S’thorne to choose new mayor, council members in elections
SILVERTHORNE – Affordable housing, childcare and economic stability top the list of motivations for candidates tossing their names into the mix in the upcoming Silverthorne municipal election.Five Silverthorne residents will vie for three open council seats in the April 4 election, while two current town council members will contend for the position now held by Mayor Lou DelPiccolo, who is term-limited.Mayoral raceMayor Pro-tem Dave Koop and Councilmember Howard Hallman are both running for mayor.Koop, the water operations foreman for the town of Frisco, has served on the town council for eight years.If he’s elected, he would like to see the completion of the Blue River Trail and Phase 2 of the Town Center, which is under development adjacent to the Silverthorne Pavilion. One issue the town will face is economic stability, and finding the proper balance between sales tax revenues and new homes, Koop said.Revenue must rise accordingly with construction in order to maintain the services and amenities citizens expect, he said.But, he doesn’t envision asking voters to approve a property tax to relieve the town of some of its sales tax reliance.”The last time a property tax came up, it was defeated by a 3-to-1 margin; that was loud and clear,” Koop said, adding that he doesn’t think conditions have changed enough that there would be a different outcome now.Hallman sees revenue sharing as one answer to the sales tax question. For example, creating a recreation district for the entire north end of the county or sharing services between the Dillon and Silverthorne police departments.He also identified the lack of affordable housing and childcare as issues that need to be addressed. If elected mayor, another priority of Hallman’s would be tackling quality-of-life issues such as undergrounding utilities in the town and constructing sidewalks.Hallman is a 24-year resident of Silverthorne currently serving his first term on council. He is an engineer by trade.Council raceFour fresh faces have joined incumbent Peggy Long in the race for three available town council seats.Melody Beiler, 52, has lived in Silverthorne for two-and-a-half years. During her career, she has worked as a nurse and as a teacher and has helped her husband with his computer software company.Beiler said she feels that if elected, she can represent the voice of the citizens. “I’m concerned about the quality of life here and would like to improve the appearance of the town and … hopefully give it sort of an identity,” Beiler said.Local emergency room doctor Rosanne Shaw, who currently sits on Silverthorne’s planning commission, echoed Beiler’s sentiments about the need for an identity in Silverthorne. “I want to help Silverthorne mature into a people-friendly town with a vibrant town core that makes residents want to stay and visitors come back. Citizens need to participate in this. My main focus will be to listen to them,” Shaw said.Shaw plans to retire from the medical field in April.Ten-year Silverthorne resident Ken Deshaies outlined the need for childcare in town as one of his reasons for running for a council seat.”This is the only community in the county that doesn’t have (a daycare),” Deshaies said.Deshaies also wants to see the town work with developers to find opportunities for affordable housing. He is the owner of Snowhome Properties, a local real estate company.Longtime Silverthorne resident Peggy Long is running for re-election to her council seat, to which she was elected in April 2002, following an appointment to the council four months earlier to fill a vacated seat.Long owns a bookkeeping company. She said she would like to see the town attract a grocery store to help create a sustainable economy with a more stable sales tax generator.Another goal would be to provide more housing for the everyday citizen who calls Silverthorne home.”Silverthorne is a very workforce-based community. We don’t have a ski area, but we have 3,000 really great citizens,” Long said. “People move here because they love living in Silverthorne … there are people here, not just tourists who come and go.”Kevin McDonald, a 13-year Silverthorne resident, wants to continue his involvement with the community by joining the town council.”As Silverthorne evolves, the council has the opportunity to balance economic goals with the quality of life issues our citizens feel are important,” McDonald said.McDonald sits on the town’s Economic Development Advisory Committee.McDonald worked as the president of First Bank of Silverthorne for 12 years.Who’s running in SilverthorneMayor:- Howard Hallman (currently on town council- Dave Koop (current on town council as Mayor Pro-temCouncil:- Kevin McDonald- Melody Beiler- Rosanne Shaw- Peggy Long (incumbent)- Ken Deshaies What’s next?- A candidates’ forum will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Silverthorne Town HallNicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13625, or at email@example.com
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