2020 Candidate Forum Q&A

In consideration of the COVID-19 response, the Town the candidates forum to online. Candidates have been asked to reply to written questions which are posted below.

During the April 7, 2020 regular election, Frisco voters will be electing a mayor and three Council members. The highest vote getting mayoral candidate will be elected to a four-year term. The three highest vote getting town council candidates will be elected to four-year terms. Town elections are non-partisan. Candidate bios and voting information are available under the Town Clerk’s page of this website.

2020 Town Virtual Town Council Candidate Forum

Why are you running for the Frisco Town Council?

Mayor:

Hunter Mortensen:

I am running for Mayor of the Town of Frisco by focusing on our future with a personal knowledge of our past. As a native, I personally know how lucky we are to live in a town like Frisco. A community that celebrates what it means to live a healthy mountain lifestyle. I am looking forward to taking what I have learned over the last few years on Town Council to help continue to build on a community first approach.

Town Council:

Andrew Aerenson:

I am running for three reasons.

1.    I believe in service to the community. This is evident through my participation on the board of the Summit Foundation, Summit Rotary, the Red Cross and numerous other organizations throughout the County and beyond.

2.     My skill set can give voters comfort that I have the experience, temperament and intelligence to make informed and reasonable decisions as a Frisco councilman. My career has included time as a real estate and business attorney, professional mediator and arbitrator, entrepreneur, professor and now full-time ski instructor. I am a problem solver and know that a solution only works if everyone at the table feels that their views have been heard and respected.

3.    My motivation is that I love living in the Town of Frisco. I want to be part of the core decision making process that helps guide us through difficult issues as we maintain our status as the best mountain community anywhere.

Jessica Burley:

Frisco is special because of our amazing environment, and we should strive to have a mutually beneficial relationship with it. Since being in office, I have helped lead the adoption of the Climate Action Plan, 100 percent renewable energy goals, multi-modal community development, single use bag fee program, and sustainable building code. I’ve also supported workforce housing at Mary Ruth, buy downs, and the new Housing Helps program.  These are cutting edge policies that set the foundation for a more sustainable, healthy, and thriving community. We can no longer wait and see about the impacts of development on our small town, but rather we need to guide that development with smart decisions for Frisco’s future. I am running for a second term because I’ve made Frisco my home, and I want to see us be leaders among our peers.

Andy Held:

I moved to Frisco in the Summer of 1987. I was drawn to this place and its people. This is my home.

I have reached a point in my life where I have the opportunity to give back to this community that has given me so much. I am compelled to fight for this town and the people in it. I will champion the issues that matter most to long-time locals. Housing, infrastructure, environmental stewardship, responsible build out, promoting the arts and smart design integration for the future build out.

Greg Hess:

To help maintain Frisco’s unique and special appeal by using my business experience and knowledge for the future of Frisco in growth, development and finances.

Rick Ihnken:

I am running to continue to serve the citizens of Frisco and follow through on projects and policies that we have implemented over the past four years.  I first ran for council to better understand how work gets done in government and to gain experience as an elected official.  Now that I have worked with the excellent staff at the Town of Frisco, I want to continue to support this high performing team of leaders.  I have a vision of where Frisco should be in the next 5, 10 and 20 years.  We have just begun the foundational work to get there, it is because of these goals that I wish to continue to serve the town of Frisco.

In order of importance, what do consider to be the top three issues facing the Town of Frisco, and what would your approach be to those issues?

Mayor:

Hunter Mortensen:

1.    We are fortunate to live in a place surrounded by such a rich beauty. Yet, for our economy to continue to thrive, we must nourish and protect the environment around us. I want to know that the children in our community now will look at Frisco the way we do. A place where they are skiing the same lines, paddling the same healthy waters, hiking and climbing and camping in the same beautiful mountains that we cherish. I want to continue making Frisco the envy of other communities around the Mountain West. To do this as mayor, I will always take into account that our economy and environment are one and the same. We must look at all we do through that lens.

2.    Part of the sustainability for Frisco is having a place to live for everyone who works here. This will not be easy, but our community is defined by the people who live here. We need to make sure that we are not a town of second homes, but a place where those who work here have a chance to live here. The town is at a pivotal moment in housing; I want to make sure that the housing conversation is holistic and complete for our needs now and sets the foundation for the years to come.

