Political newcomers vie for open District 3 seat

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City Council District 3 (two years)

City Council District 3 (two years)

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Vince Arroyo

Vince Arroyo

Age: 48

Occupation: Mechanic for Xcel Energy

Political Experience: None

On the issues:

Transportation: With all the changes in Steamboat in recent years, he thinks the town should be surveyed once more to see what residents want done about traffic issues. Supports multi-modal forms of travel and carpooling. "Right now, there's so many options out there. I think the people need to have a say as to what they want."

Historic preservation: "If the city's going to step in, it should remain a voluntary program only." Believes committee reviewing historic preservation ordinance "should be stocked with people from all walks of life."

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Walter Magill

Walter Magill

Age: 37

Occupation: Land surveyor/civil engineer

Political Experience: None

On the issues:

Transportation: Thinks city should be talking with Colorado Department of Transportation about a long-range widening of U.S. Highway 40 west of Steamboat. In favor of adding lanes to 13th Street south of the Yampa River. "I'd have to look more at the bypass. It disturbs open space and is a bad investment."

Historic preservation: Believes city should establish inventory of historic structures and notify their owners in spirit of cooperation to preserve the structure. "Any alterations should be in the character of the existing structure. But I think it needs to be mostly voluntary. We don't have too many Greek coliseums here."

— Of Steamboat Springs' three City Council districts, District 3 is the one that will see the most changes as a result of November's election.

Although only one seat is up for election in both District 1 and District 2, both District 3 seats are on this year's ballot. One of the races is for a traditional four-year seat, while the other is for a two-year seat fulfilling a term resigned by Kevin Kaminski in September 2006.

Walter Magill and Vince Arroyo are running for the latter seat, currently held by Councilwoman Karen Post. Post is running against Jon Quinn for the four-year seat being vacated by term-limited Councilman Paul Strong.

Arroyo and Magill are political newcomers.

"Now's the time to step up and do it," Arroyo said.

Arroyo is a fifth-generation Yampa Valley resident who thinks his long-term perspective on the valley is a strength to his candidacy.

"I'm passionate about this valley and the direction it's heading," Arroyo said.

Arroyo said he has seen a lot of changes in Steamboat - "for better or for worse" - and he'd like to be involved in directing the changes coming down the road.

"My biggest thing is sharing the valley, as we've done for many years," Arroyo said. "We can accept this growth. We can direct it. The answers will come with time and patience. We have the resources and the tools to get things done."

Magill thinks his background would be a unique one on the City Council.

"I'd like to add a voice for business owners and people with children," Magill said. "I think being a business owner and having employees, I'm aware of how policy affects the community."

Magill said he doesn't have any specific problems with the current City Council but thinks the process can be improved, especially when it comes to late-night meetings.

"Council has done some good work," Magill said. "I think they could do better and more efficiently. Making policy after 11 p.m. is a hardship both on the public and council."

Arroyo, who says he would bring a common-sense approach to the council and be a voice for working people, agreed that the City Council process needs to be improved. He said people too often bypass the city's committees and commissions to drop things on City Council's lap.

"They're so overwhelmed with what's been put in front of them," Arroyo said.

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