Silverthorne town council candidates speak out before April election
June 1, 2016
Five Silverthorne candidates will vie for four town council seats as the April 1 election approaches. JoAnne Nadalin and Russ Camp, two incumbents, are joined by three longtime Silverthorne residents in this year's municipal election. In recent election forums, candidates debated approaches to revitalizing Silverthorne's town core, constructing a new Lake Dillon Theater Company Complex, and balancing these projects with affordable housing.
Introducing THE CANDIDATES
A 20-year Summit County resident, Russ Camp has served on Silverthorne's planning commission for seven years and on town council for two years.
"It's amazing how much council is involved in," Camp said. "Planning commission is strictly a land use commission, so the only thing you have a say in is what the town pursues."
He added that he supported the new theater coming to town, with the potential for bringing new growth downtown. Camp hopes to see a large segment of the town revitalized, stretching from the river to Adams Avenue and Second to Sixth Street.
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"Town council voted to approve bringing the theater here, knowing we would have to borrow $4.5 million dollars," Camp said. "I think that's money well spent out of Silverthorne's revenue stream."
In the future, he hopes to see a bridge crossing the highway to connect the two sides. He added that he hoped to see the town develop more of an identity and develop some of the open ground available.
"This is all something very, very new and with some imagination," Camp said. "But in our mind, it will have a big impact on putting Silverthorne on the map."
As far as housing is concerned, he hopes to see a mixture of market rate and workforce housing on the Smith Ranch property. The best way to accomplish this, in his opinion, will be to partner with a private developer.
Ultimately, he believes the town has a bright future:
"If the economy suddenly turns south on us next week, all bets are off. But the way we see what's happening, people want to come here," Camp said. "We're already talking about a new restaurant going into the town center. That's just the start. … Success brings more success. And when these things happen it will vitalize the town core."
A true local, Kieber has been a full-time resident of Silverthorne for 24 years. With a background in city management and as a stock broker, Kieber has worked with business in both the public and private sector. Kieber previously served as a city administrator for Prairie Village (near Kansas City) before moving to Summit County. He has also served on Silverthorne's planning commission for more than 10 years.
"I saw the opportunity with my background, being a resident of the county and Silverthorne for more than 25 years, that I have the knowledge and expertise to fill that position," Kieber said of his choice to run.
With a solid understanding of the town's new zoning, Kieber said business was picking up for the town.
"We do have locations that are prime to be developed or redeveloped," Kieber said. "We have a busy intersection with I-70. It's a good spot for developers to come in and see if it's viable to be there."
As far as the theater is concerned, Kieber said he likes the design, but still has remaining questions as to how it will be financed and managed. With housing, Kieber has seen the town obtain the 5A money, and would like to plan the best use of the funding to create a liveable development that is not overly dense.
"We don't wanna have the stigma of, oh, you live in that neighborhood," Kieber added. He thought the Wellington and Peak One neighborhoods were good models for affordable housing.
Kieber's final comment was to bring in his experience both as a long-time resident of the town alongside his work with other communities.
"I've been around, and I've lived in other cities," he said. "I'm looking at it with a very wide-view perspective."
Tom Marmins, a 15-year Summit County resident, currently serves as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) and as a mediator for the Silverthorne Police Department and Summit County Combined Courts.
Marmins was a reservist in the Coast Guard for eight years, before returning to get a degree in business and industrial engineering and starting his own business. Selling vacation travel packages, he was hired by the New England Ski Association before moving to Colorado to work for Keystone.
"I learned to ski at Killington on ice," he laughed. "I was totally hooked."
Since then, Marmins has been mediating for eight years, with the hope of bringing his abilities to town council.
"What got me started on this is pretty basic," Marmins said. "One, I kept hearing about the theatre."
Marmins' concerns are specifically directed at the price of the new complex for the Lake Dillon Theatre Company. Marmins noted the price had jumped from $4.5 million to $8.5 million, and is going higher.
