SNOWMASS VILLAGE - Four residents - Markey Butler, Darryl Grob, Chris Jacobson and Stan Stokes - are running to fill two seats opening on the Snowmass Village Town Council this year. Butler and Councilman John Wilkinson's terms are expiring; Wilkinson is term-limited. Mayor Bill Boineau is also running unopposed to hold on to his seat for what will be his final term as mayor. The candidates have responded in writing to five questions posed by the Snowmass Sun, covering topics from what they think is the most important issue in Snowmass Village to how they will work with partners outside of the town. Their responses are printed over the following pages. Election Day is Nov. 6, and early voting begins Oct. 22 in Pitkin County. Over the next three weeks, the Snowmass Sun will continue to run coverage on election issues that impact Snowmass Village. For voter information, visit www.pitkinvotes.org.
Name: William "Bill" BoineauYears in Snowmass Village: 33 Occupation: Computer tech and property managerPrior civic experience: 24-year volunteer Snowmass Wildcat Fire Protection District; Town Council member 1994-1998 and 2002-2006 and mayor from 2008 to present; Planning Commission 1998-2002, 2006-2008; Snowmass Liquor Licensing Authority member 1990-1994 1. What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing Snowmass Village and why?Snowmass Village has many important issues ahead in its future. I think one which ranks high in my mind is "What are the Base Village developer's next steps, short term, mid term and long term?" The town and the Related Companies are going to have immediate conversations regarding these questions, now that the sale is completed and Related is the owner/developer. I believe we and Related need to have a realistic discussion regarding how to move forward and not sit stagnant until 2014. We all have questions as to what has changed in the assumptions and formulas for the planned unit development since the plan was put into the final form in 2004. 2. What role do you see the council playing in the progress of Base Village over the next two years? I believe it is council's job to work with the developer to achieve the best possible outcome for Snowmass Village.3. As the economy continues to recover, how would you approach managing the town's budget over the next two years? Are more cuts appropriate, or is it time to restore funds to certain things?I believe it is time for the council to review the cuts made over the last several years and to prioritize a list of areas that need attention.4. What steps should the town take to become more environmentally sustainable?I believe we are currently taking positive steps at an appropriate level of environmental sustainability. We are asking the community to tell their council via vote, if they want the Town of Snowmass Village to move forward with a plastic bag policy. I take issue when a government mandates policies which are not based on communities' wishes. We need to keep asking the questions of how does a community balance environmental sustainability with real world needs and actions, with the appropriate funds available to invest.5. What will you do to maintain the town's relationships with its municipal partners? We, in the Roaring Fork drainage basin, recognize the need to be able to look at regional issues together. We may not agree on directions to go but we do talk and try to find consensus on issues if not one a majority could agree to. Communications with the other municipal partners is one which we need to continue to work to enhance.
Name: Markey ButlerOccupation: Executive director, HomeCare & Hospice of the Valley Years in Snowmass Village: Part-time resident since 1984; full-time for eight years Prior civic experience: Town Council member since 2009; Planning Commission chairwoman 2008; Planning Commission member 2002-2005. 1. What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing Snowmass Village and why?Four critical goals define the challenges for Snowmass Village over the next four years. The four include a focus on our people, our economy, what we build and maintain, and ensuring that our natural environment is preserved. Highest amongst all four is the role of Town Council in facilitating the responsible development and maintenance of the Built Environment and defining the required town infrastructure to meet the needs of our community. While our community knows that Base Village is first and foremost the leader in defining our "built environment", many questions are inherent within defining the future of Base Village:• Will the approved PUD be built? If so, when, and what should be the phasing of the building plan? What will be the Construction Management Plan to minimize the impact to our town residents and guests?• Are there not "flaws" with the approved (PUD) development plan? How do we proceed?• Will there be impacts to our town infrastructure and if so, what, when and how do we plan?2. What role do you see the council playing in the progress of Base Village over the next four years? Responsible for all approvals for building the balance of Base Village, Town Council will face many strategic decisions regarding its completion. In reviewing the key issues described above, the initial challenge will be to consider the vesting rights of the developer. Three different paths will be discussed:• Extension of the Vesting Rights for a defined period• Expiration of the Vesting Rights• Extension of the Vesting Rights with critical milestones for completion of various phases of the projectDependent on the path chosen, our Town Council will be accountable to the citizens of this community in fulfilling the strategic goal of being responsible for Base Village development and ensuring its completion. 