Gail Garey: Community or commodity?

Gail Garey
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

Community or commodity? I love this quote from Roger Ashton, former president of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, because it is the question before us.

We, the voters, get to decide which we want to be with the upcoming City Council election.

We have a housing crisis, a child care crisis and a climate crisis. How we address them, over the next five years, will determine if we are a community or commodity.

I believe we are community and am running to ensure that present and future generations have the same opportunities to work and live in this community and enjoy the same quality of life as we do today.

Housing: It is incumbent on City Council to work in partnership with the YVHA to ensure the success of Brown Ranch.

We can’t, however, rely on Brown Ranch as the only solution. Given the housing crisis, the city needs to prioritize housing for locals and make it a top priority every time City Council considers land use issues.

Anyone who works in Steamboat Springs should be able to live here whether they are a seasonal worker or a wage earner who lives here full time.

Child care: We also need to address the shortage of options for affordable child care and early childhood education. As a mother of two, I understand the importance of early childhood education and the importance of affordability and accessibility of quality child care.

It can be costly and difficult to get good reliable child care. We need to be creative and work collaboratively to provide a communitywide solution. As a business person, I will explore ways to work with our larger employers to provide more on-site options.

Climate action: The Climate Action Plan is a clear road map for how we move forward as a city and a region. The city can lead the way by integrating the reduction of greenhouse gases into how it operates, funding actions and working collaboratively with other entities on the actions outlined in the plan.

All of these actions are essential to creating a diverse economy and a strong community.

I am committed to listening to all viewpoints, being accessible, working collaboratively and transparently to make community driven decisions that preserve the culture and character of Steamboat Springs.

If elected, I will be your voice for keeping Steamboat Springs a community that works for everyone.

Gail Garey is a candidate for Steamboat Springs City Council District 1.

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