"Because of the debt, we will have to curtail other capital-funded project," Marmins said. "In order to get the money payments it would require, retail in Silverthorne would have to generate $200 million in sales in addition to what they do."
If elected, Marmins said he would see if the cost could be reduced, with other large projects, such as the bike path and Smith Ranch workforce housing in the wings.
"I just want to bring some transparency," he added. "I want the public to know why these decisions are made."
A retired finance and accounting executive, JoAnne Nadalin has an extensive background, despite only having lived in the county for four years. Prior to retiring in 2008. Nadalin served as the director of a master owners association for the Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah, a project she described as "almost like running a little town."
Nadalin has also served as the vice president of finance and accounting for two large manufacturing companies, bringing her analytical prowess to her two-year term on the town's planning commission and recent town council appointment in 2014.
"I've been going to both since early 2013, either as a citizen, commissioner or councilwoman," she said. "It's fun working with council because everyone has a different background. I love being involved in helping the town move forward."
Nadalin has participated in discussions surrounding the planned Lake Dillon Theater Complex and researched the effect it will have on the town.
"I'm looking at numbers and asking questions about things," she said. "One of the things I will say, we've told folks who are on it, there's a budget and you have to figure out how it will work."
In order to maximize the new complex's effect on the town, Nadalin said the plan was to include programming throughout the day, including dance and art classes, as well as featuring shows in the evening. To start, she hopes to reach out to local nonprofits, such as Ballet Folkloria or the National Repertory Orchestra.
Factoring this project and housing together, she said picking one or the other was "a false choice, because you can do both."
To add workforce housing alongside the new development, Nadalin said the town should look at pursuing Smith Ranch in stages, and developing workforce housing parcels closer to the town core.
"I think you can do things in smaller, more manageable chunks," she said.
Nadalin also commended the town for its creative approach to bringing art into Silverthorne.
"The 'Before I Die project' was only $400. It's not like it has to be, let's put in a $10,000 bronze," she said. "That's the great thing about having people realize you don't have to just throw money at a problem."
A longtime resident, Tanya Shattuck has lived in Summit for 24 years. Originally from the East Coast, Shattuck moved out to be a ski bum for one season, but like many others, found a home in the county.
"I worked my way up to a full-time, year-round job," she said.
With former work in guest services, at U.S. Bank, as a small business owner and now as a zoning code enforcement officer for the county's planning department, Shattuck has done a little bit of everything. She has also served on Silverthorne's planning commission for nine years.
"Enduring that time through the recession… now, I'm just so excited about the possibility of where it's going," she said. "The town core master plan has been huge in making sure we are on the right page. I felt like we always had this vision but never put it in writing."
Shattuck's focus is to drive new business into Silverthorne, with hopes to bring in new restaurants and boutiques to the town core.
"I remember when I first moved here, it was a trailer park area," Shattuck said. "During the recession, we had several places that were empty buildings. Now we've put stores in those."
Having worked on the Villa Sierra Madre apartments twice, she hopes to bring a wider range of projects to the town, with a mixture of single-family homes in addition to townhomes, duplexes and apartments.
"I don't want to have a town of second homeowners," she said. "I like it so all levels can co-habitate together."
At this point, Shattuck's focus is making sure the town core is developed correctly, bringing in the right types of projects.
"The big thing is growth. We have lots of projects going on now," she added. "Silverthorne is still so new. The things we're creating now will be for our kids and grandkids."
Q&A ON THE Issues
What are your thoughts on improvements to the downtown core?
Camp: "I want to expand the town core from Second to Sixth and from the river to Adams Avenue. We probably will end up eventually putting some sort of a walkable bridge across the highway to connect the two sides."
Kieber: "The new zoning pretty well lays out type of businesses we would like to see there. We do have locations that are prime to be developed or redeveloped."
Marmins: "How do they put a $9 million theatre in, finish the bike path and do infrastructure for Smith Ranch? … I just want to bring some transparency. I want the public to know why these decisions are made."