3. As the economy continues to recover, how would you approach managing the town's budget over the next four years? Are more cuts appropriate, or is it time to restore funds to certain thingsOur town has done an amazing job over these past four years as we maneuvered a strategy of "threading a needle" through the recession. The town achieved more than a required 15-percent operational contingency and exceeded the required $5 million General Fund balance level by approximately $3 million. Another economic driver for our town is RETT. The fund balance must be monitored and restored as real estate sales improve and Base Village development commences. Marketing & Group Sales Fund - With growth of over $300,000 over the past few years, this fund requires a reassessment of the strategic use of funds. With approximately $6 million in revenue for 2013 in this fund, Town Council must answer the question of "return on investment" on the use of these funds by our re-structured Town Marketing Board.Overall, I do not believe any cuts are required at this time.4. What steps should the town take to become more environmentally sustainable?Our Town Council appointed the Environmental Advisory Board with the core mission in improving and sustaining our environment. This Board provided a multi-faceted plan of action. The plan focused on carbon footprint, water, riparian habitat, etc., and should be supported in its implementation. Over $750,000 is available through the Holy Cross Fund for funding various town projects and stated initiatives proposed in the plan. We need to work the approved plan and seek new environmentally sustainable technological innovations as they become available to our community. 5. What will you do to maintain the town's relationships with its municipal partners? The key factors in maintaining relationships are two-fold; trust and collaboration. Over the next four years, several critical decisions will require a collaborative decision-making process, namely the free bus service, trails and pedestrian accesses given the VelociRFTA project, the entrance to Aspen, our town's transportation center, etc. More dollars will be needed for funding than the current tax revenue base for these initiatives. My role is to continue to work in a collaborative, thoughtful and proactive manner with my colleagues.
Name: Darryl GrobYears in Snowmass Village: 12Occupation(s): Planning consultant, WinterGrob Inc., Snowmass Village; program manager, Aspen Parks; school bus driver, Aspen School DistrictPrior civic experience: Aspen Fire Chief; Special District Boards of Directors; multiple city and county programs and councils1. What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing Snowmass Village and why?Currently, the upcoming restart of Base Village development activity will have impacts across our community as well as beginning to revitalize our future. Careful planning and cooperation will be required to smoothly accommodate the demands of activity on such a scale.Beyond that, bringing that stalled project up and running will foster vitality and opportunity for us all. At our town's core we are a year-round mountain resort. As such, we need to recognize the spirit of competition and the contributions our local government might make to promote the economic health and vitality that identity entails. The town needs to insure the sustainability of services and infrastructure to support the increased numbers we will see of guests and visitors, all the while speaking as the voice of our residents to ensure the quality of life and opportunity of our local citizens and local businesses.2. What role do you see the council playing in the progress of Base Village over the next four years? In light of Base Village emerging from its confining financial crisis, council needs to promote the seamless review of existing development approvals prior to their expiration. The goal should be to review their program modifications, promote a realistic timeline and ensure our community infrastructure is properly upgraded prior to bearing the stress of their development construction activity. Public safety, our roads and intersections, the local bus system, the town's equipment, facilities and staff must align with the projected activity loads both during and after this burst of activity. We're going to see increasing peak occupancy and activities year-round as we resume growth, and those numbers must be anticipated as this future unfolds. 3. As the economy continues to recover, how would you approach managing the town's budget over the next four years? Are more cuts appropriate, or is it time to restore funds to certain things?Our town has experienced boom/bust cycles in the past. The promise of positive growth and the associated municipal revenue streams should focus on ensuring a prioritized and funded Capital Reserve and Improvement Plan. That planning timeline must align with projected aging municipal structures, infrastructure, equipment and core community programs such as the Recreation Center.4. What steps should the town take to become more environmentally sustainable?The town should set the standard for efficiency and conservation in the performance of its municipal duties. Those same healthy standards should be considered obligations to any who might come forward seeking to access our community resources for development or activities. Regional climate change is a reality, and global trends are emerging locally.LEED-certified facilities, bio-diesel fuel, wind power credit purchases, as the technology and the resources become available to offset the contributing drivers of this change we need to engage those opportunities and strive to make a difference. 5. What will you do to maintain the town's relationships with its municipal partners? My civic network is extensive and ongoing.As a fire chief I worked with a great many agencies, departments and civic groups for over two decades. These efforts were both public and private, both local and regional. My participation includes issues and responsibilities that range from forest health focus groups to the X-Games, to the measured County Airport evolution, among many others. I continue to be active as a private planning advisor, a civic project manager, and participating advocate for the health and well-being of home for me, my family and my neighbors.As I have demonstrated in the past, I will show up, I will listen, I will learn - then I will act - and then I will follow up.
