Candidate Q&A: Dakotah McGinlay
Editor’s note: Steamboat Pilot & Today has asked each of the local candidates in the 2021 Election on Nov. 2 to participate in a Q&A to better inform voters, asking the same questions related to each specific office. Visit SteamboatPilot.com/election for the latest election news and information.
Dakotah McGinlay is running for Steamboat Springs City Council District 3.
Why are you running for City Council?
I am running for Steamboat Springs City Council because I want to see how change happens on the local level. I want to be of service to my community by dedicating the next four years to equity, sustainability and securing places for the working class and working families to live and work. Protecting the health of our community today, as well as future generations.
Do you believe short-term rentals should have restrictions? If so, what specific restrictions would you support? And if not, why not?
Short-term rentals do need to be regulated, and rules need to be enforced. I support an overlay map, and I support a cap on how many short-term rentals we allow in town. There needs to be a limit to the amount and to the places short-term rentals are appropriate for the size and character of our town. Apply another fee that could help incentivize long-term rentals, and that fee would fund enforcement efforts, as well as penalties and fines for breaking the rules and regulations.
In your opinion is transportation a key service the city should be providing to the community, and do you have any ideas on how the city can provide sustainable funding to continue the service at current levels or expand it?
Transportation is a key service the city should provide, especially as a free service, supporting individuals in the working class and individuals transitioning away from emission-producing vehicles. Paid parking on Lincoln Avenue will offer some funding, as well as finding room in the budget for extending transit services to Steamboat II and Brown Ranch.
What parts of the Climate Action Plan do you think need to be prioritized? And how can they be funded?
Increasing energy efficiency of commercial and residential buildings. This involves LED light bulbs, insulation and energy efficient systems. This can be a fairly accessible step in the energy plan. Next would be changing the planning and development codes to ensure that all new developments and remodels have an energy efficiency and renewable plan.
Waste reduction: Strategize with restaurants to source only compostable takeout containers and drinking cups, and limit all single-use plastic from every food and beverage establishment.
Collaborate waste diversion efforts of Innovative Regeneration Colorado, Waste Management and Twin Enviro.
The city has a goal to diversify its revenue streams and reduce its dependence on sales tax revenue. How would you propose accomplishing this?
We need to have a serious look at the budget and our capital needs, and if we don’t have the funding, we need to be honest with the voters on actual services and needs. We need to talk to the community about that; we shouldn’t be putting anything forward that the voters aren’t going to support. Having a community discussion through surveying in order to maintain a healthy budget. Revenues are not keeping up with expenses, and we need to talk to the community about infrastructure investments. There are funds available through state and federal organizations, yet these funds won’t sustain, so figuring out creative solutions that the community supports will be imperative to balancing the city’s budget.
What steps should the city take to ensure that there is affordable housing now and into the future?
If the workforce can’t live here, they won’t stay here, and simply put, there aren’t enough employees now. We know that Brown Ranch annexation is a huge piece of this solution, and I will do everything I can to ensure the annexation, and the Economic Development Council can work with the Yampa Valley Housing Authority and county to get this project moving. We need to have policies that support long-term rentals. We need creative solutions for workforce housing, as well as family homes and senior housing.
We need to incentivize long-term rentals, develop affordable housing for incomes that are below the threshold of spending $1,500 per month on rent alone. We need to revisit the city policy (TAP) costing homeowners highly for bathroom remodels that would allow them to offer rentals, as well as the ability to install kitchenettes. We need to get creative with diversifying our housing stock.
Council has prioritized diversity, equity and inclusion for a number of years. What steps do you think the city should take to move forward in this space?
We are not recognizing the diversity that is already here. The role of the government is to serve the residents. We have to be committed to making the city accessible to various languages, age ranges and disabilities. We need to include everyone by learning what the barriers are to finding opportunities to foster partnerships and collaborations in this community.
If elected, what would you do differently than those elected before you?
I bring a fresh perspective. As someone who is currently facing a lot of the challenges of affordable housing, employment crisis, the effects of climate change and the growing wage gap, I can offer creative solutions to these problems while working hard to include the underrepresented and underserved populations in the conversations. I will meet individuals where they are to better understand the barriers and opportunities they face. This collaboration will be the foundation of my commitment as a City Council member working hard to understand what are the best interests of the people.
I stand for small businesses, public-private partnerships and taking care of our locals.
I will prioritize public health and safety, sustainability in action and keeping our community character alive.
I will bring a fresh voice, vision and energy to City Council that fosters a community where we grow together!
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