Opinion | Susan Knopf: Who will represent you? | SummitDaily.com

Opinion | Susan Knopf: Who will represent you?

We’ve got two Summit County elections coming up. You might already have your ballot for the April 5 election. There are council candidates on the ballot in every town. Frisco and Silverthorne are both looking for voter approval for short-term rental taxes. If you’ve missed this round, you can still get registered for the June 28 primary election.

For the record, all the candidates I endorsed in my last column will be on the Democratic primary ballot in June. They won sufficient votes at the Summit County Democratic caucus. They still need your help: Lisa Eurich for assessor, Kathleen Neel for treasurer and Amber Flenniken for coroner. These are important races. When these offices are not run well, it costs us money.

I can’t make recommendations on all the candidates running for town council in every town. You can get some good information at SummitDaily.com/election.

People running in Dillon are still concerned their neighbors may need reminding about the issues and why they believe new faces are needed on Dillon Town Council.

One local, Kevin Stout, has been following the issues. He’s endorsing Dana Christiansen and Tony Scalise for Town Council. They align with residents on town concerns.

Christiansen wrote in his commentary for the Summit Daily, “I am running for Dillon Town Council because I want to give Dillon residents a real voice on our Town Council.”

Scalise agrees the top priority is listening to the locals. His second priority is preserving their property rights. He expresses concern about the negative impact of short-term rental regulations. He says, “Short-term rentals are the lifeblood of the local economy.”

Lately, residents have complained, “What’s the deal with Uptown 240?” I reached out to Danilo Ottoborgo, the president of the project. I remember him sharing his dream to build this project as he waited on our table at his family’s Italian restaurant, Adriano’s Bistro. That was years ago.

As late as Fall 2020, Ottoborgo told the Summit Daily he was still projecting occupancy “no later than spring 2022.” Ottoborgo also told the Daily, should the project fail to be completed by fall 2021, he would apply for another extension. That extension expires Oct. 31, 2022.

I drove by; nothing is happening. To be fair, Ottoborgo told the daily he expected new financing to come through in this quarter. To be fair, people in the town of Dillon are tired of looking at that crane. People tell me it’s ugly. I kind of like cranes. But maybe I wouldn’t like it if I had to look at it every day and nothing was happening for years.

Dillon Town Manager Nathan Johnson is the one dealing with Ottoborgo and the Uptown 240 project. Johnson said he has no updates and copied Danilo and Chantelle Ottoborgo on our emails. I heard nothing from the Ottoborgos.

The bottom line: Somebody is going to have to deal the heavy blow to the Ottoborgos, and those running for office don’t think the incumbents have what it takes. We all ate at Adriano’s. We all like them. We all wished this project had succeeded. But this sort of thing can only go on so long.

If this was the only issue, that would be one thing. But there’s the Ice Castles. The town failed for a long time to take the full measure that there wasn’t an appreciable benefit to town businesses, but there were real costs the Ice Castles weren’t fully paying — for water and the degradation of the town park.

And what’s happening with the park? I’m not sure it’s the town’s fault. It can be difficult to get to get contractors. But it really is the town’s job.

Then there’s the marijuana walk-up sales windows nobody wanted, but Town Council approved, and yet no one has applied for a permit to install one.

Paid overnight parking is still pending and making locals very concerned.

Columnist Bruce Butler and I agree again. Local politics are most important. These political decisions touch us most intimately. The quality of people who serve us matter. Their ability to balance broad community needs with local individual needs is very important. It’s important enough for you to do your own due diligence and participate. Vote!

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