Post, Quinn want to represent south Steamboat |

Post, Quinn want to represent south Steamboat

Mike Lawrence

— There are two open seats to represent District 3 on the Steamboat Springs City Council: a two-year position and a four-year position.

Karen Post and Jon Quinn decided to go all in.

Post and Quinn are vying to represent south Steamboat for the next four years. For Post, the decision comes after a year on City Council – she was appointed in October 2006 to fill the seat vacated by former Councilman Kevin Kaminski. Quinn said running for City Council is an attempt to preserve the community he loves for families and the working class in the face of rapid development and skyrocketing home prices.

“My goal is to put the focus back on the families that live and work in this town,” Quinn said. “Steamboat is fast becoming a place where working families cannot afford to raise a family. There is little to no affordable housing, no available daycare for working families, and few jobs that offer compensation and benefit packages that will afford them the opportunity to make Steamboat home.”

Post said her first year on City Council has shown her how to be an effective leader in city government.

“What has made me want to run (for election) the most is to finish the work that Susan (Dellinger, City Council president) and I and the rest of City Council had started, with getting a process that will better allow the voice of the citizen to be heard,” Post said. “There’s been a frustration level with the flow of ideas and information.”

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During her time on City Council, Post has cast several influential or notable votes, often siding with Dellinger. The two candidates are sharing campaign ad space this fall.

Post has voted in support of a moratorium on demolitions to downtown structures deemed historic, and in support of the city’s revised inclusionary zoning and linkage ordinance.

Quinn said City Council needs to do more to support affordable housing in Steamboat.

“One of my goals is to shift the emphasis from creating deed restricted housing to creating more inventory that is attainable to working families,” he said. “Developers need to be encouraged to shift their emphasis from building second homes to building communities.”

Quinn said the city can also help working families by supporting increased local daycare services.

“There is quite literally no daycare in Steamboat right now for new families,” he said. “The existing providers do an outstanding job, but they are full for years to come. Without daycare we will drive working families out of town, and it will be next to impossible to recruit and retain quality employees. The city of Steamboat needs to find a mechanism to provide funding or incentives for existing facilities to expand and or new providers to open businesses.”

Post said a potential annexation of the Steamboat 700 property west of downtown is the city’s “last big chance to place permanent affordable housing.”

“There’s a lot of things that will go into that annexation,” Post said, citing the city’s role in design elements, planning and infrastructure. “It’s a very exciting place, because it’s rare that you get this opportunity.”

Jon Quinn

Age: 33

Occupation: Owner of Northwest Data Services

On the issues: Historic preservation: “It is my opinion that the goals of historic preservation are best accomplished with the carrot rather than the stick. There should be incentives provided by the city and county to maintain the criteria of the historic preservation ordinance. Compliance should be voluntary, not mandatory.

“Most of the homeowners in downtown are excellent stewards of their property and have maintained the character of Steamboat and the charm of the community without having the city force subjective criteria upon them. The true charm of Steamboat is with its diverse community, not the buildings they live in.”

Traffic: “I would like to see the city take some smaller steps first. The bottleneck at 13th Street needs to be addressed by expanding U.S. 40 to four lanes all the way to Steamboat II. Parking meters should be used on Lincoln Avenue, and probably the side streets between Lincoln and Yampa and Lincoln and Oak. We also need a paid parking structure in downtown to accommodate all of the daily commuters.”

Karen Post

Age: 51

Occupation: Self-employed psychotherapist

On the issues:

Historic preservation: “We have to consider property rights – for both commercial and residential – along with community character, historic preservation and significance, and practicality. Even if a building is significant, is it practical to maintain it?

Part of what makes Steamboat such a nice place to be, and brings tourism, is our historic, Western nature. What I hope comes out of the ordinance in the long run is a preservation of our character, if not a specific building.”

Traffic: “For west of downtown, the plan to add four lanes from Steamboat II to 13th Street will definitely help. For downtown, some of the traffic will be alleviated when the building and construction phase stops. We also need to do a greater promotion of transit, especially in the summer, and see if there is any way to create a bypass for downtown.”