KRCC News sent detailed surveys about some of the most critical issues facing city leaders, to the candidates running for the Pueblo mayoral seat. Read their responses below.
The responses have been lightly edited for clarity.
Role and vision
Why do you want to be mayor/on council and what qualifications would you bring to the position?
As the current council woman for district 1 I feel that too often the citizens voices get drowned out by leaders who think they know better so since I understand the functions of municipal government which is to maintain the city, build new infrastructure and grow economic development I feel my years of construction management fully qualify me to administer Pueblo.
I’ve been managing the restoration of large blighted multi family properties for over a decade which is desperately needed for Pueblo right now.
What makes you proud to be a Puebloan?
I moved here 33 years ago and I’m very rooted in the culture and history of our community. I’ve seen us at our best and Puebloans are made of steel. We are tight knit and very proud.
What endorsements do you hold?
I’m beholden to no one. My endorsement comes from the vote of the people, they are the boss, it’s their city.
Do you support the statewide initiative Prop HH?
Do you support the statewide Prop II?
Should Pueblo go back to a city manager-run government instead of maintaining a strong mayor?
Yes. I feel the strong mayor role should be revised to where there is a check and balance system for the mayor. Currently the strong mayor is accountable to no one except the people every four years at the ballot box.
Should the city move the bust of Christopher Columbus?
Do you support the expansion of bike routes?
What is the biggest challenge facing Pueblo you plan to address as an elected official? How would you address it?
This will take the entire village to accomplish from both administration and citizenry, but if we truly want change the right leader can accomplish it. I know I’m that leader. I’ve taken 3rd world county conditions properties, sometimes up to 4 at a time and transformed them into healthy, viable and prosperous communities where people can enjoy a cleaner and safer environment. It is accomplished through building a team of like-minded professionals who have the same goal, who pride themselves on being the best they can be, allowing citizens to have a voice and value their vote. It can be done by me because I have the determination and passion for the job of restoring our community.
How might you seek to combat the rising cost of living?
Wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars would help immensely. I will use tax dollars for their intended purpose, especially during this economic downturn. It will reduce the need to raise taxes.
What kind of new employment opportunities should local government work to attract? What should they pay and how would you work to attract and/or create them?
We are behind the times in job opportunities and have invested too many tax dollars on low paying jobs. We need to revisit our source for economic development and solicit new options. Livable wages that to require subsidies to support individuals and families that increase with inflation are what’s needed to keep our city prosperous.
How do you plan on improving public safety?
Fostering and growing our police department. Addressing their administration and moral issues and creating an environment where disgruntled officers from all over have home to come to that respects them and allows them to do their job without consequence. Educating my community and how their vote at state level help decriminalize and disqualified officer immunity creating the criminal environment we are experiencing today and how our citizens could do a better job by voting for leader that protect their values.
What do you see as the primary contributor to the issue of homelessness in Pueblo and how would you address it?
Drugs is primary and mental health secondary. We have programs in place to treat both with public funding that is why I championed assist funding the new Crossroads treatment center which houses the Circle recovery center. It’s one of 3 facilities in the state. I believe in offering recovery not fostering harm reduction if needing to spend tax dollars on combating this crisis.
How do you feel about the current relationship between city council and the mayor's office? How would you work to foster that relationship?
I would work with council to ensure they have their own legal representation and administration which would eliminate the distrust between both entities currently. Making financial decisions based off information or lack of provided only by the Mayors attorney and staff is a conflict of interest.
What is the image of Pueblo? What should it be? What are three steps to get it there?
I would like to see Pueblo capitalize off its historical significance. I see it as a destination for those seeking a therapeutic relaxing getaway. A place that host events. I would like to create a place that kids have fond memories of from just a little family road trip. A place that our citizens feel safe and surroundings we can be proud of that are clean and kept. Hometown U.S.A. 1. I would work with my administration as a team to combat the main issues. Crime, drugs, homelessness and trash. Each department will be revamped if necessary to run efficiently and effectively. 2. Foster more residential development to increase population from larger cities, housing their workforce. Reduce the bureaucracy and fees for affordable housing development. Housing development with growing the population brings tax revenue. 3. Restructure our Economic Development source by soliciting new options and deciding if we as a community want to continue with our current situation.
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