3.    Frisco has come so far in the last few years. We are officially on the map, yet often it feels like we are still in 2010 when it comes to our ability to communicate like other mountain towns around us. I want to do whatever I can to bring our cell and internet infrastructure up to date. It is not only unacceptable that most days in Frisco you can’t make a phone call, but it is simply unsafe. We live in an area where work and play, as well as emergency communication, happen on fiber optic networks and cell networks. There is no reason that Frisco should remain in the dark ages. I will inform and remind these companies that our town is not just our residents but also the thousands of visitors, travelers, and tourists who comprise our economy. We will work together to figure out what it will take for us to guarantee that when we need it, people in Frisco will have the vital communication necessary to live, play, and work in our mountain town. In the next four years my goal is to ensure that when you need critical communication, it will always be possible.

Town Council:

Andrew Aerenson:

Two weeks ago, I answered the same question for the Summit Daily and my answer was very different than it is now. At that time, it was all about cost of living issues (housing, child care, and wages), sustainability and short term rentals. Today, my most significant issue is the COVID-19 virus and how it will impact our health, our economy and our relationships. Regardless of the issue, it is critical for voters to understand my recommendation for Council’s process of addressing issues:

1.    Identify and nurture the very best ideas and opportunities by encouraging open participation by the best professionals and all stakeholders.

2.    Plan ways to implement the best ideas with the focus on the quality of life for Frisco’s residents.

3.    Integrate environmental and sustainability thinking into all our decisions. We need to implement the best practices of sustainability for ourselves and as a display of good governance to our visitors.

4.    Ensure that all residents are considered in the decision-making process and the successes of our thriving town. Our residents include the affluent and the struggling, the old and the young, artists, entrepreneurs, retirees, skiers, snow boarders, back country enthusiasts and those who prefer to be inside with a good book. If Council focuses too much on one group at the expense or exclusion of another, then we will lose the character (and the characters) that makes Frisco, Frisco.

Jessica Burley:

Climate Risks (long-term) (including hazards, pollution, stress to infrastructure and assets and public health) – we are just barely beginning to understand the underlying issues changes in the climate will have on our community.

Workforce Housing (medium-term) – 2/3 of our housing stock sits empty for much of the year or are rented as short-term rentals. This does not create a sense of neighborhood community or provide adequate housing for our workforce. Community character is one of the most important things to Frisco’s residents and yet it’s constantly undermined by the housing situation.

COVID-19 (short-term) – this will test our community strength, courage, creativeness and our ability to respond to disasters. We will learn a lot from this challenging experience.

Andy Held:

1.    Responsible development for the future build-out of Frisco – We need to recognize the coming and continued influx of people and how close we are to capacity. Some of the focus should include thoughtful implementation of the Community Development Plan and solid environmental stewardship. The Frisco Town Council has taken positive, bold moves with adopting the first reading of the new green code standards. The future challenges will be in implementation and enforcement of this code. As a certified Green Builder (CSU Green Building program) and current Frisco Planning Commissioner, I would hope to be an active part in the connection and communication between the Building, Planning departments and Town Council.

2.    Wildfire preparedness – Create and implement a comprehensive plan to mitigate and contend with the potential wildfire hazard we are facing. Including but not limited to an evacuation plan, cutting fire-lines and cleaning deadfall in the surrounding areas of Frisco. We live in high alpine desert. Wildfire and flooding are the primary natural disasters that threaten us.

3.    Support locals housing – The social sustainable aspect of supporting our local workforce with the ability to live within the town limits or close by is an imperative. If we define ourselves as a small mountain town, this is where we should focus. That is what creates community. This issue should permeate most decisions made by the town.

I am an advocate for the adoption of higher affordable housing standards and initiatives with tax incentives and code revisions. Raise taxes on short term rentals and divert funds towards incentives for locals. Improve and support affordable housing options within the building code.

Greg Hess:

1.    Long Term Rental Housing – There is a huge need for housing for those that work in all of the local businesses. The seasonal support staff that keeps all the local businesses alive.  It is even more important now, with so many of our long-term housing options making the move toward short term rentals.  Incentivize homeowners to convert short term rentals to long term rentals is one step toward this problem.

