Flagstaff City Council and mayoral candidates have been given the chance to answer a weekly question in no more than 150 words. For the last question however, rather than a single topic, we gave each candidate the ability to pick their own, writing to whatever issue they hadn't had a chance to address.
Politics today is in a crisis of misinformation. Dishonesty, outright lies, and lack of accountability in words and actions run rampant. It is ever important the next generation of politician fights for honesty, transparency and easy access of information for the people. The calling of a politician should not be to selfishly divide, but to find solutions to society’s ills.
I’ve talked a lot about “evidence-based policy making” on the campaign trail. What that means is constant learning, providing facts and information to the people so that we together can make the right decisions for Flagstaff. It means being thoughtful, logical and forthright. It means bringing the stakeholders to the table to thoroughly understand the issues and be an example of what a civil society looks like. Especially in today’s world, our elected officials must step up to fight for evidence, fight for inclusivity, and lead by example.
Our nation bore witness this past month to numerous unconscionable assaults fueled by hate and inflammatory rhetoric. So I’d like to close my campaign by expressing my gratitude to all of Flagstaff for our shared commitment to civility. Our ability to approach thorny issues from different perspectives and still arrive at workable solutions is a hallmark of our national identity. I’m committed to keeping mutual respect and a compassionate tone at the core of how I conduct myself on council.
I also want to thank The Daily Sun. For 18 weeks, this platform has provided us candidates and voters an invaluable means for exploring our values and vision. Together we’re showing our country how to make the experiment of American democracy thrive in the 21st century.
Lastly, to my supporters: thank you for your faith in me. I believe Flagstaff’s best days remain on the starry horizon. Let’s get there.
November 6th, the last day to vote, is right around the corner! Civic engagement is extremely important to me, so I’m sharing some last-minute voter information to help anyone who wants to vote in local elections knows exactly what to do.
If you received an early ballot in the mail, but did not send it back by October 31, then your ballot is not guaranteed to reach the County Recorder’s office in time. If you didn’t mail it in time, you can still vote in person! Please reach out to the County Recorder at firstname.lastname@example.org or (928)679-7850 to ensure you have all the information you need to do so!
You can find the polling location for your precinct here: https://www.vote.org/polling-place-locator/. Anyone is able to vote at the NAU Skydome or at the Flagstaff mall. Our future is in our hands, but only if we make sure our voices are heard!
I want to thank all of the candidates for the respect each of them have shown my wife and me over the past several months. It has been an incredible journey with our town hall events and walking so many neighborhoods. I wish dogs and cats could vote.
Your readers know my position on addressing our $100 million pension liability owed to our Public Safety Team (PST). General sales tax dollars currently fund this liability. We need to conserve our scarce tax dollars in order to address this crisis in a strategic manner. Vote no on the city’s Props 420, 421 and 422.
We commit a lot of PST resources to our great university. A potential source of revenue to fund the liability could be an NAU student impact fee. Our council, working collaboratively with the Governor’s Office, Board of Regents and NAU Leadership should consider this option.
When asked about why I’m an independent candidate for council, I remind the person asking it’s a nonpartisan election. I pursue balance in everything, including the way I vote. I’m grateful for the endorsements by the Coconino County Republican Party and the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce because of my passion for small local businesses, nonprofits and jobs in Flagstaff.
I was endorsed to achieve unity in diversity and the balance needed for a council that will focus on seeking solutions to local issues. Housing and wages should not be addressed by city mandates; but by creating a healthy, vibrant economy and a thriving community. Water, flood mitigation and unfunded pensions for city workers can no longer be the can kicked down the road. We need pragmatic leaders like me focusing on local policies addressing the city’s critical needs.
I’m grateful for every supporter and voter who believes in me.
This is my last candidate question of 2018, and while I could talk about housing (we need it!) or public transportation (need that too!), or education funding (we really need that) instead I’ll talk about why we need all that.
On October 27, a man shot up a synagogue because he wanted to kill Jewish people, two people were murdered for being black in a grocery store.
Currently, we have a politics of fear and the soul of our country is at stake. When we fund housing, public transportation, schools we are saying that community matters. I don’t have kids in school, but I want yours to succeed, even if I have housing I want you to as well. This is a pivotal moment and I would leave you with one thought. Vote like your life depends upon it. Vote, and get someone else to do the same. Just vote.
Adrian Skabelund can be reached at the office at email@example.com, by phone at (928) 556-2261 or on twitter @AdrianSkabelund.
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