Village Voices: Mayor, Town Council candidates share how they plan to listen to and connect with Snowmass community
For the next two weeks leading up to Election Day, the Snowmass Sun will feature the two candidates running for Snowmass mayor and five candidates running for Snowmass Town Council on the Village Voices community page.
The Snowmass Sun asked each candidate to respond to five questions about his/her guiding values and stances on issues and topics relevant to the Snowmass Village community, and each candidate’s responses to one question will run on Page 2 each week up until the Nov. 3 election, starting with the Sept. 30 issue and ending with the Oct. 28 issue.
Last week, Snowmass mayor and Town Council candidates weighed in on the town’s “Just Big Enough” concept. This week, candidates were asked to answer the question:
“How do you plan to connect with Snowmass residents on a consistent basis if you are elected, and ensure they feel their voices are heard and concerns are addressed in a timely fashion?”
Here are the candidates’ responses:
MAYOR CANDIDATE: TOM GOODE
Of course, making myself continually visible at the Snowmass Center and other areas in the village has always been an enjoyable part of being on council. Being out and about around the village will be part of my future plan, along with encouraging all residents to participate in council meetings and make their concerns known as the best and most effective way to handle their issues. Not many folks will tell you how good you’re doing but what really bugs them. That’s probably the biggest form of feedback I have experienced, which is what we need to hear. I plan on having certain days that I will be available once a month or every two weeks if possible to be visible in front of the post office and listen to concerns and comments … all welcome!
MAYOR CANDIDATE: BILL MADSEN
Thankfully, I live in a neighborhood of locals who have lived and raised their families in Snowmass Village. My neighbors embody much of the fabric that built the village. The trusting relationships I’ve formed with my neighbors allows them to feel free and comfortable to share their opinions. I work on the Snowmass Mall/West Village and regularly engage locals and guests to learn about their experiences. In addition, I am a strong supporter of our citizen advisory boards and believe they do a great job of supplying the Town Council with recommendations concerning each board’s area of focus. Finally, one of my hobbies is spending time on the trails. I find that seeking input from our fellow villagers while enjoying the great wide open provides an opportunity for enlightened conversation. As the mayor of Snowmass Village, and a local’s local, I plan to address the topics of concern and opportunities presented from our neighbors, locals and guests, and to bring those concepts to the attention of the Town Council frequently and consistently.
TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATE: TOM FRIDSTEIN
I will always welcome input from our community and I will encourage people to reach out to me to share their views. Council members must always be in touch with the thoughts and sentiments of the community so they can accurately represent the needs of the constituents of the town. Personal meetings are difficult during the COVID-19 crisis, so I hope people will contact me at my TOSV email to share their thoughts or arrange a time we can have a conversation. Once the pandemic passes, I will attend many public meetings and social gatherings to learn from others and give people a chance to speak with me. I also encourage people to address the full Town Council via email, or to present their views at a council meeting. In some situations, there are restrictions on personal conversations by council members regarding matters that are being reviewed by council. In this circumstance, people who want to address council should do so in writing or by appearing at a council meeting, and their comments would then be available to the public.
TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATE: JEFF KREMER
Broadly speaking, I intend to be available to residents through the many networks to which we belong. This would include such venues as Thursday night concerts, our trails, the recreation center, the Snowmass Center, athletic pursuits and the Bemis Thanksgiving dinner. Although I have lived here 29 years, I realize I do not know everyone, but I would like to. One point of connection I would like to do post-COVID is to hold some kind of informal “office hours” where I can be accessible on a face-to-face basis, which is the most effective way to communicate in my experience. In the meantime, I will be responsive to email, phone calls and Facebook posts.
Communication is a two-way street and an involved electorate has an obligation to speak up when they feel strongly about an issue. The above methods are open to them, in addition to specific topic surveys that are offered as needed. Additionally, I am not sure if the average citizen realizes how important their thoughts are in influencing policy decisions by going on record. Public comment is available at council meetings as well as by email located on the council web page.
TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATE: MATTHEW OWENS
Being on Town Council isn’t about me, it’s about you and I’m here to listen! I’ll communicate with citizens the old fashion way: directly. I have a degree in communication and have put that education to good use in various job roles that have required communicating on a large scale. Once elected, there will be an email set up for direct communication with me through the town’s website, to which I will reply promptly to concerned citizens. Email me directly and I will happily reply, call or meet with you. I also strongly encourage all citizens to voice their opinion at Town Council meetings during public comment, which is the best way to communicate with town officials and to have your voice heard by everyone.
TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATE: GRAY WARR
Sadly, in the age of COVID we will be restricted to telephone, email and Town Hall meeting questions. But, as the Persians say, “This too shall pass.” However, I’m very personable and believe the best communication happens face-to-face. You’ll find me on the hill five days a week and I’d love to ski or snowboard with you and hear your ideas or concerns on chairlift rides. If you see me walking the dog, please feel free to stop me and bend my ear. As a member of this community everyone has a voice and should be heard.
TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATE: ALYSSA SHENK
Since my appointment to Town Council in 2014 and then my election to council in 2016, I have actively encouraged community members to share their thoughts via email, public comment and volunteerism. I’m an excellent listener and strong advocate, always welcoming and valuing face-to-face interactions. Maintaining a strong presence within the town, whether in daily life or at an event, has always been important to me in order to engage with the community more meaningfully. I don’t always have an immediate answer but I am quick to respond and make the necessary connections to find a response. I will continue prioritizing my accessibility and desire to ensure that everyone’s voice is clearly heard.
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