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Charlie Odegaard

Charlie Odegaard

What is your educational/professional background?
Flagstaff High School graduate. Attended NAU until the family business became a priority. I'm a third generation business owner of Odegaard's Sewing Center on Fourth Street. As a small business owner I work six days a week.

How long have you lived in Flagstaff?
27 years.

Why did you decide to make Flagstaff your home ?
I came out here every summer to visit and I loved Flagstaff. I cannot imagine living anywhere else other then Flagstaff.

Why are you running for city council?
I have kids and grandkids and everytime I looked in the paper, the cost of living for Flagstaff goes up. I went to a city council meeting sometime ago and the staff was telling the council they were saving the taxpayer money by raising the property tax by 1% instead of 2%. When we moved our business from downtown, after almost 40 years, to Fourth Street. We met so many roadblocks from the city that we ended up having to hire a lawyer representing us to the city. The city prevented us opening our new location by six weeks!

How do you think as a member of council you can help improve our community’s economic outlook?
I lived with the city's “red tape.” I understand the small business side of things when a business is trying to make payroll and they don't take pay for themselves. Small business is the backbone of Flagstaff and in all my time of business I never had a city employee ask the question how can we help you succeed?

What do you see as being the biggest hindrance to strengthening Flagstaff’s economy? How would you fix it?
I understand the needs of regulations, but at what point when a small business owner needs to hire an architect, engineer, and a lawyer and not necessarily in that order? We have to set policy that is simplistic that a small business owner can grow the local sales tax without being overburden by “red tape.”