Kevin Bennett

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District 1 candidate Kevin Bennett

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Kevin Bennett discusses city issues during a studio interview with the Steamboat Pilot & Today

Election 2009

Visit www.steamboatpilot.com/election2009 for complete coverage of this year's races and issues.

Name: Kevin Bennett

Age: 61

Occupation: Businessman, semi-retired

Prior political experience: City Council, 1993-2001; Council President, 1995-2001; President of Colorado Association of Ski Towns, 1999-2001

Hometown: Edina, Minn.

Years in Steamboat: 39 years

Family: Jane Bennett (wife), Ed and Annie Ryberg (adult stepchildren)

Civic involvement: Steamboat Springs Centennial Commission, chairman (approximately 1998-2001); Steamboat Springs Centennial Hall Committee, chairman (approximately 1998-2001); Regional Airport Authority (approximately 1995-1998); Water Utilities Oversight Committee (approximately 1994-1999); Downtown Business Association, chairman (1978, twice in early '80s); Perry-Mansfield, board of directors (current); Plastic Ski Jump Project, Colorado Ski Heritage Project, founder and co-chairman (approximately 1999-2003)

Questions (candidates were asked to limit responses to 100 words)

The city has had to make drastic budget cuts recently. Does this speak to a need for changes to the city's tax structure? If so, what changes? If not, why is the current tax structure appropriate?

The current tax structure could remain adequate through this difficult time if the City Council changed direction. I would like to represent those who see the need to change priorities set by the current City Council. For example, the current City Council is:

1. Currently taking bids to spend $1.3 million on a new road to Steamboat 700 this fall. This is fiscally irresponsible and I would stop this process immediately.

2. Attempting to refund taxes owed by developers

3. Reducing the grant writing department to one part-time employee. Historically, grant writing has been our best source of extra income for community goals. We received $58 million in grants in the '90s.

I will bring back the policy of achieving community goals through the competitive process of grant writing and by listening to the community to determine those goals, and how best to achieve them. This would not be through tax structure changes.

Should the city delegate affordable housing efforts - and remit fees collected through the city's community housing ordinance - to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority? Why or why not?

No. The city needs to keep its own revenue and determine its own way, particularly with all of the budget concerns. This also ensures the community will have a direct voice through an elected city council as opposed to working with an appointed committee.

Is it OK for the city to require money instead of new water rights from projects seeking annexation into city limits? Why or why not?

No. Water is too important in the west. A development this large should be adding water to the system, not depleting it. When I served on the City Water Oversight Committee we had a completely different approach. The first order of our water system was "do no harm" and "build while you grow".

The policy of not bringing water is not only against current city ordinances, but is absolutely irresponsible. My opponent said we have been "planning this for decades" and we have "extra water" in the system. I strongly disagree. We do not have an extra 1,100 acre-feet of water in our reservoir for Council to sell for pennies on the dollar - there is no such thing as "extra" water in our system; it is called reserves. This type of thinking is why Old Town pays three times as much for water.

Is growth in west Steamboat - and the annexation of projects such as Steamboat 700 and 360 Village - necessary for the long-term health and vitality of the city? Why or why not?

It is one possible alternative. However, this suburban type/automobile based development could be replaced with increased density in the existing city. Time will tell if the market will drive development without City Council involvement.

The current City Council has continually told us that Steamboat 700 is what the community wants, and they have been focused on almost nothing else for the past 18 months, claiming that earlier plans gave authorization to move forward without community involvement. The west of Steamboat plan does not say this. The simple existence of a plan does not necessarily mean that the community endorsed it. If Council continually says no to a citizen vote on the Steamboat 700 project, they are saying no to true community involvement. Another top-down decision.

What in your mind should be the long-term future of Triple Crown in Steamboat Springs?

The positive parts of Triple Crown outweigh the negative. The Triple Crown participants carpool, fill rooms, help our economy and local businesses, and their once controversial behavior has diminished considerably over the years. However, like most community issues, long term solutions need to be created and concerns need to be addressed - such as Pamela Lane, lighting pollution and noise pollution. This is hard to address if the current Council continues to be focused solely on a development on the west side of town. Long term, the community needs to diversify its summer visitor portfolio.

