Candidate Questionnaire: Tricia Canonico for Fort Collins District 3

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

Tricia Canonico: The public understandably wants to know when they can expect service to roll out in their area, especially as many are now working and studying at home due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, as a city-owned service competing against established commercial providers, Connexion has a fiduciary duty to limit the release of proprietary information. We expect Connexion to be successful and to be an asset to Fort Collins – which may mean less transparency than is ideal. However, I would like to see Connexion provide more services updates to customers and on their website whenever feasible.

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?

The most important action we can take as leaders is to ensure the public is educated about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines. Our residents need access to accurate, comprehensive information so they can make an informed decision about receiving the vaccine. This educational program must include, and be sensitive to, communities of color. Overcoming vaccine hesitancy and offering equitable access to the vaccines is a priority. The program must also emphasize the mitigating safety guidelines promoted by national and state leaders. Reopening the City safely and gradually under the guidance of health officials is critical.

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’ greatest ecological challenge is Climate Change. One area in which we have the ability to make a significant impact on emissions is by further incentivizing conversions to solar energy. The City’s rebate for a solar conversion dropped in 2021 from $1,500 to $1,000. I will prioritize returning it to $1,500 and finding creative ways to make solar conversions more attractive. Additionally, we should create a more robust multi-modal transportation system and expand Max lines east to west to fill the gaps in our transit system and to create a more efficient and useful transit system.

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?

On City Council, I will prioritize the maintenance and expansion of our open space. Council needs to manage maintenance costs to protect these community assets. The quality of experience to those who use the properties will continue to be high if we can create a reliable funding stream for day-to-day costs along with new growth. We also need to be more intentional about leveraging existing resources, including a volunteer base for ongoing operations. We should consider “Friends of” groups to help with maintenance of the system. Equity also needs to be central to how we think about incorporating new 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 would advocate for more MAX routes running east to west to help ease congestion and to increase ridership on MAX. I will advocate for the City to continue to prioritize the building of a bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure with direct links to public transportation. Additionally, I would advocate for a Front Range commuter train. With a likely federal level emphasis on infrastructure, I believe we will see greater support for additional commuter routes. The Front Range has been identified as a high priority area in an Amtrak expansion and we need to be working towards making this a reality.

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?

We need to be smart, strategic, thoughtful and balanced in regards to all development. We will continue to thrive only if we incorporate resources that make our city unique and livable – open space, trails, parks and natural areas – in future development. Planning for growth allows us to be value-led and ensure additional housing meets the needs and incomes of our residents. I will keep the City’s Climate goals at the forefront of all development decisions. Future affordable housing should be high-density that is accessible to public transportation and bike trails as well as centrally located with nearby amenities.

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

One strategy that has my full support is updating the Land Use Code in recognition of our need for additional affordable housing. An update should allow for greater leeway with green field development, allowances for high and more dense development and a recognition that affordable housing should ideally be situated near public transit and other amenities.

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)

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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