Q: What role should the town play in addressing our critical workforce housing shortage?
A: We should take a proactive approach to meet the needs of the local workforce. I think we should take a page out of Breckenridge’s playbook. I know we don’t want to turn into Summit County, but they have an awesome program in place for workforce housing.
They have deed restricted housing scattered throughout town so there isn’t one clump of workers in one area. BV should get in touch with the people in charge of Breck’s plan to pick their brains and take the best of their ideas and make them work for us.
We could also talk to the workers in Breckenridge to see what they like or would change with the plan they have. The solution won’t happen overnight, but until we take the first step nothing will happen.
Q: How would you define BV’s recreation economy and its importance to town?
A: It is highly important. We draw people to the area with our outdoor recreation and active lifestyle.
People are moving here for world class mountain biking, rafting, kayaking, gold medal fishing and hiking.
We need to be proactive in protecting these activities so that we don’t have the Maroon Bells/Conundrum Hot Springs/Hanging Lakes situations.
We need to emphasize promoting and preserving access, use and the future of outdoor recreation in the BV area. The outdoors brings us all together.
Q: What is the town’s biggest challenge to securing future water rights for residents?
A: Colorado water rights laws are wacky. I’m not even going to pretend to remotely understand water rights laws in Colorado at this time. I do know that water is money and rights are precious, and sometimes more valuable even than the land to which they are attached.
The challenge is going to be convincing land owners to cede rights to the town as the town limits grow.
Is being on town water and sewer going to be a big enough incentive for them to come into the town limits and in reading the BV Water Resources Master Plan, I can see how water is going to be an issue for the next board’s tenure.
A 20-year supply of water rights seems like a drop in the bucket. We need more than that. There is also going to be a huge expenditure of millions coming up in the next 20 years to fix/repair/rebuild the water treatment plant. I don’t have an answer, but I’m willing to learn and to fight for our water.
Q: What are BV’s most pressing infrastructure needs and how would you fill them?
A: There are a lot of infrastructure needs, the water pipes and facility just being one of them. I would like to focus on our recreation infrastructure, though.
We should work on a trail system that caters to all ability levels. Let’s finally get an ice rink and a swimming pool. We should invest in a multi-sport year-round outdoor recreation complex.
That would increase traffic into town in more traditionally slow times.
The way forward is to identify our natural assets, develop funding strategies, engage citizens in the development and improvement process, take advantage of outside funding and target areas with low cost/high potential.
Q: Please state how you would spur continued growth in business-generated sales tax to fund town services.
A: Well, the first thing I would do is double the temporary vendor permit fees and add a lot of checklists and hoops for all temporary vendors to jump through. Oh, wait, that’s what the current board did.
They really went out of their way to make it more difficult and expensive. It seems like the opposite of what the town ought to be doing if they want business-generated sales tax. But regardless, I would focus on our recreation economy.
We need to take steps to raise awareness of the importance of the outdoor recreation economy. A thriving outdoor recreation economy can generate consumer spending right here in town and support the funding of town services.
I would also like to limit the number of regulations that stifle growth of business and entrepreneurs. There are reasons the county’s revenue is growing faster than the town’s revenue, and it’s not because people want to open a business in the middle of nowhere.
Someone came up with the slogan, “BV – Open for Business.” I’d like to make that an actual thing, not just an empty slogan. If elected, I’ll be going through all the town business regulations and seeing what can be made more manageable and small business friendly.
For all of the people afraid of BV turning into a crazy resort town, keep in mind that having small, local businesses is a way to keep our own identity. Why try to chase that away?