2.    Parking – Creating more on street parking, limiting parking to 3 hours in and around Main Street, utilizing the Frisco Transfer Center parking lot, finding other options for snow storage, or maybe even a Town Trolley system to help spread the parking throughout the entire town. Figuring out a way to get the commuters to Copper Mountain to utilize the Frisco Transfer Center instead of parking near Main Street for the day would also help.

3.    Frisco’s Future – Defining the role Frisco will play in the future for Summit County. Maintaining Frisco’s appeal for both locals and tourists while implementing the best solution for Frisco in the future.

Rick Ihnken:

1.    My number one priority is to ensure Frisco’s infrastructure is up to date and operational.  The Town of Frisco is fortunate to have senior water rights. The town needs to keep our wells and water treatment plant ready to meet the needs of our town.  Step up Main Street is complete; however, there is more work to be done in the form of a storm water/spring run-off plan.  Additionally, the “dig once” ordinance will help to bring broadband to Main Street.

2.    Frisco has always been at the crossroads of Summit County; therefore, I believe we should continue to work with external stakeholders towards common goals.  Our collaboration with CDOT has been and will continue to be extensive.  Iron Springs and the Gap Project are setting the groundwork for exit 203/Summit Blvd collaborations and a possible partnership for some much-needed housing units.  I have worked with citizen groups, CDOT and the County on projects in the past. I have the experience to be a strong voice at the table on projects that affect Frisco.

3.    Frisco’s character needs to be maintained while also managing growth.  There is not much unoccupied land left in Frisco, but what is here will be developed.  As a steward of the town, I know that the building code is the tool for this goal.  After many years of work and revision, a new building code was approved by council.  Almost immediately revisions began and continue, all in an effort to maintain Frisco’s small mountain town atmosphere.  By using the building code as a guiding document, we have the ability to retain Frisco’s identity.

Do you think Frisco’s Main Street is successful? Is there anything you would want to change?

Mayor:

Hunter Mortensen:

Yes, Frisco’s Main Street was an enormous success and moving forward I want make sure the atmosphere and character of the design of our Main Street is reflected in the stores, restaurants, and amenities you find end to end while on Main Street.

Town Council:

Andrew Aerenson:

Yes! It is the core of our town. We can all walk to it to enjoy the shops, restaurants and events. Visitors admire it for being the jewel that it is. I would like to improve the entrance to Main Street on Highway 9 and extend the energy and design of Main Street beyond Town Hall.

Jessica Burley:

I think Frisco’s Main Street is successful, but I feel like there’s a lot of concrete and not enough green space and vegetation. Instead, its covered in cars. I would like to see a greater effort in design to get people out of their cars, including a formal parklet program, pedestrian green space on an adjacent street, and more bike parking and signage.

Andy Held:

Main Street is the heartbeat of our town. Yes, it is successful. I am proud to have been a part of many notable projects there through my local business Held Joinery.

We must listen to what the local business owners want and need. For one thing, I believe many of the Main Street events could be moved to the Marina or adventure park. This would benefit local businesses in the ability to maximize their economic potential with the same number of visitors.

Greg Hess:

I think Frisco’s Main Street is very successful. I would like Main Street connected to the Marina.  Creating a more pedestrian friendly crossing at Summit Boulevard. Enhancement at the Summit Boulevard intersection as well as the west end of Main Street.

Rick Ihnken:

Main Street is part of Frisco’s brand, charm and experience for locals and visitors.  Yes, I think Main Street is successful and will continue to be.  Main Street offers an unmatched walk ability surrounded by impressive views of the ten-mile range and a variety of shops and restaurants.  I do not think change is the right word, however, I would like to see more efforts on extending the walk ability to north ten-mile.

If you could change one thing in our zoning code, what would it be and why?

Mayor:

Hunter Mortensen:

I want to take a serious look at the front bulk plane code for buildings on Main Street. We have something special on Main Street, to risk that with overwhelming mass could be detrimental to our character.

Town Council:

Andrew Aerenson:

Our zoning code needs to have a higher amount of certainty in what can and cannot be done with a property. Property owners deserve to know what they can do with their property and just as important, neighbors need to understand what can and cannot happen to an adjoining parcel. Variances and conditional uses should, as much as possible, be removed from the development process to create less subjectivity in the process.

