Steamboat Springs City Council to spend Valentine’s Day speed dating with 9 council applicants |

Steamboat Springs City Council to spend Valentine’s Day speed dating with 9 council applicants

Scott Franz

Like attending groundbreakings and advancing city policy? The Steamboat Springs City Council might be for you.

— It might be better than an episode of “The Bachelor.”

The Steamboat Springs City Council will spend the final hours of Valentine's Day speed dating with nine residents who are vying for a chance to join the group on the dais.

Whoever gets the final rose from the council is expected to be sworn in late Tuesday evening in Citizens Hall.

To ensure no applicant has an unfair advantage and learns of the council's questions before his or her interview, the applicants will be sequestered in a sort of "green room" until they are called for their date.

Councilman Scott Ford was smitten by the level of interest in the open council seat.

"To me it shows the civic engagement level is pretty high, and I am really encouraged by that, because we do well when people care," Ford said. "The hard part is you only get to pick one person."

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The applicants include a cycling advocate, a representative of the Young Professionals Network, two school teachers, two massage therapists, a public relations professional, a leadership coach and a man who has negotiating experience with the United Nations.

Each candidate's "date" with the council will last 20 minutes.

Ford said he expects the interview process to last a few hours, and it will be important for the council to ward off any exhaustion so that the ninth applicant will get the same level of engagement from the council as the first.

It will be the first time in almost seven years that the council has had to pick a replacement for a member who stepped down early.

Community members who aren't out on dates of their own have a number of ways to tune in and watch the interviews, which are scheduled to start shortly after 7 p.m.

The live studio audience can watch from Citizens Hall.

For home viewers wanting to watch the action from the comfort of their living rooms, all of the council's meetings are broadcast live on Channel 6.

Residents can also call in and listen in on the meeting by dialing 970-871-7070.

The council is expected to vote on its preferred replacement for Councilman Tony Connell at the conclusion of the interviews.

Connell is stepping down Tuesday night due to work demands and to spend more time with his family.

Tuesday's meeting will kick off at 5 p.m. with a reception honoring Connell's service on the council.

"It's been a pleasure and an honor to hang out with him," Ford said. "He's a smart guy. I'm going to miss his insights and comments."

Before the prime time interviews, council will review a water proposal from real estate developers hoping to build new neighborhoods on the west end of town.

Read more about the proposal here.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

Steamboat Springs City Council applicants

Sarah Braat: Massage therapist, former owner of Karma Bar and Lounge

Paul Hebert: Engineering/management consultant, retired international civil servant

Matthew Helm: Teacher at Steamboat Springs Middle School, former Routt County Sheriff’s deputy

Richard Levy: Massage therapist, former U.S. Forest Service wilderness ranger

Timothy Lormand: Public relations professional, self-employed advertising consultant

Eric Meyer: Routt County Riders, licensed civil engineer

Lisel Petis: Financial manager and general counsel at Gerber Berend Design Build, Young Professionals Network member

Patrick Slowey: Teacher, Steamboat Springs High School, former U.S. Army officer

Michael Shaler: CEO of Steamboat Leadership Institute