How should the city mitigate ever-growing conflicts between users of the Yampa River, including tubers and fishermen, and the impact those users have on the health of the river?

In the '90s we added over 2 miles of river access inside and outside of the city. We are proud of that legacy and think it needs to be protected. The fact that this is being used is terrific, but with use comes problems. The Council needs to continue to ensure an ongoing mediation process between the user groups.

Given the current economic climate, should developers be allowed more than the standard three years before they must pull a building permit and begin construction on their projects? If yes, how long is appropriate? If no, why not?

No. I disagree with the current Council policy of increasing vesting. This is a continuation of this Council's promoting growth without demand. It puts future Councils at a disadvantage while empowering the developers. Why is Council so concerned about development years from now while ignoring today's community needs? The leveling of buildings at the base area without an immediate plan to replace these important local businesses and homes is outrageous. Giving them triple vesting only rewards the developer and hurts the community. Another top down decision.

Do you agree that the base of the Steamboat Ski Area needs to be more dense, with buildings as tall as 105 feet? Why or why not?

I agree with density at the base area, however this Council's carte blanche up-zoning was a gift to developers while removing future Council's ability to plan effectively and represent the community's interests. Rezoning the entire base area in just two meetings, once again, did not allow the community to participate. Why are we being told rezoning is important to the community, yet community concerns are ignored and developers prevail? Another decision from the top.

Open-ended (200-word limit)

I am the loyal opposition. I am running against current Council policies. My name is Kevin Bennett.

I am a 39-year resident of Steamboat Springs and fairly active in the community. I follow water and local political issues quite closely. I have been very concerned about a number of current issues such as selling the cities water at a give away price, currently building a new road to Steamboat 700 at a cost of $1.3 million, the failure to address Old Town traffic issues, and a 50 percent raise in water rates - just to name a few.

I would like to offer a new direction to the community based on partnership and involvement, where the community directs and leads the Council, not the other way around. I am very proud of the accomplishments that Council achieved during the '90s the plastic ski jump, Haymaker Golf Course and Centennial Hall. We developed or increased a majority of the major parks in Steamboat Springs, developed open space projects around town and created miles of core trail expansion and river access. This legacy of achievement in Council's 1990 tenure is based upon community participation, interaction and giving the citizens a vote on major issues with minimal costs to the local taxpayers.

The current Council has focused staff and community almost exclusively on Steamboat 700 for almost two years, all the while ignoring community issues and real community problems. As I have done in the past, I will protect tax dollars and work to improve our existing community.

Comments

StopTheBrutalChemtrails 5 years, 2 months ago

Scientific Study Finds Fluoride Horror Stories Factual Industrial by-product consumed by millions of Americans lowers IQ, causes cancer

Paul Joseph Watson PrisonPlanet.com Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The establishment media will have to find a new tactic with which to ridicule those who oppose the fluoridation of water after a major new Scientific American report concluded that "Scientific attitudes toward fluoridation may be starting to shift" as new evidence emerges of the poison's link to disorders affecting teeth, bones, the brain and the thyroid gland, as well as lowering IQ.

"Today almost 60 percent of the U.S. population drinks fluoridated water, including residents of 46 of the nation's 50 largest cities," reports Scientific American's Dan Fagin.

Fagin is an award-wining environmental reporter and Director of New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program.

"Outside the U.S., fluoridation has spread to Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and a few other countries. Critics of the practice have generally been dismissed as gadflies or zealots by mainstream researchers and public health agencies in those countries as well as the U.S. (In other nations, however, water fluoridation is rare and controversial.)"

Indeed, the zeitgeist for scoffing at those who spoke of the dangers of mass medicating the public against their will with fluoride was the deranged and paranoid character of General Ripper in the hit 1964 Peter Selllers movie Dr. Strangelove.

