The Colorado Municipal League recently acknowledged municipal leaders in this state for their long history of public service.
Among the nine recognized statewide for serving more than 15 years of service were three from Grand County: Tom Weydert and Jim Peterson, who are stepping down from the Grand Lake town board; and Vince Turner, retiring from the Winter Park town council.
Tom Weydert has served on the Grand Lake town board for 22 years and is presently the Grand County Assessor. Weydert admits that he will miss being an active member of the council, but he plans to continue to be involved in the community of Grand Lake.
“I truly enjoyed the interaction with the public – the citizens of Grand Lake. I like keeping my finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the community...but I want to spend more time with my grandkids.”
Over the many issues he helped resolve over those years, the one he finds most important was reining in the short-term rental business. Many second homeowners were renting their homes without a town business license, and the lack of oversight was causing other problems: loud parties in quiet neighborhoods, trash and bear problems, and parking issues. By forming a committee to work out tax rates for the nightly rentals and a new Pay-As-You-Throw trash disposal service, many of these issues were resolved. ”It worked out really well,” added Weydert. “The taxes collected ($40,000 in 2013) went toward marketing the town.”
Jim Peterson has served on the Grand Lake Town Board for 16 years and has a long record of volunteering for community causes such as the Grand Arts Council, Grand Lake Repertory Theatre, Grand Lake Chamber and National Sports Center for the Disabled, to name a few. In 2009, Peterson and his wife, Suzi Maki, were honored by the Grand Lake Rotary with Co-Citizen of the Year awards.
On the town board, Peterson steps down as mayor pro-tem and financial trustee – large shoes to fill, but he will be available to help with the transition of these positions to other members of the council.
“I needed a break, to step back and let others get involved. 16 years is a long time!” Peterson added that he intends to remain actively involved with the town.
Petersen also cited the nightly rental issue as one of the more important ones of his tenure, but also cited the building of the library and theatre, annexing Grand Lake Lodge, and Main Street and waterfront improvement projects.
Vince Turner will also step down from the Winter Park Town Council after 17 years of service. The Sky-Hi’s efforts to reach Turner for an interview were unsuccessful; Turner is in San Jose, Mexico.