Jessica Burley:

I would require buildings to be electrified and solar or other renewable energy source on all new construction.

Andy Held:

Two things I would change in our current zoning code are to work toward strengthening our current codes to support locals in housing. Including higher affordable unit requirements on all projects larger than 6 residential units.

I would also add verbiage to strengthen the protection of the remaining wetlands.

Greg Hess:

I would look at the height restrictions placed on buildings in there respective zoning districts. Incentivize developers to build affordable units through waivers on the height restriction.

Rick Ihnken:

There is room in our zoning code to look for more unique incentives to encourage the creation of workforce housing.

How do you feel about the transportation options currently available in Frisco? Does Frisco have enough options? If not, what will you do to increase those?

Mayor:

Hunter Mortensen:

Currently I think the mobility around our town is great, we need to work on encouraging people to leave their cars behind. I would like to look into a small Electric Vehicle circulator service that would be the size and scale that our town needs and would help allow people to leave their cars at home.

Town Council:

Andrew Aerenson:

The best part of Frisco is that we are small enough that our primary mode of transportation can be walking and biking. We need to constantly improve the condition and convenience of our recreation paths and hiking trails, especially between the lake and Highway 9. Summit Stage is a fabulous community amenity to reduce traffic in and out of town. Parking can be an issue because employees and skiers often occupy a space on Main Street for the entire day but stepped up enforcement of our existing laws will help dramatically.

Jessica Burley:

There are not enough convenient options to get residents and visitors out of their cars. We need additional signage to point people toward existing recreational paths and some transit service that is geared toward Frisco residents getting around Frisco. The Summit Stage is a nice amenity for those commuters, but it’s not convenient enough for people to use to get around town. I would love to see a revitalization of the Frisco Flyer that also services the Peninsula Recreation Area and Marina in addition to the shopping areas on North Summit Boulevard.

Andy Held:

The only viable public transportation options at this point are roads, sidewalks, bike paths, Uber, Lyft and the Summit Stage.

In the next few years Summit County and the Summit Stage will construct a new Transfer Center behind Wal-Mart. This will be an iconic building with new amenities to make this area safer and more vibrant.

As we have been expanding our system of bike paths, we need to remain diligent to providing more connectivity as per the Community Development Plan.

In the past, the town operated the Frisco Flyer, a minibus that circles the town. There wasn’t enough ridership to maintain that service. Perhaps, we could bring it back during high times to begin. To provide a fun, unique experience the Town could purchase a few extended golf carts or electric vehicles to chauffeur guests and residents around town.

Other solutions could include contracting petty cab services for busy times. This option would not cost the town any money and could generate sales tax dollars. The pedicabs or rickshaws would be contractors and charge per trip as they do in the city.

Greg Hess:

I think there are plenty of transportation options currently in the Town.  I could see a town trolley that runs from Main Street to Base Camp, along Summit Blvd and back to Main Street.

Rick Ihnken:

Frisco is the crossroads of Summit County and home to a transfer station that can get people to all ends of the county, Leadville and Fairplay.  I feel the options are good, with room for improvement within town limits.  As we implement the community plan, we will evaluate the need for the Frisco Flyer.

A Town Council strategic priority is providing quality core services, which includes infrastructure. Do you see any opportunities for improving quality core services?  What, if any infrastructure issues, do you believe will need to be addressed in the near future?

Mayor:

Hunter Mortensen:

I want to make sure that our fiber optic and network connectivity is at the forefront of what is available. The more our lives go mobile the more we need to be able to support the people who live here, our business, and emergency services that all rely on network connectivity to carry out daily routines.

Town Council:

Andrew Aerenson:

The biggest failing in our infrastructure is technology based. Limited broadband service and major gaps in cell service is detrimental to our safety, our enjoyment and our image. The town needs to invest in upgraded technology infrastructure. I would like to add that the potholes on Highway 9 are an issue, but that is actually a State responsibility.

