City Council FYI: A season of thanks
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, there are many things to be thankful for this year. We all can agree on the traditional aspirations: good health, a loving family and a large circle of friends. But when you think about it as a Steamboat Springs City Council member, what are we appreciative for?
This past year in Steamboat, we had some really great things happen. After 18 months, the city and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club came to an agreement to restructure the Joint Use Agreement, which guides Howelsen Hill’s future and allows for facility upgrades that are long overdue. As a community, we should be proud that we own and operate the oldest ski resort in North America. After a fantastic start to the season by Mother Nature, but more importantly, by our snowmaking team, I hope you will get out to the ski area and enjoy the jewel in the city’s park system.
We can be thankful for regaining the pride in our police force. Our Steamboat Springs Police Department Chief Cory Christiansen is celebrating his third anniversary after coming into a disheartened police force and, instead, is adding new officers, promoting unfilled management positions and hired our first female police captain. And as an extra bonus, our men and women in blue will get a state-of-the-art new home that will be shared with the Routt County Sheriff’s office next summer.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how thankful I am that election season is over. I must admit to suffering a case of election fatigue, but record turnout shows the passion people carry and the power one vote can have. While we are weeks removed from the recent election, there is already talk of the four seats up for election in November 2019 on the City Council, the next funding request from the Board of Education and a myriad of resolutions, proposals and initiatives. I urge you to keep your passion, engagement and involvement in community matters going. Can 2020 be far behind?
After a little more than two years and 22 work session, the annexation proposed by the West Steamboat Neighborhoods is nearing completion, and I’m thankful for the participation so many in the community have shown on this issue. Whether it is referred to the voters remains to be seen. But housing is at a critical shortage, prices continue to escalate and labor and materials skyrocket.
Looking specifically at housing, I’m grateful our community cares about working to ensure we can all live here. Our homeless live in cars or camp in our forests. We can do better. Last November, the community voted to approve a small tax that would be dedicated to the production of housing. The next project is approved and should break ground in April 2019, with 72 units available for rent to both income-limited households and market-rate renters.
And finally, the things we sometimes take for granted. We live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Visitors come here to vacation at a world class resort community, and elite athletes come to train and compete. Our community cares about each other, and our next generation of leaders has emerged. Our heritage is authentic, and our future is bright and exciting. Happy Thanksgiving.
Although I am a member of City Council, the above thoughts are my own.
Kathi Meyer is the president pro-tem of Steamboat Springs City Council.
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