Meet the candidates running for Steamboat Springs City Council | SteamboatToday.com
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Meet the candidates running for Steamboat Springs City Council


Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect Dakotah McGinlay is running for District 3.

Twelve candidates have officially declared their candidacies for Steamboat Springs City Council. Steamboat Pilot & Today asked each candidate a series of questions. Read their answers below.

District 1

David Baldinger



Q. What is your current occupation?

A. I am a real estate broker with Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty. I have been a broker and business owner in Steamboat for 27 years.

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Q. What is your background in public service?

A. I have served our community in a variety of capacities: Steamboat Springs Planning Commission for nine years; served on the city of Steamboat Ski Area Base Urban Renewal Authority Advisory Committee (URAAC) for 14 years, including 12 years as co-chair; past board member of the Yampa Valley Airport Commission; past president and board member of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Association for 13 years; Steamboat Pilot & Today Navigator Award winner in 2007; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club board member for six years; former Alpine ski coach with SSWSC; and U.S. Skiing for 10 years.

Q. How long have you lived in Steamboat?

A. 51 years.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish on Steamboat Springs City Council?

A. I hope to promote responsible and fair data-driven decision making based on careful analysis, public input and the long-term needs of the community. I also hope to tackle Steamboat’s affordable and work-force housing shortages head on, by leveraging the community’s newfound opportunities in West Steamboat in partnership with the Yampa Valley Housing Authority and Routt County. The city’s oversight in land planning, zoning and annexation will be key to the ultimate success or failure of future housing solutions for current residents and future generations. I also want to continue to grow, maintain and support the city’s unique and extensive parks, trails and recreational amenities that are utilized by diverse organizations and individuals within the community. These amenities include but are not limited to city parks, ball fields, Emerald Mountain, Howelsen Hill, the rodeo grounds, hockey rink, tennis center, Haymaker Golf Course, Yampa River Core Trail and Yampa River, just to name a few.

Gail Garey

Q. What is your current occupation?

A. As the creator and founder of Impact 360 Strategies, my mission is to guide and empower businesses to accelerate environmentally friendly and socially responsible, sustainable business practices that benefit the bottom line and create positive social change. In my work, I consult with companies to become Certified B Corporations, which are businesses that meet the highest verifiable standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and legal accountability. Prior to consulting, I held numerous positions with a global telecommunications company, including working with governmental entities, customer service and compliance.

Q. How long have you lived in Steamboat?

A. My husband and I have lived in Steamboat for more than 20 years and raised both our children, Madison and Noel Keeffe, here in this community.

Q. What is your background in public service?

A. I have decades of community engagement and public service, including currently serving as a board member for the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council and as chair of the Organics Task Force, which was instrumental in supporting the efforts to create a community compost program. As my children were growing up, I actively volunteered in the schools and with SSWSC. While working in the telecommunications industry, I served as a board member for the Colorado Rural Technology Program, chair of the Corporate Caucus for the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications and was appointed to the Colorado Advanced Technology Institute Commission.

Q. What are three things you hope to accomplish on City Council?

A. As our community continues to grow, we need to balance our quality of life, our economic vitality and the preservation of our natural environment and community character. There has been a tremendous amount of work done to study and plan for the challenges that we face as a community. Now is the time to take that planning and put it into action.

If elected, my priorities are:

Implementation of the Climate Action Plan. I will work with City Council and staff to take actions to protect our natural environment and to build resiliency. With the changing climate, we need to be more innovative and effective in managing our resources, which can be done by ensuring implementation of the Climate Action Plan recently adopted by City Council, Routt County commissioners, Oak Creek and Hayden.

Housing for locals. I will work with City Council, staff, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority and the community to explore all possible options to solve the local housing crisis, to create a shared vision for Brown Ranch and secure the needed infrastructure for its successful development.