Nadalin: "I'm so excited about the arts plan. We took time to think about it. We didn't go out and just start buying sculptures. People think of Silverthorne as a place to come shop. We don't have property taxes, so we have to keep economy going strong."
Shattuck: "I want to be sure we move forward in getting the right shops and restaurants, not just filling spaces. … I want to keep stream as a focal point, and would like to see more pocket parks."
What's your take on the planned Lake Dillon Theatre Company complex?
Camp: "I'm very in agreement with the theatre coming to Silverthorne. … Is the theatre ever going to pay its own way? Probably not. But it's gong to be a big step toward Silverthorne having the ability to have a walkable downtown.
Kieber: "It's a really cool, eye-catching design. My question is, can we afford it? … I still have questions: How's it going to be managed? How's the debt going to be repaid? What do they anticipate for overall income?"
Marmins: "The theatre started at $4.5 million, with $2 million from the Lake Dillon Theatre Company. The paperwork shows $8.5 million for the project. The conversation is $9 million, and going higher. … I would re-evaluate, and see if it could be reduced to a reasonable cost."
Nadalin: "The way the building is being programmed, there are two labs on the riverside and an outdoor movie screen. The whole deal of driving development is having programming that's not just in the evening. That's really important. The plan is to have activities going on during the day."
Shattuck: "I've always wanted to live in a walkable town. A big part of this was the Economic Development Advisory Committee and town council coming together and coming up with the theater plan. That's the focal point of making this possible."
How would you provide affordable housing to the town?
Camp: "We need to take a part of Smith Ranch and make it affordable housing. If we put up 180-200 workforce housing units in the middle of Smith Ranch, I just can't believe we won't have a waiting list."
Kieber: "I personally would not want to rush into anything unless we know it's going to assimilate people in the neighborhood into the rest of the town. The development we saw several years ago, it was way too dense, with no overflow parking or things like that. We've gotta look and see who we're trying to help out, and is it a liveable space."
Marmins: "We've had proposals for Smith Ranch. From what one builder told me, the infrastructure is about $1,600 per unit. Breckenridge is pursuing close to $5,000 to $6,000 per unit in infrastructure. If that was put up by the town, he'd be glad to build 180 units there. Instead, he's building in Breckenridge."
Nadalin: "Smith Ranch isn't the be-all end-all of workforce housing. These people who wanted to develop it wanted big subsidy; maybe we need to approach it in a more phased way. There are also other opportunities closer to town that we could pursue more immediately. I want to see single-family housing for teachers, police, firefighters and nurses, the 80-120 percent AMI group."
Shattuck: "I think you need to have a stepping-stone. I want to see people who have done apartments get into housing and have something they can call their own. It bothers me when I hear they're having trouble bringing teachers, police officers, and others up here."
What's your background?
Camp: "As soon as I got here, I got involved enough to get the town council at that time to appoint me to planning commission for seven years and a two-year term on council. I have found on town council, you need to pay a lot of attention to what's going on, you really need to go to every meeting, and you need to really weigh the decisions you make because you're affecting a lot of people's lives."
Kieber: "My public and private sector background, because I've been on both sides. In the public sector, I've got 14 years experience on the planning commission. Being a 25-year resident, it's not like I'm coming in out of nowhere. But I've been around and in other cities, so I'm looking at it from a wide-view perspective."
Marmins: "I became a CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) representative. During a case in Leadville, a judge said you would be a good mediator. I shadowed an attorney for six months and did pro-bono small damage mediation. When you talk about disputes on town council, they're a cakewalk compared to dealing with neighbors and dogs."
Nadalin: "I've been a finance and accounting executive, it seems like forever. You're not just a numbers person; you're working with a team and helping grow a business. In town council, you're involved in making decisions to move the town forward, and working on a management team. Because I've worked for big companies and done SEC reporting, I research things like you can't believe."