Jessica Burley:

Frisco is in a good position to serve the needs of our residents and visitors at this time. However, we recognize the community is growing, changing in character, and facing risks that we’ve never seen before. As part of my first term, I supported the ongoing effort for Public Works to catalog our community infrastructure and assets as well as identify and prepare for long term risks. Once we have that information, we will be better suited to make proactive decisions. I supported the dig once policy for excavation work, authorized the broadband policy, and supported water rate increases to ensure we are adequately recovering the costs associated with delivering clean, healthy drinking water to the community.

Andy Held:

Future infrastructure needs include installing fiber optics for the length of Main Street. Since we did not act on this during the Main Street remodel, we will need to add it to the coming Granite Street update.

We all know that our cell service is lacking in signal. The cell providers are mandated by the FCC to bring us 5G connectivity. Whether we like it or not, this will happen within the next 2 years.

Connection to the Marina over or under Summit Blvd would provide better, safer flow of pedestrians and bikes to the east side of Frisco.

Active implementation of the Community Development Plan.

We need to re-evaluate our existing water rights as they compare to our future growth.

Greg Hess:

Underground utilities are a big issue.  The Town needs to continue to stay focused on upgrading the water service and storm sewer services around Frisco.

Rick Ihnken:

Quality core services and infrastructure are what municipalities are intended to provide.  With spring coming we will have run off.  Last year Public Works identified areas that needed clearing and brought forward the fact that we need a map of the storm water system.  Since then we have mapped the system and identified areas that need maintenance.  The north ten-mile water treatment plant was shut down last spring because of higher than usual run off.  Again, improvements were made, however there is still more updates that need to be addressed.  We have water mains that are submerged year-round, with our harsh climate, failure of water mains will happen.  I believe the town should create a replacement cycle to avoid un-scheduled interruption in water service.  Quality core services include our police department.  I believe we should make Frisco Police Department a highly sought-after law enforcement position.  Currently our High-Country cost of living has taken our officers to the front range.  I support a livable wage for those who are here to protects us and our families.

How do you plan to involve Frisco residents in the decision-making process in our town?

Mayor:

Hunter Mortensen:

If you don’t know how government works, it feels very unapproachable. I will continue existing efforts to meet everyone where they are: online, social media, coffee shops, bars, workplaces, and on our trails to talk about what is happening in our town. This is a small town, there is no reason we can’t make time to connect with our neighbors.

Town Council:

Andrew Aerenson:

It starts with encouraging our residents to vote in this election. That is the most important form of involvement. Additionally, the Town has recently created some great opportunities for engagement through open houses for major projects, social media groups (https://www.facebook.com/TownofFriscoColoradoGov/email) and email updates (https://www.friscogov.com/your-government/enews/). Residents can and should sign up for these. Just as I have been doing as a candidate, I plan to make myself extremely available to engage residents in conversations by phone, email and in person when our current restrictions are lifted.

Andy Held:

Over the last year, the Planning department has done a stellar job in hosting design charrettes to include the input of the towns people. This model can be used on other issues beyond planning. Another thing that has been new and improved for the town government is the active use of social media. This is a major link between Town Hall and the citizens. Here is where we should focus and expand the conversation.

Personally, I can be found on Main Street, most days of the week. I am happy to discuss!

Jessica Burley:

I focus on making sure I’m reaching out to businesses and organizations that are in touch with their patrons, clients and members to get the pulse of what’s going on. For too long, government has been inaccessible, archaic even, and a faceless organization to blame when things go wrong. The times are changing. During my first term, I supported the Frisco Council Updates which provide information directly to residents’ inboxes, and advocated for the Frisco Government Facebook page that is now more active in communicating about government news rather than focusing on Frisco as a destination for visitors (there’s still a Facebook page for that too). People get their information from their phones, community gatherings, friends, and the 24-hour media cycle. They’re not reading periodicals, Town Hall bulletin boards, or the public notice pages of the Summit Daily anymore. It’s incumbent upon us to meet people where they are in order to engage them.

Greg Hess:

I think it would be great to gather residents email addresses to keep them informed. Or better inform the public to sign up for the Town’s email updates.

Rick Ihnken:

For the past few years, we have engaged the residents on large projects and on the vision of Frisco’s future.  The community plan is in alignment with the strategic plan, these documents will guide decisions and work going forward.  Now that we have these tools in place residents and leaders will have a consistent road map to engage with each other.  I support continuing having community conversations and open houses as projects come up.

