City Council Candidates’ Forum December 13

Youtube link is here.

One hour 25 minutes. Most of the questions were good but there were too many and the candidates barely had time to respond. Four candidates appear: Casey Clowes, Doreen Garlid, Randy Keating and Joel Navarro. Marc Norman was absent. Most of the questions came from representatives of the sponsors of the forum, Jihann Cottrell, president of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, and Paulina Pineda, who covers Tempe and Chandler for the Arizona Republic.

The questioners and the candidates all shared the premise that city government can and should do anything and everything: solve the homelessness problem, provide affordable housing, battle against climate change, provide pre-school, and grow Tempe’s economy. There is no clash. The candidates are all civil and friendly to one another. The new candidates, Clowes and Garlid, do not attempt to make a case why they would be better than the incumbents. Clowes emphasizes human services and what she calls environmental justice. Garlid emphasizes her considerable experience on various community action boards.

To each of 16 questions, each candidate had 60 seconds to respond. Here is a map of the questions, at roughly 4 minute intervals. Comments are mine, based on listening only once:

  1. traffic congestion (9:12) Most have ideas like spreading out growth, or building parking on the periphery. Clowes wants to discourage private cars.
  2. high rent (12:57) Clowes favors more multi-family housing.
  3. term limits (17:38) Clowes favors; the others don’t.
  4. short-term rentals effect on neighborhoods (21:49) Navarro favors 24-hour code enforcement. Garlid supports Isela Blanc’s HB2001, which would repeal SB1350.
  5. tiered charging system for residential water use (25:43)
  6. preservation of downtown (31:03)
  7. budget priorities (35:50) Navarro and Garlid favor infrastructure, roads and safety; Clowes and Keating human services
  8. transparency (41:05) Everyone is for it except Keating who says working groups need confidentiality
  9. should there be more Section 8 housing? (45:52)
  10. do you support renewal of Indian gaming grants? (50:25)
  11. economic development goals (54:30)
  12. should sales tax be increased to fund pre-kindergarten schooling? (58:50) Clowes says yes; others prefer grants. No one mentions the district schools.
  13. climate change (1:03:20) Clowes seeks environmental justice.
  14. help small business? (1:07:25)
  15. homelessness (1:12:40) Keating says this is a regional problem.
  16. are taxes too high? (1:18:20) All say no. Keating and Garlid cite recent passage of Arts tax (Prop 417) as evidence taxes are not too high.