Questions asked by Braun Horner
Statements written by Steve Skinner
Why do you want to run for commissioner?
Commissioners set the course for the county. I’d like to turn the ship toward things that will further serve locals now. I think the county should take a more active role in workforce housing. And in making sure that kids have early education opportunities. Seniors should have more affordable housing options and we need to make sure they can stay in their homes if they are on a fixed income. I’ve seen people get priced out and move away. That hurts.
When I announced that I was running, I received a call from a Grand Lake senior woman who was extremely concerned that she was being priced out of her home due to property taxes skyrocketing. I promised her I was listening and would work for her on the board.
What do you believe you can accomplish for Grand County?
For starters, I’d like to move the needle on issues concerning youth, housing, and seniors. I see a lot of common concerns over these issues so I think I can work with the other commissioners and local municipalities and stakeholders to expedite solutions.
I have been running a survey on my website (skinnerforgrand.com). People are concerned about short-term rentals (STRs). When I met with voters in Grand Lake recently, one couple lamented that the property next door had been remodeled illegally to accommodate more renters in their STR. Not only did it impact their parking and plowing, but the parties were also impacting the serenity in their once peaceful neighborhood.
I’m opposed to corporations purchasing properties here to convert them to STRs. Mom and Pop STRs where folks rent out a room or have a single investment property is not the problem.
Finally, I’ll listen. I don’t know everything. I know plenty of people of different persuasions with passion, skill, and devotion to being here. We can work together. I commit to having an open mind, and I am ready to be persuaded. This is an area where I think I could bring a different approach to the BOCC – better seeking and listening to the public’s input and making sure we have more channels that allow busy people to give input without necessarily coming to Hot Sulphur Springs on a Tuesday morning, which not everyone can do.
There’s always more to something than meets the eye. I also think that at the local level, there is a lot more room for innovation, compromise, and – luckily – issues that are different from the national political talking points. Our local issues are less defined by an R or a D than they are by helping our neighbors, ensuring things run efficiently here at home, and ensuring we’re listening to the little guy – our neighbors.
What else would you want people to know about you and/or your goals?
I’d like to be a positive influence representing the locals. Wouldn’t it be great if local taxpayers benefitted from our actions now? Waiting is not going to help. Grand County has $50 million in reserves. I believe in fiscal prudence, but the people who pay the taxes that are feeding the nest egg are not benefitting. There are unmet needs for locals that are here now.
I’ve dedicated a lot of my life to community service. I like to volunteer, and when people ask me for help I give it.
I moved to the Western Slope in 1982. I am a passionate river rafter, musician, journalist, and nature nut. I am currently employed at KFFR-FM, Colorado’s newest, full-power, non-commercial radio station serving Grand County. This county is unique and beautiful, from the snow-capped peaks to the ranches and river valleys. People want to maintain our quality of life and rural character, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I have spent decades working for newspapers and managing public radio stations and have helped foster one of the best youth radio programs in the country, The Andy Zanca Youth Empowerment Program (AZYEP.org).
I presently own a small home in Hot Sulphur Springs, and my rooftop solar array is keeping my energy costs close to zero. I have a lovely daughter, Riley Mae who fills the world with music and light. My best friend is a small shelter mutt named, “Chooch.”