Coral Evans for Flagstaff Mayor

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

1. Responsible Stewardship
2. Accessible Government
3. Local Governance

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 supported: The decision to protect Flagstaff’s unique status as a dark sky city and not to allow a large student housing development on Woody Mountain Road. Our starry skies are a treasure to be protected.

I was disappointed with: The decision to amend the City Council Rules of Procedure to require a majority of council members to move an item forward to a future agenda, this restricts democracy by threatening to eliminate the minority voice.

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 currently serve on the Flagstaff City Council (since 2008, including Vice-Mayor 2012-2014). I am highly involved in shaping City-level policies. I currently represent Council on the Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG) Economic Development Council, the Flagstaff Metropolitan Planning Organization (FMPO) (current chair), and the County-City Joint Land Use Study Committee.

Previously I represented Council on the Flagstaff Regional Plan Steering Committee, the SEDI - Regional Workforce Development Center Planning Committee, and the Coconino County Public Health District Board.

I also serve on community boards including the Coconino County Workforce-Investment Board as the current Vice-Chair.

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 support the ballot initiative to protect the city-owned lands on McMillan Mesa as a park, I signed the petition that was circulated for it. Buffalo Park is an iconic cherished community asset, my grandmother used to tell me stories about the buffalo that once lived there. I respect the longstanding community support for the preservation of McMillan Mesa (Flagstaff’s Central Park). I believe as Flagstaff grows it is critical to recognize the qualities that make it a desirable place to live and visit, and for us to preserve those qualities for our long-term future.

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 have not taken a position on the minimum wage initiative and look forward to hearing from the voters. I believe that everyone deserves economic security, and know first-hand how hard and stressful it can be to raise a family in Flagstaff without an adequate wage. I have concerns about how FUSD and NAU would fund this mandate without additional state support. And I worry about families losing benefits such as housing assistance or ACCESS without making enough to cover the costs of insurance and shelter. My decision will involve balancing these real world concerns with the best information available.

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?

I support having our limited local water resources be taken into consideration when planning for growth and development in Flagstaff. Water is essential for the long-term sustainability of a city. Without adequate water, businesses will not relocate here nor will families and individuals seek to move here. I believe that our Regional Plan, Zoning Code, and Comprehensive Water Policy should be directly linked and that connection supported through a transparent community planning process.

WATER 2. Do you support or oppose accessing water from Red Gap Ranch to meet future water needs? Why?

I support a previous City Council’s decision to purchase Red Gap Ranch as a solution for our city’s future water needs: Accessing water from Red Gap will be crucial for water supply assurance and the sustainability of our city. The current City Council is neglecting to take the important next step of developing and implementing a strategic plan to pay for this pipeline. I believe that is a major mistake. The cost for the pipeline is estimated to be $280M, not including the right-of-ways and easements needed. That cost will not decrease while we wait to act.

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?

I support examining the zoning code and its interpretation to ensure that new development is compatible with surrounding neighborhoods and historic areas. Neighborhoods are the heart and soul of a city. A rezoning is not an individual right, it is a community right that can be granted or denied. I respect the right of the community to reject a proposed zoning change if they feel it is not in the best interests of a neighborhood. I support responsible stewardship and deliberate, transparent community planning that maintains the character of Flagstaff and provides opportunities that support families, business and jobs.

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?

We have a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with NAU. At the same time, we must recognize that student housing is a complex issue that seriously affects our community. Addressing that issue requires collaborative leadership. We need to have open dialog with the Arizona Board of Regents regarding the student housing needs of NAU, its impacts on surrounding neighborhoods, and the possibility of public-private partnerships on existing NAU property. Those conversations should be initiated by city leaders as soon as possible, instead of surrendering our precious cultural resources for private luxury dormitories.

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?

Climate change is a local as well as a global issue. According to our City Charter, the Council shall act by motion, resolution, or ordinance (Article VII) to address local issues. I supported the resolution by the Citizen’s Climate Lobby for a Carbon Fee and Dividend Legislation to address the effects of Climate Change. It is both appropriate and important for cities to engage with and support these resolutions which in turn help drive change at the higher level. There is support for legislation to address this issue from a wide diversity of groups including oil industry and environmental organizations.

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 supported updating portions of the city’s Energy Code when City Council made changes to the Code 4-5 years ago. I would support a community conversation on potential new updates that could be made to the Code to assist families and businesses experience greater energy efficiency and a reduction in their utility bills. I do feel that it is important that any conversation about potential changes also address the potential increase in the cost of housing and plan for how such increases could potentially be mitigated.

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

Strategies and/or policies that I will propose as Mayor to address the high cost of living in Flagstaff include 1) the establishment of a Land Use Partnership with NAU and/or the Arizona Board of Regents, 2) a renewed dedication to the City’s Land Trust program and the development/implementation of a 5-year strategic plan for the program (with the assistance of key, identified community housing partners), 3) addressing the challenges of Mobile Home Park rehabilitation at the state level (current state regulations make the rehabilitation of older mobile parks and establishment of new parks is nearly impossible).

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

I have represented the Council on the Flagstaff Metropolitan Planning Organization (FMPO) for the past 8 years, I am the current FMPO Chair. Strategies I will propose to enhance our transportation system include connecting 4th Street to W.J. Powell Blvd., assuming responsibility for Old West Rt. 66, and realigning Cedar/4th St./Lockett. I will advocate for better marketing of Mountain Line Transit as an efficient and environmentally conscious way to get around. We also need to make the east side of town more bikeable, while downtown has dedicated bike lanes they are rare on the east side of town.