Candidate Questionnaire: Shirley Peel for Fort Collins District 4

Fort Collins Voter Guide Questionnaire: The city can best improve the Connexion roll-out process by doing what, in your opinion?

Shirley Peel: This issue requires maintenance of a delicate balance. We must keep shareholders informed as appropriate; they are investing in Connexion and are anxious to be knowledgeable about its progress. However, it is also important that we ensure a competitive roll-out of this crucial municipal utility. To close the feedback loop, I believe we should identify the key questions percolating that might be openly addressed and respond to them in an official capacity. For those questions that cannot be answered, honesty seems the best option and, if possible, projected deadlines for updates might be provided.

Citizens are concerned about Covid’s impact on education, downtown, community engagement, renters rights, workers rights, students, and local families. Where do you think the City of Fort Collins can do a better job of addressing the impact of Covid on our community?

With vaccinations increasing and our hospitalization rate stable, the City of Fort Collins needs to turn its attention the the business community which is the area where they have the most influence and help them re-open and recover so that our friends, family and neighbors can return to work. The City can take the lead helping businesses by making them a priority in the budget, implementing payment plans for taxes and fees and helping businesses negotiate with landlords for payment plans or reductions in late fees. Businesses who recover and thrive will help the community as a whole return to normal.

What do you see as Fort Collins’ greatest ecological challenge in the next four years, a concern particularly strong among students and young people. How do you believe we should face it?

I believe the greatest ecological challenge for the entire Northern Colorado region will be to ensure water supply and storage for the projected growth in our area over the next 10 years in a way that is the least damaging to our environment. I think the Northern Integrated Supply Project is our best option for balancing our need for water with minimum ecological damage.

Do you plan to vote for or against the ballot measure that calls for the City of Fort Collins to attempt to buy the Hughes Stadium property and turn it into open space?

I plan to vote against the measure.

What is your strategy for maintaining and increasing open space in Fort Collins?

Maintaining the open spaces that people currently enjoy in our city is certainly a high priority as those are part of what makes Fort Collins a desirable place to live. When we look to increasing these areas, we need to ensure places that we designate as open spaces are viable places both environmentally and financially, essentially that they are well thought out and make sense. We also have to balance the need for attainable housing with the desire for open spaces.

Where will you focus your energy in regards to improving public transportation in Fort Collins, particularly in regards to helping those who commute from the suburbs, students, and cyclists?

I think our focus and energy should be first in planning. We need a solid strategic plan that outlines a physical transportation network that supports multi-modal travel. It seems to me we have components of a multi-modal plan, but we need to pull all the parts together to make a more comprehensive system that supports all modes of transportation and allows for transportation facilities and networks that are reliable, affordable, efficient, connected.

Do you believe that Boulder serves as a good model for how Fort Collins should grow? (Yes or no)

No.

Can we mitigate the negative impacts of growth while also building up Fort Collins’ affordable housing stock — and if so, how?

Fort Collins’ workforce is facing a shortage of attainable housing. Repealing the U + 2 ordinance as well as taking a look at our zoning laws to allow manufactured home parks within reason and higher density building within reason can help build up our housing stock while mitigating the negative impacts of growth. I also support the adaptation of the land use code to the changing needs of our city in order to provide for more innovative options in the housing market such as carriage houses/mother-in-law quarters and even tiny homes.

What is the one initiative you would most enthusiastically support that you believe would increase access to quality affordable housing in Fort Collins?

I would support the repealing of the U+2 as well as the adaptation of the land code.

Would you vote to fully repeal U + 2? (Yes or no)

Yes.

Would you vote to expand U + 2 to Me + 3? (Yes or no)

Yes.

Would you support a “right size” housing policy that matches occupancy limits to number of bedrooms? (Yes or no)

Yes.

Would you support a rental registry program in Fort Collins? (Yes or no)

No.

For more on this candidate, you can visit their website here.

Methodology: A two question survey asking Fort Collins citizens which issues are important to them on the local level this upcoming cycle was shared on Fort Collins Reddit, in Fort Collins Craigslist, and with members of the Rocky Mountain Collegian & ASCSU for further dispersal. These avenues were chosen in an attempt to reach informed and engaged citizens of Fort Collins who might not be the ‘regular suspects’ who typically receive and respond to such surveys, but who nonetheless represent important and cross-sectional constituencies. Respondents could list multiple issues. No issues were prompted. There were 61 total responses to the survey. These questions are based on the seven issues citizens referenced most in the survey data, with issues referenced by three or more respondents chosen as question categories. Questions here are phrased in a way that most directly reflects the wording and perceived intent of survey respondents, while also pointing candidates toward revealing specific policy values. To see full responses, click here for the organized raw data.

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