Name: Chris JacobsonYears in Snowmass Village: 7Occupation: Entrepreneur with over 20 years experience in small business ownership, general contracting, and construction services.Prior civic experience: Current vice chairman of the town Environmental Advisory Board, previously on Environmental Advisory Committee; board member of Melton Ranch HOA; contributor to Rebuilding Together charity; active with 350.Org (visioning the idea for the first Snowless Ski Race at Aspen Mountain 2011); volunteer with Aspen Junior Hockey.1. What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing Snowmass Village and why?Achieving a high quality of life and sustainability for the Village today, and in the future, is the most important issue. As the world is producing new challenges and opportunities for a mountain resort town regarding economic resources and natural assets, it is imperative to create a viable long-term plan. The development of Base Village may be the current epicenter for action, however, the guiding principles and values that will inform the decisions should address the strengths and weaknesses of the Village in terms of self-sufficiency and independence.2. What role do you see the council playing in the progress of Base Village over the next four years?First, actively listening to all residents, visitors and businesses and defending the interests of these participants. Second, collaborating with developers on "Smart Growth" strategies to achieve results that are revered by both tourists and local residents. Council needs to work with our businesses to build a sustainable, smart, thriving community with more job opportunities.3. As the economy continues to recover, how would you approach managing the town's budget over the next four years? Are more cuts appropriate, or is it time to restore funds to certain things? Perform a comprehensive analysis of the current sources of revenue and define a predictable and sustainable balance of sources and uses. Continue to assess the use of marketing funds so they are allocated in the most effective manner with the best result for local businesses and the economy. Incentivize year-round business vitality and build resources around attracting visitors (such as conference attendance). Incentivize and attract new business, i.e. start-ups, technology, equipment and apparel designers, venture firms, and film production.4. What steps should the town take to become more environmentally sustainable?Adopt and enforce a Green Building Code, utilize the town Sustainability Plan, support the EAB, utilize the Carbon Report produced in 2009 to set goals. Promote water conservation and protection including the institution of grey water reclamation and reuse. Foster local food growth and energy provisions. Achieve energy and economic independence and resilience. Initiate solutions for solid waste concerns including a composting program. Think holistically / systemically about our shared resources.5. What will you do to maintain the town's relationships with its municipal partners?Assertively seek collaborative options with all municipal partners to increase regular communication and work toward the goals of environmental and economic sustainability. In particular, we should work for more uniformity of programs, services and codes, reduce redundancy, and seek savings and efficiencies with economies of scale.
Name: Stan StokesYears in Snowmass Village: 30 Occupation: Owner, property management company, Mighty Mouse ManagementPrior civic experience: None 1. What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing Snowmass Village and why?Making this village a viable tourist destination as well as a community, we have come so far, but I think we can get creative and really move ahead. We must spend within our means so we don't get into trouble. The economic climate is still very uncertain. 2. What role do you see the council playing in the progress of Base Village over the next four years?Base village is a huge project that if it is not managed properly, could be a concern. Base village needs to be finished, but we need to keep the town's best interests first and foremost. 3. As the economy continues to recover, how would you approach managing the town's budget over the next four years? Are more cuts appropriate, or is it time to restore funds to certain things? The town's budget is a big concern, I don't believe in spending what we do not have. However, rather than making cuts, maybe a redirection of funds is possible and reprioritizing, taking funds where they are needed most. Running a local business for years and balancing budgets has given me much needed experience with this. 4. What steps should the town take to become more environmentally sustainable?I would like to see what the town could do to be more environmentally sustainable, and I believe there is money available to do this without a major hit to town budget. It would be great if Snowmass Village could be a leader or even a destination that is recognized for our efforts at saving the environment. Would love to come up with something that would put Snowmass Village on the map, something more creative than just banning plastic grocery bags. 5. What will you do to maintain the town's relationships with its municipal partners?It is so important that all Colorado towns, ski resort or not work together with each other and with our counties, putting our egos aside to get the job done and better all of our communities and state.