Silverthorne Mayor Bruce Butler won’t seek re-election |

Silverthorne Mayor Bruce Butler won’t seek re-election

From left, Summit County Commissioner Thomas Davidson, Silverthorne Mayor Bruce Butler, president of the Lake Dillon Theatre Company board of directors Larry Kelly and state Rep. Mille Hamner cut a ribbon during grand-opening ceremonies for the new $9 million Silverthorne Performing Arts Center.
Eli Pace / |

Bruce Butler on council

Silverthorne Mayor Bruce Butler has served for almost a decade in elected office. Below is a quick history of the elections he’s won and offices he’s held.

2008 – Elected to Silverthorne Town Council on a three-candidate ticket with Ann-Marie Sandquist and incumbent Councilman Vince Lanuza. Bulter received the second most votes that year with 198.

2012 – Re-elected to council, finishing second again with 438 votes, one shy of leader Stuart Richardson, in a five-way race.

2014 – Becomes mayor running unopposed with elections were canceled due to lack of candidates.

2017 – Announces he won’t seek re-election in April to a second term as mayor.

Silverthorne Mayor Bruce Butler said Wednesday that he won’t run for re-election in April, signaling his exit after a decade in elected office.

Butler is approaching his fourth year as mayor after previously serving one-and-a-half terms on town council, beginning in 2008.

Near the conclusion of Wednesday night’s council meeting, the mayor made it clear he intends to end his tenure in elected office when his term expires this spring.

Butler said he chose to make the announcement now, with ample time before the Jan. 22 filing deadline ahead of next April’s municipal elections, so others can start making their own plans.

In explaining his reasons for not running, Butler said it comes down to his family. His daughter, Bella, was 4 years old when he first won a seat on council, and she will turn 14 in April.

By the time the next mayoral term expires, Butler said, his daughter will be ready to leave the house.

Leading into the announcement, the mayor pointed out Town Manager Ryan Hyland, who rarely misses a council meeting, wasn’t able to attend Wednesday’s because he was watching his son perform with the middle school choir.

“Honestly, I should probably be too,” Butler said. “In that vein, I couldn’t be more proud of the time spent and the things we’ve accomplished, but I am not going to seek re-election. … Those next four years are too much to pass up, and it’s time that never comes back.”

Butler became Silverthorne’s mayor running unopposed in an election that was canceled because there weren’t enough candidates to warrant the town spending $9,000 on a ballot.

They still had the debates that year, and Butler was sworn in April 9, 2014.

Before becoming mayor, the manager of Property and Homeowner Services at Copper Mountain Resort was first elected to council in April 2008, ushered in by an election marred by less than 12 percent voter turnout.

Seeking re-election four years later, Butler finished second with 438 votes, one behind leader Stuart Richardson, in a five-way race in April 2012.

A month before the vote, Butler gave an interview with the Summit Daily News, in which he told the reporter he envisioned a renewed downtown core.

Butler also talked about finding the right time to build at the Smith Ranch property on the north side of town, and he mentioned the Mint, specifically how the famous Silverthorne steakhouse suffered when the Old Dillon Inn closed at Fourth Street and Highway 9.

At the time, Butler suggested the town should seek out “willing property owners and space to do new things” to spur development in the downtown core.

He told the reporter the next four years were an “opportunity to take a lot of work and make it touchable and tangible,” and called Silverthorne “a jewel waiting to happen.”

In announcing his pending exit, the outgoing mayor said he won’t be a lame-duck the next five months. As proof, he ticked off a short list of big projects he’d like to see council sign off on before he goes, including a reconfiguration of Highway 9.

Smith Ranch and Fourth Street Crossing also got mentioned, and Butler said “nothing would make (him) happier than to sign those site plans before (he walks) out the door.”

The outgoing mayor just might get his wish too because, with preliminary designs unveiled, both projects could break ground as early as this spring.

In other business

• Council unanimously approved water and sewer fee adjustments and passed the 2018 town budget, both on second reading. All council members were in attendance.

• Council unanimously voted to amend the 2017 budget on first reading to account for minor adjustments, such as sales tax revenue coming in over budget.

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