Strong and diverse economy. I will work with City Council, staff and the business community to support local businesses by ensuring the city provides the needed infrastructure essential for their success and work collaboratively to create fiscal sustainability by expanding and diversifying the revenue sources for the city.

Kelly Pickett also filed a petition for candidacy but was not able to have all of her signatures cured by the deadline and is no longer running.

District 2

Joella West

Q. What is your current occupation?

A. I retired from the practice of law in 2018. I currently manage the literary estate of a famous author and consult on labor issues with a group of entertainment industry businesses.

Q. How long have you lived in Steamboat?

A. My husband and I have lived in the city full time since 2015. Prior to that, we were visitors, property owners and part-time residents in Steamboat and North Routt beginning in 2003.

Q. What is your background in public service?

A. I was an organizer for Common Cause in Washington state as far back as 1971. In Steamboat, I was a weekly volunteer visitor at Casey’s Pond since it opened and prior to that at the Doak. I just retired from the board of Har Mishpacha, the Jewish congregation of Steamboat Springs, where I was president for five years. I have also just completed six years on the board of Seminars at Steamboat, where I was chair for three years. I’ve served for six years on the executive board of the Community Agriculture Alliance. I was a volunteer firefighter/EMT for North Routt Fire Rescue for four years, until we moved into town full time. I served on the Entry Level Affordable Housing subcommittee as part of the 2016 Community Housing Steering Committee in Steamboat. I served on the 2017 Accommodations Tax Reserve Committee in Steamboat. I served on the 2019 Fire, Emergency Services Funding Committee in Steamboat. I presently serve as an alternate member of the Board of Adjustment.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish on City Council?

A. There is nothing that a single member of council can accomplish alone. Here are three things that I will do my best to help council see through to the finish, whether they can be completed in six months or six years: Working together with the other members, I hope that we will make the Brown Ranch/Steamboat 700 a model solution to affordable/attainable housing by working with and listening to all stakeholders. We really cannot afford to fail at this. I will listen to and be a voice for all of the various parties involved in the short-term rental situation and seek to learn from and cooperate with other resort communities that are also dealing with this problem. Having once been a single working parent myself, I will be focused on developing and implementing solutions to alleviate the child care situation so that every parent is able to have adequate and affordable opportunities for their children.

Blair Picard

Q. What is your current occupation?

A. My current occupation is retired. Upon graduating from Harvard cum laude in economics, I spent my entire career trading agricultural commodities, primarily corn and soybeans for both export and domestic consumption. My last assignment was trading renewable fuels, again for both export and domestic consumption for Bunge, a large international grain house. Upon my first retirement in 2012, I began consulting in agriculture commodities and renewable fuels until fully retiring in December 2019.

Q. How long have you lived in Steamboat?

A. I have resided in Steamboat for six years. I spent the first four years commuting back and forth to the Midwest for my business and settled in completely upon the aforementioned retirement.

Q. What is your background in public service?

A. I was a council person for five years and the village president (mayor) for six years in the village of Lakewood in McHenry County, Illinois, a suburban county northwest of Chicago. During those years, McHenry County was the fastest growing county in the state of Illinois, and Lakewood was one of the fastest growing municipalities in the county. I also served on the Architectural Review and Finance committees and created the Police Commission. The village owned a money draining golf course, and I led the effort to successfully reissue municipal bonds to pull the facility off the “dole.” I am very proud that we were able to very successfully manage that growth and reduced village property tax rates the majority of the yeas I was mayor. Due to my hectic travel schedule prior to retirement, I have only been able to serve as president of the Steamboat Springs Pickleball Association for two years and am currently on the finance committee of Court Sports 4 Life, the group currently operating the Tennis and Pickleball Center and attempting to expand the facility to include indoor devoted pickleball courts.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish on City Council?

