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Who is on the Flagstaff City Council? What to know about the members
By Lacey Latch, Arizona Republic,
The Flagstaff City Council has six members, not including the mayor, who each have four-year terms.
Flagstaff operates under a council-manager form of government wherein an elected City Council, including the mayor, develops policy positions and then directs the city manager to carry out its decisions. Importantly, the mayor has a single vote that carries the same weight as the rest of the council.
Here's what to know about Flagstaff's councilmembers:
Vice Mayor Austin Aslan
Aslan was first elected to Flagstaff City Council in 2018 and was re-elected in 2022. He was born and raised in Prescott. Aslan graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in wildlife biology before earning a master's degree in conservation biology at the University of Hawaii. He is also a certified emergency medical technician.
McCarthy was elected to his first four-year term on the Flagstaff City Council in November 2016 and was re-elected for another term in 2020.
Before being elected to the council, he served six years on the city's planning and zoning commission and five years on the city water commission.
McCarthy originally earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and began a career in aerospace engineering. To supplement his engineering acumen, he also earned a master’s degree in environmental planning.
McCarthy's term ends in 2024.
Councilmember Miranda Sweet
Sweet was first elected to Flagstaff City Council in 2020. Before that, she served on the Flagstaff Airport Commission.
Sweet earned a degree in elementary education from Northern Arizona University and worked in the Flagstaff Unified District.
Sweet has operated a clothing boutique, Rainbow's End, in downtown Flagstaff for more than two decades. In addition to working with the Downtown Business Alliance, she also spent six years on the board of directors for the Flagstaff Leadership Program. Sweet was also previously the community outreach coordinator at the Flagstaff Birth and Women's Center.
Sweet's term ends in 2024.
Councilmember Khara House
House was appointed to the Flagstaff City Council in May 2022.
House first came to Flagstaff as a graduate student at Northern Arizona University, where she earned a master's degree in English in 2011. After teaching at her alma mater, she began a career in multifamily housing in 2013, eventually serving on the city's Housing Commission prior to her appointment to the council.
House is also involved in numerous community organizations, including NAACP Flagstaff, Coconino County's African Diaspora Advisory Council, the Southside Community Association, NAMI Flagstaff and Flagstaff Young Professionals, among several others.
House's term ends in 2026.
Councilmember Lori Matthews
Matthews was elected to Flagstaff City Council in 2022.
After moving to Flagstaff in 2011 to be closer to family, Matthews joined the board of directors for the Flagstaff Shelter Services and eventually served as interim executive director where she helped surpass fundraising goals and expanded services in various ways.
In 2015, Matthews founded the nonprofit ANEW Living, a transitional housing program for the homeless working poor.
Also throughout this time, Matthews utilized her master's degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix and her experience in banking to start her own business consulting firm in 2013. The firm, which she ended in 2019, provided chief financial officer services to small and mid-size businesses.
Matthews' term ends in 2026.
Councilmember Deborah Harris
Harris was first elected to Flagstaff City Council in 2022.
Harris first moved to Flagstaff in 1993 from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where she spent a decade in various housing and student services positions. She joined Northern Arizona University's Office of Housing and Residence Life where she supervised the school's family and apartment-style housing. Four years later she was promoted to assistant dean and eventually associate dean in the Office of Student Life. Harris retired from higher education after 35 years.
In the community, Harris has contributed to numerous boards and organizations including United Way of Northern Arizona, Coconino County African American Advisory Council and the Flagstaff Police Department Citizen Liaison Committee, among others.
Harris' term ends in 2026.
Contact northern Arizona reporter Lacey Latch at LLatch@gannett.com or on social media @laceylatch . Coverage of northern Arizona on azcentral.com and in The Arizona Republic is funded by the nonprofit Report for America and a grant from the Vitalyst Health Foundation in association with The Arizona Republic.