This is my unedited Q&A with John Spina that formed the basis for his “Council candidates talk walking, creeks” article in the 7/20/16 issue of the Jackson Hole News and Guide:
John Spina: How do you envision the town’s role in conservation? Where can the town improve it’s conservation efforts? What specific conservation programs/projects would you like to see the council lead/fund? How and where can rezoning the town serve conservation efforts?
Judd Grossman: I have been in love with the Town of Jackson since I first moved here in 1980. I love our quiet residential neighborhoods, our bustling downtown, and our Iconic Town Square. I want to preserve the livability of Town, and to make sure that development happens in the right places and on the community’s terms.
By focusing development into the walkable urban commercial core of Town we can avoid suburban sprawl and help keep the county lands as rural as possible. Development in the walkable core of Town helps reduce the need for car travel which reduces congestion on our roads and pollution in the air.
The Town has an interest in promoting open space, rural character, and wildlife habitat in the public and private lands that are adjacent toTown limits. That includes working to make sure that the proposed expansion of Snow King preserves the natural qualities of that mountain.
Within the borders of Town we can maintain and improve our park system, and work to find ways to accommodate dog in the parks. It seems that many of our Town parks could better serve the diverse needs of our residents if they had a fenced off area for dogs in them. This would take some pressure off of our wild land public recreation areas – like the Cache Creek drainage.
I think it’s important that we implement a long term vision to restore and revitalize Cache Creek as it passes through Town, so that it can become an amenity rather than just disappearing underground in a long culvert. I would like us to enhance the vitality and accessibility of both Cache Creek and Flat Creek within the Town limits
I will also encourage the preservation and/or replacement of street trees where ever possible to soften the urban feel of downtown.
I will encourage the Town to pursue energy conservation efforts in it’s internal operations when there is a robust return on investment.
John Spina: If SPET is used for the landslide stabilization and later replaced by a 6th cent of sales tax for housing and transportation, where can the town find funds to put towards conservation?
Judd Grossman: We must defeat the General Excise Tax in November, and not allow it to replace SPET. SPET is the tax that allows us to fund special projects including those that can enhance Town’s parks and waterways – with government transparency and accountability and with full citizen involvement.