Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Steamboat Springs Walter Magill says he's ready to get to work on a number of important issues facing the Steamboat Springs City Council. Magill won a two-year seat representing District 3, defeating opponent Vince Arroyo by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent Tuesday.
On the phone from Old Town Pub as results came in Tuesday evening, Magill set out concrete goals such as getting council meetings televised as well as addressing problems such as traffic, annexation and affordable housing.
"I'm encouraged to get the pen to the paper and starting to get these issues worked out," Magill said.
As part of a new majority leading the council - in which five of seven members will be new faces, and few have political experience - Magill said he was encouraged about the people getting elected.
"I think there's a lot of tough issues that the council has to work on," he said. "Work starts on Tuesday."
Both of the seats in District 3, which includes south Steamboat, were up for re-election. Arroyo and Magill - neither of whom has political experience - vied for the two-year spot, currently held by Councilwoman Karen Post. Magill applied for the seat when Kevin Kaminski moved from the district in September 2006. Post, however, got the spot.
Magill, 37, is a land surveyor and civil engineer, and has emphasized increased efficiency of current council proceedings. Throughout the election season, he has called on his experience as a business owner - he runs Steamboat Engineering and Surveying - and a parent. He has lived in Steamboat Springs for 10 years and is originally from New Hampshire.
In forums, Magill has been most critical of the council's use of time, noting in an Oct. 10 discussion hosted by the League of Women Voters of Routt County that the Steamboat Springs City Council meets about twice as often as councils in other mountain towns.
He said he would work toward getting council meeting agendas turned around, placing items with heavy public input first.
Arroyo, 48, is a fifth-generation Yampa Valley resident and works as a mechanic for Xcel Energy. He played his long-term perspective on the valley as a strength to his candidacy.
"I'm passionate about this valley and the direction it's heading," he told the Steamboat Pilot & Today in October.
"We can accept this growth. We can direct it. The answers will come with time and patience," he said.
Of the incoming council members, Arroyo said he hopes they can hear all sides of every issue to better the process.
"I just hope the council can work together as a whole and hear both sides of the story," he said.
Brandon Gee contributed to this article.