Questionnaire: Erie Economic Development Council

Why do you desire to serve as Mayor/Trustee, and how would your personal strengths benefit the Town of Erie?
My two teenage daughters and I have been in Erie since 2007, where we enjoy the mountain views, the small-town feeling, and easy access to all that Denver and Boulder have to offer. I have been a Trustee for the Town of Erie since 2018; public service has been an incredibly rewarding, yet challenging endeavor. I am running for re-election as Trustee to see a number of crucial in-progress initiatives to fruition, from the Town Center and Westerly projects to housing affordability, multi-modal transportation options, and doing our part to address the climate crisis.

Since I am the only official seeking re-election, the remainder of the Board will only have two years of municipal experience at best. I feel my 4 years of service bring a depth of experience and knowledge that will serve the Board, Town staff, the local business community, the residents of Erie, and all those who interact with them well. Complex topics such as housing policies, metro districts, and land use authority require years of understanding; I’m always learning more about these topics (and more!) to serve the residents of Erie and relish the opportunity to continue serving Erie in this role.

What is your vision for the development of the I25 & Erie Parkway project, and how would you advocate for that vision to become a reality?
Trustee Bell and I met with Town staff and the Weld County Commissioners last week to resume negotiations about extending an Urban Renewal planning area at the Erie Gateway project with very positive results. I look forward to public-private partnerships as a key to bring primary employment, mixed use development, and the extension of the RTD N line to the Erie Gateway project.

As the town grows, what do you consider the role of “Old Town Erie/Downtown Erie” in our community?
It’s the heart of Erie; we need to acknowledge the history, character, and tenacity of Old Town in all future development efforts. For example, we intend to incorporate Briggs and the rest of Old Town in a local bus circulator to tie together the Erie Community Center, Town Center, and Old Town. We updated the plans for Coal Creek Park to include more parking, recreation, and entertainment options to support Old Town businesses.

What policies/practices would you like to implement that would support existing business in Erie, while also attracting new business and primary employment to Erie?
I’d like to turn the planning and permitting process on its head, and work with the new Planning Director Sarah Nurmela to have champions in the planning department to shepherd new applications through a burdensome and complicated process. We’ve already simplified our UDC to eliminate PUD and focus on PD developments, and look forward to innovative project proposals that bring unique, elevated, place-making experiences to Erie. Between the the maker space, the EEDC and the Chamber, working with the Town’s economic development staff, I feel we have a well-rounded set of capabilities to offer businesses of any size the best opportunity to succeed. I’ll continue to work with Town staff to reduce fees to lower the barrier to entry, while using the success of our diversified tax base over the last 5 years to encourage local entrepreneurship.