How can the Town of Frisco best support economic development/tourism and respect residents’ quality of life?

Mayor:

Hunter Mortensen:

One of the biggest threats to our economic well-being is that of lack of housing options in our town. If we don’t have a community where people live, then both our economy and tourism are at risk. I will continue to make creating new housing options across our town a reality. While this is not easy given the constraints of land and money, it is not impossible, and we must continue to make this a priority for our economic well-being.

Town Council:

Andrew Aerenson:

Economic development efforts need to focus on having our existing housing inventory occupied by more full-time owners.  The short-term rental properties are vacant much of the year. By increasing the number of full-time residents, we will improve off season business and reduce many of the negative community effects (overcrowding, parking, noise) that have caused Frisco to enact the short-term rental regulations.

Our economic development efforts should also be focused on filling our shops and restaurants with locals and visitors, not filling our streets with massive numbers of Front Range day-trippers. Thursday concerts are my favorite Frisco event…right sized, community oriented, and the envy of every visitor. The tubing hill, which is mostly a tourist attraction, is a form of economic development that generates huge revenue for the Town with minimal negative impact on the environment or residents.

Jessica Burley:

Tourism is a major economic driver for our town. Forty-five percent of our general fund is from sales tax. The great thing about our current major economic drivers is that they can largely sell themselves. But it needs managed and sustained so as not to negatively impact the local community for the sake of increasing revenue. Frisco is really good at having a public process, and we see great outcomes because the community members are smart, creative, and willing to try new things. When the community is engaged, we make better decisions. By taking a “Frisco first” approach to improving recreational assets, amenities, and programming, we can think about supporting our citizenry in better ways and the tourism will follow. I supported the improvements to the marina that were a huge success and an outcome of that public process. I look forward to implementing the great ideas our citizens have had about the peninsula recreation area in coming years.

Andy Held:

I believe due to our proximity to the front range, there will always be a constant, growing stream of visitors. I-70 runs through our town. We are situated in the middle of some of the greatest ski resorts in the world. We have the Hospital. We are the quaint mountain town near the resorts. We have Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Safeway and Wal-Mart. I don’t believe that we need to attract visitors much beyond that. We grow in numbers without trying. Respect for resident’s quality of life is quite the opposite to luring more people here. Locals don’t want to see a line to the curb all day, every day at the coffee shops.

We do need to support the school system in whatever ways they need. Access to high quality schools elevates local’s standard of living.

Greg Hess:

Create a survey to see what events the citizens really endorse and what new events the town might want to explore.

Rick Ihnken:

Frisco should continue to support amenities for locals.  Current amenities include the Marina, Peninsula Recreation Area (PRA) and our trails system.  History has shown that visitors want to do what the locals do, so by operating in this fashion we can strive to continue to grow economic development.  We have our core events; I propose we create experiences outside of these events that will disperse people throughout the basin and then bring them back to Main Street and Summit Boulevard at the end of the day.

Which strategies would you suggest in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic to support the community and economic recovery going forward?

Mayor:

Hunter Mortensen:

This issue is bigger than Frisco. We must continue to be unified with our neighboring towns, County, and State. I take solace knowing that the town has planned for major economic interruptions and we will not have to make major cuts to any of our services. Moving forward we should explore creative tax holidays for our businesses but more immediate and concrete is the need for empathy: this is the time for us to reach out and help one another. If you are healthy, do something good for a neighbor, while you are out on a walk, start town clean up now! If you hear of people in need reach out to see what would help and reach out to the town with ideas on what the town can do for its people. We need to get ideas from everyone and then help from everyone to make it through these stressful and unprecedented times.

Town Council:

Andrew Aerenson:

I am extremely concerned about COVID-19. We need to plan now for a very negative impact on Frisco. This is much bigger than just our community so will need massive collaboration with Summit County, state, federal governments and local organizations. We must immediately reduce overall spending to reflect the expected loss of sales tax revenue. All non-essential programs and projects should be put on hold to make funds available for food, shelter and health needs of our residents. We cannot afford to lose a large part of our workforce who may relocate due to hardships.

