Guest column: At Town Hall, there’s never an offseason | AspenTimes.com

Guest column: At Town Hall, there’s never an offseason

Gary Suiter
Guest Column

Ask any local if they enjoy the “offseason,” and you’ll get mixed reviews. Some love the quiet and appreciate the opportunity to connect with their community. Others get stir crazy waiting for the snow to melt. Regardless, it’s impossible not to notice the change our village experiences when the lifts close. Life seems to slow down a bit — unless you’re working in Town Hall.

Spring is synonymous with renewal. I’m encouraging town staff to embrace this by starting new projects and revisiting old ones that require new perspective or new ideas. This philosophy is shaping our priorities in the coming months:

We’re moving full-steam ahead on entryway planning. With the addition of Community Development Director Julie Ann Woods to our team, I’m confident that we have the right people at the table to put some much needed energy and attention to a project that is critical to improving both the local and visitor experience in our village. Expect an update to council on May 19, followed by some engaging public meetings to refine our goals and vision for the entrance to our community.

We’re protecting our natural assets through new environmental projects. A project to cut carbon and energy costs of town-owned facilities just kicked off last week. Also, thanks to a grant from the Colorado Energy Office the town will soon be installing two public electric vehicle charging stations at Town Park Station.

We’re taking care of our infrastructure and investments. Without attention to our roads and facilities each year, the town could be hit with large repair projects with an even larger price tag. This spring we’re expecting a few important overlay projects, and we just finished spring cleaning at the Snowmass Village Recreation Center.

We’re helping residents and visitors get around (without getting lost). Whether traveling by road or by trail, navigation in the village has plenty of room for improvement. Fortunately a wayfinding program with new signs has been in the works for the past few years and is being implemented this spring and summer.

We’re preparing for a jam-packed summer event schedule. There are plenty of great reasons to spend the summer in Snowmass Village thanks to Snowmass Tourism and great community partners. A new events committee comprised of representatives from all town services that help plan and execute successful events in the village is meeting regularly to ensure this summer goes off without a hitch.

We’re findings ways to be more efficient and effective internally. Through the acquisition of new software tools, the addition of key staff positions, improvements to our websites, and training and professional development, we’re capitalizing on opportunities to provide community services more efficiently and effectively.

This list is a mere snapshot of what’s coming up, and there are plenty of ways to dig deeper. As you search for your own ways to “renew” your interest and excitement in local matters this offseason, I encourage you to stay informed and stay involved. Maybe your seed of an idea could grow into the next big thing for Snowmass Village. Browse through http://www.tosv.com, come to a council meeting, or stop in to Town Hall. The mountain might be closed, but we’re still open for business.

Gary Suiter is the interim town manager for the town of Snowmass Village.


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