With less than a week remaining for potential candidates to gather signatures and submit a petition to run for the Steamboat Springs City Council, Kenny Reisman is still the only candidate running for the seat being vacated by term-limited City Council President Loui Antonucci.
Reisman, a local businessman, said the 13 years he spent teaching middle and high school students instilled in him a sense of duty to one day run for office. In civics classes, Reisman said, he always did an exercise with his students in which they talked about citizenship and its requirements. Practices such as voting and paying your taxes made the list, but Reisman said running for office always came out on top.
"That definitely had an impact on me," said Reisman, who has a master's degree in political science. "The notion of throwing yourself out there. : I'll work as hard as I can to try and figure out the intricacies of all the issues. I'll listen to people in this community. Through that I'll make practical decisions on the issues I'm confronted with."
Reisman considered running for City Council in 2007 but did not meet residency requirements. Reisman, who is originally from New York, lived in Steamboat through the early 90s, left and returned in 2007. He has a wife and two young children. His business ventures include a real estate investment business and a small property management firm. He and his wife soon will launch Sweet Dreamzzz, a business that will sell CDs with stories on them that help young children sleep through the night. Reisman said the idea is loosely based on meditation principles. Reisman, 40, is also a volunteer soccer coach.
Reisman said he is mostly supportive of the current City Council, which has come under attack by some other candidates. One criticism has been that City Council is rushing Steamboat 700, the proposed master-planned community of about 500 acres and 2,000 homes seeking annexation. But Reisman said he has no problem with a vote on the annexation taking place in the fall as scheduled.
"So long as they feel they have all the information to make the vote, then they should take the vote," he said. "The plans that are in place have called for growth to go in that area and for growth to be concentrated. (Steamboat) 700 accomplishes both of those things. : Based upon everything I know, I would vote for it."
Reisman has been preparing himself by attending recent City Council meetings. He also was a member of the Excellence Project, creators of the social host ordinance passed by council in a 4-3 vote earlier this year. The law allows authorities to fine adults found guilty of knowingly providing a location for underage drinking.
"I was in favor of it because I thought it was important for the safety of our kids," Reisman said.
Four out of seven City Council seats are up for election this year. Other candidates who have confirmed their candidacy include incumbent Councilman Walter Magill, who holds a District 3 seat; incumbent Councilwoman Cari Hermacinski, who holds council's two-year, at-large seat but said she will run for the four-year, District 1 seat being vacated by term-limited Councilman Steve Ivancie; former City Council President Kevin Bennett, who also is running for the District 1 seat; and local landscaper Kyle Pietras, who is expected to run for the at-large seat.
Nomination petitions are available at the City Clerk's Office in City Hall on 10th Street. The last day to file a petition is Monday. Reisman said he hopes an opponent will surface in time.
"Dialogue is good," he said. "It's healthy. If you can have that during a campaign, that's good."