During the past four-plus decades that Kathi Wright has lived in Loveland, she has seen city councils come and go. That time includes 13 years spent as a staff member of the city of Loveland.
Wright is one of nine on Lovelands most recent council a regularly quarrelsome group, in which she and councilor Richard Ball occupy a shifting middle ground between the conservative majority and a left-leaning minority.
Ive watched cycles of council that work well together and cycles that dont, Wright said. I really think the next four years are going to be one of the positive cycles.
The Nebraska native and former executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County has announced she will run for a second four-year term representing Ward II on the City Council this fall.
One challenger, Doug Luithly, has already declared his candidacy for the seat. Wright represents the citys west-central ward along with Andrea Samson, who was elected in 2019.
The main thing Ill continue to do is bring positive, constructive leadership, Wright said. Ive had so many people ask me to stay in there, speaking about the need for balance and that they need me to stay on. I think my decision was just based on people whose opinions I value greatly.
When asked what she considered to be the highlights of her past four years of service, Wright mentioned the rollout of the Pulse municipal broadband utility; the citys Connect Loveland plan, Big Thompson River Corridor Master Plan and two-year communications road map; completion of the 37th Street bridge over Dry Creek; and the partnership to provide services for the homeless through Homeward Alliance.
She also took pride in her vote to remove a ban on flavored vaping and tobacco products from an anti-youth vaping rule passed by the council in April.
I feel like Im a progressive here, and Im a libertarian there. My vote on tobacco products was libertarian. It was about the liberty of a law-abiding adult to walk into a store a buy a product that they appreciate, she said.
During her second term, Wright hopes to direct more resources toward economic development, adding that she believed the city should double its investment in its Economic Development Department.
She also said she felt the incentives awarded to businesses by the city during her tenure, such as the $250,000 earmarked for Tharp Cabinet Co. in 2018, had a positive impact on Lovelands business community.
As part of the city effort to engage more citizens, she said she would like to see more education offered on the citys budget and how funds are committed currently. She also indicated she may support sending another sales tax question to the voters in the future.
The more I think about what Andrea (Samson) suggested about doing a sales tax just for one project, the more I like it, she said.
Wright said she would also like to see the city work with developers to encourage creative solutions to the problem of Lovelands sparse affordable housing market, such as homes built from hemp or 3D-printed components.
I think we have to get out of the box, encouraging builders and making sure our code is flexible enough to do it, she said.
Other priorities mentioned by Wright included reopening the Pulliam Community Building I want to see Norm (Rehme) dance in that ballroom, she said and bringing infrastructure in downtown Loveland up to date.
Wright has one adult son, Joe. She is a member of the Loveland Rotary Club and a past member and past president of the Loveland Philo Club, and has volunteered with United Way. She has also served on the Garfield Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization/School Accountability Advisory Committee and the Master Plan Committee of the Thompson School District.
The citys municipal election will be Nov. 2.
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