A. First, I think our City Council needs some new blood and fresh ideas. Our city has spent the last 25 years pursuing growth in one way or another. Population growth, economic growth and tourism growth, among others. We did a good job of achieving growth, but now, we are doing a somewhat lackluster job of managing it, directing it and being vigilant that it benefits our residents. We are not/have not been dealing well with growth issues like traffic, parking, low-income housing, long- and short-term rentals, etc. Government edict, in my mind, cannot do as good a job on those issues as thoughtful more market-based government oversight and direction. Witness the long-term/short-term rental imbroglio. Talked about it for years, did little and now may be pitting neighborhoods against each other with an ill-conceived program. Witness the purchase and sale of the Flour Mill hotel. Not our city’s best effort at solving a housing issue. Second, I believe our council is painfully slow to make decisions and take action. A major study on Routt County housing was done a decade ago. We have been slow to take action on any recommendations and are now harvesting the bitter fruit of that inaction. Ditto re the traffic study of nearly two decades ago. How many referendums to “help” get a decision on the Steamboat 700 development? If elected, I will strive for action and decisions while allowing for reasonable not endless discussion. I am here to serve and make those decisions for my community and be responsible for the consequences. We are now living with the consequences of inaction. Third, I think my previous, multifaceted experience and success in managing a fast growing community with many of the problems we have in Steamboat today make me a very desirable addition to our City Council. And just as importantly, my desire and ability to face the problems, analyze them, make decisions and then act are needed in our community.

Loui Antonucci

Q. What is your current occupation?

A. Real estate broker with Steamboat Mountain Real Estate.

Q. How long have you lived in Steamboat?

A. About 40 years.

Q. What is your background in public service?

A. It’s a long history. I served on City Council for 12 years, was City Council president from 2007 to 2009 and then was term limited. I have sat on numerous boards and committees during my tenure, too many to remember and enumerate but a few were: Steamboat Springs Chamber executive committee, Steamboat Arts Council, RALF, steering committee that established the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, sat on the Housing Authority board for a few years as the representative for the city, and currently I sit on the board of directors for Casey’s Pond.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish on City Council?

A. Once again, we are faced with a number of community challenges. I feel that my experience and historical knowledge will be of benefit to the community.

District 3

Steven Randall

Q. What is your current occupation?

A. Affiliate professor of marketing at Metropolitan State University of Denver (sabbatical), retired marketing and sales executive.

Q. How long have you lived in Steamboat?

A. Part-time since 2012, moved here full time in 2019.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish on City Council?

A. Manage irresponsible growth impacting our town’s character. Encourage commercial expansion to the west end, such as supermarket, box store, to support expanding community. Develop outdoor performing arts facility at Howelsen Hill. Similar to amphitheater in Dillon. Environmental sustainability of the Yampa River, resource protection, development impact.

Walter Magill

Q. What is your current occupation?

A. I am currently a business owner of Four Points Surveying and Engineering and a licensed civil engineer and land surveyor.

Q. How long have you lived in Steamboat?

A. 25 years.

Q. What is your background in public service?

A. I served on the Steamboat Springs City Council from 2007 to 2017, am a current member of the Ski Town Rotary Club, a parishioner and member of the Knights of Columbus at Holy Name Catholic Church, junior varsity coach of Steamboat Trail Runners, race director at Howelsen Hill 8 Miler of the Steamboat Springs Running Series, Steamboat Springs running ambassador and assistant to the assistant coach at Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club cross-country program.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish on City Council?

A. More friendly and engaging customer service, simplified annexations and zoning changes, budget oversight and capital improvement work.

Daniel Gerke

Q. What is your current occupation?

A. Implementation director.

Q. What is your background in public service?

A. Several years of volunteering with the American Red Cross. This would be my first time holding a public office.

Q. How long have you lived in Steamboat?

A. Moved here from Hayden last year.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish on City Council?

A. Build relationships with the community and implement the will of our citizens, focus on affordable housing and protecting property rights, economic development and sustainability.

