in its development it helps guarantee a sustainable community in the high desert for decades. Many more arid climates are beginning to face water crisis. I stand for working with developers, businesses, and homeowners to establish conservation standards that will help reduce and conserve our water consumption. I hope to look to other similar cities in how they’ve reached success in continued growth with conservative water use.

WATER: Do you support or oppose recycling reclaimed water for drinking? Why?

I support innovative ways to recycle reclaimed water. I would like to see the city expand its reclaimed water infrastructure to better use this precious resource. A shortage of potable water could be a large threat to Flagstaff in the future. I don’t support further investment in Red Gap Ranch. Therefore, I support finding ways to purify reclaimed water. I would also advocate for implementing a guiding policy for use of potential reclaimed and recycled water, which we currently don’t have.

HIGH OCCUPANCY HOUSING: What additional solutions do you have to the challenges related to dormitory-style (high-occupancy) housing developments such as the Hub?

I’d like to work cooperatively with the Regents, NAU, the city and the community to collaborate on solutions for NAU’s projected growth and expanding student accommodation needs. Together we can best identify locations for student housing. Developments such as The HUB, The Standard, The Grove, and many others have mobilized community involvement and I hope as a future council member to continue to facilitate this useful community collaboration. Additionally, I support NAU in extending campus policies to off-campus high occupancy housing. If elected, I plan to bring attention to the gaps in the Regional Plan and the current zoning code.

HIGH OCCUPANCY HOUSING

Supports:

  • Providing incentives for affordable housing units within HOH developments,
  • Sustainable building practices including renewable energy and water conservation,
  • Placing limitations on parking spaces for HOH developments near transit

CLIMATE CHANGE: Would you support or oppose updating the city’s Energy Code so that new buildings must be built to be more energy efficient to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Why?

I would support updating the city’s Energy Code. We are in 2018 and currently operating under the 2009 code. Council has repeatedly passed over updating the code due to concerns regarding the cost to homeowners. If on Council, I would work to both update the codes and ensure homeowner financial savings. Meeting the Department of Energy standards for new housing reduces emissions. These buildings do have up-front costs but more significantly, they have larger long-term energy and financial rewards. I support putting codes into place to encourage if not necessitate building within high standards of energy efficiency.

CLIMATE CHANGE: How high of a priority is implementing the City’s new Climate Action and Adaptation Plan when approved?

I have been following the CAAP since they began and am eager to see their findings and recommendations. I’m very excited to see their online draft plan, which I think is very innovative. I look forward to a final draft presentation to council. The plan is already implemented in certain ways but should be supercharged once it is approved. This plan focuses on the future wellbeing of our parks, community, environment and much more. It gives us clear guidelines to how we can best develop as a town while maintaining a positive relationship with the environment around us.

COST OF LIVING: What strategies or policies would you propose to address the high cost of living in Flagstaff?

The cost of living in Flagstaff is higher than the national average. If elected, I would work with city, state, developers and the community to encourage affordable housing development on city and private land. Second to the cost of housing, utilities are an additional expense. Green Building is one way to decrease this monthly cost. Furthermore, high paying jobs are at a premium in Flagstaff. Many service industry jobs pay minimum wages I support prop 414 to continue raising to 15.50. Additionally, attracting new and sustainable industries is a top priority.

WASTE: What do you propose to move our community towards zero waste targets?

As one of the main organizers of the Ban the Bag Flag effort a few years ago, I believe in striding towards a zero-waste community. I support the current Zero Waste Plan and look forward to doing what I can to achieve our goal of zero-waste by 2050. As our landfill nears capacity, I hope to help reduce the sitting waste to prevent the creation of a second waste yard. I plan to help educate the community about best practices to reducing waste, such as facilitating citywide competitions amongst schools, while working on creative incentives to help minimize waste.

TRANSPORTATION TAX: ROAD/PED/BIKE/SAFETY: Do you support or oppose a sales tax increase for roadway, pedestrian, bicycle, and safety improvements at outlined in Proposition 419?

As an advocate of alternative transportation as a means to reduce traffic and congestion, I support prop 419. I have lived in Flagstaff for more than a decade without a car and I commute regularly by bicycle. As a cyclist, I have witnessed the lack of safety our roads. Safe cycling routes are crucial to our ability to bicycle commute and remain safe. I have sat down with NAIPTA’s past CEO, Jeff Meilbeck, to learn about prop 419, and I am excited to see it implemented.

TRANSPORTATION TAX – LONE TREE RAILROAD OVERPASS: Do you support or oppose a sales tax increase for a Lone Tree Railroad Overpass from Butler Avenue to Route 66 as outlined in Proposition 420? Why?

As Flagstaff continues to grow, traffic will only get worse. Our infrastructure is struggling to keep up with this growth and is in need of improvement. The Lone Tree Railroad Overpass is a great way to alleviate traffic from Milton and create more routes. I look forward to voting yes on Prop 420 and hope the community does as well.

TRANSPORTATION TAX – TRANSIT: Do you support or oppose a sales tax increase to expand frequency and times of service for transit as outlined in Proposition 421? Why?

For public transportation to be successful, we need for frequency and times of service. Funding is what is holding our buses back from services our community properly. Traffic is an issue in town and prop 421 and public transportation provides a solution.

ATTAINABLE HOUSING BOND: Do you support or oppose a bond to pay for new affordable housing, rehabilitation of existing affordable units and homebuyer assistance as outlined in Proposition 422? Why?

According to the Arizona Housing Coalition, Flagstaff has the largest gap between average rent costs and wages in the state. Access to affordable housing reduces stress, allows families to pay for better health care, food and education. It also leads to improved physical and mental health and contributes to the economic vitality and community diversity. Prop 422 gives us more leverage to negotiate with developers to build affordable housing. It furthers home-buyer assistance programs with down payments and closing costs. However, the bond doesn’t solve everything – we need a better partnership with NAU, more public private partnerships.

SUSTAINABLE WAGES ACT: Do you support or oppose a new minimum wage law that would repeal the provisions of Proposition 414 passed in 2016? Why?

I supported Prop 414 in 2016 and am glad to see the min wage adjust to meet the cost of living. If the min wage were to grow incrementally with inflation over the last 40+ years, we would be at $15+ today. The Sustainable Wages act aims to repeal prop 414 as a result of the compounding effect of 206 & 414 passing in the 2016 election. With prop 414 now amended, I support the climb to $15 minimum wage. I find this repeal to be a step backwards and hope to see the voters turn it down on November’s ballot.

FUSD: Do you support or oppose the FUSD bond? Do you support or oppose the FUSD Override Renewal? Why?

I will support the FUSD Bond on the November ballot and the override renewal. I believe in giving the voters an opportunity to invest in education and I plan to support it. Council should also do its part and invest in education wherever it can including advocating the needs of our schools to the community and to the state. We need to improve our public schools and get Arizona back on track to providing our future leaders and workforce with the education needed to succeed.

CCC: Do you support or oppose the continuation of CCC bond spending to support programs and curriculum? Why?

I support the continuation of the CCC bond. I advocated for the support of the community for CCC back in 2016 and was disappointed to see the proposition fall short by a small margin. Supporting the community college is investing in Flagstaff’s future. The individuals pursuing degrees at CCC are our future business owners and workforce. The better their education, the better foundation they have for their own, as well as Flagstaff’s, economic success. NAU isn’t for everyone, and maintaining and expanding CCC is crucial for many. I hope to see CCC get the financial support they need in November.