Local Election Slated for April 6 – Business Perspective is Key
2021 will continue to challenge economic resiliency. A resilient and inclusive Fort Collins will depend upon:
- Reestablishing business stability through retention programs responsive to the COVID pandemic and resulting market disruptions recognizing that all employers contribute to a resilient and inclusive economy.
- Creating, growing and attracting quality jobs and talent to fill those jobs.
- Local government that is inclusive and transparent with process and business stakeholder engagement.
- Continued emphasis on solving complex community issues through public-private partnerships that leverage the creativity and resources of our community partners, public agencies, educational systems, and primary employers.
- Long-term local and regional transportation and mobility solutions supported by reliable funding mechanisms equitable among all users.
- Better understanding the impacts of disruption and the transformations occurring within the regional economy with special attention to primary employers including Colorado State University.
Understanding these key issues, from a business perspective, is important as we get ready to vote in the April 6, 2021 City of Fort Collins election.
All voters will be electing a new mayor, and voters in Districts 1, 3, 4 and 5 will be electing representatives at the next regular election held on April 6, 2021.
Chamber Endorsements – Candidates
The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce has made it a priority to support the election of City Council Members who support business and job creation.
For the April 6, 2021 City of Fort Collins Election, the Chamber is endorsing the following candidates for the City Council:
- Mayor, No Endorsement as we believe any one of the three candidates can serve our community well.
- District 1, Nick Armstrong (https://www.nickforfoco.com/)
- District 3, Gavin Kaszynski (http://www.electgavink.com/)
- District 4, No Endorsement
- District 5, Jeff Hansen (https://jeffhansen4foco.com/)
All of the announced candidates were asked to complete a Candidate’s Questionnaire and complete an interview with the Election Committee. The Chamber Board of Directors, in their review of candidates, considered the responses to the Candidate’s Questionnaire and the candidate’s interviews as well as the following traits: Character/Integrity, Motivated, Balanced, Committed, Electable, Knowledge of Community Issues/Governance, Community Service & Experience and Leadership & Communication Skills.
Copies of the interviews conducted with all the candidates are available HERE. As well, questionnaires completed by the candidates are available HERE.
Chamber Endorsements – Ballot Issues
Sound policy, consistency and predictability help businesses thrive. That’s why the Fort Collins Area Chamber examines policy issues in depth and takes a stand to protect the interests of businesses and their employees. This year, we are taking a stance on one critical ballot issue. Below is what you need to know about this ballot issue and why it matters to the business community.
Proposed Citizen-Initiated Ordinance
(relating to the former Hughes Stadium property)
The Chamber is recommending a NO vote on this ballot issue.
The Hughes Stadium property in Fort Collins has been the center of much conversation the last four years. Citizens have varying opinions about what should be done with this 161-acre property. This ballot issue directs the City of Fort Collins to rezone and acquire the former Hughes Stadium property for parks, recreation, and open lands, natural areas, and wildlife rescue and restoration. The ballot language also directs very specific action by the City and provides legal standing to any registered elector in Fort Collins should the City be non-compliant with the ballot language directives.
Why We Oppose it:
As a Chamber of Commerce, we have long stated that private property rights should be honored and protected. Our Where We Stand document, which outlines the Chamber’s positions on issues important to our members and the economic vitality of the Fort Collins region, clearly states that “the Chamber supports the rights of the individual property owner and no government body should be allowed to use its regulatory powers to take private property or regulatory actions like down-zoning.”
We believe that this ballot issue directly violates this most basic right in a free society by forcing an unwilling seller to have their property acquired by an unwilling buyer. The precedence that this kind of action sets is extremely concerning and certainly inspires the question – is your property next?
Additionally, we are concerned that the ballot language encourages the placement of two important community partners (the City and CSU) in a position of the unintended consequence of never-ending, expensive legal challenges by any registered elector in the City.
The Chamber believes that this ballot issue is bad public policy and that voters should vote “NO.”
Written by Ann Hutchison, President & CEO
March 16 , 2021
For comments and questions about this blog, please email Ann at [email protected]