Commission members picked

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— Two residents have been appointed to the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission.

This month, when the terms of three Planning Commission members expired, the Steam--boat Springs City Council nam--ed Steve Lewis and Tom Ernst to the board and appointed incumbent Dana Stopher to serve another term.

The Planning Commission reviews development projects and makes recommendations to the City Council.

The three planning commissioners whose three-year terms expired were David Baldinger Jr., Randall Hannaway and Stopher.

Stopher asked to serve another term. Baldinger, who was vice chairman of the commission, at first reapplied for another term, then withdrew because his schedule was too busy, City Clerk Julie Jordan said.

The council retained Stopher and moved alternate commissioner Cari Hermacinski into a regular commission spot.

Lewis and Ernst were the only two applicants for the open Planning Commission positions. Lewis will serve as a regular member, and Ernst will serve as an alternate.

Lewis, owner of Engineering Designworks, recently served on the Tax Policy Advisory Board. A 25-year resident of Steamboat Springs, Lewis noted in his application to the city that his profession involves working with homeowners, developers, builders and architecture.

Lewis listed the three most pressing planning issues facing the city as affordable equity and affordable housing, future annexation agreements and infill development.

According to Ernst's application to the city, he is the owner and manager of Catamount Financial LLC and was a previous senior vice president of KeyBank in Denver.

Ernst noted that, as a senior lender with one of Colorado's largest banks, he was able to participate in development and planning issues for many communities in the state.

He also stated he had education in drafting and architecture and has been active in designing homes for years.

Also Tuesday, the council selected or reappointed members to five other commissions.

Over all, volunteerism for city commissions was low this spring, which is typically when the council appoints its members, Jordan said.

"That is unfortunate," Jordan said. "They are more active at public meetings and user group meetings and special interest, but we haven't seen the amount of volunteers as we have in the past to serve on city boards and commissions."

The council also did some committee housekeeping, retiring some whose services are no longer needed. Instead of keeping the boards open, Jordan said the city would hold public hearings for the special interests and user groups represented on those boards.

The city is retiring the Spring Creek Advisory Monitoring Committee, the Howelsen Hill Committee, the Trails and River Committee and the Centennial Committee.

"We've spread ourselves a bit too thin. We are trying to pull back in and streamline the process a bit more efficiently," Jordan said.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229 or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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