Dear fellow Flagstaff voters,
I have been serving our diverse community for three years as a City of Flagstaff Councilmember. I have stayed true and remain steadfast to the values and priorities I have put forth in 2018. Bringing proven leadership and experience on Council with my well-rounded background in government, business and nonprofits here in Flagstaff/Coconino County and from the Philippines, I offer to elevate my public service to be the next mayor of our beloved mountain town, Flagstaff.
Pragmatic Leadership: Independence, Initiative and Balance
In collaboration and partnership with our diverse community and stakeholders, I bring tangible accomplishments so far and will continue to work on breathing life into the initiatives I’ve been pursuing. I have advocated for and have taken leadership and initiatives on the following:
• Strengthen business retention, attraction and expansion
• Diversify economic sectors
• Plan and manage sustainable growth
• Support small business and local nonprofits
• Promote sustainable eco-tourism @DiscoverFlagstaff @PledgefortheWild @Flagstaff Trails Inititave
• Strengthen workforce development and jobs
• Pursue fiscal responsibility
• Protect natural areas, open spaces and dark skies
• Promote consensus- building
• Focus on local issues
I’m on the executive board of the Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona (ECONA), Coconino County Workforce Development, METROPLAN Greater Flagstaff (formerly known as Flagstaff Metropolitan Planning Organization FMPO --- a multi-agency organization composed of the City of Flagstaff, Coconino County, ADOT, NAU, and Mountain Line/NAIPTA), and Rural Transportation Advocacy Council- RTAC representing METROPLAN along with 9 other MPOs, and Councils of Governments (COGs) advocating for transportation funding and programs for rural Arizona.
Last week, I attended the RTAC Rural Transportation Summit and made a strong case in front of state legislators to bring state funding for Lone Tree Corridor. I was part of the City lobbying team in March 2019 that lobbied for federal funding for Rio De Flag Flood Control Project and for snow-removal equipment and Aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) for our Flagstaff Pulliam Airport.
Additionally, I am the City Council liaison to three City commissions; namely Airport Commission #FlyFlagstaffFirst, Parks and Recreation Commission, and the Tourism Commission.
As an incumbent Councilmember who pushed for Council’s declaration of a Housing Emergency in Flagstaff last year, I am committed to comprehensively and meaningfully address homelessness and increase housing attainability for our workforce and families. I look forward to contributing value to the Flagstaff Housing Plan currently taking shape.
I also remain a staunch supporter of law enforcement, public safety and veterans.
LIVE THRIVE EVOLVE FLG
My campaign slogan from three years ago LIVE THRIVE FLG has transformed into LIVE THRIVE EVOLVE FLG to represent our meaningful and harmonious growth and development in our beloved mountain town -- as individuals, as families, as businesses, as communities, as peoples, and as City of Flagstaff leadership. We have overcome the challenges, difficulties and losses that the pandemic brought in the last 20 months with tremendous resiliency and a deeper sense of community. I trust that we will thrive and evolve protecting and enhancing the quality of life for all.
I continue to pursue pragmatic leadership by focusing on local issues affecting Flagstaff communities and residents, seeking balance and workable solutions through meaningful engagement and consensus-building. Working and collaborating with community partners, I have achieved some accomplishments so far and will continue to work on breathing life into the initiatives I’ve been pursuing, to wit:
• Attracting businesses in advanced manufacturing, bioscience, healthcare, forestry, aviation, technology, research and development
• Creating a Business One-Stop Shop (BOSS) business service including, but not limited to, a Business One-Stop Shop (BOSS) online portal and a Business One-Stop Shop (BOSS) service desk at the City Hall for business resources and services from start-ups to business expansions
• Creating and Funding a Robust Workforce Development Program to expand and strengthen current workforce development efforts by the City
• Establishing a Pipe Trades Apprenticeship Training Center in Flagstaff to train and produce the best, skilled, trained, and certified journeypersons (pipefitters, plumbers, welders, HVAC refrigeration) in northern Arizona
• Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Mayor and Council
Restore trust and integrity
I am perturbed about the findings of the recent Flagstaff Community Survey conducted this past spring (March 2021). It revealed that while Flagstaff residents continue to experience a high quality of life, the City government’s performance rating have room for improvement. Since the last community survey in 2013, the City’s ratings have declined on 4 aspects: the value of services for taxes paid - from 49% in 2013 down to 40% in 2021); overall direction the City is taking – 46% to 35%; overall confidence in government – 43% to 39%; and being honest – 48% to 34%.
It’s concerning to admit that current Council is fragmented and lacks cohesion. The previous Council with former Mayor Coral Evans’ stellar leadership had strong camaraderie and promoted understanding, consensus, and unity in diversity. While we (previous Council, circa December 2018 to December 2020) did not vote unanimously all the time, there was space for educated debate and informed dialogue with a high degree of respect, diplomacy and statesmanship. At the end of an exhaustive debate and upon reaching consensus, we maintained collegial and harmonious relationships among councilmembers and as a collective group.
At the first meeting and budget retreat of this current Council in December 2020, I emphasized seek and maintain mutual trust and mutual respect are foundation of every relationship. It’s high time to restore trust and integrity in the Mayor’s Office.
An aspiring candidate needs to gain experience and knowledge beforehand by serving a full term on Council to effectively serve as mayor. There is a plethora of learning in terms of laws, policies, processes, legal matters, and diplomatic relationships that can only be gained through serving on Council for four years, on which mastery, clarity, comprehension, and discernment are necessary to be able to proficiently lead Council and the City government as mayor.
Three years ago, I was elected on City Council as the only independent candidate in a nonpartisan election. I remain the only independent on Council without a party affiliation. Most Flagstaff voters are independent voters. I vow to continue serving our diverse Flagstaff community with honor, respect and independence, while promoting fiscal responsibility and consensus-building; pursuing public-private-partnerships; and seeking diversity, inclusion, equity and access for all.
I’d love to connect and engage with you in seeking solutions to issues and move us forward to live, thrive, and evolve in our beloved Flagstaff. I can be reached by email.
Please sign my online petition https://apps.azsos.gov/equal/ to get my name on the ballot for November 8,2022 general elections.
Thank you. Stay safe and sound, and keep in touch.
Your public servant,
Contact Councilmember Regina Salas at Flagstaff City Hall by email or cell