City Council candidate questionnaire: Ward 2 Sierra Farmer
The Missoula Current sent a candidate questionnaire to all City Council candidates ahead of the General Election in November. Below is the response from Ward 2 council candidate Sierra Farmer.
Farmer's challenger for the Ward 2 seat, Timothy Garrison, didn't respond to the questionnaire submitted to candidates.
1. While this is a non-partisan race, how do you align politically?
I'm endorsed by the Missoula Democratic Party, however I believe in local government our job is to represent every constituent, even if we don't align politically and work together to solve local issues.
2. What do you see as the top issues facing the city at this point in time?
Missoula is going through a transition period with a new administration and explosive growth. How we lead our city now is important to how it's going to look in the future and we have to be smart about this transition and growth.
3. What would you bring to the table to resolve your top issue?
After a year of being on council I think I have the momentum and understanding to help guide us into the next phase of what Missoula will look like. Two years will go by fast in this position and I'm set up to hit the ground running and make the transition smooth for the next administration. I'm prepared to make the tough decisions that will set us up for future success.
4. Do you support funding police and fire, and how would you help them gain the resources they need to do their job?
As the only city council representative endorsed by the Missoula Fire Department Union I absolutely support funding our first responders. I would help them gain the resources they need by advocating for more fire fighters and finding a solution to building a 6th fire station and I will work with the police department to find a permanent location for the department to operate out of.
5. In what way do you support local businesses, both big and small?
I come from a family of small business owners and I know first hand how important they are to our community. I will continue to listen to our business owners and work with them to help make their businesses thrive. We rely on several of our big business owners to keep Missoula successful and I will vote on business friendly policies that will continue to support important businesses in Missoula.
6. The city is facing a budget crisis. How would you address it?
We are going to have to make some tough decisions with our budget in the future with the loss of ARPA funds. I will vote to fund the city's core services and look deeper into the budget on where we can tighten our spending. I will also look for ways to increase our revenue with resources such as land banking.
7. What areas would you cut to help the city balance it's budget next fiscal year?
I would start by evaluating services and programs that might not be essential to the cities core functions that might include non-mandatory recreation programs, special events or beautification projects. I will focus on areas where we could consolidate programs or eliminate duplicative efforts.
8. How would you help address homelessness, and how does personal accountability come into play?
The role of the council is to bring the community together to collectively address the homelessness crisis. I would work to find a permanent shelter with the help of our community members and vote for policies that will help our neighbors without homes find permanent housing.
9. How can the City of Missoula play a stronger role in supporting businesses and growing jobs?
The city can help support businesses by bringing forward business friendly policies, developing economic incentives and helping fund workforce housing.
10. How would you support housing development in Missoula without turning to subsidies like the Affordable Housing Trust Fund?
I'm hopeful that during the code reform process we can find ways to increase efficiencies for smart and sustainable development. I will vote for more flexible and diverse housing options and policies that will help streamline building permits.