Oct. 19—Joan Peck, a Longmont City Council member at-large for almost six years, said Monday night that she wants to continue her efforts to conserve its water and to protect and improve Longmont's air quality, transportation and affordable housing for all residents as the city's next mayor.
Tim Waters, a council member first elected to the northeastern Longmont Ward 1 seat in early 2018, said he'd bring "the seasoned leadership" the city needs in its next mayor to address the goals the council has set and he cited the need for "a communitywide conversation of who we want to be as we evolve."
Gregory Harris, the only candidate in this year's Longmont mayoral field who's not already on the council, did not personally participate in the Monday night online forum hosted by the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce and the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Boulder County.
However, Doug Barnert, Harris' campaign manager substituted for Harris and told forum watchers that Harris is tired of watching things occur the same old way and believes that "we need to stop government overreach."
Barnert suggested on Harris' behalf that the most important issue facing the city is its need for "attainable housing" and the removal of any barriers that stand in the way of constructing apartments and houses for middle-income workers employed in Longmont.
Waters said, though, there are at least 300 such "attainable housing" units under construction in Longmont right now.
Peck said both "affordable housing" — a category providing programs with government subsidies for low-income residents — and attainable non-subsidized work force housing, "are needed in our town" and for all of Longmont residents' income brackets.
Barnert said in a telephone interview later Monday night that Harris was unable to participate in person because of a previous personal commitment in Denver.
When Waters, Peck and Barnert were asked by Ricardo Cabrera, of the Latino Chamber, what one specific leadership quality makes a candidate the best choice for mayor, Waters cited his 44 years as a professional educator and the experience it has given him to help Longmont move out of the COVID-19 pandemic era into the post-pandemic world.
Barnert cited Harris' 50 years of living and working in Longmont and said Harris is the candidate who wants the kind of housing and infrastructure that Barnert said is needed "to bring Longmont into the future."
Peck indicated that she has learned and demonstrated as a leader that "you need to be able to talk to the people on the ground" about their everyday issues and problems to help solve them.
Waters said he thinks he's demonstrated leadership "with clarity, with competence, with vision."
Another segment of Monday night's Longmont Area and Latino chambers' forum featured the six candidates running for one of two at-large council seats — Diane Crist, Jeremy Johnson, Sean McCoy, Aren Rodrigugez, Tallis Salamatian and Shiquita Yarbrough.
A third part of the forum focused on incumbent Ward 2 Councilwoman Marcia Martin, who's unopposed on the ballot for re-election to that seat representing southwest and part of southside Longmont.
A link to a video of the entire forum is expected to be posted on the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce website, longmontchamber.org, later this week.