Dennis Lavin 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)?

  • Foster economic prosperity and employer choices.
  • Provide exceptional service to the Community, continue working towards a safe and livable Community, and keeping an eye on our water resources.
  • Invest in our City’s employees, support our Public Safety Team and attempt to reduce the City’s unfunded pension plan.
 

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 was pleased that the City hosted the joint conference earlier this year with Local, County, Tribal, State, and National officials to engage our community in regard to the Hopi Tribe land settlement. This issue has been festering for about 20 years.
I was somewhat disappointed in the non-binding resolutions. It seems to me that the legal cost and staff time associated with drafting non-binding resolutions could get expensive and drain resources from the City.

 

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 have been involved with Private Sector Governance issues for over forty (40) years. Having worked with numerous Boards of Directors/Audit Committees, this experience has given me a strong focus on maintaining a strong tone at the top philosophy.
As an audit partner (retired status since 2014) with an international firm of certified public accountants with thousands of employees, I have developed strong skills sets in: 1) understanding financial statements, 2) the budgeting and bonding processes and bench marking metrics, 3) strategic planning, 4) risk management, 5) listening and developing solutions, and 6) mentoring and recruiting talent.

 

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

I do not have a basis to determine how satisfied I am with the relationship. However, I would make one comment and one recommendation:
Comment: Many Community members are concerned with the growth of the student housing stock and they were not aware as to how it was planned and approved.
Reading “The Flagstaff Regional Plan 2030”, I do not see where the authors identify off-campus housing when dealing with all of the sustainable and cost factors in Appendix B.
Recommendation: Enhanced messaging/communications from the City and NAU leadership can contribute to an educated Community during the next build out phase.

 

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?

I absolutely believe that our precious water resources should be considered in our development plans. We are blessed at the moment and should be watchful as to how we management this resource.
As a Community we should attempt to conserve and reduce unnecessary water usage. I would suggest that we continue to replace aging water/sewer pipes that have served the Community for many, many years.
In any event, the City has scheduled a meeting with the various Department Leaders. I will to continue to learn more about our water systems and usage.

 

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

I do not support recycled reclaimed waste water for our drinking purposes, at the moment.
As I understand our water usage strategy, we are reclaiming quite a bit of our water for our parks, etc. Actually, I heard that we do not have enough existing waste water to recycle.
In any event, the City has scheduled a meeting with the various Department Leaders, I will to continue to learn more about our water systems and usage.

 

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

My concern is what happens in the next 10 to 15 year time horizon, if students decide to tele-commute or what happens when due to economic conditions in their countries, the level of our international student enrollment trails off? I revisited “The Flagstaff Regional Plan 2030” – I must have missed the sustainable part of building student housing stock off Campus. 

I would like to find out the exact locations of future approved off-campus housing and share this information with the Community.

Our City and County leaders should be accessing real estate taxes for such housing stock at the appropriate levels.

 

HIGH OCCUPANCY HOUSING

Supports:

  • Sustainable building practices including renewable energy and water conservation

Does not support:

  • Providing incentives for affordable housing units within HOH developments
  • 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 believe the free market drives the energy efficient building/construction markets. Folks are aware of our precious resources and want to be part of the solution. We all want clean air and a beautiful forest. A question in this survey, refers to our high cost of living, so the more regulations we have the more costly it is to build.
From what I can determine, the City is making great strides in energy efficiency.

 

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

I understand that the City leaders are looking at other solutions to this document. I am not sure how this Plan follows the voter approved “The Flagstaff Regional Plan 2030”. I am hesitant to make this a priority unless I receive more details.
As a member of the Museum of Northern Arizona, I am impressed with the work they perform as to educating our Community as to our precious resources.

 

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

For many years, it has been expensive to live in our great Community. I simply offer the following: 1) change the model for compensating our City employees, 2) encourage economic growth and employer choices, and 3) continue to work with our educational partners to enhance the employable skill sets of those willing to work hard and succeed.
As the Candidates will meet with the Department Leaders, I want to focus some of the questions on the current City Program which offers subsidized housing and see if by working with our State/Federal partners we can update the system to our facts.

 

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

I do like the philosophy of managing and planning approaches that emphasis waste prevention.
I would continue our recycling programs and continue to communicate to our already environmentally aware Community of our efforts to reduce 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?

Yes. We need a funding source for basic infrastructure. I am glad the Council separated out Lone Tree Overpass No. 420 and Tax Increase No. 421

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?

I do not support this transportation tax. As one who frequents the area on a routine basis, I do not see the need for this project. In addition there are other tax increases pending with multiple Ballot Initiatives.

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?

As of July 24, 2018, I am open to listening and reflecting on this tax increase.

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?

Resolution No.2018-35 calls for a vote on a new General Obligation Bond, up to $25 million. I am not in favor of the resolution because its purpose is too vague and an unelected Housing Bond Commission will provide the direction as to how our tax dollars will be spent.

Housing in Flagstaff has been expensive for many years. I simply offer the following: 1) change how our City compensates our employees, 2) encourage economic growth and employer choices, and 3) continue to work with our educational partners to enhance employable skill sets.

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 support Proposition 414. Small businesses cannot just pass their cost to their customers.

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

I need to perform more research on this matter.

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

I need to perform more research on this matter. However, I support our community college. I would lean to supporting this proposition.