Two Dillon residents with a desire for progress prepare for Dillon Town Council special election in September
John Woods and Kevin Stout are vying for the Dillon Town Council seat vacated by Steven Milroy earlier this year. Both candidates have expressed a desire to keep the town moving forward, improve its downtown and listen to residents, but both come to the town with unique backgrounds.
Voting will take place in person at Dillon Town Hall from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sept. 13.
Prior to the vote on Sept. 13, the two will speak in depth about their platforms and answer question from voters on Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 5:30 p.m at the Dillon Town Hall at 275 Lake Dillon Drive.
“This election is important to the town going forward. So vote. Take the time and vote,” Stout said
Both Stout and Woods expressed amicable opinions of their competitor.
“I have no issues with my opponent,” Stout said. “Either one of us would be a benefit.”
“Whether Kevin gets elected or I get elected, we both want to move forward,” Woods said.
Stout, a 10-year resident who wants to find balance
Stout moved to Summit County over 10 years ago with a desire to live in the mountains. Stout and his wife looked at other towns in the county, but he said Dillon was the best fit. The pair lived above a bowling alley before finding a more permanent home, he said.
“We live here because we love the area. We love the people,” Stout said.
He likes to spend his free time skiing and playing golf.
Professionally, Stout is the founder and executive director of the Medical Device Industry Supply Chain Council, a group focused on improving the healthcare supply chain. He said his career has given him more than 40 years of business and consulting experience.
Stout held seats on two town committees and one resident group. He was on the committee that developed Dillon’s architectural design standards for a consistent look across Dillon. He also participated with the planning and zoning commission, in addition to co-founding the Dillon Resident Coalition, an organized group of frustrated Dillon residents who spoke against past town decisions, he said.
As to why he wants to run, Stout said past town councils did not do enough to hear from residents. He said past councils held community chats and would listen to residents give feedback, “and then the decisions totally ignored the decisions of the residents who were there,” he said.
He said he wants to balance the needs of both residents and visitors. No single group can take precedence over the rest, he said, but tourists’ dollars should not outweigh local residents.
“I don’t think most of our residents want us to be a Breckenridge,” he said. He wrote he wants “to help the town continue to grow without losing our ‘mountain lakestyle’ identity.
Stout said he’d like to keep the town financially viable and continue to invest in town employees, operations, and key improvements. He identified the downtown core and the town’s housing situation as challenges to face, although he said the town should be realistic in how it can address the former issue.
Woods, a recent resident with high hopes for Dillon
When Woods first looked at moving to the county part-time in 2016, he said he looked in Vail and Frisco for a place but figured “Dillon should be the pride of Summit County.” The lake, the town’s amphitheater and the town’s potential lured him, he said. Woods became a full-time resident in 2020.
Since the start of the summer, Woods has served on the Corinthian Hill Metro District in Dillon as a board member, helping to manage the neighborhood’s policy, budget and assets. He’s retired from his primary career in marketing and sales but still works at the Dillon Amphitheater and farmer’s market, he said.
Woods retired from his professional career about six years ago, but he continues to apply himself to other endeavors like the metro district, and, possibly, “one more challenge” by taking a position on Dillon Town Council, he said.
When Woods first moved to the county, he became involved at the Dillon Amphitheater. He spent much of his career working in and around live music and wanted to continue his passion. Working at the amphitheater connected him to the town and got him thinking about ways to improve it. The ideas led him to apply as a candidate.
“I want to share these ideas so this place will be great,” he said.
More and more people want to come to Dillon, driving up the price of real estate and the cost of living, he said. As conditions change the town needs to take a proactive approach, he said, citing Silverthorne as a model.
Written statements from Woods outlining his position and the challenges the town must address will arrive in residents’ mailboxes in the near future, he said. In short, his plans include improving the waterfront, marketing the town to pull more travelers passing through on Interstate 70 and fostering more businesses and adding “luster” to the downtown area.
“Should I win this election, I will give this job my top priority just as I have in all my past endeavors. My focus will be on where we project be in five years and then in ten years and figuring out the best path to get there gracefully,” he wrote.
In 10 years, he said Dillon will have changed and for the better.
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