Meet The Candidates: Part 2

Town Council Candidates

 

Guy Ciulla
Favorite Movie: Gremlins
And a question from the public: What would be your approach on council to balancing goals that might conflict, like being “Green” and retaining historic preservation; or promoting tourism and limiting growth?
We need to weigh the values and see what is most beneficial to the town, people, and the environment. As far as being green, I believe we can make energy efficient updates while maintaining the historical structure. The Dogwood is a fantastic example. We got a lot of sun here in Crested Butte and we should implement more ways to use solar power. Adopt a sustainable growth policy. As far as tourism goes we have plenty of room to grow. What we need to address is how to get people here at times other than peak seasons.

 

 

Jay Harris
Favorite Film: Fantasia
And a question from the public: What would be your approach on council to balancing goals that might conflict, like being “Green” and retaining historic preservation; or promoting tourism and limiting growth? The balancing act: Green vs Historic Preservation.
As a town councilor I would like to revisit the building and restoration rules as they pertain to the environment.  Historic preservation is a must and brings with it a lot of the charm our town has, yet in the rebuilding of some of these homes it is imperative that things such as windows and doors are replaced with energy efficient models. Preservation of our earth MUST come first. New and old homes alike need this care to reduce the carbon footprint of our town.
We have the some of the smartest and most talented contractors and builders in the country, we need to allow them to green their projects while still preserving the charm. I would like to see every homeowner have the opportunity to have solar panels, including all town buildings. Solar panels on an historic building may seem out of place but we must move forward and write a more environmentally sound history for the next generation.

 

Don Haver
Favorite film: The 007 films
And a question from the public: What would be your approach on council to balancing goals that might conflict, like being “Green” and retaining historic preservation; or promoting tourism and limiting growth? For these issues, with two groups addressing the issue, a workable system needs to be implemented in order to streamline the process while justly representing both sides.
The council should ask the proponents on both sides to each prepare a written position paper stating their view and a recommendation on the subject with specific points to support their stand.
Each group should then share their position paper with the other group. Each side should identify areas/items they do not agree with or are misleading, exaggerated, incorrect, etc. These should be shared with the public and the council.
Next, the council would ask that a maximum of 2-3 representatives from each side meet with an independent mediator to fully discuss the material that has been submitted. The objective would be to agree on facts (pro and con) and hopefully identify a mutually acceptable solution.  This should be a public meeting; however no questions or comments would be accepted from the audience. This mediation step is the crucial step that I believe is currently missing and allows many issues to go on without resolution.
Both sides of the issue would then make an abbreviated presentation to the council. As part of the presentation, the public would be given time to provide their input.
With this system, the council would be fully prepared (based on the position papers, counter arguments, mediation report, staff report and public comments) to make an informed decision as to what is best for the future of the town.

 

Brian “BT” Kilkelly
Favorite film: Recently, Metropolis by Fritz Lang
And a question from the public: What would be your approach on council to balancing goals that might conflict, like being “Green” and retaining historic preservation; or promoting tourism and limiting growth?  In order to approach any situation where a conflict of interest may arise, it is necessary to first address what each interest is and how they are going to be applied. Then one can begin to determine how to resolve the conflict. For example, the term “growth” will need to be looked at more concretely. From my perspective, there doesn’t need to be any conflict over promoting tourism and limiting growth once it is established how these words are going to be applied to our local economy. Is growth limited to physical building of houses and condos? Can growth come from other sources, i.e. tourists spending more money on goods and services increasing our sales tax revenue? The fact that growth can be a vague concept demands that we as a community clearly establish what form of growth is acceptable, or desired. Creating a more clear and definitive long term set of goals for the greater community is important to me should I be elected to town council. To ironically use an unclear term, some sort of mission statement, or long term master plan, possibly in multiple stages of 5 year plans for sustainable and stable economic activity would be one of my top priorities on council.

 

Roland Mason
Occupation: Last week, I forgot to let the people know my occupation. Contractor
Favorite Film: Field of Dreams
And a question from the public: What would be your approach on council to balancing goals that might conflict, like being “Green” and retaining historic preservation; or promoting tourism and limiting growth? To answer that question we must look at what is going on in our world today and use that insight to make good choices for our community. The issues might be the same as they where 20 years ago, but the solutions to those issues are different. Currently we are trying to reduce our carbon footprint, maximize energy efficiency, recycle our goods, and consume less. It makes financial sense to do these things when money is tight and our tourism economy is questionable. I feel we need to embrace alternate energy sources as much as possible. Electric generating sources should be attached to maximize the energy potential as long as it does not interfere with neighbor’s views.  I do not believe solar panels lying flat to a roof and facing the street takes away visually from our historic district.
Our community relies heavily on tourism. We need to find new ways to get the vacationing public to choose our valley. We need to take major steps forward in building a facility or facilities that can be used by locals and tourists 12 months out of the year. One of my first steps will be opening up communication with the communities from CB South up to Mt. Crested Butte so we can move forward together and not compete with each other.

