Helton, Runkle appointed to Frisco council
FRISCO – The Frisco Town Council rewarded two of Frisco’s veteran public servants in their appointments to two council vacancies.
Former town clerk Deb Helton and planning commissioner Gary Runkle will serve on the council through April 2004. Helton worked as a town employee for 13 years before retiring in May, and Runkle has served in his position since 2001.
The vacancies came about when Mayor Bob Moscatelli and Councilmember Tom Connolly resigned during a clash over the council’s medical benefits last month.
Both Helton and Runkle hope to chip away at revenue problems the town faces in a tough economy and competing big box stores in nearby towns.
“There are a lot of exciting, important things going on: the wayfinding is very exciting, the economic development is coming along. I’d like to see that continue on and find some money someplace for the town,” Helton said.
During Runkle’s interview Tuesday, he was already brainstorming solutions to the problem of lost revenues created by a new Safeway grocery store in Silverthorne.
“The biggest challenge is revenue,” he said, “especially if the voters in Silverthorne decide to put that Safeway in. In a year, Wal-Mart’s not going to recover. We need to find other ways of generating revenue.
“According to all I see, I think we’ll be pretty close to buildout in five years. Along Summit Boulevard we’ll continue to grow. With business on Main Street, we can do things to help them grow with zoning regulations and so forth. We can have a great town, a more prosperous town than we do today,” he added.
Helton, who is a fourth-generation Summit County resident, has lived in Frisco for 30 years, and her vision for the town reflects her tenure.
“My vision is to continue to have this wonderful, small, mountain town, and I would hope that 20 years from now we wouldn’t be that much different,” she said.
Helton said she plans to run for council in April when her term expires.
Runkle said he brings a perspective to the council that was previously unrepresented.
“What I’d like to see is some representation of the normal man; you (council members) are all in business. I have an understanding of retirees. I’d like to represent the population as a whole and specifically be the voice for the old people, “cause I’m one of them.”
Runkle does not know whether he will run for office in April.
“I stewed and thought about it. Whether I would run in April, I don’t know.”
Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or at email@example.com.
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