Tony Scalise: Listening to residents, defending property rights and unfinished projects are my top goals
Dillon Town Council candidate
Years in Summit County: 2 full time
Family: Wife, Tess Scalise
Civic involvement: Anchorage West Homeowners Association director, Dillon Community Church audio/video technician volunteer
I have been a property owner in Dillon since 2013 and only recently returned here to become a full-time resident. I lived in Dillon Valley in 1985 and loved the small town atmosphere and friendly people. After spending a shortened honeymoon here in 2012, my wife and I decided to purchase a property with a gorgeous view down at Anchorage West on Tenderfoot Street. We lived in Denver and in the summer would spend weekends and time off here on the lake. I am a sailor and love sailing the lake, treasuring the 360-degree views and majestic peaks. The local sailing community is terrific, full of fun-loving characters and staunch racers. We could not think of anywhere we would rather be than right where we are.
Priority No. 1: Listening to residents
My No. 1 priority for Dillon is making sure the full-time residents have a larger voice when it comes to Town Council decisions. Many residents I spoke to feel they fall behind tourists and businesses and are often disregarded by council. Recently, on two occasions involving cannabis retail operations, there was a heated and predominant opposition to issues the council faced, and yet the council’s decision went against the majority will of its constituents. Regardless of their personal feelings on an issue, the elected council’s duty is to represent the will of the townspeople.
Many residents are unaware of even what is going on with town projects that affect the quality of daily life in Dillon. I will establish better communication with residents so that they are informed of the progress of town projects without having to attend meetings in person or virtually.
Priority No. 2: Property owners rights
My No. 2 priority is I want to preserve the rights of private property owners, especially in regard to short-term rental regulations. Some municipalities in Summit county are establishing limits on short-term rentals, negatively affecting the rights of property owners and potentially affecting real estate sales, as well. Short-term rentals are the lifeblood of the local economy, bringing big dollars to many areas of business.
Many believe the regulations are meant to stimulate the move to long-term rentals in order to help with workforce housing, which is in crisis mode locally. The largest employers in Summit need to take a more responsible role in creating housing solutions for the thousands of people they employ who can’t afford what the markets demand for local housing, while still protecting the individual property owners’ right to rent.
Priority No. 3: Unfinished projects
My third priority would be to make progress on planned and unfinished projects around town, such as the new town park, the Uptown 240 project and the plans for improvements to the town core and marina. The town park can’t go another season in such disarray, depriving the residents of a peaceful place to enjoy an outdoor planned space as well as the youth sports the ball field supports. Our park is a place of community and needs to become available for use ASAP.
Uptown 240 is an eyesore as it is, and the owners either need to get their plan in place or clean up the site and remove the crane. And the town core project needs to get some attention in order to attract more small businesses to Dillon and improve its look. Making the core and marina a vibrant, fun and safe place for the community (as well as tourists) will only enhance the town’s reputation and bring in more revenue.
Tony Scalise is a candidate for one of three open seats on Dillon Town Council.
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