PubliCola sat down with city council member Sally Clark, who's up for reelection this November, to talk about her record, her plans for her next term, and whether she plans to run for mayor. With a couple of notable exceptions (homeless encampments in residential areas, reconfirming the police chief), Clark lived up to her reputation for landing firmly on both sides of every issue, with on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand responses to questions about panhandling, density, and the mayor.

Here's some of what she had to say.


[pullquote]On whether she's running for mayor against McGinn: "Not right now."[/pullquote]• On Mayor Mike McGinn's proposal to increase allowed building heights around the Roosevelt light-rail station: "I think more height is good in that area. And I think the mayor may have actually found a way to make more people angry about [the proposal]. I had a lot of emails in my inbox this morning from parties that are ticked off that, after four years, there's this last minute interest [in taller buildings]. They would have preferred to engage with him earlier."

• On proposals to turn Fire Station 39 in Lake City into a permanent homeless shelter: "I would love to see 39 continue to be used as a shelter space. ... It has taken a long time to get a public meeting scheduled to talk with [Lake City residents] about what the city's intentions are, and it's left people coming up with their own theories about what's going to go there. That could have happened sooner than it did."

• On her colleague Nick Licata's proposal to allow homeless encampments in residential neighborhoods: "I'm queasy about allowing encampments as a permanent use in residential zones. I'm not supportive of that. The idea of allowing [more] churches to do hosting, I think that's great, but I'm queasier about allowing encampments in all residential zones."

• On her vote for Tim Burgess's controversial aggressive-panhandling bill, which was subsequently overturned by a mayoral veto: "There's nothing about panhandling, pure and simple, that would have been affected by that legislation. It was saying, there is a way to handle aggressive solicitation: A citation, rather than an arrest, may be the smarter way to go. The solution that was vetoed would have been a smarter way to deal with people who don't belong in jail, but should be stopped from doing what they're doing."

• On her next term on the council: "In the next cycle, the position that I'm thinking most about is council president. Legislatively, I would love to see us continue to figure out where does the city use its budget powers or policy powers to support creation and retention of small businesses in this city. I'm a big supporter of apprentice opportunities."

• On whether police chief John Diaz should be subject to reconfirmation, like most other city department heads, given several recent high-profile allegations of police brutality: "I'm kind of coming around to the idea. Previously, I've said no, these are very difficult jobs to fill. It's kind of a chief's market in terms of taking jobs in different cities right now. But now, I'm kind of reconsidering that. I wouldn't mind requiring that we do reconfirm the chief every four years. It's just another opportunity to check in and say, how are things going? I get that that's not going to be a very popular position."

• On Mayor McGinn's performance so far: "I think that is a difficult, quicksand trap question. The most I can say is that I think it is really hard to be a brand-new elected official and have there be nothing but budget cuts in front of you, and also be a true believer warrior on your issues, and also be the guy who is the CEO. I do think they're picking up steam. I think the first year there was maybe not some of the attention to issues that department heads and staff needed. I see more attention to subjects outside of the tunnel and 520 right now and I think that's good."

On whether she's running for mayor against McGinn: "Not right now."
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