Home Depot – Yes or No?
December 1, 2005
My wife Susan and I bought a small condo in Frisco (the closing date was Sept. 10, 2001) after looking in the mountains for about two years. We fell in love with Frisco. Yes, we are second homeowners who hope some day to be full-time residents. The next day 9/11 occurred and we thought, “Did we make a mistake?” Our consistent answer has been “No.”One Sunday afternoon shortly after we purchased our condo, Susan found me a second job in the Summit Daily News – a part-time position as Frisco’s Economic Development Director. While I no longer hold that position, I had the opportunity to learn many things about the town.If Frisco did little relative to a proactive approach toward economic development, things would probably be OK for the foreseeable future. However, I do worry about future generations. All communities need leadership which is visionary and looks 20 to 50 years down the road.I believe Frisco is headed in the right direction, especially in regard to three major issues:1. Expansion of the Nordic Center;2. Improvements to West Main (thanks to leadership and vision of Mark Udall and the town – especially the town manager and the senior planner); and3. Development of the 9.4-acre site. This is the prime property for economic development in Summit County. It is not open space land. Given the fact that Frisco is close to being fully developed, most of future home developments will be in the form of retrofitting property built 20 or 30 years ago. This is a trend that started several years ago and will increase as baby boomers continue to move to the area, first as second homeowners and then as full-time residents. Much of the material is purchased outside of Summit County. From an economic development standpoint, one needs to look at the tax dollars that are going out of Frisco and the tax dollars that could be gathered from Summit, Eagle and other counties. The answer for me on Dec. 13 is simple: Vote “Yes,” or vote “No” and watch another community in the region build a Home Depot.The negative impacts on Frisco’s home improvement businesses will be the same, without any of the benefits to the town of Frisco.Finally, I continue to hear the phase “We live in a democracy.” Well, as an old political science major I would offer that we do not live in a democracy, we live in a republic.In a republic we do our best to elect leaders with vision and the courage to make decisions in the best interest of the public as a whole. If they don’t, we vote them out of office. We do not have special elections on every issue for which there is organized opposition.