Village Voices: Snowmass Mayor, Town Council candidates make case for what they have to offer if elected
For the next four 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, ending with the Oct. 28 issue.
Last week, Snowmass mayor and Town Council candidates provided some basic information about themselves and why they hope voters choose them to serve as Snowmass elected officials, and answered the question, “What are the top three values and priorities you feel should guide government decision-making in Snowmass Village?”
This week, candidates answer the question: What do you feel you have to offer as an elected official to help guide effective decision-making for the Snowmass Village community?
Here are the candidates’ responses:
Mayor candidate: Tom Goode
I feel my personal longevity in Snowmass Village is a great asset as well as my love for this town. I have seen the village grow into a world-class ski area and destination resort throughout the years. My experience on the Planning Board, Board of Appeals and of course on Town Council has given me the opportunity to be involved firsthand with the challenges that face our town. Guiding this growth process with developers is a challenge, whether it is setting up sustainable housing for the workforce and keeping the existing community together as we all age in place, or developing alternatives for new community members to move into this wonderful community. Growing can be a good thing, but growing under control is a better thing. With the state of affairs in our country today, we have more full-time residents joining the community and realizing what a wonderful place this is to live. With that said, we need to adapt as a community in welcoming new full-time residents and the issues that may arise in transitioning to a larger community.
Mayor candidate: Bill Madsen
Many people consider me a “local’s local,” and I believe it is the mayor’s responsibility to represent the voice of the people. Listening to fellow villagers is essential when representing the town of Snowmass Village. I believe in building consensus by exploring matters of opportunity thoroughly and proactively, engaging in wholesome debates where all ideas, opinions and perspectives are voiced and heard. I believe every point of view deserves open consideration. I am a pragmatist and believe effective decisions are derived by seeking practical solutions to challenges and opportunities. I enjoy evaluating theories and beliefs to determine success based on the practical application of a concept or plan.
Town Council Candidate: Gray Warr
Over the course of my mere 40 years on this planet, I’ve worked in many different fields. I’ve worked in the tourism industry, in hospitality, in the retail industry, in state and federal government, I’ve owned my own business and I’ve founded a nonprofit. Currently, I work for the Snowmass Ski School as the adult alpine program coordinator and have insight into the goings-on of the ski industry. Working for guest services for the town of Snowmass Village has provided me with insight into the goings-on of the town. And finally, working for FEMA for nine years as a Hazard Mitigation Community Education and Outreach Specialist has helped me develop the number one skill a decision maker should have: the art of listening.
Town Council Candidate: Alyssa Shenk
My experience as a Snowmass Town Council member over the past six years has afforded me the time to thoroughly learn and understand the processes by which the council adheres, our role as community leaders and how to best utilize my skills to guide effective decision-making.
My top-notch communication skills, legal training and certification in dispute resolution, specifically mediation, are uniquely valuable in evaluating the issues that come before Town Council.
Town Council Candidate: Matthew Owens
I have stake in the game just like every other citizen of Snowmass Village. I’m highly analytical, I live outside the status quo and I strive to critically evaluate each topic and decision as if I were an impartial judge. I’m not afraid to challenge the narrative, speak my mind or be honest with people when faced with difficult decisions or challenges.
Town Council Candidate: Tom Fridstein
Through my 50 years experiencing Snowmass Village, my engagement in the Planning Commission and local organizations, and my architectural career creating successful environments, I have the sensitivities, knowledge and commitment to guide effective decision-making for our community.
I have reviewed many of the significant issues facing Snowmass while on the Planning Commission and have learned the importance of carefully listening to all parties and taking actions in the best interest of the community. As Planning Commission chairman, I encourage a collaborative and inclusive process to obtain all necessary information and hear from all affected parties so that intelligent and equitable decisions can be made. I participated in creating the 2018 Town Comprehensive Plan for Snowmass, which gives me a great understanding of the town’s goals and priorities.
My career as an architect creating quality environments has prepared me to assist the town as a collaborative leader and knowledgeable problem solver. Architects integrate knowledge from numerous experts and consultants to create the best solutions. This inclusive approach to decision-making is essential to effective governance. My thorough understanding of the built environment and process of design and construction will be helpful for Town Council when evaluating land-use and development issues.
Town Council Candidate: Jeff Kremer
• Listening. Active listening skills were a cornerstone of my profession. It is something I practiced and taught for 40 years. I believe that solutions to issues or problems are best achieved collaboratively. Being a councilmember does not mean you have all the answers, it means you often seek ideas and answers outside of yourself through the feedback of colleagues, volunteer boards and citizens.
• Experience. I have experience with managing complex, challenging services including responsibility for budgets, supervising and hiring of personnel, training and mentoring and making important decisions in a team. I also bring an understanding of organizational dynamics and how to affect change in organizations.
• Leadership and a thoughtful, analytical approach to decision-making. I tend to see the big picture and to identify systemic consequences or outcomes of decision-making. I subscribe to Gregory Bateson’s idea of creating or being the difference that makes a difference. I do not personally claim to have attained that ideal, but I aspire to it and actually believe a group of people working together is more likely to generate that difference.
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The five Snowmass locals competing for the two open Town Council seats discussed what they feel are the top two major issues facing Snowmass elected officials.