Opinion | Eric Mamula: Mayoral experience will pay dividends
Breckenridge mayoral candidate
- Occupation: Owner/operator of Downstairs at Eric’s
- Years in Summit: 34 in Breckenridge
- Family: Wife, Sara; son, Quinn; dogs, Ronin and Grizz
- Civic involvement: Breckenridge Sanitation District board, May 1994-November 1998; Red, White & Blue Fire Protection District board, March 1995-November 1998; Breckenridge Board of Adjustments, 1995-2004; Breckenridge Open Space Advisory Committee, 1996-2000 and 2005-2006; Breckenridge Planning Commission, November 1998-April 2004 and September 2012-December 2015; Breckenridge Town Council, April 2004-May 2012; and mayor of Breckenridge, April 2016-present.
Breckenridge and Summit County have been very good to me. I have been fortunate to have had the ability to have a family, grow a successful business, have some failures, ski, mountain bike and enjoy the outdoors. I have also been lucky enough to be involved in local politics, and it has been a tremendous honor to be the mayor of Breckenridge.
Over the past four years, the Breckenridge Town Council has embarked on a multitude of projects with the major goal of improving the lives of the residents of Breckenridge. From the remodel of the Breckenridge Recreation Center to the building of the new North Breck Water Treatment Plant, we have made every decision with locals in mind. There is obviously much left to accomplish. Over the next four years, we need to expand our attainable housing options, find a permanent funding source for child care, increase our commitment to sustainability, seek solutions to parking issues, and expand our amazing open space and trails system — to name a few.
Current water projects
Water is a treasure in the West. While we are fortunate that previous councils have ensured our future with water rights that are the envy of most western communities, there are two ongoing projects vital to our supply and safety. The North Breck Water Treatment Plant, which opens this summer, will provide 4.5 million gallons of additional clean water to our community. After its completion, we need to fix the dam and the Gary Roberts Water Treatment Facility at the Goose Pasture Tarn, the source of Breckenridge’s water supply. The tarn’s dam is failing, and the first priority of the town is to keep residents and guests safe. With that in mind, we have secured a $10 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover half of the cost of the dam rehabilitation, and I would like to see this critical project to its conclusion.
South Gondola parking structure
In May, the town will begin the construction of the South Gondola parking structure. This important 18-month project will bring 400 new parking spaces to the South Gondola parking lot and is the culmination of years of planning and discussion that began with the lift ticket tax. After three years of discussion with Vail Resorts, we successfully landed a 70-year lease for the land. I have been intimately involved in the negotiation, planning and development of this project, and feel that I am best equipped to see it through.
Keep breckenriDge livable
Finally, we are at a point in our community where our success as a town is beginning to infringe on our daily enjoyment of our community. It’s a fine line between sharing what we have with the world and being overwhelmed by those coming to enjoy our town. Child care, housing, transit and parking are obvious problems the council need to work on. But there is still private property that is scheduled to be developed, Denver and the Front Range continue to grow, and the mountains remain a very powerful lure for everyone. People will continue to flock to Breckenridge, so it will be an ongoing goal of mine to keep our town livable and enjoyable for those of us who call it home.
As we navigate the many changes in a growing town, I’ve been honored to serve alongside a council and staff so dedicated to maintaining what matters here: community. I see this every day, running into friends both old and new on the trails, at work or just walking down Main Street. It reinforces my belief that our intangible assets are in the very people living and working here; it reminds me every day why I call the role of mayor a dream job. I hope you’ll allow me to continue for a second term.
Eric Mamula is one of three candidates for the mayor of Breckenridge.
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