Steamboat City Council member says he will not run for re-election
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
After his first two-year term in office, Steamboat Springs City Council member Eddie Briones will not seek re-election this November.
On Tuesday, April 25, he told his fellow council members that his competing duties as a council member, a member of various committees and subcommittees and his full-time job as field operations supervisor at Mount Werner Water stretched him too thin to serve the community at the highest level.
“If there’s an emergency, I can’t come to the meeting,” Briones said. “I’ve already missed two meetings because of emergencies.”
Briones won his at-large council seat back in 2021 by a wide margin. Among the four council seats decided in that election, Briones received the most total votes with a little more than 3,200 — about 2,000 more votes than the closest at-large candidate.
Briones grew up in New Jersey after his parents emigrated from the Philippines.
Briones came to Steamboat Springs in 1996 to work in a ski shop. After a few years he moved away for a different job, but he came back in 2000 and has been here since.
Over time, Briones became what he describes as an “armchair quarterback” — forming strong opinions on many local issues — but especially the shortage of local housing.
Eventually, he realized he wanted to be in the room where decisions are made and ran for office.
He campaigned under the slogan “Keepin’ it Steamboat,” saying he wanted to help stave off the glamorous redevelopments seen in other Colorado ski towns.
“We have ski bums mixing with ranchers, that’s our history,” Briones told the Steamboat Pilot & Today in February 2022.
His election marked the first time a person of color was elected to the Steamboat Springs City Council.
“My friends don’t treat me any differently and they don’t look at me any different, but this is definitely a predominately white town,” Briones told the Pilot & Today in 2022.
Reflecting on his term, Briones said he’s most proud of the work he contributed in passing the short-term rental overlay zone map, which put limits on the numbers of short-term rentals allowed within city limits, and putting the 9% tax on short-term rentals on last November’s ballot, which voters did pass.
“Passing that and being a part of that, that’s what I ran on,” Briones said.
Looking back further on his time on council, Briones admitted there are issues he wished he had more time to pursue. He said he believes the city should implement paid parking meters downtown, both to raise revenue and to encourage people to walk or bike downtown.
“Why not?” Briones said.
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