Mike Zobbe: Housing, overcrowding and recreation access are important to me
Breckenridge Town Council candidate
Occupation: Handyman service small-business owner
Years in Summit County: 39
Family: Wife, Rebecca, and dog, Beso
Civic involvement: Summit County Mountain Bike Alliance founder, Golden Horseshoe Advisory Committee member, Vail Pass Task Force member, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado crew leader, Summit County and Breckenridge open space volunteer, Wellington Neighborhood homeowners association member
My name is Mike Zobbe, and I am running for Breckenridge Town Council because I want to serve and support this town that I have loved for almost 40 years. Like many of you, I am concerned that our town is at risk of becoming less livable and that soon it may no longer support a vibrant and inclusive community. As your next Town Council representative, I would work tirelessly as your advocate, and it would be both an honor and a privilege to do so.
My wife and I live in the Wellington Neighborhood, where I serve on the homeowners association. Over the past four decades, I’ve worked in the restaurant and construction industries, on a trail-building crew, as a dinner sleigh driver and entertainer, and as a small-business owner. For 25 years, I worked as the operations director, then the executive director of Summit Huts Association, which I retired from in 2020. My years at the huts association shaped and defined my views on the importance of collaboration to solve complex problems and effect meaningful and long-lasting change. I currently operate a residential handyman business serving clients in Breckenridge. My time spent responding to the needs of locals and visitors has helped me understand the intersection of the two groups as it relates to the allocation of town resources and services.
In 1990, I founded the Breckenridge Fat Tire Society, which exists today as the Summit Mountain Bike Alliance, because I recognized that the mountain biking community needed a unified body to proactively engage with property owners and government officials to preserve, improve and expand trail opportunities. Our mission grew to fully embrace environmental stewardship in the pursuit of sustainable use of public lands. Much of the modern trail system enjoyed today is the result of those early pioneering efforts.
My years working as an advocate were formative in my evolution as an involved citizen. I have served on the Vail Pass Task Force, the Golden Horseshoe advisory committee, the Backcountry Snowsports Alliance board and many others. I learned to find consensus among stakeholders from widely different backgrounds and interests. I learned that listening is better than talking and that crafting effective solutions takes time. I also learned that there are times when difficult and courageous decisions need to be made for the good of the many.
Our modern community exists and prospers today because of tourism and recreation but is thus subject to many challenges. I can provide balanced and experienced leadership to help address the issues we face. But more than that, I want to serve the community that has been so good to me to help ensure that future generations to come can live, work and play in Breckenridge.
Priority No. 1: Workforce housing
This is a complex issue that the town has been faced with for decades. The pandemic has accelerated this crisis in unforeseen ways that have led us to what most consider a tipping point. Local businesses already face a dire labor shortage, some having had to reduce their operating hours in response. If the problem continues along its current trend line, these problems will only become more profound. Town Council must face this issue with a renewed focus on understanding these new market forces and what tools will be most effective in increasing the supply of workforce housing.
Priority No. 2: Overcrowding
My second priority is to focus on finding solutions to alleviate the overcrowding of our town, which at times leads to traffic congestion, bare shelves at the grocery store and increased tensions across the community. While this can feel like an ongoing debate about the quality of life, it has a broader impact on town infrastructure and public safety. We need to be able to engage in serious discourse about what a comfortable, but also economically sustainable, capacity and level of tourism is in the town.
Priority No. 3: Public recreation access
My third priority is to preserve and expand access to the public recreation resources available in Breckenridge including the Breckenridge Recreation Center, Stephen C. West Ice Arena, town parks and the surrounding trail system. These amenities contribute to creating and sustaining a vibrant community for all.
Mike Zobbe is a candidate for one of three open seats on Breckenridge Town Council.
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