Dakotah McGinlay

Q. What is your current occupation?

A. I currently work at Mountain Bluebird Farm as a labor and sales consultant.

Q. How long have you lived in Steamboat?

A. Five years.

Q. What is your background in public service?

A. My journey into public service started when I was in middle school, raising money with passionate friends for Haitian tsunami victims and to spread child abuse awareness.

At Colorado Mountain College, I was the president of the Beekeeping Club and the Food Club, as well as a member of Amnesty International. We worked on zero waste initiatives, a recycling study and compost education for the cafeteria. As a volunteer with the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, I worked to plant willow trees for the river restoration project. I’ve been a volunteer at SoBoat (Sober Steamboat) for many events spreading awareness and breaking down the stigma of recovery. I’ve volunteered for the Community Ag Alliance farm-to-table dinners. I’ve volunteered with the humane society in Steamboat, as well as several wildlife and marine conservation groups in Florida. I’ve been a part of many trash pickup days and helped neighbors with yard work, nannying and odd jobs. I helped foster partnerships with my last farm, Innovative Ag, CO, to organizations like: Lift Up, Yampa Valley Autism Program, Community Cultivation, The Health Partnership and Yampa Valley Sustainability Council.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish on City Council?

A. Three things I would like to accomplish on City Council are advocating for making long-term rentals more economic through incentivising tax breaks and bonus offers for short-term rentals that transition to long-term. Supporting child care, recovery programs and mental health services are areas in our community with creative solutions involving relational development between nonprofits, public services and community development. I will represent the voice of the working class and utilizing my environmental, agricultural and sustainability background; I can help cultivate a community that fosters health, financial stability, community and protection of our natural resources.

Chris Harris has also filed for candidacy in District 3 but did not respond to questions from Pilot & Today.

At-large

Dave Moloney

Q. What is your current occupation?

A. Realtor.

Q. How long have you lived in Steamboat?

A. 33 years.

Q. What is your background in public service?

A. Six years on the board of directors at LiftUp of Routt County, during which time we expanded the Thrift Store and facilitated the purchase of the neighboring building, which allowed for expanding the local food bank, mentoring at-risk youth in music programs like Jam Sesh and Music with Vision, five years on the legislative policy committee for the Colorado Association of Realtors, various volunteer efforts with several other local nonprofits and churches.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish on City Council?

A. As a City Council person, I’ll work to implement thoughtful solutions, with input from all stakeholders, to address the challenges we are experiencing with our recent growth spurt. For example, fast tracking the development of the parcel recently acquired by the Yampa Valley Housing Authority. In addition, I’ll be an advocate for the arts, trails, the Yampa River, Howelsen Hill and the Winter Sports Club; all things that contribute to making Steamboat the amazing community that it is. My focus will be on maintaining our quality of life while fostering an environment where young people, families and businesses can succeed here in Steamboat Springs.

Ed Briones

Q. What is your current occupation?

A. My current occupation is field maintenance worker for the Mount Werner Water District.

Q. How long have you lived in Steamboat?

A. I have lived in Steamboat for a total of 24 years. I moved here in October of 1996, moved away for 14 months in 1999 to figure out that I wanted to be in Steamboat forever. Moved back December 2000.

Q. What is your background in public service?

A. If you consider working for the water district public service, that would be it. Otherwise, I haven’t held a public office ever. I also volunteered for various events, like Yampa River Cleanup and Routt County Riders trail work days.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish on City Council?

A. Get closer to and/or get the ball rolling to solving the housing and labor issue, diversify Steamboat Springs economically and culturally and bring Steamboat to a more sustainable growth path.

Peter Hunter filed his candidate petition with the city but has not filed an official affidavit. Current council member Kathi Meyer also filed a candidate petition, but City Attorney Dan Foote and City Clerk Julie Franklin determined Meyer was ineligible to run, as she has served two terms on council already and is term limited. Meyer had the option to challenge their decision in district court but opted not to do that.


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