SSAC director joins council race

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— Nancy Kramer remembers inventing a character named Club Gunu her senior year in high school and placing Mr. Gunu's name on the ballot for class president. Although she campaigned tirelessly for him, the fake candidate ended up losing the race.

"But he did get a lot of votes," Kramer said. "It was just a little parody on the whole system."

Kramer, the executive director of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, is still in a creative frame of mind, but the candidate herself is a little more viable this time.

Kramer is very concerned with the nuts-and-bolts issues of city government, talking at length on the budget process and the soon-to-be-revised Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan.

She sees herself as an advocate for the local nonprofit community, though her three professions in Steamboat have allowed her to experience the community through a number of different eyes. Kramer has worked in the health-care profession, owned a small restaurant ("a creative success, a financial challenge") and now runs a nonprofit organization.

"Mostly, for me personally, running is the next step in my service to my community," Kramer said.

With City Council President Kevin Bennett deciding not to seek re-election, the District I race will be full of untested candidates, with newcomers Omar Campbell and Jim Goossens pulling petitions along with Kramer. The deadline to have the petitions returned with at least 25 signatures is today.

Kramer has stood before the council at budget hearings in the past and knows the difficulty of asking for large community support allocations when the city is struggling to pay its own employees. She says she wants to make sure budget decisions are not made in an arbitrary manner and that the city has a "strategic vision" to deal with its budget over the next few years.

In terms of the area plan update, Kramer said she thinks the community may need to look at some form of growth management, though she dislikes the term "growth control."

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