Interview with mayoral candidate Jenifer Carr

Editor's Note: These are the results of a Tidings survey e-mailed to all candidates.

DT: How old are you?

JC: Now that I am between 40 and death, I find that I am old enough to know better yet young enough to do it again.

DT: How long have you been in Ashland?

JC: I have lived in Ashland since August 1985.

DT: What are your top three priorities?

JC: Water policies are an encompassing problem. This includes completing the TAP [Talent-Ashland-Phoenix water pipeline project] — establishment of easements, purchase of necessary land etc. to provide a redundant water supply. We must solve the problems at the water purifying plant and the reservoir. We must bring the sewage plant into compliance and solve the problem of storm sewer drainage into Bear Creek.

We must establish the means to not only keep our young people in town, but to develop opportunities to attract young families to Ashland.

It is imperative to support the business community and encourage business and appropriate light manufacturing facilities.

DT: What is the biggest issue facing Ashland in the next two years, and how do you intend to address it?

JC: Ashland is a city that is rich in human resources which need to be employed for our future. I would establish a Kitchen Cabinet comprised of young professionals (defined by vocation and education) to work with the mayor on developing ways of facing the challenges of attracting young professionals. At the end of two years, I would hope to have the blueprint for the development of a vibrant city — moving into its future.

DT: What kind of experience do you have, and how will it affect your approach to city government?

JC: I served on the Aspen City Council, the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, Grantsman for Aspen and Pitkin County, Ashland Planning Commission (eight years), Ashland Affordable Housing Committee, Ashland 'Big Box' Committee and Transportation Committee. I know that effective government is the result of harmonious relations among Council members, the community and staff.

DT: Would you try to be a strong leader, or do you see your role more as the facilitator of City Council meetings?

JC: I would be a strong mayor. I would work diligently with the Council, staff and the public. I would be mindful that the mayor is not only the CEO of the city but also an appropriate representative of the community of Ashland.

DT: What do you think the city government's role should be in relation to the business community?

JC: It is important the city is supportive of the business community for it is the lifeblood of a healthy city. It is the time for the city government to explore the possibility of enterprise zones or other means of attracting commercial (retail, light manufacturing, technology, etc.).

DT: Is the current pace of growth in Ashland desirable?

JC: This question is very vague. I would say that the growth of young families has been lacking as evidenced by the sad situation in the closing of schools. The growth in the building of megahouses has been a bit much. The growth in commercial and light manufacturing has been slow. Growth is an inevitable phenomenon and is natural. It is important that the type of growth, its impact and its contribution to the community are planned over a rational period of time.

DT: Should the city government continue to devote resources to affordable housing?

JC: The city should continue to devote thought and resources to affordable housing but in a more dynamic fashion. There are possibilities in forming partnerships, investigating energy efficient prefab homes, setting aside city-owned property for development of neighborhood developments and the consideration of what the term means.

DT: How would you address the city government's growing financial problems?

JC: The financial problems must be solved by means other than property taxes and careful expenditures for positive programs. There should be an inventory of effective programs that contribute to a comfortable community lifestyle. The development and use of income-producing programs is absolutely necessary.

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