Friday, October 30, 2009

Candidate Opinion-Editorial: Kaye Fissinger

I have a vision for Longmont. It is a forward-looking vision that recognizes the challenges ahead, not just for our community but for our state, nation and world. The road ahead will not be easy. But I firmly believe that this wonderful community has the ability to meet the challenges ahead and prevail.

I began my campaign during the Boulder County Fair Parade saying, “We have the heart. We have the soul. We have the talent and the intelligence to make Longmont be the best that it can be.” As election day nears, I am still confident that this is true.

The decisions that you make now will have a major impact on your community for the next twenty years. We may be turning our clocks back this Sunday evening, but we must not turn our focus towards the past. We can learn from it, but we can’t repeat it. If we do, we will without question invite failure.

We’ve had our successes, such as the Civic Center, the Library, the Safety and Justice Center, the Recreation Center and the Museum. But we’ve had run-away development that has left parts of our town sorely wanting.

We have an assortment of Master Plans and a Comprehensive Plan, but we have no overriding vision for the nature and character of Longmont. We have elements of a vision but not a whole vision.

A vision of that nature cannot be accomplished solely by the profit motives of individual developers. It can’t be accomplished by hobbling together the business models and visual preferences of a collection of businesses with insular objectives.

That’s where we as a citizenry and we as a government representing all of us comes in. Ant that is why as ask for your vote if you have not already done so.

Moving ahead towards a sustainable future – both economically and environmentally – will take the best in all of us. There is much work to be done and it cannot be accomplished by those who think only of today’s dollar and next quarter’s profit. It cannot be accomplished by those who would sacrifice our natural resources especially around Union Reservoir to accomplish a suspect objective that divides us. Longmont has no alternative but to prevail in protecting our borders and defining for ourselves the nature of our community

On the west is a gateway to and from Boulder. The triangle now defined as the Twin Peaks urban renewal area has the potential to describe Longmont as a 21st century community. We can and should work with Panattoni or others who see opportunity in this area. But we must partner in a way that protects Longmont’s resources and guarantees that we have the revenue to sustain the services that our community requires.

I have been described as “suspicious” of business and I perceive this as a compliment, not as a criticism. As your representative I have a fiduciary and ethical responsibility to dig deep into the information presented, whether from sources within the community, outside of it, or even from city staff itself. I have the obligation to be sure that what is presented to us is correct, complete and honest. Making decisions on your behalf is a heady responsibility. It is not one that presumes that “what’s good for General Motors is good for America”. That was true in the beginning, but we all have seen what blind faith and rigid thinking have wrought.

We have the ingredients to complete a wonderful vision. We have the probability (if we work towards it) to bring FasTracks to Longmont with not just one stop, but two. We have envisioned the Mall area as having an overpass from a secondary station that serves a future mixed use development and the current Front Range Community College area. We have a major station planned at the flour mill location whether or not the mill can or should be preserved.

We have plans to revitalize our downtown and have hopes to be able to work cooperatively with local and regional businesses to make downtown an urban area with a “small town” twist. We have work to do moving northwards and this requires much more creativity, research and strategic planning than has so far been accomplished.

I am excited about the opportunity to offer my community my perceptions, knowledge and strategic capabilities to realize a vision that serves us all well into the future. Thank you for this opportunity.

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