Westerberg approaches Dillon council position as a learning opportunity
summit daily news
DILLON – To contribute to Dillon – a town he’s fallen in love with, Tim Westerberg seeks to join its town council. He’s one of three Dillon residents registered for three open council spots.
“I’ve always been involved in some kind of community service wherever I’ve lived,” he said. “It seems to me that getting involved in town council would be a good way to become more informed about community issues and opportunities, and also be of service.”
Westerberg moved to Dillon seven years ago when he married his wife, Gayle, but he’s lived in Colorado for 25 years – 20 of those where spent as a high school principal on the Front Range. He currently works as a self-employed education consultant. Gayle finally brought him to Summit County, but he said he’s enjoyed the mountains for a long time. Together they have five children – Wendy (38), Brian (33), Rachel (23), and 19-year-old twins McCabe and Mackenzie.
Though Westerberg travels a lot for business, he said he thinks that he has the time and flexibility necessary to be an engaged council member.
“My status as a self-employed business person does allow me some measure of flexibility in terms of when I do my business work and when I do my town work,” he said. “I don’t have a clock that I have to punch or a boss that I have to accommodate.”
He did note, however, that he is out of town a fair bit when he’s working with clients, so he’ll likely miss a few town meetings here and there.
“I have the time and flexibility, but it depends on clients’ needs,” he said.
Westerberg also said he’ll approach his new position without a set agenda or issues.
“My role will be that of a learner,” he said. “A new town council person such as myself will be there to listen and learn to become informed and knowledgeable. I plan to rely heavily on council, staff and community members to tell me what I need to know to do the job well. I expect to be on a very steep learning curve initially.”
Before joining town council, on the Front Range he was the president of Interfaith Task Force, a nonprofit that provides food, shelter, clothing and more for low-income families. He’s also served as president of the Alliance for Quality Teaching, a Denver organization acting as an advocate for policy issues. As a high school principal, he was involved in a variety of education-related organizations.
According to Westerberg, the top three issues for Dillon include: 1) Attracting more retail business to the town core of Dillon “without destroying the small-town atmosphere that’s part of its lure and attractiveness”; 2) Planning for and encouraging economic sustainability while maintaining traditional, historic Dillon; and 3) Integrating different cultures in Summit County, and particularly in Dillon “so we can take advantage of the increasing diversity.”
Though he’s not completely sure how to keep urban renewal from being just another plan on the shelf, he said he thinks a specific action plan, target dates and accountability measures need to be put into place.
“It’s one of many areas where I need to do homework and learn much more about the plan before I start making suggestions about how to get it going,” he said.
In terms of bringing new business to town, Westerberg said he’d like to see smaller, retail shops and boutiques come to town – they could sell a variety of crafts, clothing and jewelry. He’d also like to potentially see more restaurants in Dillon, though he noted that the town already has good places to eat.
“It would attract people in a way that’s unique from retail stores in Silverthorne or Denver,” he said. “With the marina/lake location, Dillon has a charm that I think is perfect for specialty retail.”
Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at email@example.com.
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