Longmont will elect a new mayor in the Nov. 2021 election. Throwing his name in the ring is current Ward I representative Tim Waters.
Waters was elected, by special election, to the Ward I seat in 2018 when current Mayor Brian Bagley took office following the Nov. 2017 local election. Bagley had to vacate the Ward I seat to assume his role as mayor.
Waters first term ended in 2019, where he sought reelection. This time he ran unopposed.
This year, Waters is seeking a different role on Longmont City Council, the role of mayor.
Waters has lived in Longmont for 26 years and spent his career in education either as a practitioner or a researcher, he said.
“After I turned the page, after being employeed full-time, I began to settle into the community that I have been a resident of for many years. As I became more connected to the issues and opportunities, I became more interested in local policy and local politics,” Waters said.
Although Waters educated himself on local issues, he was surprised by the amount of learning left to do. However, he credits the steep learning curve to helping him form a vision of Longmont’s future, he said.
“I am convinced that the era we are about to move into, this post-pandemic era, is going to be a time for municipalities to either differentiate themselves from others as places where people want to live because of the quality of life, because of the opportunities that exist,” Waters said.
In Longmont, the mayoral seat holds no more votes than any other member of the council. The mayor seat is still regarded as the highest office in town due to the responsibility and opportunity that person holds in regards to connecting with leaders outside of the city.
Waters plans to build those connections to make sure Longmont’s vision for the future remains clear.
“Whoever serves as mayor has the opportunity and responsibility to make certain that interests in this community come together, to become clearer and clearer on what the vision is for the future of this community and what it will take to realize that vision,” Waters said adding the job requires not only actively working on the day-to-day issues but keeping an eye on the future to ensure that generations to come continue to choose to live in Longmont.
If elected, Waters plans to focus on two issues. The first is helping Longmont recover from the impacts of the pandemic by doing “what we need to continue to reduce housing insecurity, food insecurity for everybody in this community,” he said.
Part of the recovery process includes looking at childcare.
“If we are going to see this economy recover we have got to do more and better in terms of childcare … The fact of the matter is that this pandemic has revealed the absence of accessable, quality, affordable childcare. It will be the biggest drag on the local economy if we can’t have families of young children placing their kids where they are safe, in a developmentally appropriate high quality setting and able to get themselves back into the workplace,” Waters said.
The second is continue to work toward the city council’s goal of 12% of Longmont’s housing be affordable housing. This goal was set by council in 2019 to help those who qualify for subsidies. In addition to working on this goal, Waters also wants to make sure the remaining 88% of housing is obtainable by working families allowing people who wish to work and live in Longmont the opportunity to do both, he said.
“The vision, experience, character, integrity, independence, responsibility, reliability, and accountability of those elected will make the difference between communities that recover quickly, with resilience and with stability, and those that do not. I am confident I can provide the kind of Mayoral leadership our community needs as we transition from the current era to the next,” Waters said on his website.
Correction: Spelling errors