Candidate Question #15: Why should voters trust you?
Candidate Question #15

Candidate Question #15: Why should voters trust you?

From the Flagstaff City Council candidate questions series
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Flagstaff City Council and mayoral candidates have been given the chance to answer a weekly question in no more than 150 words. This week’s question: Why should voters trust you?


Dennis Lavin

Politicians should be questioned.

Our public safety personnel should be able to trust the council.

Since question No. 1, I have consistently supported our city’s employees. In question No. 3, I raised the issue of contributing more of our precious sales tax dollars to reduce the unfunded pension liability owed to our public safety personnel.

In the Sun’s August 12 profile of the candidates, I address the unfunded pension plans. I have mentioned the pension issue in four public forums since August.

Our public safety costs have been impacted by population/infrastructure growth and increasing needs to serve our educational community.

Let’s solve this problem strategically. The actual liability is $160 million and we have $60 million in assets. We have a $100 million deficit. Let’s consider a designated portion of our sales taxes and impact fees.

We can start the process by voting no on new sales tax Propositions 420 and 421.

Austin Aslan

My skillsets qualify me for office, but you can trust me with the job because I seek to unite rather than divide.

During an era of broken national discourse, I’m attracted to serving my local community through a non-partisan role. The issues we face directly impact our diverse families and endanger Flagstaff’s most unique qualities; they deserve more than partisan lip-service or cookie-cutter solutions.

You can trust me because I’m a native Arizonan who cares profoundly about the future of our troubled city and our exceptional region.

I recently solo thru-hiked the 800-mile Arizona Trail, bearing witness to sacred landscapes dwindling before our eyes. I proved my resourcefulness, my thick skin, and my appetite for tackling difficult paths and ambitious goals.

And you can trust me by the example of my family, whose generosity of spirit and commitment to service inspire in me my own best qualities, values, and ideals.

Paul Deasy

I am someone who admits to his mistakes, who recognizes his faults as a human. I want to learn to be better--a better person, a better citizen, a better father, and better community member, and I work hard every day to do just that. The only way to learn how is by listening to criticism and considering alternative views. I welcome criticism because it fundamentally challenges my preconceptions and approaches, and leads me to become a better person.

I can’t promise perfection. Why trust me? Because I listen to criticism, think it through, and always strive to be a better person today than I was yesterday.

Regina Salas

Public office is a public trust. Elected officials must be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency; act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives. 

Ingrained in my consciousness, my core values keep me grounded on my commitment to serve Flagstaff’s diverse communities: prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude, faith, hope and love.

Within four weeks, I earned the trust of 1,619 Flagstaff voters who signed my nomination. Pursuing selfless service, pragmatism and balance, I earn the trust of every voter I meet. 

Born and raised in the Philippines, I bring diverse perspectives and wide worldview to the city leadership. I bring extensive experience in government, business, academe, and nonprofits: community and economic development, policy research and analysis, budgeting, fiscal management, resource mobilization, mediation, fundraising and friend-raising. I have the energy, ability and grit to bring people together and seize opportunities that serve our communities.

Adam Shimoni

I’ve been involved in community organizing, youth engagement and conflict resolution for over 10 years. I believe that I have the experience, credibility, and integrity to serve the people of Flagstaff. I listen to people and care about their well-being. As a Special Education student at NAU, I focused on empowering students. As a youth leader for Ultimate Peace, a non-profit that brings Israeli and Palestinian youth together, I learned conflict resolution and consensus building. I founded Speak Up, a weekly event that discussed local government, addressed Council topics, and educated members on using one’s political voice. Serving the community has always been my passion and goal. As a public representative, I plan to increase civic engagement through transparency, education and empowerment. We need leaders who can bring people together and solve problems. I look forward to finding win-win solutions, keeping an open door, and open mind to new ideas.

Alex Martinez

City voters should trust me because I have had a successful administrative track record as a school administrator and school superintendent for over 30 years. I also have had 30 years as a decorated U.S. Naval Officer where I managed a 200 million dollar budget and over 300 personnel. My education qualifications are a Bachelor's of Science, Master's and a Doctorate in School Administration all from the University of Arizona.

I have extensive experience in developing and implementing policy, personnel, strategic planning and multi-million dollar budgets. My last public school bond election was passed by 92 percent of the school district voters. I believe in customer service, honesty, transparency and follow through with plans. I have not aligned myself with any self-interest groups except for everyday citizens who want politicians to be held accountable for their promises and their behavior. 


Coral Evans

I'm a third generation daughter of Flagstaff. I have 25 years of experience advocating for my community. I am dedicated to the idea that our town should be for everyone; that families shouldn't be priced out. For 10 years I've served in public office and if given another term, I'll continue to listen and work on the entire community's behalf. 

Adrian Skabelund can be reached at the office at, by phone at (928) 556-2261 or on twitter @AdrianSkabelund.


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