Candidate Name: Gary Hodges
Website URL: www.hodges4council.com
Date of birth: (we will publish only your age) 15 Dec 1966
Family: Wife, Lisa. Daughter, Amber and Son-in-Law, Jonah (two grandsons). Son, Mack. All call Longmont home.
How long have you lived in Longmont: 26 years
Professional background: Atmospheric Science. Senior Associate Scientist with CU and NOAA
Political/community experience: Candidate for Longmont City Council in the 2022 special election. Seven years Transportation Advisory Board. Boulder County Precinct Lead 2020 general election.
Education: B.S. & M.S. in Meteorology from Florida State University
Sadly, it is the negative influence of vagrancy along north Main Street and the destabilizing impact it is having on our business community. I outline a clear path out of this in my Solutions-Based Platform. That said, I’ll provide one example of something that can be done now. Let’s move the methadone clinic from its current location to one that makes more sense than the abandoned nook off Main Street where it currently resides. If drug substitution is truly health care as is often professed, it should be in a hospital setting so patients can be easily reached and provided a hand up out of addiction, and not merely dispensed homeless maintenance.
One of our council members recently said there is never a good time for a tax increase, and while that may be true, now is a particularly bad time. We are staring down a massive property tax increase in 2024 that will only be exacerbated over time if Proposition HH, a supposed property tax reduction on this year’s ballot that would eliminate our future TABOR refunds forever, passes. I’m pleased the three local measures are on the ballot for the public to decide, which is the right thing to do. For myself, I am leaning no on all three, but if elected and they pass, I will work diligently to ensure our city gets the outcome promised by each.
Though I recognize the sincere motivation to expand affordable housing for present and future Longmont residents, I am not a fan of this ordinance. Is it fair to make 88% pay more for housing so that 12% can pay less? The fundamental problem is that it doesn’t eliminate a burden, it merely shifts it to another group. It is government picking winners and assigning losers. But it is more insidious than that. Because of inefficiencies in the system the newly burdened group will be larger than the one relieved. This perverse outcome will predictably snare many in the affordable housing trap, creating barrier of entry into market-rate housing. The pursuit of affordable housing should not make housing affordability worse.