City Council's Distrit 3 race heats up

City Planning Commissioner Dick Curtis announced plans Friday to run for City Council, representing Steamboat Springs' far south side.

The announcement creates the likelihood that two longtime residents will face each other in the November election. Businessman Kevin Kaminski pulled papers for the same race earlier this month.

They have until 5 p.m. Aug. 22 to return completed nomination petitions with 25 signatures from voters in their district to City Clerk Julie Jordan.

Kaminski confirmed Friday that he intends to return the completed nomination petition. Jordan said no one else has pulled papers for District 3.

The district comprises a densely populated residential neighborhood south of Walton Creek Road at the base of Mount Werner.

The seat has been held by veteran Councilwoman Kathy Connell, who is term limited in District 3. She has pulled a nomination petition for the open at-large seat but has said she is weighing the decision about whether to run for another term. Connell could not be reached Friday afternoon to comment about her plans.

Kaminski is one of the owners of B&K Distributing. He said he thinks it's time to make a larger contribution to the community.

"This is my town. It's where I grew up, and it's where my kids are growing up. I may not be the most experienced candidate right now, but I know I can learn quickly."

Curtis is a six-year member of the Planning Commission and has spent much of his professional career as an engineer. He originally came to Steamboat to work on the construction of the Hayden Power Plant and has worked on similar projects throughout the region. He currently is self-employed and manages rental properties.

Curtis said that in light of population growth estimates, Steamboat needs better planning strategies in the future. As a councilman, Curtis said he would work for an affordable work force housing plan. He also wants to provide better wellness facilities and programs for Steamboat's aging population.

"We have been talking about (affordable work force housing) for many years," Curtis said. "Little progress has been made, to date. We have a real town that promotes friendliness and a family atmosphere. We will lose our sense of community if we continue down the same path. I have the desire and the will to help facilitate action to make housing affordability a reality."

Kaminski said his interest in the economic vitality of the community is a big part of his motivation for running for City Council.

"Not every weekend has to be the Fourth of July," Kaminski said. "But if we lose a big event on Labor Day, we have to make sure we replace it."

Jordan said two incumbents, Nancy Kramer and Steve Ivancie, already have returned completed petitions for the District 1 council race. Redistricting shifted Ivancie's residence into Kramer's district, Jordan said.

Bud Romberg and Stuart Lynn have turned in nomination petitions for the at-large seat.

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