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Brandon Gee

Stories by Brandon

More mail-only elections likely for primaries, odd years

Routt County's first election conducted exclusively with mail ballots isn't likely to be its last. That means an all-mail-ballot format may continue to be used in August primary and November odd-year elections in Routt County.

Steamboat 700 petitioners submit 600 signatures

Let's Vote committee required to collect 829 signatures by Nov. 12 to force referendum of annexation

The committee that hopes to bring the city of Steamboat Springs' annexation of Steamboat 700 to referendum submitted its first collection of signatures Tuesday. City Clerk Julie Franklin confirmed Wednesday that the committee, known as Let's Vote, has submitted 14 petitions, which the group says contain more than 600 signatures.

Hermacinski eyes council presidency

Economic development, growth issues on council's priority list

Cari Hermacinski is making no secret of her aspirations to be the next president of the Steamboat Springs City Council. Hermacinski won re-election Tuesday against former City Council President Kevin Bennett. Kenny Reisman and Jim Engelken, who also is a former councilman, won their races and will be the only new members to join the body when it meets Tuesday for the first time since the election and begins to chart a course for the next two years.

Magill re-elected in unopposed race

Walter Magill, a 39-year-old engineer and surveyor, will return to the Steamboat Springs City Council. Magill was first elected to the council in 2007 to finish a vacated term. Magill did not face an opponent in the District 3 race and will serve for four years. He received 2,293 votes.

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Reisman defeats Solomon for District 2 seat

Small-business owner, soccer coach wins City Council seat

Kenny Reisman beat Ken Solomon for a District 2 seat on the Steamboat Springs City Council in Tuesday's election. He won with 56.3 percent of the vote, 1,776 to 1,379.

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Hermacinski re-elected to City Council

Council president pro tem easily defeats Bennett

In what turned out to be the most lopsided race of the 2009 election, Cari Hermacinski defeated Kevin Bennett for a District 1 seat on the Steamboat Springs City Council. She won with 63.6 percent of the vote, 2,066 to 1,184.

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Hermacinski, Reisman, Engelken win City Council seats

Cari Hermacinski has retained her seat on the Steamboat Springs City Council. Joining her will be newcomer Kenny Reisman and former council member Jim Engelken. All three won their contested races Tuesday night. Brian Kelly won the contested Steamboat Springs School Board race.

2nd finance deadline arrives

Hermacinski's fundraising prowess continues in October

Coucilwoman Cari Hermacinski continued to raise money at a breakneck pace last month and reported about $8,500 in fundraising in her bid for re-election in the second of three campaign finance filings this election cycle.

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Election day arrives in Steamboat

Voter turnout surges in recent days; ballots accepted until 7 p.m. today

Voter turnout through Monday surged by about 1,000 votes since late last week. More than 4,000 Routt County residents now have voted in the 2009 election.

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Atira solicits Ski Time Square ideas

Site at base area sits vacant as council tables redevelopment plans

From landscaping and a playground, to an ice skating rink and tethered balloon rides, there has been no shortage of ideas thrown out for using the site of the demolished Ski Time Square commercial area.

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Youth vote largely absent in Routt County

Fewer than 600 people younger than 45 have voted

Residents younger than 45 account for just one-fifth of the ballots cast in Routt County's 2009 election, even though about half of the county's registered voters are in that age group. The discrepancy has caused some to worry that the county's first election conducted exclusively with mail-in ballots may not be conducive to young voters.

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Jets coming cheaply to YVRA

United agrees to provide service with no revenue guarantees

Jets - once again - will be the sole carriers of Yampa Valley Regional Airport passengers flying United Express. But this time, the service will come without a six-figure price tag for the local business community. Mesa Air Group announced Thursday that it will terminate its operation of 10 Dash-8 turboprop airplanes.

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Family, friends mourn Ryan Stewart Allen

Steamboat Springs teenager died Monday of unknown causes

Ryan Stewart Allen had a way of making people laugh. For teachers and classmates, it might be a speech assignment turned stand-up routine. For his girlfriend, he would break out into spontaneous dance. And his mother never learned that he might be hiding behind a door, waiting to jump out and startle her.

More voters return ballots

Routt County election officials received 213 ballots Wednesday, bringing the total number of Routt County residents who have voted to 2,322.

Longtime residents among those Routt County voters missing ballots

Undeliverable Routt County ballots don't just belong to transient and inactive voters. Some of the area's active, longtime residents - including one candidate for the Steamboat Springs City Council - also have experienced trouble getting their hands on a ballot with their name on it.

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617 acres north of Hayden conserved

Project to cost $250,000 from county's Purchase of Development Rights program

The Routt County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved spending $250,000 to help conserve more than 600 acres in West Routt County's Elkhead Valley.

