Candidate Questionnaire: Susan Gutowksy for Fort Collins District 1

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

Susan Gutowsky: Connexon is a part of “future-proofing” Fort Collins could help us to reach 100% renewable energy by 2030 with smart grid technology. Part of the rollout could include consumer education on the exciting possibilities and a status bar on the website. A better job could be done giving service updates via text to those signed up to receive updates on the website or posting next door instead of just door hangers and an expectation of a completion date once fiber begins to be installed in our neighborhoods. That would help us to be patient as we wait!

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?

We must continue to strictly follow the science and use the Larimer County Health Department’s guidelines to direct our response to issues as they arise. Our community has been outstanding in its support of wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing, and avoiding gathering in groups. I know that people are worn down from this pandemic; however, we must maintain our level of vigilance as variants become active— We must communicate developments in terms of support for workers, renters and strategies for mitigating negative impacts as soon as possible so that we all know how and where to plug into resources.

image | Susan Gutowsky, Fort Collins City Council

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?

We will face those who want to move the goal post concerning reaching 100% renewable energy by 2030. Why not look at the problem and find new solutions to achieve our goals instead? Then do what it takes to get there? We must use everything in our toolbox and more from intergovernmental agreements, public education, incentives, innovation, workforce development, and anything necessary to meet our climate goals. This will be a heavy lift, but we can do it together if we refuse to accept failure as an option.

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 for the measure.

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

Let’s start with keeping the Hughes stadium property a natural area. Beyond that, we have dedicated taxes and fees to pay for new natural areas and parks. We continue to ensure that we spend money the way voters intended. We focus on the Conservation Trust Fund on new trail construction, especially in under-served parts of the City like connecting the northern neighborhoods to our trails system. I believe it should be a Council priority to focus on infrastructure in the northeast quadrant of the City as our growth appears to be headed in that direction.

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?

We need to continue working to provide a safe and reliable multimodal transportation network for all residents and advance mobility solutions to increase walking, bicycling, transit use, and environmentally sustainable modes. Paying particular attention to connectivity to all areas of the city, such as bicycle and pedestrian connectivity to Northeast Fort Collins, and expand our transit grid in all directions including extending to suburbs and adjacent cities.

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?

Decline to comment as I would not want to create a situation where I would need to recuse myself.

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

The Oak Street Housing Catalyst project is exciting. I hope we get to see more things like that in the future.

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

No.

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

No.

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

No.

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

Yes.

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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