Breckenridge nominee Q&A: Describe current board misstep and how you would have handled it differently

I remember being at a city council forum where the majority of those present stood up and expressed their disagreement with the proposal being discussed. However, even with this overwhelming response, the city council voted unanimously in favor of the proposal. While I understand the board is listening to the field and communicating with multiple committees and constituents, such dramatic opposition should warrant either a direct vote to the people or a follow-up public forum for further discussion before such decisions are made. We are meant to be the voice of the people ultimately, and although we are charged with contributing ideas, we are still meant to implement the wishes of our constituents.

—Jason Libby

I believe there are always opportunities to improve, to learn and to involve the community more and more in the decisions. In hindsight, I would have pushed for better management of our communications during discussions on short-term rent caps. There was tremendous interest from the community. Although there were many conversations for months prior to the ordinance – work session discussions, focus group roundtables – the city has not been as proactive with our communications as we could have been. . We could have avoided a lot of this confusion in the community. For any contentious policies, I intend to push for increased communication and community involvement.

—Carol Saade

The city council did not listen to the people of Breckenridge. In 2021, when the city polled residents for feedback on Walkable Main, 86% of residents and 83% of businesses who responded supported its return. However, five of the current six members of council voted ‘no’ on the proposal to reinstate Walkable Main in the summer of 2021. This is one of many instances where the city council has ignored voter input.

Although I have a lot of my own ideas, I would make it my #1 priority to listen to Breckenridge voters. I would also respect voters and their ideas and opinions. Too often, members of our community attend city council meetings only to have their public comments fall on deaf ears. Part of my commitment to constituents will be to hold regular discussions with affected residents so that I can meet with them in person to hear their needs.

Moreover, the current city council is thinking in unison. They have no diversity of thought. As an aerospace engineer, it is in my nature to question and analyze. I will do my own research and carefully consider the costs, benefits and impacts of all orders and resolutions.

– Ally “For the People” Doolin

Breckenridge has been honored with forward-thinking and courageous leaders for decades, and the present time is no exception. Good leadership and altruistic goals do not always exempt the best intentions from unintended consequences.

Last spring, the city surveyed residents and businesses, asking for feedback on the return of Walkable Main despite the lack of staff to support the initiative for the second year in a row. While the poll came back overwhelmingly in favor of returning the pedestrian-only Main Street concept, the logistics were too intensive to move forward responsibly. There were going to be compromises: is the trash can emptied? Is the street swept? Which obligations are not fulfilled and what are the consequences?

The faux pas of asking a question for which the answer was already clear shows the limits of government and reminds us that there are limits and opportunity costs.

-Jay Beckerman

The short-term rental cap is a huge faux pas. He encouraged people to get a short-term rental license before the deadline. This in turn further reduced the amount of long-term rental inventory. This increases rents and makes housing less affordable. At the same time, it takes away the rights of the owners for no reason. Meanwhile, companies like Breckenridge Grand Vacations are exempt. They will continue to build more short-term rentals, and new owners will have to house new employees of these exempt businesses with long-term rentals.

I proposed two solutions: a three-year waiting period for a short-term rental license instead of a cap, and a warranty program that would allow the city to protect a long-term tenant landlord against damages and early departures in exchange for no security deposit or last month’s rent. This would make it easier to get a lease.

—Lenny Weisberg

Not listening to the public on several subjects, short-term rental being the most blatant example. After no less than 10 hours of public comments – almost all of them asking to suspend the ordinance to learn more and possibly make a better ordinance – the public was completely ignored and ignored. Now a task force has been set up to refine the order, a step that should have happened before a decision was made. If I sit on the board, I have to listen to all points of view on an issue, not just the ones I want to hear.

—Nathan Moorefield

The staff and council have worked hard to ensure there is enough housing in our community. However, given COVID, an increase in visitation, and an increase in the number of remote workers in our city, this effort has not met the city’s current needs. The city and council could have been more aggressive in acquiring land for future use and developing more projects faster.

I support a greater focus on human capital and employees. As one of the best ski resorts in the country, the town of Breckenridge should be a leader when it comes to employee housing. Going forward, we also need to re-engage the private sector and our local government partners to see what additional housing projects we can get off the ground this summer. In addition to what is planned, can we have 100 more units built by summer 2023? If elected, I hope to devote more energy and resources to our employees and housing.

—Todd Rankin

The city council’s main misstep is the implementation of short-term rental restrictions. This will translate nowhere near the long-term housing needed to make things better. As I said before, we are way behind the eight ball on this issue, and it should have been fixed three or four city councils ago, at least. We need to build huge affordable rental housing which creates a revenue stream for the town of Breckenridge for years to come and is the highest and best use of the nearly 4,000 acres of land the town owns . As far as I can tell, Breckenridge is still the most visited ski resort in North America. We must act accordingly.

—Tom Day

I think the city council could have handled the decision to reimplement the Walkable Main program for summer 2021 differently. The city released a survey to gather feedback from local business leaders and residents on the impacts of the program and whether to pursue it. Even though the survey data indicated overwhelming support for the program, albeit with caveats on how the program should be run, the city council voted unanimously against supporting the program for a second year.

Although the decision not to prosecute was based on multiple factors, including road safety and economic fairness for business owners, the council’s decision was overshadowed by the public perception that the council did not care. disregard public opinion. In my opinion, the city council should have been clearer with the public that the poll was only one part of the decision-making process and therefore the poll results would be weighted accordingly.

—Mike Zobbe

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