Village Voices: Snowmass candidates share what issues they care about, feel they can help address most
For the last week 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 has run on Page 2 each week for the past four weeks, starting with the Sept. 30 issue and ending with this Oct. 28 issue.
Last week, Snowmass mayor and Town Council candidates answered 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?”
This week, candidates respond to:
“Are there any specific issues, development projects, or topics before Town Council now (or that will be before January) that you feel strongly about and that could benefit from your leadership?”
Here’s what the candidates have to say:
MAYOR CANDIDATE: BILL MADSEN
Finding Ice Age bones while expanding our water source in the Ziegler pond needs to be developed as a Snowmass Village amenity. Discovering the bones of creatures that lived and died in our town provides us with a unique opportunity. It gives us the ability to learn, discover and share the history of the land while providing our residents and guests with an intellectual pursuit. Climate change is the defining characteristic of our generation and we have evidence in our village that sheds light on the effects of a changing climate on living organisms. The Ice Age Discovery offers us the opportunity to make climate change a front of mind conversation. Snowmass was established to address our athletic pursuits, but I believe strongly we also need to address the intellectual interests of our citizens and guests.
MAYOR CANDIDATE: TOM GOODE
There are many projects at the present that are on the docket whether or not they are minor or major PUDs. I have mentioned some potential housing projects that are on the table as well as further construction projects. But with my experiences in construction, operating my own business for over 40 years in the community, my involvement on the Planning Commission and Board of Appeals throughout the years, my guest services relations work, and my conference work with the town tourism board and marketing board, I feel I do own the skills valuable for the job. Having construction management knowledge would also be a great asset in dealing with all the development happening in the village at this time and in the future. Of equal importance is my dedication and love for this community, which can only be beneficial in making the best possible decisions for Snowmass Village.
TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATE: JEFF KREMER
Yes, having invested a year and a half on the Parks, Open Space, Trails and Recreation (POSTR) Steering Committee and over two years as the chair of the POSTR Advisory Board, I believe I can bring insight, ideas and leadership in those areas. I am and have been a strong proponent of the redesign of the current town entryway, which does not represent us well, including the refurbishment of the pond and wetlands in the vicinity. New amenities may include kids fishing, a beach, paddle boarding, wading/swimming and a wetlands sanctuary.
I also support the enhancement of Town Park in a phased manner. This would include more efficient use of the rodeo space while preserving the rodeo as a part of the heritage of Snowmass Village. It may further include more playing fields, a bike skills trail, restrooms, additional parking and new event space.
I also have a working knowledge of the 139-page POSTR Plan built on the feedback and ranked choices of residents and stakeholders when it comes to parks, open space, trails and recreational amenities. This council-approved plan that is built on community feedback is the guiding decision-making document for the town and the POSTR Board.
TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATE: MATTHEW OWENS
The most obvious would be the issue of housing. With 15 years of working in housing for Aspen Skiing Co., I have a great deal of experience on this matter. This is one of the most important issues facing the village for the past decade. It’s time to get it done.
Snowmass Village citizens have voiced their concerns over many developing projects that involve health and safety, such as 5G. I am an avid researcher and have a broad interest in human health and safety. I will thoroughly research and discuss all sides before making a decision that might impact the health and well-being of Snowmass residents.
As Snowmass Village continues to develop parks, trails, Base Village and the Snowmass Center, my experience as a property manager will be very helpful. I like things done on time, on budget and done right the first time.
We have to bounce back strong from COVID-19. Most businesses and citizens of Snowmass have been negatively impacted by this pandemic. I live here, I work here and I am raising a young family here. I am personally and professionally committed to ensuring that Snowmass thrives as quickly and safely as possible.
TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATE: GRAY WARR
I’m really excited about future affordable housing projects that will take place over the next couple of years. There are many year-round workers in Snowmass Village that still drive here from downvalley. Also, working for Skico we hire a lot of seasonal employees and I would like to see that they have a place to stay close to the resort. With all new construction, I would like to see energy costs offset by the implementation of renewable energies whether solar, geothermic, wind, etc.
TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATE: ALYSSA SHENK
Maintaining and creating affordable housing is among my top priorities. As we delve into the Master Housing Plan, we will update housing regulations, identify senior housing needs and stimulate the development of additional employee housing units. I will continue working, too, with essential service entities like the school district and hospital to try and meet the needs of the greater workforce community.
I remain heavily invested in the Town Park Master Plan project, especially in helping determine what will make the area thrive, not only as the entrance to Snowmass but also as a premier recreation site and home for the Snowmass Rodeo.
Since the Connectivity Plan was never officially adopted, I am continually pushing to implement critical safety elements, including pedestrian crosswalks with flashing beacons.
Since joining the council in 2014, I have developed a thorough understanding of the history of the Base Village project, its vision and the nuances of the agreed-upon terms. While review of the Base Village PUD Amendment is nearing its end, the project still requires a tremendous amount of decision-making, historical knowledge and forethought.
TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATE: TOM FRIDSTEIN
The COVID-19 pandemic requires council to thoughtfully meet the evolving challenges of safely responding to many health-related, social and economic issues. I understand the importance of soliciting expertise and informed collaborative discussion to arrive at the most appropriate solutions. These solutions will substantially affect the safety and vitality of our community, so it is imperative Town Council makes the best decisions.
Additional workforce housing and increased quality child care are essential to the town’s economic vitality. My architectural experience, the community sensitivities I gained on the Planning Commission, and my work in support of expanding Little Red Schoolhouse will be valuable in these issues.
There are facilities and development projects council is considering where my experience on the Planning Commission and architectural expertise will be an asset in their review and assessment, including the redesign of Town Park, the proposed Transit Center at the Mall, introduction of 5G cellular service, the proposed Owl Creek/Brush Creek roundabout, and the site-specific architectural review of the remaining five buildings of Base Village. Each of these projects will impact the physical character of Snowmass Village and need to be carefully evaluated to achieve maximum value for our community without disrupting our unique character.
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