Opinion | Hunter Mortensen: Protecting workforce, environment are keys to Frisco’s success
Frisco mayoral candidate
- Occupation: Professional ski patroller
- Years in Summit County: 41
- Family: Wife, Laurie.
- Civic involvement: Summit County Rescue Group volunteer for the past 15 years, Summit County Rescue Group board of directors for four years, avalanche rescue dog handler and tech volunteer, Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment board of directors, Frisco Town Council for the past six years.
There is one thing that brought us, or keeps us, all here in Frisco and Summit County. That is the environment around us. Whether it is the mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, hiking, biking, skiing, riding, or simply walking with our friends, family and dogs, we cherish the lands and waters around us. In this time of being thankful, our mountain town is what I am most thankful for. I am thankful for all that has been done over the past few years to not only protect our amazing surroundings, but to make them better and more sustainable for the future. I want to help continue and contribute to making our town a healthy, productive and vibrant environmentally sustainable place. That is why I am proud to announce my candidacy for mayor of the town of Frisco.
Over the last five and a half years that I have been a Frisco Town Council member and especially as mayor pro tem, I have learned a great deal about what it means to be a leader in local government and have been proud to support Frisco’s constituents in a variety of roles. In my role as mayor pro tem, I have had the great privilege to attend ceremonies celebrating local athletes and heroes, represented the town in local leadership meetings and been there to light the town to kick off the holiday season. Right from the start I helped by being on the Trails Master Plan committee to better tie our trails together, to fund our over-loved trails back to a usable standard and to create the trail map for our future. I have seen and been a part of watching Main Street get a stunning makeover leading us down to what will be the most spectacular marina in the mountains. But what I am most proud to have been a part of was helping on the committee and then adopting our Climate Action Plan. The list of accomplishments the town of Frisco has made over the past few years is impressive, and I am lucky to have learned a great deal and to have been a part of where we are today.
We are fortunate to live in a place surrounded by such a rich beauty. Yet, for our economy to continue to thrive, we must nourish and protect the environment around us. I want to know that the children in our community now will look at Frisco the way we do. A place where they are skiing the same lines, paddling the same healthy waters, hiking and climbing and camping in the same beautiful mountains that we cherish. I want to continue making Frisco the envy of other communities around the Mountain West. To do this as mayor, I will always take into account that our economy and environment are one and the same. We must look at all we do through that lens.
Part of the sustainability for Frisco is having a place to live for everyone who works here. This will not be easy, but our community is defined by the people who live here. We need to make sure that we are not a town of second homes but a place where those who work here have a chance to live here. The town is at a pivotal moment in housing; I want to make sure that the housing conversation is holistic and complete for our needs now and sets the foundation for the years to come.
Frisco has come so far in the last few years. We are officially on the map, yet often it feels like we are still in 2010 when it comes to our ability to communicate like other mountain towns around us. I want to do whatever I can to bring our cell and internet infrastructure up to date. It is not only unacceptable that most days in Frisco you can’t make a phone call, but it is simply unsafe. We live in an area where work and play, as well as emergency communication, happen on fiber optic networks and cell networks. There is no reason that Frisco should remain in the dark ages. I will inform and remind these companies that our town is not just our residents but also the thousands of visitors, travelers and tourists who comprise our economy. We will work together to figure out what it will take for us to guarantee that when we need it, people in Frisco will have the vital communication necessary to live, play and work in our mountain town. In the next four years, my goal is to ensure that when you need critical communication, it will always be possible.
Hunter Mortensen is running unopposed for Frisco mayor.
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