Colorado Springs mayoral candidate questionnaire: Lawrence Martinez
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KRCC News sent detailed surveys about some of the most critical issues facing city leaders, to the candidates running for the Colorado Springs mayoral seat. The short biography below is gleaned from the candidate’s response, their websites and other sources.
Lawrence Joseph Martinez has lived in Colorado Springs for more than 30 years. He went to school in Pueblo and came to Colorado Springs to work in the nursing field. He previously ran for mayor in 2019 and in 2015. In his responses to KRCC's questionnaire, Martinez said he wants to elevate the voice of residents.
In the news:
Role and vision
What is your elevator pitch for why voters in Colorado Springs should choose you as the next mayor?
I am for the people and one of the people who strife to represent all no matter your status. You are part of this great city and should be included in all decisions. your family is one of the most important part of our community so you should be allowed to grow and enrich your family.
What do you see as the role and/or function of city government?
Local governments can initiate a community's economic planning efforts, to build on their official community plan and role of shaping community growth and determining land use. Local government functions that influence economic development and planning include: Planning and zoning bylaws. There are three general types of city government: the mayor-council, the commission and the city manager. These are the pure forms
What is the number one challenge facing the next mayor of Colorado Springs, and how would you address it?
Housing costs and homelessness, . But elected leaders should pay more attention to crime, inflation and other issues increasingly on the minds of residents fiscal difficulties, crowding, housing, traffic, pollution, public education, and crime. Several of these problems stem directly from the fact that cities involve large numbers of people living in a relatively small amount of space.
What is your vision for Colorado Springs in the next 25 years, and what realistic policies do you propose to get us there?
The development of a city plan can initially present as an irrelevant activity for the general community. It is important to translate the need for a long-term vision or plan into topics that connect to community values and aspirations. The preparation of a plan takes considerable resources and commitment. It provides a unique opportunity to hold a meaningful conversation about the city that people want. Reinforce what our community wants and the focus on direct needs, community dialog open door policy.
Law enforcement / Public Safety
What is the most pressing public safety issue facing the city and how would you address it?
A community that uses technology to help governments, communities and businesses reduce the possibility of crime and provide an environment where people feel safe and comfortable. In developing the concept of a safe city, the government must first assess how safe the city is. Video surveillance is a critical element of a safe city. Security cameras provide the 'eyes' for all other operations and collect information As part of law enforcement, police officers have four major responsibilities: enforcing laws, preventing crimes, responding to emergencies, and providing support services. We must include the community and educate them on how to participate on how to keep their community safe.
What is your response to the findings from the audit on how the Colorado Springs Police Department uses force? What, if any, changes need to be made to the way CSPD operates?
Understanding use of force case law will help you train your officers to act within the confines of the law. Knowing these cases will help train you on how to investigate use of force. Understanding what SCOTUS and lower courts have said will also help you educate the public on exactly what cops are able to do and how that looks. Bring the community and law enforcement to work hand in hand we must remember we are all the same in the eyes of the law and should be treated in this way.
What do you think of the current relationship between the Colorado Springs Police Department and the public? Is it acceptable or should more be done, and if so, what?
The police are responsible for trying to make communities safe by working to prevent criminal acts and enforcing the law. They are accountable to the community and its assessment of police successes and failures in preventing, fighting, and solving crimes. Officers can be trained to identify and correct conditions that could lead to crime, raise public awareness, and engage the community in finding solutions to problems. Field training officers and supervisors need to learn how to encourage problem solving and help officers learn how to work with the community. They must remember they serve the community not the department.
What do you think of the Law Enforcement Transparency and Advisory Commission (LETAC)? What would you do differently with this commission or its purpose if given the chance?
we need community involvement so to do this we must empower the average citizen to help regulate what we need in law enforcement.
Emergency officials are implementing new notification software and other measures in the case of a wildfire or other hazard, but some residents say that isn’t enough. How would you address their concerns?
An emergency plan specifies procedures for handling sudden or unexpected situations. The objective is to be prepared to: Prevent fatalities and injuries. Reduce damage to buildings, stock, and equipment. Four phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Divide the city into four zones create a specific plan for each zone include the zone community in what is needed for the plan.
How do you define sustainable and responsible growth, and is the city successful in growing responsibly and sustainably?
The six main challenges to urban sustainability include: suburban sprawl, sanitation, air and water quality, climate change, energy use, and the ecological footprint . Other sustainability challenges include industrial pollution, waste management, and overpopulation. No we allow the developers to create a urban sprawl. Urban sprawl is caused in part by the need to accommodate a rising urban population. Urban sprawl is known as “flight from blight.” Social factors such as higher tax rates, higher inner city crime rates, greater inner city poverty occur as well a rise in crime.