Jessica Burley:

The economy is retracting as we knew it inevitably would give a record bull run. It’s just caused by something different than we expected. Government has to play a role in transparency, leadership, and communication regardless of the emergency or threat. It is also our responsibility to work with our regional partners, defer to the experts (in this case County and State Public Health Departments), and set good examples as citizens by remaining calm and supportive of our neighbors. These are trying times and people are scared.

The economy will recover, but when it does, I hope we shift our paradigm from mindless consumption and growth for growth’s sake into something more thoughtful, sustainable, and geared toward outcomes that protect and improve society and the environment. These are trying times and people are scared.

Andy Held:

With COVID-19 we need to follow County, State and Federal actions. These are unprecedented times. We must make sacrifices to protect the most vulnerable in our community. This is a self-imposed recession. It is very important that we help our fellow community members in any way possible. People are either out of work or their profession is expected to bear the brunt of this virus. We must remain calm and keep the faith that this too shall pass. Be kind and respectful to each other. Support small businesses. Assist those less fortunate with food drives and rent relief. When the Summit County Dept. of Health deems it safe, get back to business as usual ASAP.

Greg Hess:

I believe this is an eye opener for all of us.  I think reminding people to be diligent abonut staying home if you are sick and washing your hands, even after this passes. Possibly reduced business taxes for a month or two.

Rick Ihnken:

The strategies I would employee are making sure the town is a central resource for sharing information and resources from the county, state and federal governments, and making sure that citizens know how and why public health professionals are making their decisions. The key to providing meaningful support and encouraging recovery is listening to businesses and residents and crafting solutions that are the most impactful. Now is the time for action and out of box thinking around support and recovery.

Frisco Town Council adopted the Summit Community Climate Action Plan in April 2019 in support of their strategic goal for a sustainable environment. What are your thoughts on the Summit Community Climate Action Plan? Are there any other steps that should be taken?

Mayor:

Hunter Mortensen:

As a representative for the town on the committee that made the Climate Action Plan I am in huge support. In my daily profession I look at the weather on an hourly basis from both a scientific and safety perspective; I have seen the change in our snow pack just in the last decade. I firmly believe that if we do not aggressively work to meet the goals outlined in the plan, Frisco will be a vastly different place than we all know and love.

Town Council:

Andrew Aerenson:

I like everything we have done so far relative to the Climate Action Plan and sustainability efforts in general. I support the bag fee, updated building code and High Country Conservation Center (HC3) collaborations. There are a number of additional actions proposed that are great ideas. However, we should be cautious before imposing more restrictions on activities, fees and construction without fully understanding the impacts of the legislation that has already been passed. We need to be a model community for sustainability issues. Part of being the model community is not going forward so fast that we make mistakes and create unintended consequences.

Jessica Burley:

I am grateful for having been a stakeholder who helped develop the collaborative and ambitious Summit Community Climate Action Plan. It sets out targets for carbon pollution reduction and strategies to help achieve those outcomes. They’re not easy goals, and we’ll likely fall short on some of them. But it’s a roadmap of what’s possible. I think it doesn’t go far enough on electrification of buildings and describing how to reduce our reliance on natural gas. And it doesn’t address climate risks. These will be necessary both to achieve the goals adopted in the plan as well as to be more resilient in uncertain times.

Andy Held:

As mentioned above I applaud the Town Council for taking action. The challenges will be implementation and enforcement. I will help establish process’ to attain a smooth transition from our current code standards.

I would like to make an effort for The Town of Frisco to achieve a Net Zero municipality rating.

Greg Hess:

I am all for the Action Plan and the Net Zero Energy Ready code that is currently proposed. I would like to see the recycling center expanded and accept more products.

Rick Ihnken:

I think the Summit Community Climate Action Plan is a good goal to work towards, and one of the most important steps that Council has taken is to move our energy consumption towards solar. Also, the Town should be setting a great example by operating with zero waste principals in mind, as this will hopefully inspire citizens to follow suit and composting at the recycling centers certainly makes that a lot more likely.

If you received a $2 million grant to use for the town any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?

Mayor:

Hunter Mortensen:

I would find the best way to leverage that money into a rental housing complex in town. We need rental units for our work force here in town. With $2 million dollars I think we could find partners to make that money go far further and help make more rentals units available in town.

