State preemption laws have tied the hands of City Council on several issues. What is your approach for dealing with these restrictions when they conflict with the City Council’s decisions and the will of the Flagstaff community?
The City Council should figure out a way to work collaboratively with the state legislature on issues of importance to the city. If and when these efforts fail, we can do better by coordinating efforts with other cities to create a much more united front in lobbying our state representatives. I’m not sure why the Council hasn’t tried to better coordinate with other cities when lobbying the state legislature on issues of mutual importance.
If I’m elected as the Mayor of Flagstaff, I would like to use my influence to address the state legislation passed in 2019 that penalizes Flagstaff’s 2016 minimum wage increase. The penalization is to the organization of Flagstaff. We were to receive a “bill” for about $1.2M for Fiscal Year 2020-2021, but the Arizona legislature recessed this year without handing out a “bill.” I’m expecting that “bill” to be three times higher next year as our minimum goes to $15/hr on January 1, 2021.
I have been a strong supporter of retaining local control and power. Local government must have the power to make decisions for our community. I will work with the Arizona League of Cities and Towns for the protection of local governance and Home Rule. Senate Bill 1487, passed in 2016, allows the state to withhold shared revenue from cities and towns if they are found by the Attorney General to have violated a state law. The perceived threat is that we as a city must follow state law first or we may not receive our state shared revenues.
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