Hello Flagstaff! Well, fall is here, with its cooler nights and changing leaves. It’s also election season. I want to take a minute to talk about something that gets lost in the clamor and energy of state and national politics: our local ballot initiatives. Down at the bottom of your ballot are a series of initiatives that aim to help make Flagstaff a better place to live and work.
The cost of living is Flagstaff’s largest and most entrenched issue. We need to make sure that families, teachers, police officers and workers can afford to live here. Prop 422 will allow us to construct more affordable housing, to acquire more land for housing, to rehabilitate and redevelop parcels to create more housing. It will allow us to create more infrastructure, which will help create more housing. It is past time we try to do something new about poverty with a view. I urge you to join me and vote yes on Prop 422.
Another of our main issues is that the majority of the main roads we use daily are not actually city roads. They are owned, managed and maintained by the State of Arizona (e.g. Milton, Route 66, Hwy 180/Fort Valley, 89A). The best way to address the traffic issues in Flagstaff is to design and build the appropriate multimodal system for a city of our size. I encourage everyone to vote yes on the three Transportation Sales Tax questions that will be on the November ballot. Prop 419 will be used to help construct the JW Powell to 4th Street connection (this will pull cars off of Milton), Prop 420 will be used for the Lone Tree Railroad Overpass from Butler Avenue to Route 66, this will provide us another north/south access road, and Prop 421 will allow for increased bus service.
Living in Arizona, we all know that education funding is a critical issue. I encourage you to vote for statewide and legislative candidates who are committed to funding education. I also encourage you to support our local education initiatives. Prop 423 would allow the district to build and maintain schools, many of which are sorely in need of maintenance. Prop 424 is a renewal of the override that helps to fund things like all-day kindergarten, art, music and physical education. Coconino Community College is also seeking an override with Prop 417, which is a continuation of current funding. This will allow the institution to continue to train our firefighters, nurses, assist veterans in transitioning to civilian jobs, and prepare students for an ever-changing job market.
Please remember to vote and vote all the way down the ballot. FBN
By Coral Evans
Coral Evans, MBA, is the mayor of the City of Flagstaff.