Another former Steamboat council member enters Routt County commissioner race

Former Steamboat Springs City Council member Kathi Meyer announced Wednesday, Feb. 2, she is seeking the Republican nomination for Routt County commissioner.
City of Steamboat Springs/Courtesy

Former Steamboat Springs City Council member Kathi Meyer is running for Routt County commissioner in November with the hope of continuing a track record of local public service.

Meyer, who is seeking the Republican Party nomination for the seat, was first elected to in 2015, holding the seat until last November. Last month, Meyer was appointed to be a member of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority Board, the second time she has held that role.

“After rolling off City Council last November, I want to keep helping people,” Meyer said. “I get a great deal of satisfaction out of being an elected official, so I’m driven to continue providing service to my community.”

Meyers is the first Republican to announce their candidacy for the commissioner’s race after incumbent Beth Melton said she would not seek reelection last week. The District 3 seat is completely within Steamboat Springs city limits. Candidates need to live inside the district to run, but commissioners are elected by the entire county.

Prior to Melton’s announcement, Meyers said she hadn’t anticipated a run for commissioner but thought now could be her time after being a full-time resident of Steamboat for more than 25 years.

A self-described moderate, Meyer said she doesn’t think anything about the county is broken, but she feels she could bring skills to the role, like a strong fiscal background, that she believes are current commissioners lack.

“I’ve run major corporations with large staffs, so it’s natural for me as far a s a skill set,” said Meyer, who has a background in commercial and residential real estate lending for companies like U.S. Bank and GE Capital. “I’m used to managing large groups of people with big dollars, so I think that would serve the county well as far as oversight.”

Meyer said she also has a lot of experience with housing issues — 15 years on the city’s planning commission and being a founding member and past president of the housing authority — that will be helpful as a commissioner. Meyer said she believes commissioners need to be more engaged in addressing housing struggles across the county.

One area where the county can do more is in terms of financial support, Meyer said. The housing authority has a lot of land but will need to raise money to build on it. She believes the county can take a lead organizing various groups so they can leverage more money from state and federal coffers.

“If the city, the county and the housing authority all go to the state or the feds, and they all have a small financial skin in the game, I think you’re much more likely to have a higher probability in getting grant funding,” Meyer said.

The Combined Law Enforcement Facility, a $19.3 million partnership between the city and county completed in 2019, is an example of this kind of collaboration, she said.

Commissioner should also look to communities like Milner for potential housing growth, Meyer added, as it is just 10 minutes from Steamboat and could probably accommodate 20-50 homes. Other growth should be centered in municipalities, especially Hayden and Oak Creek, she said.

With that, Meyer said there needs to be a regional transportation solution that moves people around the county with more frequent trips to outlying towns that can bring people into Steamboat for work.

“We need to take a look at our transportation infrastructure and see what we can do to make things more efficient,” Meyer said. “We’re going to grow — we live in a very attractive area. We don’t want to screw that up.”

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