Candidate Questionnaire: Jeff Hansen for Fort Collins District 5

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

Jeff Hansen: There is not nearly enough transparency the way it is currently being done. I realize the City is concerned about protecting any competitive advantage they might have but the level it is being taken to is not appropriate for a publicly owned company and it is actually encouraging potential customers to look at other options because of the uncertainty around a date that service will be available.

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?

Many of the concerns listed here are in the control of other government entities. A policy of strong advocacy with PSD, CSU and Larimer county would help to get students back into school environments that allow more effective learning and getting more workers back to their jobs. Many who are out of work would like to turn to friends for housing opportunities but are limited by U+2 regulations. There are also opportunities for the City of Fort Collins to help with vaccine distribution.

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?

Fort Collins has had some version of a climate action plan for over 20 years. Continual adjustments have been made along the way (which I believe is important for a successful plan). Steady progress towards our goals had been made for over a decade until about 8 or 9 years ago when a more aggressive adjustment was made. Progress has been a statistical flat-line since those went into effect. The plan needs some serious attention and adjustments that will actually work, not just make for good sound bites.

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?

The Fort Collins Natural Areas department has a strategy for maintaining and adding to our current inventory of open space. The strategy has generally been effective and maintaining funding and support for this department is vital to that effort continuing to be effective. Access to natural areas is not evenly distributed throughout the city (currently strongly biased to the west side of town) and looking for land with high open space value in other areas would one good way to refocus that current strategy.

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?

The MAX has established a reasonably well functioning spine for a public transportation network. However, this is limited to a north-south connection only. The Transfort bus system does provide some east-west access to this spine. This east-west system needs a bit more capacity and extension to the western and eastern extremes of the city, possibly even making connections to our regional neighbors such as Timnath, Windsor and Wellington. Our system of bike routes is impressive when compared to other cities but it still has some significant gaps that we need to fill in.

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?

Yes we can! We need to encourage development of creative and “hidden” density that will protect the natural areas that Fort Collins values so much and keep much of the population growth near the “transit core” of Fort Collins. This creative and hidden density comes in many forms such as taller mix-use apartment buildings (with parking structures), various additional dwelling units (mother-in-law suites, carriage houses, tiny houses, etc.), and making better use of the existing housing stock that we already have by adjusting the U+2 ordinance.

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

I believe that the one action that will have the most immediate effect on the availability of affordable housing is to revise or replace the existing occupancy limit ordinance known as U+2. Including a voluntary rental registry program as part of that revision or replacement would help to encourage rental properties to maintain high standards of safety and livability.

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)

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)

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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