Adam Shimoni for Flagstaff 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)?

1. Community Oriented Growth
2. Water Conservation
3. Community Engagement

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 support decisions made in line with public interests. Council’s decision to keep the Conditional Use Permit for high occupancy developments was influenced by hundreds of people united in keeping the permit in place. Council was swayed to vote unanimously in the public’s favor.

I was disappointed by council's support of Landmark Development’s rezone request. This did not support the integrity of the historic neighborhood. I disagree with Council members’ statements: “If the developer dots their i’s and crosses their t’s, we must grant their rezone.” Council can create zoning that meets the needs of citizens.

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.

CAMPAIGN FOR A GREATER BUFFALO PARK BALLOT INITIATIVE: Do you support or oppose the ballot initiative to protect the city-owned lands on McMillan Mesa as a park? Why?

I absolutely support the ballot initiative for a greater Buffalo Park. Local community members showed inspiring foresight by working collaboratively to get the subject on the November ballot. This benefits the wider community of Flagstaff both now, and for future generations and I anticipate the November vote to reflect that value.

FLAGSTAFF NEEDS A RAISE BALLOT INITIATIVE: Do you support or oppose the ballot initiative to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15/hour over 5 years? Why?

I support the Flagstaff Needs a Raise initiative. Flagstaff minimum wage workers have the lowest estimated wages adjusted for the cost of living in the nation! Many of my peers went back for 2nd and 3rd degrees simply because of the lack of jobs, only to find themselves working to pay off their student debt with minimum wages. One fourth of Flagstaff is currently in poverty.

Research has shown that when the minimum wage is raised, the local economy thrives. From this research I understand that as wages increase, sales increase and both employees and businesses win.

WATER 1. 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 crises. I stand for working with developers, businesses, and homeowners to establish conservation standards that will help reduce 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 2. Do you support or oppose accessing water from Red Gap Ranch to meet future water needs? Why?

I support accessing water from Red Gap Ranch as one part of a complex, comprehensive and long-term approach to water. City Council is currently spending millions in hopes that Red Gap Ranch will provide a singular solution. We need to broaden our efforts to adopt cutting edge practices for water conservation, pricing policies, and water purification. Further solutions include expanding our rebate programs for water efficiency and construction, extending tiered water rates to commercial users, and enhancing water purification and wastewater treatment so that we can use reclaimed water without health risks.

DORMITORY-STYLE (HIGH OCCUPANCY) HOUSING 1. Would you support or oppose re-evaluating the zoning code to ensure that new development is compatible with surrounding neighborhoods and historic areas? Why?

Yes, I am in support of re-evaluating the zoning code. The current zoning code does not prevent incompatible structures from development. The gaps in our zoning code inspired me to launch political efforts towards protecting the integrity of neighborhoods. Flagstaff’s historic downtown and surrounding neighborhoods have unique character and charm which I cherish. Tourists are drawn to our preserved historic town and without adequate zoning, Flagstaff’s charm could be compromised. I believe Flagstaff’s zoning code can better preserve our trademark character through proper requirements and standards. We can maintain the historic beauty of Flagstaff while accommodating much needed new developments.

DORMITORY-STYLE (HIGH OCCUPANCY) HOUSING 2. 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.

CLIMATE CHANGE 1. Would you support or oppose the resolution presented by the Citizen’s Climate Lobby regarding Carbon Fee and Dividend legislation to address climate change? Why?

I support collaboration between the Citizen’s Climate Lobby and the city. The Lobby’s proposals to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are important and timely. In order to reach the goals of reduced carbon in the atmosphere, there must be a certain level of consensus and understanding. I’d like to work together to create a plan that is on par with the proposal’s outlined goals. One of the best ways to reduce atmospheric carbon and meet homeowner needs is to provide dividends and rebates.

CLIMATE CHANGE 2. 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. 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.

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 advocate for a transition to an increased minimum wage to support our hard working service sector. Additionally, attracting new and sustainable industries is a top priority.

TRANSPORTATION: What strategies or policies would you propose to enhance our transportation systems?

There is a growing demand for alternative transportation in Flagstaff. As traffic congestion increases, the benefits of driving one's car may be overshadowed by the costs. Foresight and creative collaboration among the City Council members will be crucial in addressing the looming issue of traffic and infrastructure limitations. As a cyclist, I recommend increased bike lanes and more frequent community events to raise awareness around commuter cycling. I also propose collaboration with cities that have successful public transportation models to learn effective systems for increasing ridership. Importantly, these solutions need to meet the needs of people of all income levels.