DelPiccolo believes his role his role as mayor is important in accomplishing goals for the future
SILVERTHORNE – Mayor Lou DelPiccolo is proud of the things that have been accomplished on his watch – the town pavilion is up and running, Target is set to break ground, the new library is light and spacious.
He spends “an inordinate amount of time” on town business, he said, “and I consider it a point of honor to never, ever let anyone leave the council chambers without having a say.”
Thus, he said, it’s “regrettable” his occasionally blunt manner (some have said “insulting”) and his emphasis on getting things done (opponents have called him “dictatorial” ) have become a major focus of his re-election campaign.
“It’s hard to defend it,” he said, “and I’m not going to bash anyone for issues like that. So, I think the less said, the better.”
But it’s clear the focus on personality and perceived management style bother him.
“What I am interested in is accomplishing certain goals,” he said. “I know that unanimity doesn’t necessarily come easily, but there is a common need to come to agreement.”
And while he acknowledges he’s not the warm and fuzzy, touchy-feely type of mayor, nor is he, he said, “a bulldozer.”
“I want to stimulate action,” he said. “I find it demeaning to not get to the essence of what we’re supposed to be doing. My concept is that whether an issue is simple or complex, you have to understand what is proposed, stack it up against the alternatives, narrow it down to viable choices, and make a decision.
“I want to touch all those bases, but I cannot neglect the fact that something has been proposed and there are things to accomplish.”
DelPiccolo realizes, however, the game could go on without him. Does he believe, as some people say, this mayoral race is a do-or-die, make-it-or-break-it turning point for the future of the town?
In a word, no.
“I read too much history to believe that my job, at this time, is that momentous,” he said. “But is (the election) important? It’s very, very important, for several reasons.”
He maintains the proposed annexation of the Smith Ranch and the Clark/Heitt ranches could have a major impact on the town’s future.
“I have stated again and again that the annexation we’ve been talking about is essentially infill,” he said. “It’s not a leap-frog into the north and an attack on the Grand County line. It’s well within the confines and scope of where the town is. He believes the bottom line is that annexation provides many pluses for the town.
DelPiccolo and the town council have won a considerable number of concessions from the potential developers if the land is annexed and development proceeds.
The developer has promised to provide land for a school and for a day-care center, provide attainable housing and extend the size of an existing park. What DelPiccolo sees as most important, though, is the developers also have agreed to downsize the zoning on their largest parcel, making it impossible for them – or any future owner – to apply the huge amount of density currently allowed there.
The stumbling block is some people’s opposition to a related proposal for a Safeway and a handful of other stores that would be built on Highway 9 at 13th Street.
If the annexation proposal dies, so too could the town’s ability to limit the number of homes on the Clark/Heitt ranch parcel.
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