City Council: At-Large | SteamboatToday.com

City Council: At-Large

Thre vying for seat on council

Dana Strongin

— A historic preservationist, a roofer and a retired teacher are running for the Steamboat Springs City Council’s at-large position, which is a two-year term.

Townsend “Towny” Anderson wants to help the City Council build a preservation ethic. Stuart Lynn is a longtime resident who wants to give back to his community. And G.H. Bud Romberg, a former councilman, wants to return to the council to complete “unfinished business.”

Anderson is concerned about the direction of Steamboat Springs’ future and how city officials will shape it. The best way to set policy, Anderson said, is to look at what will bring in the most capital.

Anderson isn’t just looking at money. In addition to financial capital, he said, every community also has social and environmental capital. Steamboat Springs officials need to work on recognizing all three, he said, if they plan to continue to attract tourists.

“If we aren’t investing in ourselves, ultimately tourism will suffer,” he said.

Anderson sees City Council members as the stewards of the natural, cultural and historic assets of Steamboat Springs. He is interested in the future of Main Street and cultural heritage tourism.

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“Our downtown is the single-most important asset we have for tourism. If we allow disinvestment or neglect in Steamboat’s downtown, tourism will suffer.”

Anderson said City Council members need to change the way they look at the future.

“If we keep doing the same thing, our future will be utterly predictable.”

If elected, Anderson said, he would promote ethical decision-making on the council. He said he sees too many conflicts of interest on the council now.

Anderson said that Steamboat Springs as a community has a low threshold for preservation. He wants to see the community build and develop a preservation ethic before too many changes are made.

“Time is running out,” he said.

Stuart Lynn said he has a constant interest in what’s going on in the world.

Lynn, who has lived in Steamboat Springs for 22 years, said he is running for City Council because he has legitimate ideas that he wants to share.

“Over the years people complain about a lot of things, but nobody does anything,” Lynn said.

Lynn said he has talked about running for council many times. This year he finally decided to do it. When he saw that it was the first day to sign up, he grabbed an application.

Lynn said he has been around town long enough to know the issues and the people.

“Everyone in this town knows me or knows someone who knows me,” he said.

Lynn said Steamboat Springs is a resort town and that it will stay that way. However, he said, that doesn’t mean there can’t be more unification between downtown and the ski area.

“I’d like to create a little more harmony between everybody here,” he said. “The town has been splintering off as it has grown over the years.”

Lynn said he would like the city or county to consider acquiring the ski area so the revenue could be used in other parts of town.

“I’d like to help … shape the future of this town. They need a different perspective.”

Bud Romberg said he’s running because he has unfinished business.

Romberg, who served a term on the council from 1999 to 2003, said he lost the 2003 election by three votes. The two years that have passed have not quelled his desire to continue what the previous council started.

“I thought the council I was serving on had made progress and direction that I would like to see continued. I would like to get back into it and complete unfinished business,” he said.

Romberg said one of his main concerns is the affordability of housing, child care and health care in the city.

“If we don’t want the community to become a really elitist area where only the really wealthy can afford to live here, then we have to do something to deal with these challenges,” he said.

There are people who say they liked Steamboat Springs when it was a sleepy town, Romberg said. He is not one of them. Tourism is what allows people to live here, he said.

“Tourists come in and subsidize the locals. If they weren’t here, it would cost us a whole lot more to do what we do.”

Romberg also said that growth in the area is inevitable. Managing the growth is the issue.

“We have to be careful that it doesn’t turn into what might be called ‘Anywhere USA,'” he said. “The kinds of things that are available here are not usually available in a town of 10,000 people.”

Romberg said the fact that he is retired gives him the time to focus on the issues. And if he is elected, he said, he will listen to what people say.

“The council should be a direction-giving body,” he said. “It takes those directions from the will of the people.”

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