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City expects overdue water study this week

Report to identify and prioritize improvements to system

City officials expect to see this week the first draft of a study identifying needed improvements to water and wastewater systems, their cost and future rates necessary to pay for them.

City to revisit vacation home rentals

The Steamboat Springs City Council reluctantly has re-opened an issue that has fueled clashes between homeowners and property managers for years.

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700 proceeds during signature petition drive

Development's project manager says signature drive was not a surprise

Don't expect to see any major campaign efforts promoting Steamboat 700 while a group of citizens tries to collect enough signatures to challenge the Steamboat Springs City Council's annexation of the development. "We've always known a petition was an option of the electorate, and we respect that," Danny Mulcahy said.

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Brothers hope to collect 1,000 pounds of food for LIFT-UP

With gratitude for their steady jobs today as foremen at the Sidney Peak Ranch Equestrian Center, Ron and Victor Medina are leading an effort that has two large water troughs overflowing with rice, cereal, oatmeal, peanut butter, pasta and other groceries to be donated to the LIFT-UP of Routt County Food Bank.

Local grocery workers could strike

City Market executive warns of lockout in event of Safeway strike

A union official said Friday that a potential strike of Safeway workers, and a related possible lockout of City Market employees, would affect the companies' stores in Steamboat Springs and Craig.

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Efforts in motion to promote Steamboat as cycling destination

A coordinated local effort is afoot to make Steamboat Springs a major cycling destination and promote a form of tourism that many locals might be more enthusiastic about, as well. Data and anecdotes from other mountain towns suggest the economic impact of such efforts could be substantial.

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Council wants demolished site put to use before redevelopment

A development plan for the former site of Ski Time Square was tabled until January on Tuesday, largely because the Steamboat Springs City Council wants to see a plan for igniting the demolished commercial area between now and redevelopment.

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Iron Horse Inn faces new quandary

City's lease to hotel operator could force out tenants

As the city nears final approval of a lease agreement for the Iron Horse Inn, some say the former hotel is fulfilling its intended purpose of providing long-term affordable rentals and should not be operated as a nightly rental facility that would compete with local lodges. On Tuesday, the Steamboat Springs City Council preliminarily approved a three-year lease with Boulder-based New West Inns, owners of the Comfort Inn in Steamboat, to manage the Iron Horse Inn.

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West-side businesses to lose tax benefit

Ski Time Square tabled; dispensary ordinance proceeds

The Steamboat Springs City Council voted 6-1 on Tuesday to approve a resolution allowing the city's industrial enterprise zone program to expire as scheduled at the end of this year. The program has given as many as 244 west Steamboat businesses exemptions on city sales and use taxes.

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Committee collecting signatures to put Steamboat 700 to vote

First step taken toward city vote on Steamboat 700 annexation

It looks as if the Steamboat Springs City Council - regardless of the outcome of the Nov. 3 election - will put Steamboat 700 to a citywide vote rather than repeal the annexation if petitioners gather enough signatures to trigger the city's referendum process.

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Hermacinski says record speaks for itself

Voters would be hard-pressed to say Councilwoman Cari Hermacinski hasn't kept her 2007 campaign promises. Hermacinski won the council seat after running a campaign focused on open and transparent government, fiscal responsibility, and repairing the city's relationship with Routt County and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority.

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Council annexes Steamboat 700

Possibility of referendum election still looms

The Steamboat Springs City Council voted 4-3 late Tuesday night to approve the annexation of Steamboat 700, a project that ultimately is expected to bring about 2,000 homes, 380,000 square feet of commercial space and 4,700 residents to the western edge of the city.

Decision time for Steamboat 700

City Council to give final consideration to Steamboat 700 annexation

What some have billed as the most important issue to ever face the city of Steamboat Springs goes before City Council today for final consideration.

Clerk's office mails ballots

Voters should check mailboxes as soon as Wednesday

The Routt County Clerk and Recorder's Office is putting more than 13,000 ballots in the mail today, the same day the Steamboat Springs City Council is scheduled to take a vote on the most politically charged issue in recent memory.

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Gravel pit opponents speak up

Commissioners to consider pre-application Tuesday evening

Opponents of a proposed gravel pit south of Steamboat Springs have caught wind of the project they thought was dead in the water four years ago. The Routt County Board of Commissioners will review a pre-application for the Steamboat Sand and Gravel Mine and a subsequent land preservation subdivision Tuesday.

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Pietras thinks time working for city prepared him to lead it

Spend some time with Kyle Pietras, and one thought comes to mind: This guy is so Steamboat. Pietras' concern about whether Steamboat will remain the type of place where people can create similar stories is one of his chief motivations in running for City Council.

