Questions & Answers with Diane Schwenke:
Why are you running for Grand Junction City Council?
I am passionate about Grand Junction , its community and its people. After decades of interacting professionally with the public and city government I believe I have the skills, perspective and insights to help lead this city to becoming an even better place to live and work.
What do you hope to achieve?
As a member of City Council for the next four years, I would like to see the city continue to invest in the infrastructure necessary to create a strong business climate where small businesses can thrive creating jobs and opportunities for residents. I would also like to see the city become more financially responsible and offer more transparency to citizens of how their tax dollars are being spent.
What are your priorities?
- Making people’s lives better by focusing on creating a strong business climate. As a certified economic developer with over 35 years of experience, I know that government can play a key role in encouraging the business growth needed to help people earn a living and generate the tax dollars for public safety, transportation and parks and recreation.
- Availability and affordability of housing for everyone from teachers and firefighters to retired elderly citizens on fixed incomes.
- Efficiency and transparency in managing city tax dollars from a policy standpoint.
What is the biggest issue facing the city and how would you address it?
The city is currently grappling with what I call growing pains. It is not just one issue. It is several which includes congestion on our highways, the need for increased sewer capacity, public safety challenges and housing affordability. In the policy arena, it is imperative that we ensure that dollars are being spent efficiently to address those issues and that city leadership is held accountable for how dollars are allocated.
What would you change?
As only one member of a seven-member board, I would work to build the consensus needed to get decisions in a timely fashion. I applaud the current city council for studying the issues before acting but sometimes I’ve observed analysis paralysis on the part of the current Council. Two examples of that are the lengthy process in granting retail marijuana licenses in the city and the process of putting the American Recovery Plan (ARPA) dollars to work. The decision of how to spend those $9 million dollars is still not finalized in contrast to the County Commissioners who are already building projects.