The race for city council in 2020 is not lacking for candidates.
Longtime community member Becky Daggett announced she is seeking a seat on the Flagstaff City Council during the 2020 election.
Daggett is currently coordinating the local Outlaw Dirty Money campaign, which would require groups spending on political advertising to disclose their big donors, but in the over 23 years she has lived in Flagstaff, she has been involved in numerous other community organizations.
Daggett has worked in leadership positions at the Friends of Flagstaff’s Future, Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, the Flagstaff Arts Council and the Flagstaff Family Food Center. She said the experience she gained working for those organizations is one of the reasons she decided she wants to run for city council.
“It just felt like the natural progression of my career in Flagstaff. You know, economic development, arts and sciences, conservation, land use planning, so now I can take all of this knowledge and all of these skills that I have gained and hopefully put it to work for the city,” Daggett said.
Daggett has also worked as the business retention and expansion manager for the city economic development department and she said that experience may be especially helpful if she is elected.
Working for the city after directing advocacy organizations like Friends of Flagstaff, Daggett said she was able to see city hall both from the outside and as someone working within it.
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“That’s a unique perspective and I think an important one because you see what’s involved with getting things done and making things happen,” Daggett said. “There’s the more immediate concerns and those tend to be the ones the public is most focused on. And then the long-term planning the council and city staff needs to be doing and these may be issues that are not on the public’s radar, really.”
Daggett said she is especially focused on how the city will respond to the pressures of climate change, including future long-term water sources. Daggett added she has some real concerns about the cost of infrastructure required to make water from Red Gap Ranch, which the city purchased the rights to in 2011, the best solution to that issue.
Daggett said she also recognizes some of the more topical issues residents are facing, namely traffic, concern over student housing and affordable housing.
“Housing generally: I see that as an acute problem now and a problem that we need to be really looking out into the future for what we want Flagstaff to look like, whether we want to stay a vibrant, diverse mix of a community,” Daggett said.
She said the city will need to find ways to look toward the future while preserving values like open space and learning the lessons of how past city plans have had unintended consequences, referencing city plans that allowed for large student-focused developments to be built.
Daggett said one way to help address the issue of affordability could simply be putting more money toward programs the city already has like down payment assistance, adding she thinks the council’s decision to create a housing commission is a good step.