Silverthorne has six council candidates
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a four-part series of Q&A’s with candidates for local town councils. On Tuesday, the Summit Daily queries Frisco’s candidates.
The six Silverthorne Town Council candidates running for three available seats answered the following questions:
1. What are your qualifications and related experiences? What is the top quality you would bring to the town council?
2. What was your position on the Smith Ranch rezoning issue for the Shops at Silver Mountain Village?
3. What economic development efforts would you support or initiate for businesses in town? Be specific, and feel free to comment on the town’s economic development task force and its recent recommendations.
4. How could the town council address the changing, growing face of Silverthorne, specifically the addition of more second homeowners and Latinos to the population of existing full-time residents?
5. What efforts, if any, should Silverthorne take to help Interstate 70 congestion on weekends? Denver Water issues?
6. Anything else you would like voters to know?
Occupation: Mortgage Broker
1. Silverthorne resident since 1991; vice chairman, Silverthorne planning commission; treasurer, The Ponds Homeowners Association; former board member, Willowbrook Homeowners Association; president, Summit County Youth Baseball League. Active in professional mortgage organizations.
Former stockbroker with Morgan Stanley; former city administrator for a suburban city of Kansas City, (population 25,000); former finance officer to a city in Missouri (population 75,000).
Having been in both the public and private sector I would bring to the council a varied and extensive background in finance and management.
2. I initially voted for the preliminary plan for the Shops at Silver Mountain Village, but I voted against the final plan on the Smith Ranch property. Like other commissioners, I asked for additional information on the proposed development, but the developer was evasive in answers and never supplied the requested information.
This property has been undeveloped for millions of years and a postponement would have allowed the answering of these questions. As approved I am not confident that we will get a first-class development.
3. The town should form a Silverthorne Chamber of Commerce which would meet monthly for businesses. Local businesses know what will help them, and what new businesses will complement the town.
The majority of the town’s income is from sales tax. Instead of just looking for new businesses to add to the sales tax pot, we need to work with existing businesses to define and initiate steps to increase business for those who have been part of Silverthorne for years.
The town’s economic development task force broadly identified areas that need work, and actively keeping the communications between the town and local business’s owners is essential to improving sales tax income.
4. Silverthorne has been the leader in affordable housing in Summit County. If and when an affordable development is presented to the town council, I will be very open to reviewing it and making a decision if it is appropriate for the town.
As for the issue of second homeowners, we will see more second homes and encourage them to be part of the community. These homes provide construction and maintenance jobs, their residents provide sales tax income and they use the infrastructure less than full-time residents.
5. Traffic congestion is just part of being a vibrant community. Without the traffic, and the income it brings into the community, we would be looking at a property tax. With the few dozen times a year the traffic is really bad we have to look at all of its benefits to the town. CDOT should improve the timing of the traffic signals on Highway 9.
6. Having been an active member of the community for many years I know that I have the experience and willingness to continue to serve Silverthorne. My finance and management background will serve me well as a member of the council. I am not afraid to ask the hard questions and am open to new ideas and opinions.
1. I am by nature and training a problem-solver. I can quickly identify problems, and I am trained to work with groups to find and implement solutions. I am a registered professional engineer with a business career in senior management. I have worked with and within government at the local, state and federal levels.
2. I believed that a grocery store closer to the town center would best benefit Silverthorne and its business community. I worked hard for and won an election, which allowed the voters of Silverthorne to decide the Smith Ranch rezoning. I accepted the voters’ decision, and I was not a part of the lawsuit challenging the election. Now it is time to move on.
3. I will encourage more efforts, such as the Economic Development Task Force, to involve the community in town decisions. I support continued efforts to take advantage of the Blue River and to transform the town center into a magnet where people would want to walk, shop, bike and enjoy the Blue River. Redevelopment will be necessary for this vision to be accomplished. I would put together a team of community members and landowners to develop a plan we can all support.
4. I went to Ecuador for the month of November to begin learning Spanish so I can communicate with the Latino community. I support and have been helping fellow Latino candidate Carlos Abel, because I feel strongly that the Latino community is under-represented on the town council.
Silverthorne second homeowners represent a great potential market for the compact, dynamic Town Center, alive with shops, restaurants and small lodgings which I envision. Other local towns now lure these affluent vacationers. I want to work to keep these homeowners “at home.”
5. I would work to involve Silverthorne with other Summit County towns and the Summit County government on transportation and water issues. My greatest concern is our water supply, which I pledge to protect at all costs. I would work with the community to plan quality weekend events that will attract visitors and help spread out Sunday traffic.
