Ashley McMurray: Championing ‘smart growth’ for Hayden | SteamboatToday.com

Ashley McMurray: Championing ‘smart growth’ for Hayden

Ashley McMurray/For Steamboat Today







As a business owner and mother of three children, I am running for Hayden Town Council because I want to be a part of making our town an even better place for folks to call "home."

I have come to truly love the small-town character of Hayden. When my husband and I moved to Hayden in 2008, we were not certain whether we would be staying. But over the past eight years, we've come to love the things that are uniquely Hayden: friendly neighbors —  our community truly cares about one another and our children — quiet nights and open space, and a safe community where our children can grow and thrive.

Yes, I love Hayden, and I want Hayden to be all that it can be. I want Hayden to offer its citizens a more complete family experience, so that families won't have to keep making the commute to Steamboat to dine or to Craig to shop. We need to create smart policies and outreach programs to bring some of these businesses here.

Let's take a look at smart growth options that still help us retain our distinctive rural character. Think: more bike/walking paths, a community recreation center, a focus on improving our education system, to name just a few. Improvements like these will not only keep residents from moving away but will also draw needed business, residents and revenue to the town.

(You may also be saying: "But Hayden has tried these things before, and they didn't work." Well, let's not stop there: let's look at why they didn't work, do the proper research, find investments and grants, and try again — with a clear plan and goal strategy laid out.)

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If we want these changes, we need people on the council with the skills to accomplish them. My background gives me the skills and experience that will make me an effective member of your Town Council.

From studying political science and working for a political think tank, to owning my own marketing business and working on several political campaigns, I know the importance of truly listening to our citizens, prioritizing tasks and putting into place effective plans to actually get results.

In short, I am running for Hayden Town Council because I want to bring my skill set and experience to the council, to both help preserve what we love about our town for future generations and to generate the smart growth that Hayden needs for a viable future.