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Louisville City Council Ward II

Two council members are elected from each of the City's three wards, each to a four-year term.Louisville City Council members serve 4-year terms, limited to two consecutive four-year terms. Council members may serve on city council committees, and may serve as liaison to regional governing committees and other organizations. Councilmembers are compensated at $11,664 per year. Benefits include an annual membership to the Louisville Recreation Center, membership in the city's health insurance programs in which any premiums will be paid by the Councilmember, and the option to contribute to a 457 account through the City's retirement plan. Councilmembers can expect to spend an average of 20-30 hours per week on City business. This time includes preparation for and participation in regular meetings and study sessions, as well as other standing board and committee meetings and general City business.

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  • Candidate picture

    DEB FAHEY
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    SHERRY SOMMER
    (NP)

Biographical Information

What action would you take to use effectively, the vacant and soon-to-be vacant business locations in the McCaslin corridor?

What issues do you see surrounding management and maintenance of open space and parks?

What steps should the city take to reduce its impact with respect to climate change?

Describe any changes the city should make in how it supports the arts?

Considering the cost of living in Louisville, what actions would you propose to preserve and expand affordable housing, including Accessory Dwelling Units?

Background An active volunteer throughout my 39 years in Louisville, I have extensive experience working with City commissions and boards. Attending nearly every city council meeting for the past 10 years has given me valuable knowledge of the city operations, strategy, and its history. I am a mother of four, grandmother of two and wife of one. I'm an avid reader, accomplished seamstress, enthusiastic gardener, and hold a BA in Psychology from CU Boulder.
Contact phone 303-666-9029
Louisville is highly dependent on retail sales tax revenue. Therefore, our ability to recruit and retain retail development is critical to our long-term fiscal sustainability. Achieving the right mix of land uses (retail, residential, commercial) is essential to help maintain and expand City tax revenue, while operating the City and providing optimal community services. We can maintain our community character and still achieve our tax revenue needs. These goals can be achieved without approving high density residential development in redeveloping retail parcels. Exploring how we can achieve retail success without creating burdensome expenses from new residential development will ensure our continued small town feel.