6. I would work closely with the community as we work together to seek solutions to the problems facing Silverthorne. We reach the best decisions when diverse opinions are debated by open-minded people.
I believe that the town council has failed to seek the help of the community in its problem-solving. I believe that my experience in identifying and solving problems, improving decision-making processes, and process improvement will be an asset for the town council.
Name: Carlos F. Abel
Occupation: Insurance Agent
1. Humanist, relate to ordinary people, conservationist, hard worker, persistent, manager, leader, teacher and college professor, disaster management expert, insurance experience, strong communication skills, bilingual, pluricultural, open minded, team worker, human being.
2. I’m concerned about the amount of commercial businesses closing at this time. I think that constructing more buildings is not enough effort to improve the town’s revenue picture.
3. I want to initiate or continue a campaign encouraging the Summit County residents to buy here, in Summit County. I will invite the business owners to tell us what they need to make the business grow. We need to encourage our people to shop in town.
I want to review the town’s priorities. I want to understand the priorities, and I want to share and discuss the humanistic priorities the town should have. I want to remind everybody that the money is not a goal, it is a tool.
4. Affordable housing is key, but we should make sure it is well spread throughout the town.
We all know what happens when there is a wall among the people. I know how hard it can be. I believe strongly in prevention of a state of repression; also I know that it is cheaper.
I believe in ethics. We need to learn from the history. We need to be humble enough to learn from our mistakes, we need to project ourself on a long-term basis, we need to be prepared, “for the big opening,” when the borders disappear on the face of the earth, when the borders disappear from the universe. They will disappear sooner or later.
I know what happens when we cut the education budget. I know what happens when we build barriers, when we divide.
I want to see this wonderful town to grow with peace, to grow with the same flavor, and preserve this flavor for the actual new generation and the following ones.
5. I don’t know, yet, I will need to research I-70 and water issues.
6. I want to host a monthly meeting with the people of the town, to listen, and bring to council the questions and proposals. I want to propose answers, based on my experience. If the neighbors don’t come, I will go door to door, asking “How may I help? How can the town government help you?” and “How may we become more integrated?”
Occupation: Managing partner, Trippe-Marino Inc., a branding and communications agency
1. I am a current member of the Silverthorne Town Council. I served as vice chair of the Silverthorne Planning Commission. I am a member of the Economic Development Task Force, the Summit County Chamber of Commerce Board and Colorado Mountain College advisory board. In my free time I volunteer at the Silverthorne Elementary School and help direct the St. Mary’s Children Choir.
I plan to focus on communications using my 20 years of experience in marketing and communications. We need to reunite our community by improving the communication between the town and its residents. We can use the town newsletter, the Internet and public channel 10 to help residents better understand what goes on at town hall and the reasons behind our decisions. With better communication, we can build broader consensus and avoid contention in the future.
2. I voted to approve the ordinance rezoning the parcel from agriculture to PUD. I voted to approve referring the rezoning to a special election to give all Silverthorne residents the opportunity to vote.
3. I fully support the recommendations of the Economic Development Task Force. The long-range strategy will help sustainable business and town revenues while being sensitive to our quality of life.
The council has begun work on the highest priority task – the market research study. We also have immediate plans to improve relations and opportunities with our local business community.
We view the Rainbow Drive Master Plan as part of the overall town center project and plan to create a unique identity for the town in this location by featuring the Blue River surrounded by pedestrian-friendly shops. The area will offer its own architectural style befitting our ranching heritage.
4. Silverthorne grew more than 87 percent over the past 10 years and that growth came from a variety of groups.
Silverthorne has more second homeowners than in past years, but one big difference is they plan to become full-time residents. This will enrich our community as our retirees have shown a willingness to serve our community.
Regarding the Latino community, Silverthorne was the first town to build affordable housing. We offer a bilingual incentive pay program to bridge the language barrier, a Safe Summer Kids program and our Adopt an Angel program. We also have officers involved in the DARE program through the elementary school. Through our involvement with kids we can build many bridges.
5. Congressman Udall has asked all towns along the corridor to join together to develop our own proposal for solving the I-70 traffic problems rather than relying on CDOT. I wholeheartedly support this initiative and hope to play an active role. I’m a big fan of mass transit and support alternatives that center on this idea.
Working with Denver Water is critical if we want to maintain our stream flows in the Blue River. To support our growing population, we must be proactive and vigilant in protecting our current water rights and securing new ones.
Name: Vince Lanuza
Occupation: Retired, HOA board member
1. Board member of Timberline Adult Day Services in Frisco, Eagles Nest Property Homeowners Association and Eagles Nest Metropolitan District.
