Jack Weinstein: News and notes from the city and business beat

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Jack Weinstein

Jack Weinstein's column appears periodically in the Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4203 or jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com.

— An interesting discussion came up near the end of Tuesday’s Steamboat Springs City Council meeting. Council members were discussing assignments on various committees when some asked whether there would be a conflict of interest if Sonja Macys served on the steering committee that oversees the three coalitions that allocate funding to local nonprofits.

Macys, elected to the City Council in November, is the executive director of Yampatika, a nonprofit that provides environmental education programming for youths and adults. Yampatika in the past has requested and received funding from the environmental coalition.The council members questioned whether that created a conflict.

Since the steering committee doesn’t allocate that funding, Macys said she didn’t think there was a conflict of interest. Macys said she would disclose her position before the funding process.

“I take you at your word that there’s no conflict of interest, but I want us to be above reproach,” City Council member Cari Hermacinski said. “And if there’s two council people that already have said, ‘Hmm, I don’t know,’ I think we could expect that there would be that perception in the community at large.”

Council members Kenny Reisman and Walter Magill also expressed concern.

Macys said she thought her background in nonprofit work would be valuable on the steering committee, which other council members agreed with. But Macys said she wouldn’t pursue the position if others were uncomfortable with it.

The City Council will decide at a later time which member will be the representative on the steering committee.

The discussion arose when Macys asked whether the steering committee and the three coalitions — arts and human resources, in addition to environmental — each should have council representation. That matter also wasn’t resolved Tuesday.

■ Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association CEO Tom Kern said the Chamber is working with the city and Routt County on a website that would highlight local economic development programs and how they could be accessed. It came up during a discussion about the city’s new micro-grant program and how business owners could apply for funding from the city. That now is available by visiting http://steamboatsprings.net/departments/financial_services/documents or by calling the city at 970-879-2060.

Kern said the website should be up and running by the second quarter of 2012.

■ The Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department on Thursday announced two free community holiday parties and a youth skating program.

The 34th annual Community Holiday Party featuring free tubing, caroling, visits with Santa and cookies and cider at Olympian Hall will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

A party for seniors 55 and older featuring food, prizes and entertainment from local musician Todd Musselman is from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 20. RSVP by Thursday by calling 970-879-4300.

The city’s Pee Wee Adventure program and Howelsen Ice Arena are offering a skating program for preschoolers at 9 a.m. Thursdays for seven weeks. Lessons are followed by crafts and story-time. The program is done by noon. The cost is $140. Call 970-879-4300.

Jack Weinstein covers the city and business beats for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. For news tips or feedback, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com.

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