Here is an excerpt from the Gazette.com’s voter guide regarding Melanie’s response to questions. Source: Click Here
Occupation: Exchange Student Local Coordinator
Video: Gazette video of candidate
Dana Hills High School, High School Diploma Catherine College, BA in Computerized Accounting Penn Foster College, Vet Tech License
I was the Executive Director for a non-profit service dog organization in California. I had a $495,000 per year budget & met my goals, yearly. I also maintain a household & take in host kids from all over the world. This takes good communication, dedication, and the ability to think out of the box.
What is the most important issue in the city today and why?
It is very tough to choose one issue. Two issues which affect our citizens the most are the Drake Power Plant and the Storm Water run-off issue. Both problems are directly affecting the health and quality of life for our citizens. With the looming governmental changes and EPA changes, this could greatly affect what we know and do now, verses what may come to pass in the future to maintain a healthy environment in Colorado Springs. It concerns me most that both problems will manifest themselves further in the health of our children. This needs resolution now! Not “when we get to it.”
What kind of board should govern the city-owned Colorado Springs Utilities, a $2 billion enterprise? If appointed or elected, by whom should they be chosen?
While the current board is the city council, it is my belief that those educated in the area of “utilities,” should be the board of directors for CSU. City Council educates themselves as much as they can in this area, but there is always more to understand and know when making decisions that will affect the residents now and in the future. I’ve read EPA findings that some newer developments’ are negatively affecting our storm water runoff. The health and welfare of the citizens is falling to the wayside in many cases. A board of such importance should be voted on by the citizens.
What type of mechanism, if any, would you recommend to address the city’s long-term stormwater needs?
This issue cannot wait for everything to be litigated. We are all being affected by this problem. There is a plan in place for this, and the city has collected funds for this. However, it seems developers have slowed progress and now the city is caught in a web of litigation which grows daily. The city needs to be accountable to this. While many will oppose a storm-water fee added to their utilities bill, we may need to go in this direction so we can provide clean water to the citizens. This should be voted on, immediately. It needs to be presented to the citizens in a way they’ll understand.
What’s the best way to rev up the city’s economy?
The best way to rev up the economy is to get the citizens to want to invest in their own future. Its human nature to take pride in ones own work. Offer tax-breaks to smaller businesses willing to conduct business here, with the understanding that in X amount of time, they will be brought to the current tax standards of other small businesses (timed incentives). Have venues the entire city of constituents can take part in. Utilize volunteers more with the probability of jobs in the future. More family oriented venues would really bolster revenue.
What do you think should be done with the coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant?
There is a plan in place at this time, and it looks like CSU is ahead of schedule in their obligations of decommissioning this power plant. Efforts are being made to utilize renewable energy. However, this must be cost effective to the citizens. As the power plant moves forward towards shutting down, rigorous clean-up must take place to ensure nothing harmful seeps into the environment. Due to the need for electricity, power will need to be purchased from “the grid.” While not an “optional” answer, it does keep this city lit. Again, a board of those educated in this area would be invaluable.