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CB council priorities for town outlined at spring yurt retreat

Six big picture goals and how to get there

by Mark Reaman

The Crested Butte Town Council arrived at a half dozen big-picture goals during the council’s March retreat at the Crested Butte Nordic Yurt.

The broad goals included: preserving our sense of community; increasing the number of local families residing in town; diversification of the economy; excellence as stewards of the environment; maintaining core municipal services; and providing leadership for the community.

Town manager Dara MacDonald prepared a document outlining the major goals and included “possible metrics or relevant ways that we can measure that we are achieving these goals. Following that are steps that can be taken to achieve the goals.”

Here is a sample of the big goals and how to measure their success based on outcomes at the retreat:

Preserving our sense of community could be measured by community involvement through volunteering, the quality of floats in the Fourth of July parade, the number of registered vehicles more than 10 years old, and residents knowing their neighbors on their block. To achieve these measurements of success town could provide training and culture to ensure town staff are approachable and knowledgeable, create ways to measure funkiness, prioritize quality of life over financial gain, and hold a town picnic in early summer.

Increasing the number of local families residing in town could be measured by the percentage of Crested Butte Community School students living in town and making sure there is adequate staffing for local businesses. To achieve that the council wants to make sure the town achieves and maintains at least 25 percent deed-restricted housing units in town, provide adequate rec facilities including support for a regional approach to create a rec center, and review opportunities for increased density.

Diversification of the economy incudes the creation of new, non-service sector businesses and providing help to a thriving Creative District. Council wants to pursue live-work housing opportunities and expand air travel to support local employers and business travelers.

Excellence as stewards of the community includes the elimination of the mining threat on Mt. Emmons, the reduction of negative impacts on the neighboring backcountry, and a reduction of the community carbon footprint. To achieve the goals, the council will work to achieve withdrawal of unpatented mining claims (on Mt. Emmons), implement the town’s Energy Action Plan, increase transit access to the backcountry and pursue renewable energy alternatives for the community.

Maintaining core municipal services includes keeping a balanced budget while maintaining services even through down economies, maintaining healthy fund balances, and having housing for town employees. So council hopes to achieve 15 rentals for town employees within five years, will increase and maintain bike and pedestrian safety, and enforce two-hour parking.

They hope to provide leadership for the community through utilizing values-based decisionmaking, having proactive leadership rather than just quickly reacting to situations, practice civility, and recruit and retain quality council members. Council will hold periodic meetings with other local elected officials, open two-way communication with the multiple constituencies of the public, give pay increases for council, and consider appointing a mayor rather than it being an elected position.

“I anticipate another council retreat in mid-summer to discuss these priorities and how they will integrate into the 2018 budget and long-term capital plans,” MacDonald wrote in a memo to the council March 20.

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