Former councilwoman, Ann-Marie Sandquist, running for Silverthorne mayor
Former Silverthorne Councilwoman Ann-Marie Sandquist has announced her candidacy to become the town’s next mayor, making her the first person to enter the race officially.
Sandquist is a 52-year-old financial advisor at Charles Schwab who recently celebrated her 20th year with the company. She filed the necessary paperwork to run for mayor a little over a week ago, she said, after the current mayor, Bruce Butler, announced that he would not seek reelection.
The reason, Butler said, is so he can spend more time with his family, specifically his teenager who’ll be about to graduate high school when the next mayor’s term expires in April 2022.
Sandquist said one of the best decisions she ever made was moving to Silverthorne, and she’s no stranger to town government, having served two terms on council from 2008-2016 after a two-year stint on the town’s planning commission.
Sandquist is currently unopposed, but she would likely have a good shot of winning even if she does draw a challenger. Plus, she’s already picked up at least one important ally.
Councilwoman JoAnne Nadalin, who serves on the town’s arts board with Sandquist, knows her work and is endorsing Sandquist’s candidacy for mayor.
“Silverthorne has a lot of things going in the right direction now,” Nadalin wrote in a prepared statement. “Many of the critical decisions that got us here were made while Ann-Marie was a council member.”
In backing Sandquist, Nadalin referenced the town’s 2008 decision to purchase Smith Ranch for a workforce housing development, along with the 2013 update to the Urban Renewal Plan, which Nadalin credits for helping the town move forward on the Fourth Street Crossing project. Both projects are currently in the works.
Nadalin also sees the town’s decision to partner with the Lake Dillon Theatre Company in 2015 and to build the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, a new $9 million facility completed just this summer, as major moves for Silverthorne.
“Ann-Marie is very dedicated to the town, and I believe with her as mayor we’ll realize the town’s goals regarding the Smith Ranch Neighborhood and continue to see smart growth in economic development,” Nadalin said.
Sandquist came into elected office during a turbulent time, the height of the recession, in 2008. Seeking reelection in 2012, she said it was “likely the worst we will ever see in our lifetimes,” and she leaned heavily on her financial background while applauding the town for staying debt-free throughout her first term.
Before filing to run for mayor, Sandquist said she spoke to Butler and current council members about it. She didn’t want to put any words in their mouths, she said, but they all expressed support for her decision.
“I don’t want to speak for any of them, but when I talked to them, everybody was super positive,” Sandquist said.
Since leaving office in 2016, Sandquist has stayed active in town affairs and other civic endeavors. She serves as a member on the Lake Dillon Theatre Board, chairs the Silverthorne Arts Board and works on the Team Summit Finance Committee.
Now she sees her biggest selling points as her ability to listen, build a consensus and keep Silverthorne moving on the same course that’s set by elected leaders and town staff.
Silverthorne has built “a strong core” for its residents, and her primary goal would be to expand the downtown core by bringing in more restaurants and amenities, she said, adding that a new grocery store on the north side of town would be “awesome.”
“I do feel like we’re all rowing in the same direction,” Sandquist said of town staff and currently elected officials’ efforts to improve Silverthorne.
The deadline to file for the next April’s municipal elections is 5 p.m. Jan. 22. So far, Sandquist is the only one to file to run in either the mayoral or town council races, according to the Silverthorne clerk’s office.
To run for office, a resident must first obtain 25 signatures from registered voters living inside town limits. Candidates’ packets can be picked up at Silverthorne Town Hall after Jan. 2, according to town staff, who said Sandquist filed using the state’s paperwork.
“My dad always said, ‘You can’t complain if you’re not involved,’” Sandquist said of her single biggest reason for running for mayor. “It’s not that I’m looking to complain, but if you live in your community … you can’t put the personal responsibility on someone else. If you want things to change or improve, you have to be involved. You can’t expect somebody else to carry the torch for you.”
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