What different approach would you take, if any, to help address housing affordability?
City government can address the rental crisis on the supply side in two ways. First, they can increase the total number of rental units, which can help slow rental inflation as more renters find the housing that they want. Second, they can focus on building housing units slated for lower-income renters.
Infill is identified in the PlanCOS master plan as a key strategy for the city moving forward, and yet, council is currently debating annexations. How do you define infill and how do you balance it with annexations?
Candidate did not answer.
What do you think of the recent water service extension ordinance passed by council and signed by the mayor aimed at limiting annexations based on water supply? What would you have done differently?
Cities that provide water and sewer services are required to extend water and sewer services to properties in the annexed areas within 3 and 1/2 years of the annexation at no cost to the property owners. We must lower the threshold 127 years of water supply is unacceptable why does city government think they can look into the future on what our needs will be. Our life time politicians are beholding to the developers who line their pocket with cash . we must remove them from our politics and remove life time politicians who owe a favors to those who put them in office.
How do you balance maintaining the character of Colorado Springs with the need for development? What is the character of Colorado Springs?
Candidate did not answer.
Transportation / Infrastructure
What is the most important infrastructure project needed in Colorado Springs right now, and how would you address it?
Buses, subways, trains, and other public vehicles are designed are needed make life easier for everyone. We improved community health to affordability, public transportation systems create the foundation on which cities become more livable and prosperous in a variety of ways. Create a tax break for all companies that are involved in this project.
How do you feel about the transportation options currently available in Colorado Springs? What plans, if any, do you have to increase options for reliable public transportation?
What transportation options. We are behind all other cities in providing a useable transportation system. Public transportation services play an important role for people who are unable to drive, including those without access to personal vehicles, children, individuals with disabilities, and older adults. Using public transport is cheaper than owning and operating a car. No more sitting in traffic jams in rush hour thanks to bus lanes and other bus priority measures. We must use a company who has vision on how to up grade and deliver what is needed for a better transportation services.
What are your thoughts about expanding the use of active transportation like bicycles or walking? Should it be a primary focus and if so, what should be done?
Human-powered mobility, such as biking, walking, or rolling. Active transportation directly replaces motor vehicle miles traveled, so these modes are effective at conserving fuel, reducing vehicle emissions, bridging the first- and last-mile gap, and improving individual and public health. Provide streetscape amenities such as benches, landscaping, lighting, and public art. Encourage way-finding with signs, maps, and landscape cues to direct pedestrians and bicyclists to the most direct route. Encourage bicycle parking at workplaces and transit stops.
Parks & Open Space, Economy & Other
General Palmer's original vision for the city of Colorado Springs was that of a planned community, built around its natural beauty and environment. Do you agree with that vision, and if so, how do you plan to stay true to it?
Yes, first take away the power of the developers who line the pockets of life time politicians. City Beautiful movements enhance urban areas and make them more sanitary. we must propose that public buildings reflect classical architecture, that streets be lined with trees, and that towns provide landscaped public parks with fountains and statuary.
What do you see as the current state of economic diversity, and where does the city have the opportunity to grow?
Economic equality is the belief that people should receive the same rate of pay for a job, regardless of race, gender, or other characteristics that are not related to their ability to perform the task. The easiest example of economic equality gone wrong is in pay differentials between men and women. By participating in equity, growth, sustainability, and stability.
Is the city doing enough to address the issue of people experiencing homelessness? What, if anything, would you do differently?
A Coordinated Approach. To end homelessness, a community-wide coordinated approach to delivering services, housing, and programs is needed. Research shows permanent housing is ultimately the most cost-effective approach to addressing homelessness. Set a goal for each homeless agency if they fail their goal remove them from future funding. Homelessness in Colorado Springs is a businesses not a solution. CEOs are paid $155,000 per year why fix homelessness when you are paid so well.
What is your stance on if and when to ask voters to retain funds that exceed the cap imposed by the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR)?
TABOR prohibits tax increases without voter approval. This means if lawmakers or local officials want to implement a new tax or increase an existing tax rate, they must first seek approval from the voters within that taxing jurisdiction. This is the principal function of TABOR that has broad support by Colorado voters. Voter approval is also required to increase the TABOR limit, which constrains state revenue from both taxes and fees.
Who are your top three campaign donors?
Me myself and I
Would you support city councilors receiving a living wage or salary as opposed to the annual stipend of $6,250?
Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado Springs?
Would you support creating an independent board for Colorado Springs Utilities, rather than having council serve as the board?
Do you support Front Range Rail?
Do you support extending Constitution Avenue?
Is the city adequately addressing climate change and adaptation?
Do you support the ballot measure that extends the TOPS sales tax?
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