Steve Lewis

Steve Lewis 4 days, 7 hours ago on City Council denies Triple Crown request to use Emerald ballfields

The value of a tourist and how many tourists are there. Given we subsidize our tourism welcome mat, I'd like to see the math behind the industry so critical to our future decisions. Airline tax, bend for TC, traffic, infrastructure... are these worth the costs? When will they not be worth the costs?


Steve Lewis 4 days, 8 hours ago on City Council asks county commissioners to invest in downtown projects

I suggest the County and City step back and consider all the cooperative activities, pending and not yet on the table, where the County and City may partner to benefit all involved. Law enforcement facility, west area density by County without annexation to City, funding airport, trails, etc....

Negotiating a larger framework would allow more give and take on the parts, and would be a great way move forward and strengthen alliances.


Steve Lewis 1 week, 1 day ago on City Council denies Triple Crown request to use Emerald ballfields

Council put off the question of allowing TC in Emerald Park, with new access required first. But Collin raises an important question. Tax revenue and job creation are sometimes poorly aligned with having the best town to live in. This is such a case.

The written language may say Emerald Park is meant for the "youth", but the argument has morphed to it is for us, a sanctuary not part of our tourism trade. That's the way I see it, and your comment says as much.

We are all economically joined. Tourism matters. But please balance it with respect for the people who live here. When tourism trumps respect for locals, as this TC use would, balance is lost. The last thing you want is people seeing our visitors as a negative, or seeing the Chamber as a villain. TC in Emerald Park will be a step toward both.

It is fair to say tax revenues are up, and jobs are easy to find. In my view we could take our foot of the marketing pedal and have the best of both worlds, good economy and great living.


Steve Lewis 1 week, 2 days ago on City Council denies Triple Crown request to use Emerald ballfields

Jim, Thanks. You've been there and know how the process should work.

This problem is larger than the city manager. After years of controversy, she still has a job. On multiple occasions Sonja and Scott Ford have correctly complained about broken city process. Deb still has a job.

The process was questionable before Deb became manager. 2012 city manger Jon Roberts was looking for and negotiating with buyers our current police facility. Comments at subsequent council hearings revealed some on council were learning about the activity after the fact. But surely Jon had to know some of council, and his boss the council president, would support the sale.

Poor process has become habit. Consider the council motion of "No BID, No URA". After the BID failed, city staff was directed to further the URA without a council vote amending the previous and contrary motion. Scott Ford was berated at council for subsequently setting the process right.

This is not how government is suppose to work. And yes, a newspaper would care.

Contrary voices are essential. Echo chamber inner circles with no pushback are why we have spent the last few years and lots of city staff time chasing ideas that fall short in the end.


Steve Lewis 1 week, 4 days ago on Pamela Lane and Trafalgar Drive residents: Park dispute continues

In our worst economic times of the recent recession, this TC consideration, sans the new railroad crossing, might have made sense as a short-term-only economic boost. Now business is up everywhere. Why is this needed?

This agenda may have more about it. A new stop light to put a new police station by the Hampton Inn doubly justifies a railroad crossing there for Triple Crown access.

Either way, TC in Emerald Park is one example among others, of a vision that holds Steamboat Springs more as commodity than community. The City Development Code has seen similar changes under the Kounovsky councils. Projects will simply appear where before they would be more publicly weighed. The PUD, once a partnering that gave community benefit, is now a spot-zoning ordinance with criteria laughably easy to meet.


Steve Lewis 3 weeks, 2 days ago on After 20 years and no new housing, Routt County questions details in West of Steamboat Plan

"After two years of public hearings and extracting promises of tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements from the developers." Clarifying that statement will help in understanding when big is too big:

SB700 itself had a very small, if any, financial obligation for $20-30 million of required infrastructure. Rather they offered 4 or 5 Metro Districts that would form as needed. The Metro Districts would bond for and own the infrastructure debt. Property owners subsequently buying within those districts would be (property) taxed to pay the infrastructure debt. It was publicly bonded speculation during a time when banks would go for such. And those Metro Districts would have failed.

The county proposal is great. Reduce the scale and the new homes come easier. The County would have the headaches, not the City.

Having seen the Brown's and SB700's ideas as a planning commissioner, surely some of their master planning can still be used. Like WSSAP language for: 1) how and where commercial uses fit out there. A grocery for instance. 2) defining the collector roads in advance for the built out whole


Steve Lewis 3 weeks, 5 days ago on Retiring Steamboat exec Chris Diamond didn't set out to run ski resorts - it just happened that way

Thanks Chris.

I'll second the Evans-Hall comment - remarkable respect for others. In a series of AH meetings long ago with community interests, developers, ski corp and Sheraton leadership, Chris managed a conversation that held everyone at the table to a standard of mutual respect. A corporate CEO repeatedly offering equal stature between a massage therapist and himself? Not something you see everyday.


Steve Lewis 4 weeks ago on Letter to the Editor: River our responsibility

I would agree this about an imported culture. Late in the boating season I sometimes make a river trash run in my canoe. By volume, cheap store-bought tubes and inflatables defines the haul. I have no doubt I'm cleaning up after tourists.