Our open spaces, parks and trails are an important component of our city’s character. Caring for them in a sustainable manner is an important City commitment. Each has its own unique concerns. Do we improve our existing open spaces with trails and other features. Do we pull weeds or use herbicides? Do we mow or allow things to grow in their natural state? Do we pave trails or bike paths? Do we allow social trails through open space? Each of these questions would have a different answer depending on the particular location and condition being addressed. I will work with the City staff, fellow council members, and residents to identify priority issues and promote effective solutions.
The impacts from climate change are increasingly felt by many small US communities. In response, city managers can anticipate citizen requests concerning how to best adapt and mitigate those changes. Adaptation may be focused on more unusual local temperature and precipitation events and perhaps on long-term changes in water availability. Mitigation efforts may focus on reducing the carbon footprint of city operations. Having already reached 50% carbon neutrality for electric usage by City facilities, expanding on this path through further partnerships and/or private purchases to reach 100% would contribute to national mitigation and bring economic benefits to the City. In addition, our Transportation Master Plan, when implemented, could reduce fossil fuel use on our roads and reduce the City's overall carbon footprint. An important goal for the City is to be a source of information and resources for its residents for adaptation and mitigation of climate change.
Louisville is home to a vibrant arts community, providing us with notable visual, theatrical and musical experiences. The Louisville Street Faire has been particularly successful in bringing local and non-local people together for a musical experience while increasing patronage of local restaurants and other businesses. An important goal for the City Council and managers is to encourage entrepreneurial ideas to expand the arts scene in the City and look for ways to offer funds or other support to facilitate these ideas. Perhaps longer term, the City can consider a larger initiative to create a larger shared facility to host cultural events.
The cost of housing in Louisville and Boulder County over the last decades has risen significantly faster than inflation. Having young people come to our City and stay long term is an important component of our community character. The issue of how to maintain and perhaps increase affordable housing is complex and requires a continued vigilance on the part of the City Council and managers to identify and promote options and actions that increase affordable housing in good proportion to overall housing in the City. A good example is the Kestrel community of affordable housing which has just been completed. Identifying what works in Boulder County and the surrounding communities could offer some guidance. Accessory Dwelling Units are one way to leverage existing housing to bring in a few residents that otherwise would not be able to live in the city. How to manage such units is a broader issue that residents must decide after input from city staff
Background B.A. Colorado College, Phi Beta Kappa. M.A. CU Boulder, Political Science. Graduate, Denver Council of Regional Governments Citizens' Academy 2018. Volunteer in BVSD and Community
Contact e-mail hellosherry2@yahoo.com
Contact phone 303-786-8226
Small Town character is the top reason people give when asked what they like about Louisville. Residents want to see height limits and limits on density, as well a fiscal health and community gathering spaces along McCaslin. We need to attract and retain a variety of businesses in a changing retail environment. Louisville is in the process of hiring a new Economic Vitality Director who will do more to attract new businesses and to retain them. Additionally, the City can promote vibrancy and use of this area by promoting public gatherings and events, entertainment uses and open air vending.Tenanting with more than one business may be the direction we see with other big box vacancies. As we think about effective development of McCaslin area and the Parcel O area in particular, we need to remember that the area has not attained its full potential for a number of reasons. We need to stay intentional and responsive to citizens and focus on development that is compatible town character.
Louisville has acquired and maintains great Open Space and Parks. With increasing population comes greater use, and we need to be vigilant as we steward these areas. Humans and dogs can be very disruptive for wildlife. I am concerned with increasing numbers of social trails and we need to do more to protect the land and nesting birds and wildlife. We also need to continually assess and maintain our dog parks and impact of dogs in open space. We need look at giving Open Space acquisition funds higher priority. When development occurs we need to protect waterways and significant trees or areas where wildlife lives. We also need to advocate for lighting in new and existing buildings that minimizes light pollution.There is community concern over the use of herbicides in parks, playgrounds and on medians. We need to use research based approaches to weed control and see if community members would be interested in helping remove weeds manually as well.
Development decisions need to be made with sustainability and small town character in mind. For example, in the McCaslin area repurposing existing buildings would have low impact and allow for organic development of commercial space. Increased commercial vitality would reduce the time we spend driving to get goods and services. The City also needs to continue to support walkability through safer routes to school and improving pedestrian safety at busy crossings. We need better connectivity for bikers and need to continue to advocate for Louisville for support from RTD. Louisville has a great sustainability plan and we need to make implementation a top priority. Residents and businesses need clear direction on a few impactful actions that they can take. We could make better use of our green spaces by encouraging the city, business owners, and residents to plant more trees and plants that attract pollinators. We are seeing growing air traffic and must mitigate the impact of aviation.
Maintaining a vibrant art community is difficult but Louisville has made good steps toward better funding of the arts. Next steps could include providing space in a City owned building on Main Street, currently used as office space, at reduced cost or free of charge. This could become an artist’s cooperative. Additionally, we could support an artist in residence for a year at a time. A thematic body of work and relationship with the artist in residence could enrich both the town and the schools in the area. One artist I spoke to, Dona Laurita, is working on a project in which immigrants and refugees are able to tell their stories. She would like to bring this work to the residents of Louisville and to students in BVSD. She has contacted Centaurus High School and the teachers and counselors enthusiastically welcome her collaboration as a visiting artist. These stories would bring diversity and vibrancy to our town. Funding would include materials, time, and studio space for a year.
We need to look at ways Louisville can remain true to small town character as we provide affordable housing. Having residents of varying income levels is important because it benefits our town and and promotes sustainability. We could purchase single family homes or townhomes designated as permanently affordable which are spread thoughout neighborhoods. Another way we can support small town character is to preserve existing housing that is affordable. One prime example of affordable housing that we need to preserve is the mobile home park on South Boulder Road.The City could support this neighborhood in a variety of ways. For example, it could become the owner of the property or a land trust could be formed. With regard to ADU's, we need to look at compatibility with existing neighborhoods. I have seen ADU's be very successful in some areas but they are not a solution everywhere. Making sure this is a good fit and having resident support would be crucial to success.