Snowmass town council talks 2017 community survey |

Snowmass town council talks 2017 community survey

Erica Robbie
Snowmass Sun
Khira Ferguson, 9, and her brother Austin play with their dogs in their yard at their Rodeo Place Housing home in Snowmass on Friday.
Anna Stonehouse/Snowmass Sun |

Marijuana shops, employee housing and the comprehensive plan are among the “political hot potatoes,” in the words of Snowmass Mayor Markey Butler, as the town drafts its 2017 community survey.

Over the past decade, Snowmass has solicited communal feedback in the form of a public survey on three occasions: 2007, 2013 and 2015.

In recent years, the town government’s goal is to distribute the survey biennially, said Travis Elliot, assistant to the town manager.

“Now that we plan on (the survey) and understand the benefit of capturing those trends and public feedback,” Elliot explained, “I don’t see us making those same gaps” as in the past.

At the Town Council’s most recent meeting June 19, the elected officials and town staff combed through the first draft of the proposed 53-question survey.

The respondents, including both full- and part-time Snowmass residents as well as visitors, may recognize questions from past surveys, as about “90 percent” of the questions are the same, Elliot told the council.

As with previous surveys, the town of Snowmass contracted the consulting firm ETC Institute, which specializes in market research, to help craft and distribute the community survey.

The projected $15,000 cost of the survey is accounted for within the town’s 2017 budget, according to Elliot.

The four Town Council members present at the June 19 meeting (Councilman Bill Madsen was absent) agreed that questions related to Snowmass’ workforce housing — a top council goal for 2017 — should take priority in the community survey, as well.

“We need every bit of information that we can find about who wants housing, who’s got housing,” Councilman Bob Sirkus said. “And if we are concerned about people dropping out (of the survey), we should move housing higher.”

Snowmass Town Manager Clint Kinney and Elliot agreed and said they would move the housing section of the survey closer to the beginning.

The council also deliberated on whether it should solicit public input via the survey on allowing the marijuana business in the village.

“It’s such a divisive question,” town Councilwoman Alyssa Shenk said, “This might not be the right forum to ask people about.”

Upon incorporating the council’s suggestions to the community survey, town staff will present an updated draft at its next council meeting July 3, Elliot confirmed Tuesday.

While the survey should be near complete at this time, staff will still accept feedback and comments from the Town Council at the July 3 meeting, Elliot said.

He told the council the goal is to release the survey “as close to July 4 as possible” in an effort to take advantage of the number of people in town.

“Barring any major setbacks” to the project, Elliot noted, town staff and the ETC Institute plan to reveal the survey’s findings before the council at a meeting on Sept. 5.

To view the first draft of the town of Snowmass’ proposed community survey for 2017, visit

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