Candidate profile: Cassie Patterson

Cassie Patterson is a fourth-generation Moab resident, a single mother of two and, during the school year, the lunch lady at the Moab Charter School. She said being the lunch lady is “quite possibly the coolest job I have ever had!” She is also a candidate for a seat on the Moab City Council in 2019.

Here is how Patterson responded to our three questions:

What are your thoughts on the version of PAD that the city passed last month? What would you like to improve, change or remove?

“As it stands, I believe the PAD is a decent step in the right direction. One thing I think needs to be added would be to make it easier for middle-class residents to afford homes as well.

“Having apartment complexes for lower income folks is great, but those that make too much money for low-income housing and not enough for the price of homes in the area are frequently overlooked and deserve a better shot at housing as well.”

What are your thoughts on the proposal for council members to get back health coverage that they lost starting in 2014? Would you like to see city council members’ pay and benefits increased, decreased or stay the same?

“As with private sector jobs, pay increases and benefits are given by the employer which, in this case, is the population of Moab. Having the council vote on their own raises and insurance benefits should not be allowed as that is not a luxury afforded to normal working people.

“If something of this nature comes up, it should become a ballot measure to be voted upon by the residents of the town, as opposed to the council.

“While I am aware there is a large amount of work put into being a council person, I do not feel it necessary that they receive insurance benefits, as their positions are considered part-time.

“Public service should not be looked at as a career opportunity, instead as a way to enrich the lives of fellow citizens.”

What are your thoughts on removing lodging as a protected use in the City of Moab? Should the rules be less restrictive, or should new hotels and overnight rentals be disallowed completely as proposed?

“It is no secret that Moab is in a bad place right now. With the long-standing push for tourism, many people in the area have found ways to make a decent living on the industry.

“The issue of halting further development of hotels and other overnight lodging has become one championed by many in the community, regardless of ideology. It is important to ease the burden of weaponized tourism on residents and remind them that this is their town and they aren’t forgotten.

“As long as the moratorium isn’t a permanent solution, I fully support the idea. It’s past time that we take time to heal as a community by fixing the broken systems that have gotten us where we are today.

“Once we have made Moab easier to make a living in again, it would be pertinent to revisit opening hotel and overnight lodging development back up.”