Saturday, October 22, 2005
Steamboat Springs Two current Steamboat Springs City Council members, Nancy Kramer and Steve Ivancie, are facing off for the District I seat.
Kramer has been the District I representative for four years, during which she said the council has built a solid framework. Now she wants to progress with that framework.
Ivancie has held two two-year terms as the council's at-large member. He wants to remain so he can continue to advocate the working person's perspective.
Ivancie said he remembers what it's like having to live with roommates and a leaky car roof. That's why, he said, the City Council needs to uphold a balance between tourism and working families' needs.
The people who live in Steamboat Springs need to be treated on an equal basis with the tourists who come through, Ivancie said. "We do not want to sell out" to tourism, he said.
The city is reliant on the people who work here, he said, and those people should not be driven away by a high cost of living. When families are forced to live too far from work, he said, their home lives and quality of life will suffer.
Ivancie also doesn't want the council to encourage events that drive residents out of their homes. When too many tourists are on the streets, he said, residents leave town.
"Next thing you know the lights are on and no one's home," he said.
Ivancie said he had a long talk with his wife and teenage daughter before running for this four-year term. They decided together that it was worthwhile, he said.
"I'm not done yet. I want to hold out for the best that Steamboat can be, not look at one season or two."
Kramer also remembers her humble beginnings in Steamboat Springs. In 1975, she was living in someone's attic.
She wants other people to have the opportunity to move to Steamboat Springs and build their lives here.
Kramer said she has seen exciting projects and plans get started, including the Yampa Valley Housing Authority and the Urban Renewal Authority.
Now that those frameworks have been prepared, Kramer said, she would like to see the city see those projects through.
Too often, she said, council members must focus on small decisions. Kramer would rather see the council doing "big picture work," including urban renewal, base area redevelopment and transportation.
"The council needs to be able to spend time on that window somehow," she said.
For example, Kramer said, the council should tighten planning-related standards so the planning commission has more power to make decisions.
Then the council can focus on the larger issues, which would help members take a more active role, she said. "We really need to be focusing on the bigger pieces."