Silverthorne town council candidates discuss downtown plans, housing
Five Silverthorne town council candidates gathered Monday night to discuss their plans for the town in the first of several public forums. On Feb. 29, LIFT FM Morning Show host Roman Moore moderated the forum, located at Silverthorne Town Hall.
Incumbents Joanne Nadalin and Russ Camp as well as longtime locals Tom Marmins, Tanya Shattuck and Robert Kieber will run for four open town council seats.
MEET THE CANDIDATES
Nadalin, a former finance executive, was appointed to town council last summer. She also has a year of prior experience working with Silverthorne’s planning commission and has volunteered with a local homeowner’s association and High Country Conservation Center.
“Focusing on our business base is very important,” she said. “Town council itself needs to be a forum to discuss ideas and issues. But at the end of the discussion, we all have to work together and support the town 100 percent.”
Camp has served with town council for two years and the town’s planning commission for seven. A former HOA leader, he has also worked with the Silverthorne Economic Development Advisory Committee, Silverthorne Parks, Open Space, Recreation and Trails Committee (SPORT) and several other projects within the county.
“I believe we need consistent leadership that connects where we have been to where we are going,” he said. “Specific projects I would like to take to fruition include the performing arts center, a walkable downtown and the Smith Ranch.”
Marmins, a pro-Bono mediator for local police departments and small claims court, has lived in Summit County for 15 years. A member of the Silverthorne Police Advisory Board, he also served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for three years.
“My mediation training has taught me to reframe negatives or de-escalate conflict,” he said. “(It) certainly should help resolve a lot of the issues that come up. … I try to figure out where the middle ground lies.”
Shattuck, a longtime Summit County resident, has served on the town’s planning commission for the last nine years. A small business owner, she has also worked in banking, management and community planning.
“I love the work I’ve done here with the planning department, citizens’ advisory and other committees that I’m on, and I feel that working with town council would be a good step in the right direction,” she said. “I would like to continue to work on the development of the town core along with traffic improvements in the town of Silverthorne.”
Finally, Kieber has served on the Silverthorne planning commission for more than 10 years, has served on the board of directors for two HOAs and has lived in the town for 24 years.
“I got through college as a paramedic on an ambulance from 11 at night to 7 in the morning. What I see here on planning commission or council is generally not life or death. And I’ve seen that,” he said. “What we’re doing is just everyday business for a very diverse business that we all live in.”
FOCUSING on DOWNTOWN
Much of Monday’s panel discussion was centered on the role of the arts and the town in revitalizing Silverthorne’s downtown. Camp noted he hoped to expand the downtown core out to Adams Avenue, and both Kieber and Shattuck agreed that the town should be selective in picking the businesses that best fit its vision. Marmins focused on strengthening the town’s urban renewal authority, and Nadalin referred to the town’s 2014 Comprehensive Plan, viewing the planned Performing Arts Center as a hub of activity.
“It’s a much bigger project than Lake Dillon Theatre,” Nadalin said. “Cultural arts are an economic driver. You’re getting foot traffic, which gives you the ability to support businesses in the area.”
There was significantly more dissent in the role the planned home for the Lake Dillon Theatre Company should play in the town.
“It’s not always build it and they will come,” Kieber said. “We need to be actively marketing it.”
Both Shattuck and Camp agreed that the theater and Silverthorne’s arts plan in general will be crucial in creating an identity for the town. But Marmins was skeptical of the planned Performing Arts Center’s ability to drive new business to the town.
“If it works to induce other businesses in, then it’s utopia,” he said. “That hasn’t really come to fruition yet. Investing $9 million in a theater project putting us in a capital funds shortage I don’t think is the right thing to do.”
BUILDING THE RANCH
The town’s role in providing affordable housing also provided a lively discussion. Smith Ranch, a parcel of land often discussed as the future site of such a project, has sat on the table for several years.
“I believe we can have the theatre and workforce housing at the same time,” Camp said. He added that he hoped to see the project include parks for children.
“The well-being of the town needs to be the first issue,” Shattuck said. She noted that the project should include options for a variety of families and income levels.
“Town council has done fantastic job and they’ll know when they’re ready to make that happen,” she added.
Nadalin hoped to target annual median incomes ranging from 80 percent AMI to 150 percent, and noted the previous study of the property would need to be updated.
“The Smith Ranch property was purchased with 5A money … so 5A money isn’t going to get us to point we need to be build Smith Ranch,” she said. “We need to do it and do it right.”
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