Guest editorial: Tom Fridstein for Snowmass Town Council
I am pleased for this opportunity to write a guest column, as it has been difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic to meet people and exchange ideas. I hope to convey why I am running for Town Council and how my election would benefit our community.
Our village is a unique and special place and we need knowledgeable, caring and capable leadership in our government to continue for Snowmass to grow and prosper while maintaining the enviable character that attracts us to live, play and work here. I care deeply about the future of Snowmass Village and hope to contribute to its success with my experience and expertise developed over a 45-year international architectural career; five years on the Snowmass Village Planning Commission, where I am currently the chairman; and 52 years of watching our village grow from a fledging ski resort to a vibrant village. I am running for Town Council so I can our support our community by engaging in the important decisions that shape the nature of our village. I promise that I will always act in the best interest of our community.
Some of the key issues and decisions facing Town Council include:
Responding to the health, social and economic upset presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no playbook to guide us through this unprecedented crisis; we need to meet each challenge it presents thoughtfully and determine the most appropriate actions.
Building additional affordable housing so we can maintain the necessary workforce for the businesses and services in Snowmass Village. As there is little developable land remaining, creating this new housing will require the hard work and creativity I practiced as an architect and it must be built in a way that does not overwhelm or alter the special character of Snowmass Village.
Expanding quality child care and early learning facilities in Snowmass Village. Sufficient child care facilities are necessary to allow parents of young children to work. This need will increase as we build additional affordable housing. I worked closely with the Little Red Schoolhouse this past year to develop a business plan and architectural concept to expand their program to 80 children in five classrooms so that more families in Snowmass Village can benefit from their programs. We also proposed an option that could include as many as eight affordable housing units above the school. I believe the Town Council should consider quality childcare and early learning as an essential community service.
Reviewing the final phase of Base Village, consisting of 400,000 SF in five new buildings and public open space. The final architecture and character of Base Village will be reviewed in stages by Town Council. As an architect, I will bring to Town Council the knowledge and experience necessary to ensure the developers create the best possible environment for the Snowmass Village’s residents and visitors.
Maintaining our unique community character. Private sector and public works projects are constantly proposed that must be carefully analyzed and adjusted to preserve the character of our village. It is essential for Town Council to find the necessary balance between physical improvements and maintaining the natural and genuine character of the village. As chairman of the Planning Commission, I learned the importance of listening to all aspects of an issue and finding the solution that best benefits our community.
I hope to be elected to Town Council so I can contribute my expertise and knowledge in meeting these challenges and the many others that will arise by listening, being thoughtful and producing the best results for our very special Snowmass Village.
Editor’s Note: The Snowmass Sun offered each Snowmass Mayor and Town Council candidate the opportunity to write a 600-word guest editorial piece before the Nov. 3 election.