Paul Rennix for Longmont City Council: Ward 3

About me:

Contact: longmontcandidate2015@gmail.com – I want to hear from you!

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I’ve lived on the Front Range in Colorado continuously for 25 years, Boulder County for 11, and am in my 4th year in Longmont. I purchased my home here and plan to stay, so I feel it is my obligation to pitch in and make it better.

I am a father of amazing and talented children. I have a 22 year old son who was recently in the news for winning the mandolin championship at Rockygrass in Lyons. I have a 13 year old daughter who is an amazing and talented artist, and a talented and amazing (step) daughter who is currently attending college at Front Range Community College here in Longmont.

I am a graduate of Colorado State University College of Business.

I am employed by Twitter in Boulder, formerly Gnip, a local (post) startup dedicated to archiving and providing access to publicly available social media data. Gnip was acquired by Twitter in the Spring of 2014.  It’s an exciting place to work and serve the greater good. #lovewhereyouwork Regarding City Council and all issues related, I speak for myself alone and not my employer.

Previously, I was CIO at a data center in Boulder for ~7 years where I worked to provide stable, enterprise quality business hosting for many businesses on the front range.

I’ve hosted a non profit concert series in Longmont for 3 years, and previously in Lafayette and Fort Collins for almost 10 years. I believe in forming community through relationships and that art/music form bonds between people that transcend political and other social barriers.

I’ve been on the Board of Directors for the Steam Powered Preservation Society, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of Americana music since the beginning. The SPPS first formed in 2003.

I was the president of my HOA at South Pointe, a 300+ home community in Lafayette, Colorado. I joined the HOA because I wanted to be sure we were fiscally responsible and I felt the HOA should do its very best to leave homeowners ALONE.  We fined ZERO homeowners in my 3 years there and worked with people to find good solutions to various problems.

Views

I’m a big believer in the entrepreneurial spirit and the exciting startup scene on the Front Range. Longmont has MUCH untaped potential! I bring the right experience and mindset to build new opportunities for Longmont.

  • I believe in being a reasonable, well tempered progressive voice for Longmont citizens. I will be the councilperson for the everyday citizen; accessible and reachable and in touch, specializing in common sense. The voice of the voter is paramount. I will be myself and do what is right and will not be focused on the next election. I do not plan a career in politics!
  • Longmont is an exceptional town with unrealized potential.
  • Longmont is poised to attract new and growing high tech employers and jobs NOW. We need to work harder to capitalize the city’s gigabit fiber service Nextlight (currently being installed and in service already in some areas). Nextlight is a world class Internet service that if capitalized on properly, will turn Longmont into a high tech hub!  It brings the opportunity and connectivity not available in 99% of the country. By bringing new and emerging tech businesses, we can build sustainable growth, tax revenue, and high paying jobs in the area. The opportunity here is HUGE! We also have the room for new technology business.  Currently Boulder only has a 4% (central Boulder on 3%) vacancy rate in this type of space, Gunbarrel <2%, while Longmont sits at 14%! Longmont has not come even close to potential! (Nationwide the rate is ~12%, source: times-call)
  • We need to keep taxes low. We need not send shoppers elsewhere for lack of choice. We need to work to help local business provide eclectic options.
  • We need to work with business and community leaders to bring exciting new things to Longmont. We can improve downtown events and make Longmont a destination. Longmont will be recognized as a world class city where people will want to play and shop and live.
  • An active art and music scene makes a town come to life. We’ve made some progress in this area, but we still have a long way to go. I believe that this can be primarily funded and energized by local business and community groups if we enable them with vision and opportunity. We are not Boulder or Louisville or Fort Collins, nor do we want to be, but we can look to successful steps taken by surrounding municipalities and learn how Longmont can grow in the right direction through their successes and failures.
  • We need to work to decrease the housing shortage and grow Longmont with vision and respect for the environment and the people who are already here. We should work towards new affordable housing solutions via incentives and creative solutions such as streamlined approvals & zoning changes to allow for more efficient use of space. Many communities across the country have explored new ideas in affordable housing that have been worked well and should be studied and emulated when their success is transferrable to our community. Growth should be sustainable and beautiful and everything we add should be done in a way to improve our hometown. At the same time, our children should be able to afford to stay and purchase homes in the town they grew up in and retirees should have options to stay when downsizing.
  • The First and Main Project offers Longmont a huge opportunity to progress and improve the image of downtown. Creative solutions and diversity in this area are key to the future of this area. The area should be a beautiful addition and draw to Longmont; and this area should be a destination for residents and out of towner’s alike. We need to be creative and encourage the development of unique offerings that will set Longmont apart.
  • Longmont needs to get moving to revitalize our river corridor (including the Sunset bridge), post-flood. The delay speaks to our values and vitality. This needs to be a priority for City Council.
  • We should not have put Longmont residents in debt for $27 million to help finance the Twin Peaks Village project. The city did this without payback in terms of high paying jobs, housing, or anything else. We made a huge bet on sales and property taxes that will cost us $47 million to pay back. We need to invest more wisely. We’ve now mortgaged four city buildings including the Civic Center,the  Safety and Justice Center, the Library, and the Development Services Center. Now that we have the project, and the debt, we need to be more thoughtful in managing the project going forward and we need to capitalize on all taxes and potential fees generated by the project without more freebies for developers.
  • The voter deserves respect!
    • In order to keep fracking out of Longmont city limits we need creative solutions that will stand up in court and avoid lawsuits. Longmont’s ban, as it exists, will be overturned. We need a fresh approach including very strict health and safety regulations which would in effect eliminate fracking in town. The outright ban will cost us lots of money to fight, and in the end, we’ll lose. We must act now to do the work that will achieve the same effect.
    • Longmont needs reasonable regulation for medical and recreational marijuana businesses in Longmont. It is important we respect the voters (58%) who overwhelmingly approved Amendment 64. Longmont is missing out on tax dollars and job opportunities & commercial/industrial space rental to surrounding municipalities. We are sending money away to Boulder, Lyons, and County enclaves to appease a vocal minority. We are missing out on income for Longmont’s existing business that would provide services to this new industry. If Longmont doesn’t choose to regulate this soon, a voter initiative funded by commercial interests will write the law for us in the next election. Council needs to take the initiative and keep control of the process so we can place reasonable limits in order to keep Longmont the way we like it. We should regulate signage, location, and the number of retail businesses for whom we will issue licenses. We don’t need neon signs or buildings that are out of character. We don’t need obnoxious advertising or sign spinners. We do need the tax money, and we do need to respect the wishes of the voters.
  • All businesses should have to play by the same rules and should not have special exemptions based on religious views. I believe that all people deserve equal treatment under the law. I believe that people should be paid the same and have the same access to services, no matter their gender, race, religion, country of origin, or sexual orientation.