Opinion | Tim West: Safety, quality of life for residents a focus
Blue River Board of Trustees candidate
- Occupation: Breckenridge Outfitters owner
- Years in Summit County: 15 in Breckenridge and Blue River
- Family: Married with an 11-month-old son
- Civic involvement: Blue River Citizen Advisory Committee member, Blue River Watershed Group board member, International Snow Sculpture Championships artist, Backstage Theatre Children’s Theatre Program previous director, Backstage Theatre previous actor and writer
This will be my first time running for trustee in the town of Blue River. I have lived in Breckenridge/Blue River for 15 years. My wife and I have owned a home in Blue River for seven years and rented for a couple of years prior to that. The town of Blue River is a unique and special place. We chose to set roots in this community for the same reasons others have. It is a safe, family-friendly and quiet town with great neighborhoods. As a member of the citizen advisory committee, I have been involved in and helped coordinate many events and programs for the town of Blue River. I hope to continue bettering our community and be even more involved as a trustee.
Focus on safety of residents
My main priority is the safety and wellbeing of our residents in Blue River. As we see growth in our community and more visitors, it is paramount to maintain our values as a town. I think that Blue River has made great strides in increasing our safety, with the hiring of two more police officers, and I believe this will help with some of the traffic issues we see on Colorado Highway 9. Having more officer coverage and officer visibility to the public on Highway 9, and all of the roadways in Blue River, I think will certainly help combat the number of aggressive drivers we see. I think all of us have had issues with traffic coming in and out of Breckenridge and over Hoosier pass. This is an issue I have spent time talking to Ahmet Susic, chief of police, about and I think that he and his staff have some great plans in place and ideas for the future to maintain the safety of our community.
Find balance between residents and visitors
My next priority is the relationship between full-time residents and short-term renters. With better education, I believe we can better assist with the relationship between full-time residents and visitors. I think we could better educate our guests in short-term rentals, to help them understand our community while on their vacation. Education about wildlife, trash collection, light pollution, and parking are a few things I know could be better addressed for them. I would like to work on better effective ways to make sure guests on vacation have a pleasant stay, while understanding these challenges I listed above. Owners of rental units receive a packet with rules and education materials when purchasing their rental license through the town, but my worry is these are not getting to or are visible to the renters. I think there are better and more efficient ways to get this information in front of short-term renters.
Improve road maintenance
Another priority I have is to work with the Colorado Department of Transportation for better winter maintenance and road damage on Highway 9. I know that the current board of trustees has made this a priority, and I applaud them for this effort. However, I think this is an ongoing issue, and I believe more needs to be done. My understanding is that working with CDOT has not been an easy task. If elected to the board, I will make this one of my top priorities to better the relationship with CDOT and work closely with them for better road conditions in the future.
Tim West is one of five candidates for three open seats on the Blue River Board of Trustees.
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