But that stereotype is quickly fading as serious scientific research uncovers proof that all the horror stories about sodium fluoride told down the decades are essentially true.

The Scientific American study "Concluded that fluoride can subtly alter endocrine function, especially in the thyroid -- the gland that produces hormones regulating growth and metabolism."

The report also notes that "a series of epidemiological studies in China have associated high fluoride exposures with lower IQ."

"Epidemiological studies and tests on lab animals suggest that high fluoride exposure increases the risk of bone fracture, especially in vulnerable populations such as the elderly and diabetics," writes Fagin.

Fagin interviewed Steven Levy, director of the Iowa Fluoride Study which tracked about 700 Iowa children for sixteen years. Nine-year-old "Iowa children who lived in communities where the water was fluoridated were 50 percent more likely to have mild fluorosis... than [nine-year-old] children living in nonfluoridated areas of the state," writes Fagin.

The study adds to a growing literature of shocking scientific studies proving fluoride's link with all manner of health defects, even as governments in the west, including recently the UK, make plans to mass medicate the population against their will with this deadly toxin.

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StopTheBrutalChemtrails 5 years, 2 months ago

In 2005, a study conducted at the Harvard School of Dental Health found that fluoride in tap water directly contributes to causing bone cancer in young boys.

"New American research suggests that boys exposed to fluoride between the ages of five and 10 will suffer an increased rate of osteosarcoma - bone cancer - between the ages of 10 and 19," according to a London Observer article about the study.

Based on the findings of the study, the respected Environmental Working Group lobbied to have fluoride in tap water be added to the US government's classified list of substances known or anticipated to cause cancer in humans.

Cancer rates in the U.S. have skyrocketed with one in three people now contracting the disease at some stage in their life.

The link to bone cancer has also been discovered by other scientists, but a controversy ensued after it emerged that Harvard Professor Chester Douglass, who downplayed the connection in his final report, was in fact editor-in-chief of The Colgate Oral Health Report, a quarterly newsletter funded by Colgate-Palmolive Co., which makes fluoridated toothpaste.

An August 2006 Chinese study found that fluoride in drinking water damages children's liver and kidney functions.

FACTS ABOUT FLUORIDE

  • Fluoride is a waste by-product of the fertilizer and aluminum industry and it's also a Part II Poison under the UK Poisons Act 1972.

  • Fluoride is one of the basic ingredients in both PROZAC (FLUoxetene Hydrochloride) and Sarin nerve gas (Isopropyl-Methyl-Phosphoryl FLUoride).

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StopTheBrutalChemtrails 5 years, 2 months ago

  • USAF Major George R. Jordan testified before Un-American Activity committees of Congress in the 1950's that in his post as U.S.-Soviet liaison officer, the Soviets openly admitted to "Using the fluoride in the water supplies in their concentration camps, to make the prisoners stupid, docile, and subservient."

  • The first occurrence of fluoridated drinking water on Earth was found in Germany's Nazi prison camps. The Gestapo had little concern about fluoride's supposed effect on children's teeth; their alleged reason for mass-medicating water with sodium fluoride was to sterilize humans and force the people in their concentration camps into calm submission. (Ref. book: "The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben" by Joseph Borkin.)

  • 97% of western Europe has rejected fluoridated water due to the known health risks, however 10% of Britons drink it and the UK government is trying to fast track the fluoridation of the entire country's water supply.

  • In Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg fluoridation of water was rejected because it was classified as compulsive medication against the subject's will and therefore violated fundamental human rights.

  • In November of 2006, the American Dental Association (ADA) advised that parents should avoid giving babies fluoridated water.

  • Sources of fluoride include: fluoride dental products, fluoride pesticides, fluoridated pharmaceuticals, processed foods made with fluoridated water, and tea.

Click here to find out if your water supply is poisoned with deadly fluoride. http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/MWF/Index.asp

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StopTheBrutalChemtrails 5 years, 2 months ago

Dear City Council, how much longer are we going to poison our children with the deadly chemical 'fluoride'???

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