Editor's note: This concludes a series of profiles The Durango Herald has run of each of the six Durango City Council candidates. The stories began Monday and are available on the Herald's website.
By Jim Haug
Herald Staff Writer
From pouring coffee as a server at Carver Brewing Co. to becoming the mayor of Durango, Christina Rinderle is not looking at a potential second term on the City Council as a springboard to bigger things.
“I have no desire to run for higher office,” Rinderle, 37, said. “I have been approached for the state representative position, county commissioner and other things over the last four years, but I don't have that desire. My heart is with the city.”
Another four years on the council would give her the opportunity to see a lot of projects to completion, not the least of which are accessory dwelling units, which is one of the original issues she ran on four years ago.
Accessory dwellings, also known as alley cottages and mother-in-law apartments, would be permitted under a new land-use development code, now projected to go before the council for adoption sometime later this summer.
A real estate agent with the Wells Group by profession, Rinderle has advocated for accessory dwellings as a way to help homeowners pay mortgages, provide more affordable housing and increase the “vibrancy of downtown” with a base of customers living nearby.
But Rinderle said she also has been sensitive to neighborhood concerns of overcrowding, accepting accessory dwelling regulations on parking requirements and lot coverage to preserve green space.
“I try to take a balanced approach to deliberations,” she said.
A rationale for her re-election is that Rinderle knows the backstory on city issues that have batted around for years in council meetings.
“There's a huge learning curve,” Rinderle said. “I can attest to that when I came on City Council.”
She sees new opportunity for the city to work with La Plata County with the election of two new county commissioners and appointment of a new county manager. She has “heard amazing accolades about Damian Peduto,” the new county planner whom the city must work with on areas outside the city limits.
Rinderle, who has a degree in environmental science from Purdue University, is not a fan of sprawl.
“The better we can concentrate our resources, the more efficient and effective we're going to be,” she said. “If you have a police call out to some places miles away, it spreads your resources thin.”
She advocates “multimodal (transportation), in-fill development” as an efficient use of resources.
Rinderle loves that she lives close enough to downtown that she can ride her bike to her real estate office on Main Avenue and run to south City Market for groceries, where she often gets input on city issues by talking to customers in the produce section.
She has to stay close to Carver's, too.
The regulars there are “my base, my constituency.”