 

Jim Schmidt
Favorite film: Groundhog Day
And a question from the public: What would be your approach on council to balancing goals that might conflict, like being “Green” and retaining historic preservation; or promoting tourism and limiting growth? Striking an equitable balance among all the competing interests is what good government is all about. It requires fairness, sensibility, and a reasoned approach. It requires a careful weighing of all factors and it is something that I did best during my nineteen years on Town Council and it is something that I will bring back.
It is important not to over react to situations. It is imprudent to, say, relax all the building rules when new home starts slow down. If the rules are appropriate and in the best interest of Crested Butte in times of prosperity, they will also be when things slow down. Rules shouldn’t be made to limit or encourage growth; they should be made to make this the best place in the country in which to live. If we make this a great place to live, it will also be a great place to visit. Business will not pick up if one puts up neon signs. Give tourists a reason to return. Treat them the best we can.
We must work hard to blend historic preservation with being green. I had realtors and builders tell me that “not another house would be built in this town” if we passed the comprehensive pollution controls I was pushing. And I had those same people thank me a year later for cleaning up the air, saying I was right. Again, we should be careful of going to extremes. Moderation will serve us well over the long haul.
 

 Phoebe Wilson
Favorite Movie: The Jerk
And a question from the public: What would be your approach on council to balancing goals that might conflict, like being “Green” and retaining historic preservation; or promoting tourism and limiting growth?
Naturally, numerous issues that come before Council will conflict or have conflicting elements. For while we are a small community we have thoughts, values, and ideas galore (our virtue and our vice). As a council member I will be strategic and pragmatic in recognizing the constraints and the opportunities Crested Butte faces. I will honor due process and thoroughly deconstruct and examine all information, and all sides before weighing in on any decision. To achieve balanced outcome with council decisions, it will be essential that both council and community engage in open and thorough dialog with all concerned parties. To maintain balance, compromise will need to be made. First however, we need to establish an umbrella of goals and strategic approaches for our community’s future. I believe that an established agenda and fairness of procedure are the tools required for council members now and in the future to achieve balance in community decisions.

 

John Wirsing
Favorite film: Jeremiah Johnson
And a question from the public: What would be your approach on council to balancing goals that might conflict, like being “Green” and retaining historic preservation; or promoting tourism and limiting growth?
Balancing a conflict requires a good understanding of both goals. What is the objective, who does this affect, how does this work, and why is it important, are starting questions to comprehending each goal. Trying to see things from a pro, con and public perspective is vital to making a good decision. After gaining a thorough understanding, a cost/benefit analysis should be the discussion. Finally, we need to ask, what is best for everyone involved and for the town, today and in the future.
 Resolution takes balance. All one way or the other is probably never the right answer. That’s why we live in a democracy and not a dictatorship. I know, when dealing with my children, I like to hear from both sides before making a decision. And, it’s often better to discuss things with my wife before settling issues. Similarly, that’s why town council has public meetings, to hear from both sides and the public. There are seven people on the council so the decisions will be balanced and well thought out.
I have a diverse background including 18 years in the ski and outdoor industry, retail and resort experience, a few years in food and beverage, a couple of decades in construction and a few years as a facilitator in team building programs working with at risk kids and professionals. Combine that with a wife and three young children and I think I can offer the town a valuable and sensible perspective in dealing with difficult situations.

 

Mayoral Candidate

 

Leah Williams
Favorite film: Babette’s Feast
What would be your approach on council to balancing goals that might conflict, like being “Green” and retaining historic preservation; or promoting tourism and limiting growth?
*Crested Butte, National Historic District, was named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” list in 2008.
*As a Town we adopted the Crested Butte Energy Action Plan that will guide us in reducing our carbon footprint. We are working multi-jurisdictionally toward achieving collaborative projects and sharing information. One great example of this is Ballot Measure 1A (The Energy Smart Loan Program). 
*In Colorado historic tourism is one of the biggest market segments. These tourists stay longer and spend more money, so it is a piece of the business we want as a community. Let’s face it; we’re a tourism economy.
*The geography of Crested Butte, tucked in beneath the slopes of Whetstone and Red Lady with wetlands to the north and south, provides natural boundaries that limit our growth. This small historic town that has not been lost in a maze of surrounding development awes many visitors and residents alike.
These are four core values of Crested Butte; each enhances our quality of life and creates the character of our town. I don’t see them as conflicting goals. We always need to be deliberate, prioritize, look at the potential impacts if we shift the balance of one value, look at how other towns have faired when making similar decisions, and ask ourselves what the unintended consequences might be.
Just look around town. Councils have been balancing these goals for years and they’ve done a good job. That’s why we’re all still here.
 

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