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Steamboat church to lift up food bank

Steamboat Christian Center drive aims to collect a ton of food

Steamboat Christian Center wants to collect a ton of food donations this month - literally. In an effort to provide a boost to LIFT-UP of Routt County's food bank during one of its busiest seasons, the church has set a goal of collecting 2,000 pounds in food donations in Colorado.

Knoebel joins Oak Creek Town Board

Trustees give preliminary OK to $4.9M 2010 budget

Thursday's Oak Creek Town Board meeting provided an early glimpse of some potential candidates for April's town election. Nikki Knoebel was chosen from a field of three applicants to replace former Trustee Dave Ege, who resigned last month for personal reasons.

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H1N1 vaccines expected today or Friday

More due later for general public

An initial shipment of 100 swine flu vaccines is due in Routt County today or Friday, but the shots will be reserved for priority groups such as health care providers with direct patient contact. H1N1 vaccines will become generally available in the coming weeks as the county receives more shipments.

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Man who shot bear receives no jail time

Taxidermy costs remain unresolved in Nightwalker case

Kent Nightwalker will not serve jail time for shooting a bear in downtown Steamboat Springs - and he wants to keep the bear's remains if the Colorado Division of Wildlife insists on sticking him with a taxidermy bill.

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City furloughs will stay in 2010

City's conservative budget builds on this year's drastic reductions

Most city workers will continue to work just four days a week - and receive 90 percent of their pay - through next year under a proposed 2010 budget reviewed by the Steamboat Springs City Council at a daylong meeting Tuesday.

City boosts nonprofit funds

Community housing fund transfer makes increases possible

The local nonprofit sector received a big and unexpected boost in funding Tuesday from the Steamboat Springs City Council.

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Study projects big increase in US 40 traffic

Findings estimate cars will nearly double on highway by 2035

The 13th Street bottleneck at the west entrance to downtown Steamboat Springs is left relatively unaddressed in required traffic improvements that would accompany the proposed Steamboat 700 annexation.

School board hopefuls differ on funds

Candidates for the one contested Steamboat Springs School Board seat showed different levels of openness to the idea of consolidating Routt County's school districts at an election forum Friday.

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Reisman says time spent with community trumps experience

One word consistently pops up in conversations with or about Kenny Reisman: passion. Reisman will face longtime local Ken Solomon for the District 2 Steamboat Springs City Council seat in this year's election.

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Council candidates address concerns about Steamboat 700 at forum

The proposed Steamboat 700 annexation - to differing degrees - split the candidates in all three contested races for the Steamboat Springs City Council at a Friday election forum. Steamboat 700 proposes 2,000 homes and 380,000 square feet of commercial space on 487 acres just west of city limits.

Voters, candidates to mingle at forum

Forum to feature moderated questions, election presentation

Tonight's candidates forum will provide voters an opportunity to interact individually and directly with candidates in addition to hearing them answer questions posed by a moderator.

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Voter registration deadline is Monday

Voters will use only mail-in ballots for this year's election

Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland wants voters to keep a number of dates in mind this election season - but Election Day itself isn't one of the most important. There will be no polls, no booths and no voting machines this year.

Steamboat 700 still confident despite near defeat

Project 1 vote away from defeat in City Council on Tuesday

Steamboat 700 came within one vote of defeat Tuesday, but Principal and Project Manager Danny Mulcahy said he was encouraged by the outcome and remains confident moving forward.

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Calls for vote on 700 continue

Council worries about proposed Steamboat 700's housing costs

City Council members gave initial support Tuesday night to the proposed Steamboat 700 annexation, but developers were asked to address a number of issues before returning for final consideration.

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Candidates divided on financing issue

Council hopefuls gather for Rotary forum

Candidates for Steamboat Springs City Council were split on whether major capital projects should go to a vote at a Tuesday forum hosted by the Steamboat Springs Rotary Club.

County endorses Steamboat 700

Controversial annexation goes before City Council today

The Routt County Board of Commissioners threw its weight behind the proposed Steamboat 700 annexation Tuesday. The commissioners voted, 2-1, to send a letter in support of Steamboat 700 to the city.

Council will review Steamboat 700 annexation proposal today

The culmination of two years of review begins tonight when the Steamboat Springs City Council gives preliminary consideration to a collection of ordinances and resolutions annexing Steamboat 700.

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Regional annexations face hard times

18 months after Pilot series, projects are struggling

Much has changed since April 2008, when the Steamboat Pilot & Today's three-part series, "City Limits," examined annexations in other Colorado communities and how they related to Steamboat Springs' consideration of Steamboat 700.