Lenny Weisberg: I’ll prioritize fairness in all that I do, including rental regulations
Breckenridge Town Council candidate
Occupation: Self-employed programmer/report writer for hospitals
Years in Summit County: 18 in Breckenridge
Family: Daughter, Danielle, 13
Civic involvement: Warrior’s Mark association treasurer and board member, Summit Skating Club treasurer and board member, Synagogue of the Summit board member
Hi, my name is Lenny Weisberg. I have owned, lived in and worked from the same home in Breckenridge since moving to Summit County in 2004.
I grew up on Long Island and went skiing in Vermont every other weekend. I also went on backpacking trips in Colorado in the summers. I had summer jobs for the town, where I grew up documenting the data flow between planning, building and zoning for computerization. After attending Bates College in Maine, I moved to Boston and bought a ski condominium at Sunday River.
In 2004, I purchased and moved to my current home in Breckenridge. I share 50/50 custody of my 13-year-old daughter, Danielle. She was the poster child for Bristlecone’s tree planting campaign when she was young. Together, with Danielle’s mom, Danielle and I planted hundreds of trees around Breckenridge.
Priority No. 1: Fairness
My primary interest in running for Breckenridge Town Council is based on fairness. I feel many decisions have been made by Town Council that don’t treat everyone evenly and fairly. My first example, and priority issue is busing. I believe that you can’t give a benefit to 80% of the town and tell the other 20% they don’t deserve the same benefit. The Highlands and Golf Course areas deserve the same services as everyone else.
The whole purpose of municipality is to contribute money to get services back you would not otherwise have if you live in an unincorporated area. I worked for years to help bring bus service to Warrior’s Mark West. There still is no summer service in my area. But there are other areas with no service at all. Service should not be based on ridership metrics. It should be based on servicing everyone equally. The village where I grew up only had one bus. It took two hours to do a loop, but it went to every neighborhood.
Priority No. 2: Rental regulations
My second priority is related to long- and short-term rentals. I believe the notion of creating exempt neighborhoods, which is being proposed, and creating exempt companies, which is already in place, is greatly unfair. Everyone should be treated equally. My first proposal would be to remove the current short-term rental cap ordinance, and replace it with an idea that was discussed in Burlington, Vermont. The proposal in Burlington was that you could not get a short-term rental license for three years. After that, you could do as you wished.
This opens up long-term housing during the turnover period, while still giving homeowners some rights with their properties. Everyone would be treated equally. Timeshare units would have to be used or traded the first three years. After the waiting period, they could be rented, as well. The current policy says that if you buy a home and use it often yourself, you must leave it empty when you aren’t there. This actually makes the housing market tighter. I believe if the market is flooded with short-term rentals, prices would drop, and more people would turn to long-term renting. But if the short-term market is tight, then no one with a license will long-term rent. Then the long-term market shrinks and prices go up.
Priority No. 3: Long-term rental program
My third proposal is to create a town-run, long-term rental guarantee program. The town could perform background checks and have a preapproved list of tenants for landlords. In return, the landlord would not collect a security deposit or prepayment of the last month’s rent from the tenant. The town would cover the cost for any damages or skipping out early on a lease. This will reduce the cost to tenants, making it easier to rent.
Lenny Weisberg is a candidate for one of three open seats on Breckenridge Town Council.
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