Ron Holland hopes to create cohesive community as Dillon’s mayor
summit daily news
DILLON – After two years on Dillon’s town council, Ron Holland hopes to snag the open mayor spot to play an increased role in redeveloping the town. Holland is running against another councilman, Don Parsons, for the position.
“I think we’ve set a lot of ground work for what the future of Dillon can look like through things like the urban renewal authority, expanding the amphitheatre, creating a performing arts center and expanding a vital business community,” Holland said.
As a Dillon resident for the past eight years, Holland said he’s personally felt a lack of community within town, and this is a top issue.
“There’s not a lot of cohesiveness between business and residential,” he said. “We need to come together as a (town) and develop a community in Dillon.”
Two other top issues for Dillon include creating a viable business community (especially in the town core) and focusing on the arts – specifically the Lake Dillon Theatre Company and other forms of public art.
Holland believes the arts could be a huge draw for people visiting Dillon – “It could put us on the map.”
“We need to think outside the box just to make us sustainable with more permanent revenue sources,” Holland said, noting such funds could be used to pay for town amenities and improvements.
Urban renewal could be one way to do this, and Holland says “action” is the only way to keep the town’s redevelopment tool from sitting on a shelf.
“It’s a great foundation to start moving forward,” he said. “Urban renewal is going to be totally market driven. We have the plan in place. It’s our job to start reaching out to folks that can make things happen.”
In terms of attracting new business to town, Holland said he’d like to see “more year-round residents and the arts as part of that picture.”
“Businesses go where they know they can make some money,” he said. “It’s our job to make that possible.”
Holland also noted that drawing vehicles off Interstate 70 and having a sustainable water supply will lend itself to future growth.
In terms of having the time and flexibility to be a truly engaged town mayor, Holland said he’ll be fully focused on the town if he’s elected. He recently retired from the restaurant business – he previously ran Ristorante al Lago and, more recently, Marcello’s – both in Dillon.
According to Holland, throughout his campaign he’s been meeting with businesses and residents to hear how they want the community to grow. He said he’ll strive to be a leader and make their visions a reality.
To meet with Dillon’s community members, Holland will be at Arapahoe Cafe every Tuesday in March from 8-9 a.m. “just to meet and talk.”
“I’ll listen to anyone who wants to talk about their vision for Dillon,” he said.
Holland also said he sees the role of mayor as a hands-on position.
“I think so many times politicians listen to the community and then they start out with their own agenda,” he said. “A good mayor takes all the different input from the different town realms and brings it together into one cohesive, functioning town.”
Being involved with the community is important to Holland. On top of being a Dillon town councilmember for the past two years, he’s the president of the Dillon Business Association, and he’s on the board of directors for the Lake Dillon Theatre Company.
Even so, Holland said he’ll quit these groups in favor of being mayor.
“Belonging to organizations is great, but I think it can over-extend a mayor,” he said. “Participation in various county and state organizations can be delegated to council members so the mayor can focus on running the town of Dillon. When I’m elected, I’m going to resign from all my other organizations and focus on being mayor.”
Holland has lived in Summit County for 10 years, and he has two children – Kristina and Jason, who’s in the U.S. Navy. In his free time, he’s an avid reader.
Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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