I spent 36 years in accounting, 24 years as a partner with KPMG. I worked with small businesses and privately held companies in obtaining financing and in preparing business plans, financial statements and budgets. I would work with the Economic Development Task Force to retain current businesses and help attract new businesses. I believe all of this has given me the ability to listen and learn before making recommendations.
2. I cast a ballot last December in favor of the ordinance to rezone the parcel from agriculture to planned unit development. This issue created a divisiveness among residents which I would like to put behind us so everyone can work together making Silverthorne the place to visit, shop and live.
3. The town’s Economic Development Task Force was a step in the right direction for stabilizing the business community. The task force wants to help address business problems and make Silverthorne the “Gateway to the Western Slope.”
I agree with the recommendation to develop Rainbow Drive and the Blue River corridor, creating a town center.
We must develop alternative, diversified sources of revenue so we are not totally reliant on retail sales tax. I support the joint marketing among towns, identifying target markets and revenue-producing activities.
I would only support consideration of the reinstatement of the property tax as a last-gap measure.
4. Second homeowners responded that they intended to increase use of their second homes. This will increase spending locally resulting in additional revenues from the retail sales tax. Many retirees like myself will offer their services to various nonprofit organizations.
With Latinos, the key issue will be improved communication. We must welcome the Latinos to the community and assure they have programs available.
5. I support Congressman Udall’s suggestion for all towns along the corridor to join together to develop their own proposal for solving the I-70 traffic problems rather than relying solely on CDOT’s suggestions. Mass transit would have to be carefully planned.
We must do everything we can to protect our water rights and secure new ones. I agree with Councilmember Steve Swanson’s desire to ask Denver Water officials to spread its water use among all its reservoirs and streams in Colorado, not just from Summit County sources.
6. My father was born in the Philippine Islands and came to this country with a college degree in accounting but could only find work as a short order cook. Eventually he found a job as a bookkeeper at a veteran’s hospital. Like many Latinos he, too, felt he was not afforded the opportunity to advance because he was Filipino.
I grew up in the Cabrini Green low-income housing project in Chicago. My parents worked long hours to give their children opportunities. Many local workers don’t know if their jobs will provide them with steady employment at a salary that will enable them to properly raise their families.
Name: Steve Swanson
Occupation: National Association for the Self-Employed representative
1. I served on numerous committees and task forces for Silverthorne prior to my election in 2000. Since then, I have represented the town on water and transportation issues. I am on the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments Water Quantity Quality Commission, the Clinton Reservoir Board, the Summit County Water Forum and the Summit County Transit Board.
My continued work will be important to Silverthorne in the future, especially if 2004 develops into another year of drought. I know that I can work with everyone in the best interest of Silverthorne.
2. I supported the rezoning of the Smith Ranch to allow the approval of the Shops at Silver Mountain Village. My support of this project was based on the fact that this was privately owned property already annexed into Silverthorne.
The 1993 Comprehensive Plan, of which I was a member of the task force, allowed commercial development north of the Elks Lodge. No other sites of this size were available without a great expenditure of time and money. The project will bring needed revenues to support future residential growth.
3. I fully support the work and recommendations of the Economic Development Task Force. Their first priority, a market research study for Silverthorne, is already in progress.
I support building a strong environment for Silverthorne, not only to help the success of our local businesses, but also to attract new businesses to town. The owners of the factory stores have assured Silverthorne that they plan to rejuvenate the status of all three phases of the shopping center, so redevelopment of that area of Rainbow Drive is not an option at this time.
4. Second homeowners and the Latino population are both important components of the community. Second homeowners drive the sale of new residential housing, which helps improve our economic growth. In order to improve communication with the Latino community, the town hires bilingual employees and also provides classes for employees in Spanish.
5. Silverthorne should join and support the I-70 Central Mountain Corridor Coalition. The group will work on locally preferred alternative transportation plans for the corridor and will attempt to influence CDOT and other regulatory agencies to accept the plans.
The Summit County Water Forum provides a format for Silverthorne to negotiate issues with the Denver Water Board. We should work with Denver Water to provide adequate releases from Dillon Reservoir to protect the Blue River fishery.
6. I have supported the business community in every way possible during my past term. I will always work to build a strong environment for business, which is the best way to stabilize town revenues.
A new property tax is not an option since the electorate has said that it would not support such an alternative. The town council should continue the master planning process and finish its current transportation plan, revisit Adams Avenue as a pedestrian-friendly area and develop a master plan for public parking. I would also like to see the town proceed with phase two of the Town Center project.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.
Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.
Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User