Bob's Beliefs

1. I believe that, as we make decisions, we need to be mindful of the responsibilities and the respective priorities of city government

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First, it is the responsibility of city government to ensure the safety and security of its residents.

Second, it should be the highest priority of city government to operate in a way that is fiscally responsible and sustainable.

Third, city government must provide the basic infrastructure that is essential for community living, like functioning roads and utilities and sanitary waste management.

Fourth, city government must, directly and in coordination with charitable organizations, provide basic human services to those in immediate need.

Fifth, city government should, through zoning and planning, ensure that structures are appropriately placed and are pleasing and functional.

Sixth, city government should provide, or assist others in providing, recreational, educational, and cultural amenities, such as parks, recreation centers, libraries, museums, and performing arts centers.

Seventh, while respecting private property and access rights, city government should endeavor to help preserve the natural environment and historic structures.

Eighth, city government can foster and encourage businesses development and growth.

Ninth, city government can sometimes create incentives to encourage its citizens to make decisions that lead to good health and responsible living.

Tenth, without violating the higher priorities, city government can experiment with ways to improve the quality of life for its citizens.

2. I believe that planned and measured growth will allow Boulder to continue to thrive

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I like Boulder the way it is. It’s big enough to have great museums and performing arts, but small enough that you can run into someone you know on Pearl Street. But, to maintain our vitality, we must welcome new businesses that want to start here, and encourage existing employers to grow here. Without the renewal brought by new industries, like those supported by Google's expansion in Boulder, we risk becoming a Detroit: stale, stagnant, and unsustainable. Given our space constraints, this will require some trade-offs. For example, this may mean encouraging employers to start or grow east of 28th Street or adaptively re-developing structures that have become inefficient. As members of a community, we should each have an opportunity to express our views about Boulder’s growth. But it would be inappropriate to allow a minority to block growth that the majority wants and deserves. I will therefore not support the neighborhood voting initiative.

3. I believe that we should make it easy for people who want to travel by bus, by bike, and on foot, without limiting those who need to travel by car

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Transportation does not have to be zero-sum. Unlike the experiment on Folsom Street, we don’t need to limit cars in order to make it easier for people to bus, bike, or walk. Every year, I try to drive my car less than 1,000 miles, opting for the healthier and environmentally-friendly choices of biking, busing, and walking. If you see a silver scooter with the license plate “Bob,” that’s me. But those modes are not for everyone, and we must be respectful of those who drive cars because of physical condition, kids, type of job, weather, or preference. I served for several years on the Greenways Advisory Committee and I know that there are still plenty of places where we can add bike and walking paths, without compromising our streets. I dream of a day when we have a city-wide EcoPass, when anyone who lives or works in Boulder will have convenient and close access to frequently-running buses. And I want those who must drive to be able to get around town quickly and park their cars conveniently. We can do all of these things in ways that are non-competitive, sustainable, and environmentally and economically sound.

4. I believe that quality housing should be attainable for our middle class

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A significant majority of our teachers, nurses, and firemen can’t afford to live here. We are ranked as one of the least affordable and least diverse communities in America. That’s not right. While we won’t be able to accommodate everyone who wants to live within the Boulder city limits, we shouldn’t give up trying to add middle-class housing in Boulder and the surrounding area at a measured and appropriate pace. By seeking creative housing solutions throughout the Boulder region, like those successfully implemented at Boulder Junction and near where I live in North Boulder, we will increase our economic, age, and ethnic diversity, making our community a better place in which to live.

5. I believe that we should do more to support culture and the arts in our community

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I have had the honor of serving on the boards of several of our cultural organizations, including the Boulder History Museum, the Dairy Center, and Chautauqua. Based on those experiences, I am confident that, with greater community support, our cultural facilities can serve us even better than they do today. Most communities on the Front Range spend about one percent of their city budgets in support of arts and culture. These cities recognize that arts and culture add to the quality of life for their citizens and contribute to economic growth and stability. They know that, for every $1 invested in culture and the arts, $7 is returned in jobs and tax revenue. Unfortunately, the City of Boulder historically has spent less than one-tenth of one percent of its budget in support of arts and culture. But, I feel that the tide is turning in our community, with a growing realization that arts and culture are good for the soul. As one of the leaders of Ballot Measure 2A last year, I was heartened that, by nearly a two-to-one margin, Boulder’s voters agreed to dedicate tax dollars in support of arts and culture. Let’s keep that momentum going.

6. I believe that Boulder should be a leader in the reduction of carbon emissions
and waste

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We all recognize the need to reduce greenhouse gases. In our own way, each of us takes steps to lesson our impact on the planet: By driving less, by making our homes more energy-efficient, by managing our consumption. And, we are fortunate to live in a town that is progressive enough to experiment with methods that will not only reduce our own carbon emissions, but that will also provide examples to other communities. There are many ways to do this. But regardless of how we go about it, we have a responsibility to each other and to our planet to make Boulder an innovative green leader.

7. I believe that we should listen to each other and, even when we do not agree, we should be civil and respectful

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This is a smart, engaged community. We have many creative solutions to our challenges, some of which require trade-offs. Occasionally, our passion to make Boulder even better overcomes us and we allow our dialogue to become heated, exclusionary, or hurtful. Those who speak more loudly, frequently, or vigorously sometimes drown out good, thoughtful ideas. In my 30 years of experience as a business and community leader, I have learned the importance of seeking out good ideas from as many people as possible. While we will not always agree, when we find ourselves in disagreement, we should listen and learn and, at all times, be respectful.