2015 - 2017 LWV Duluth Local Program: The program of the LWV Duluth consists of action to implement the principles of the LWVUS and those local governmental issues chosen for concerted study and action. City Planning · Support of improved land use controls for open space and improved environmental planning. · Support of an adequate transit system. · Support of an effective sign ordinance. Education Support of the adoption and implementation of long range plans and procedures by the Duluth School District: the object is to ensure equal opportunity for all. Comprehensive Planning Comprehensive Planning for the city of Duluth should be based on the following: Guiding Concepts: 1. Preserve the character of the community and promote community identity at neighborhood and city wide levels. 2. Conserve open space. 3. Ensure the areas of new growth are coordinated with existing and proposed development. Prevent urban sprawl. 4. Maintain or improve the level of community services. 5. Develop a community with a diversity of housing types to enable citizens from a wide range of economic levels to live within city boundaries. 6. Plan ahead to avoid environmental problems. 7. Promote aesthetics and preserve historic and cultural features. 8. Create a citywide network of streets, pedestrian paths and bike paths. Provide an adequate and accessible mass transit system. 9. Encourage flexibility and innovation in development techniques to promote diversity within the community to show the increase in development costs. 10. Encourage citizen output. 11. Promote public safety. Implementation guidelines. · Provide consistency in the plan implementation over time and across administrations. · Provide consistent rules and statutes to match the plan. · Put structures in place to consistently implement and update the plan, including a schedule for evaluation and review. · Encourage regional collaboration. · Coordinate citywide and neighborhood issues. · Make land use decisions based on a current natural resources inventory. Infrastructure. 1. LWV Duluth is opposed to the sale of the gas utility. 2. LWV Duluth supports development of a comprehensive plan for reinvestment in Comfort System utility infrastructures. The plan should be integrated, coordinated plan of action with specific timelines, identified and committed fund sources to maintain each of the four utilities in standard operating condition at all times, and be developed with input from citizens and businesses, as well as from utility workers and management. 3. LWV Duluth supports the City's continued aggressive efforts to obtain grants from all possible sources for repair and replacement of Comfort Systems infrastructure. LWV Duluth also supports taking loans and approving bond issues to finance Comfort Systems infrastructure repair and replacement on four conditions: a) Adequate grant sources are not available in a timely way. b) Need is in accordance with a long-range capital utility improvement plan. c) Careful discernment is reached between needs and wants in prioritizing utility bond issues with other City bonding obligations. d) There is adequate projected revenue for debt payback without untenable rate burdens thrust on low- income households. 4. LWV Duluth conditionally supports a rate increase for Duluth public utilities for the purpose of necessary infrastructure improvements in order to sustain reliable utility services for citizens and businesses only if: a) An increase proposal demonstrates that efficiency has first been adequately sought out in the utility requesting the increase. b) Accurate accounting numbers have been clearly laid out so the public will understand why the rate is increasing. c) A short and long-term financial plan for the proposed rate increase has been presented in an understandable way to the public. d) A public discussion and debate has occurred prior to any utility rate increase, including methods to protect particularly vulnerable consumers.