Zach Kauk: I’ll manage growth and invest in housing and child care
Silverthorne Town Council candidate
Occupation: Retired after 30 years with Caterpillar Inc.
Years in Summit County: Two years full time
Civic involvement: Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance volunteer sawyer program leader, DEK Scholarship Fund lead trustee
I retired from Caterpillar Inc. after 30 years of designing and developing construction equipment for customers around the world. I first visited Silverthorne in 1978, and I’ve enjoyed the wilderness of Summit County almost every year since. After watching Silverthorne’s growth as a visitor for so many years, my family decided that Silverthorne was the best place in the world to make our permanent home.
Silverthorne is a dynamic town with a great past, present and future but with challenges that come from growth. Although I support growth, Silverthorne must ensure that there is a viable infrastructure plan to support that growth. Infrastructure needs include affordable housing and child care for people who work in the community, street and highway development in advance of growth, traffic management, postal services and town services.
Priority No. 1: Infrastructure
I will work to develop a 20-year infrastructure plan in cooperation with the appropriate county, state and federal agencies. This plan will:
- Align with the population, housing, visitor and business growth plan.
- Address issues with the Exit 205 interchange and plan for traffic growth.
- Improve traffic management in alignment with traffic growth.
- Develop road, water, sewer and other city service infrastructure ahead of growth.
- Improve postal service in alignment with population and package delivery growth.
Priority No. 2: Housing
I’ll prioritize increasing the availability of affordable housing by:
- Addressing zoning issues that limit affordable housing density.
- Incentivizing builders and renters to develop affordable housing.
- Incentivizing accessory dwelling units in homes and businesses.
- Identifying low utilization property areas for development of affordable housing.
Priority No. 3: Child care
I’ll work to improve access to affordable child care by:
- Supporting the joint effort by Silverthorne and Summit County to develop the Smith Ranch child care facility.
- Ensuring availability of affordable housing for workers involved in child care.
Because Silverthorne is at a major crossroads to other communities and is part of a thriving Summit County, Silverthorne’s growth can’t be managed in isolation. We must cooperate with other governmental entities at the city, county, state and federal level.
Each issue must be acknowledged and worked in a cooperative manner that treats all stakeholders fairly. While managing growth and making investments in affordable housing and infrastructure, the rights of existing residents and property owners must be considered and balanced. We must plan for growth rather than reacting to it.
Growth is fun and exciting, but we must have a viable plan in place to ensure that our infrastructure supports the growth that we want to make happen.
Zach Kauk is a candidate for one of four open seats on Silverthorne Town Council.
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