Interested in running for City Council? Candidate petitions available Tuesday
Four Steamboat Springs City Council seats will be elected this November.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — City voters will choose four Steamboat Springs City Council members on Nov. 5.
Four council members’ terms expire this year, leaving seats open in all three of the city’s districts. With four of the seven positions on the council decided in November, there’s a possibility for significant change on the council.
Council members Jason Lacy, Robin Crossan, Heather Sloop and Scott Ford’s terms will expire this year.
Lacy and Crossan said Wednesday they planned to pick up petitions to get on the ballot. Sloop said she has not made a decision as to whether she’d run for re-election. Ford is term-limited and cannot run again.
“It’s a rewarding position in my opinion,” said City Manager Gary Suiter. “It’s the type of position where someone can make a difference in the community. It’s a way you can have a direct impact.”
City Council typically meets on Tuesday evenings for three to five hours several times a month. Each meeting requires a bit of homework in reading the agenda packet, which includes minutes of relevant meetings, staff memos, presentations and documents related to the items set to be discussed.
“You definitely want to keep your Tuesday nights free,” Suiter said. “If you have bridge club on Tuesday nights, you’re going to have to give that up or miss the meetings.”
City Council members serve on sub-committees and commissions and represent the city in meetings with other organizations. There is also an expectation that council members stay abreast of minutes to keep up with other city commissions, such as the Parks and Recreation and Planning commissions, though council members don’t attend these meetings.
To run for City Council, a candidate must be 18 years old by Nov. 5 and have lived in the city since at least November 2018. Candidates must live within the district they are running to represent, and at-large candidates can live anywhere within city limits. Terms for candidates representing districts end in November 2023, and the at-large candidate’s term will expire in 2021.
The first step in the process of running for election is picking up a candidate information packet and nominating petition from the City Clerk’s Office. Nominating petitions will be available at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6. Signatures must be returned to the city clerk’s office by Monday, Aug. 26.
A candidate must collect 25 signatures from registered voters within their district. A candidate for the at-large seat may collect signatures from any district. No voter may sign more than one candidate’s petition to represent a district.
District 1 includes the general area from the city’s western boundary to Fourth Street and neighborhoods along Howelsen Parkway and River Road. District 2 includes the area around Steamboat Springs High School and the Hilltop and Sanctuary neighborhoods to Walton Creek Road. District 3 includes neighborhoods east of Walton Creek Road.
Running for City Council is not the best avenue to get your street paved, Suiter said. Council members are focused on policy by providing direction to the city manager, who coordinates the administrative side of the city.
“It’s good to run for holistic and altruistic purposes,” Suiter said. “Don’t run on a single agenda item.”
In situations where a person might seek to fix what they see as a specific problem in city operations, a council member can “get inundated with 47 other more important policy issues, and their street’s still not paved at the end of their term,” Suiter said.
Council members receive access to city health benefits and an $894.89 to $1,191.81 monthly stipend, depending on a person’s position on council.
City council members also receive some of the same benefits city employees receive, such as a season pass to Howelsen Hill Ski Area and access to reserve a pass to Haymaker Golf Course and Steamboat Resort, Suiter said.
Visit steamboatsprings.net/election for more information.
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