"Transition" by Richard Caande, used with permission
Climate change and the threats it poses to the planet and our City are real. We have limited time to make prudent, meaningful progress in reducing greenhouse gases. Our City has an important role to play. That's why I voted for and continue to champion the Sustainability Action Plan. I'm also strongly supporting the bag tax on the Louisville ballot in November. I also look forward to ensuring that our land use decisions reflect our community's commitment to sustainability.
Reduction of Aircraft Noise & Disruption
Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (RMMA) is located about 6 miles from Louisville. It has become Colorado's third busiest airport. But that growth has come at the expense of our community, which has suffered disproportionately from aircraft overflights and noise. RMMA is an important regional economic engine. But we need to continue to work with the newly-formed Airport Community Noise Roundtable, and our regional, state, and federal partners to reduce to promote voluntary noise abatement procedures. We also need to engage the regional FAA and the federal Air Traffic Control to permanently route air traffic away from residential and commercial areas.
Protection and Maintenance of Open Space, Parks & Trails
Louisville has an extraordinary collection of Open Space properties, parks, and trails. Most recently, Council played a crucial part in the purchase of the Mayhoffer property, which for many years was the most sought-after target of our Open Space acquisition strategy! At the same time, we need to improve substantially our maintenance of existing trails and parks. Finally, I intend to encourage the construction of several smaller dog parks around the City to take some pressure off the Davidson Mesa and Community Park dog parks.
Louisville provided a diversity of housing options for many decades. That is partly responsible for building the small town character we treasure. More recently, housing prices have skyrocketed throughout our region.
We owe it to residents who soon may not be able to afford to live here anymore. We owe it to those who would contribute to the richness of our community but cannot afford to move here. One way to do that is to increase the supply of permanently affordable housing. Along with other Boulder County municipalities, Louisville jointly committed to increase the supply of permanently affordable housing over the next 15 years. Our City is almost built out. It will take a creative, multi-faceted, and strategic approach to achieve the goal. We should consider allowing affordable housing in some areas, such as those that are likely to be redeveloped or are near public transit. Providing targeted incentives, such as expediting review of some land use applications and waiving some fees and design rules Twill be useful to consider. The upcoming revision of our City's Comprehensive Plan will give us an opportunity to have a robust public discussion about affordable housing.
Open for Business
Louisville businesses supply us and the world with goods and services, create jobs, and generate a large portion of our City's tax revenue. That helps us to maintain roads, provide clean drinking water, ensure safety of our residents and others, and so much more. We need to be mindful of the crucial role that the business community plays. We should demonstrate that our City is welcoming to business activity. Consistent with other City policies, we should ensure that our City's ordinances and regulations, decisions, and actions help foster their success and growth. We should sustain an ongoing dialogue with the business community in order to encourage their continued positive contributions to Louisville.
Underpasses & Connectivity in the City
Some of Louisville's major arterial streets generally serve us and the region well, but they can and do inhibit connectivity between different parts of our city. This has adverse impacts on safety of kids and adults alike, whether they are pedestrians and cyclists who use our walkways and trails for getting to and from school or work, shopping at stores or eating at restaurants, for traveling between our community and others. Because of these challenges, I have supported the construction of underpasses to help improve safety, energize commercial activity that comes with greater connectivity, and enable the completion of our trail system and its use for recreation and for travel as an alternative to driving. I also support the bond issue on the November ballot - its passage will enable Louisville to build additional underpasses, including at Main/South Boulder Road, Via Appia/South Boulder Road, South Street/Highway 42, and Bullhead Gulch in Steel Ranch, and make at-grade improvements.
City Manager Selection
One of the most important responsibilities City Council is choosing our City Manager, who carries out the policies and directives of the Council. Our City Manager recently stepped down after 4 years of outstanding service to Louisville in that position and more than 20 years overall. A nationwide search for her successor is underway. The City Council will then interview and then select a candidate. I believe we need a new City Manager who will communicate and collaborate well with Councilmembers and carry out the priorities it sets; will deeply value our commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion; will be visible to the community; and will lead City staff to help Louisville to become an even better play to live, work, and visit!