Frisco political races get crowded |

Frisco political races get crowded

Summit Daily/Julie SutorTom Looby announced his candidacy for Frisco Town Council on Tuesday.

FRISCO – Last week, it looked as though Frisco’s town council candidates might run unopposed; this week, the number of contenders has almost doubled.

Tom Looby and Jim Wheeler have both added their names to the list of Frisco citizens running for three open council seats. They will run against incumbents Deb Helton and Gary Runkle and former board of education president Bill Pelham.

Councilmember Bernie Zurbriggen said he has a mayoral petition full of signatures that he hasn’t turned in yet. Should he submit it by Friday, Zurbriggen will face Mayor Dede Dighero-Tuso.

“I think the town needs strong financial management and needs to live within its means,” Wheeler said. “It’s wonderful to go through a boom like we did, but in good times you have to save for bad times. It’s always an up-and-down road. You have to plan for that.”

Wheeler, who currently sits on the town’s planning commission, prizes a strong connection between elected officials and their constituents.

“I walked into a business, and the owner stated he has been there for 12 years. (Former Mayor) Bob Moscatelli is the only one who has walked in and asked him how the town was doing. We need to get back to that,” Wheeler said.

Looby announced his candidacy on Tuesday.

“I am excited by the opportunity,” Looby said. “If elected to the council, I will work hard to represent all of the people and the diverse interests of this great community in a fair and balanced manner.”

As a father of three, Looby coaches youth sports and is the vice president of Summit County Youth Baseball, but his civic involvement stretches back for years.

He has more than 25 years of management experience in state and local governments, including 10 years as the director of environmental protection programs for the state of Colorado during the Romer administration. Looby now owns a small environmental consulting business.

“I want to help lead Frisco in a new direction,” Looby said. “The town needs to provide enhanced services and recreation facilities for the youth and families of Frisco. We need to improve our parks and trails system, fight to maintain adequate water levels in Dillon Reservoir, protect our environment, broaden our economic development efforts and think strategically about how we allocate town resources.”

Moscatelli is still considering a run for his former post, which he resigned in November amidst a fray over the legality of reinstating the council’s health benefits.

He said that some voters might take issue with his potential candidacy and accuse him of having “quit in a fit.” But Moscatelli insists his resignation was a matter of principle, not pride.

“What they voted to do, they had been told by our town attorney was illegal,” Moscatelli said. “If it had been legal, I would have put that money into my checking account.”

Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998 x203 or

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