Town Council:

Andrew Aerenson:

I would start a fund to help homeowners stay in their homes through grants and low interest loans. Many of our homeowners are “house poor” meaning they own their home but do not have much money in the bank. This creates a major challenge when the house needs a new roof, boiler or other major repair. There is no money available to pay for the work, so the owner is often forced to sell. When this happens, our most valued residents often leave the community and the house often converts to a property no longer occupied by full time residents. This type of housing assistance program exists in many other communities and would be hugely beneficial to meeting Frisco’s housing and employee crises

Jessica Burley:

I would use it to leverage grants to buy our first electric Frisco Flyer bus/shuttle and put the rest into purchasing deed restrictions on existing housing for our workforce.

Andy Held:

I would use a $2 million grant to connect Main St to the marina with either a pedestrian/bike bridge or expanding the spillway tunnel at Ten Mile Creek to allow for safe passage. I would even donate a portion of my time as a local General Contractor. Strive to procure local sub-contractors at reasonable rates via a well-planned Request For Proposal (RFP). I already have working designs for this project.

Greg Hess:

I would redo the Summit Boulevard / Main Street intersection and install new parking signs throughout the town.  Changing the parking restrictions would help with the parking issues in and around Main Street. I also like the idea of tying Main Street to the Marina.

Rick Ihnken:

I would look for real estate that is ideal for workforce housing in Frisco.

Which Frisco neighborhood do you live in? Why? Where are your favorite places to spend time in Frisco?

Mayor:

Hunter Mortensen:

My wife and I live on what I guess you would call the South Side of town. We love it, we are 3 blocks to Main Street, 3 blocks to the Peaks Trail, and 3 blocks to the marina. This is what we love about Frisco. Wherever you are nothing is far way. As for my favorite places, I will focus on one favorite place at a favorite time. Nothing makes me feel more content then an early summer morning walk with my wife and dog down an awakening Main Street. Dew dripping from the flower planters, a clear view from end to end, and a few people you know savoring the same special time of the day in such a wonderful place. That is just one of many places you will find me around town.

Town Council:

Andrew Aerenson:

Before my wife Marci and I decided to move to Colorado, we regularly vacationed in a townhouse near Frisco Elementary School and their awesome playground. We knew that Frisco was the town to beat as we town shopped throughout the mountain communities of Summit, Eagle and Routt counties. Once we confirmed Frisco as the best mountain town, we were limited to those houses that were available at that time. Our first criteria for a home was that we could walk to shops, restaurants and events. There were not many choices on the market. Fortunately, what is now our home in The Reserve was available.

My favorite places in Frisco are any of the outdoor spaces where I can play on bikes, skis, or hiking boots. Mostly, I enjoy simply being in Frisco and experiencing the “Wow Factor” that comes from looking out at our natural beauty. We are all so lucky to call this place home! The best food in town comes from Marci’s efforts in our kitchen, but if going out, I am partial to hanging out on the front patio at Rocky Mountain Roasters, the bar at Tavern West, Hacienda Real, a veggie burrito (smothered or grab & go) at Log Cabin Cafe or being served by Sally at Butterhorn Bakery.

Jessica Burley:

I am so lucky to live in the Peak One neighborhood, in particular because of my neighbors, but also because of the access to local trails, recreation, and open space. Our house was built to Energy Star standards making our energy costs, and livings costs, affordable. We couldn’t ask for a better place to live. If only we could keep the sun from going down so early in winter.

My favorite places to spend time in Frisco are the Frisco Bay Marina beach, local trails (any of them), and my front porch.

Andy Held:

We live on Miners Creek Rd. We were fortunate enough to purchase our house from other long-time locals that wanted to give a local family the ability to live in town. We love our proximity to all our favorite places including Main Street, the Marina, Walter Byron Park, Lusher Court, and our incredible access to the National Forest surrounding us.

Greg Hess:

Emily Lane, close proximity to Main Street. We love walking across the foot bridge to Main Street for dinner and taking in the town.

Rick Ihnken:

I live in the Peak One neighborhood because of the great location and because of the unique blend of local families. And our family spends a lot of time on Mt. Royal.