Biff America debating to run for Breck Town Council
BRECKENRIDGE – Ronald Reagan did it.
So did Sonny Bono.
And don’t forget “Ahnold.”
Now, TV and radio personality and newspaper columnist Jeffrey Bergeron, also known as Biff America, is debating making the transition from the world of entertainment to the political arena – a leap some might say isn’t that big. Bergeron picked up a nomination packet to run for Breckenridge Town Council last week.
The Breckenridge man’s tax return indicates he’s an entertainer – a term that’s subject to interpretation, his accountant says. Bergeron plays Biff America on Biff’s Big Show on the Resort Sports Network. It doesn’t get a lot deeper than that.
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But his campaign platform could.
His first challenge could be convincing people that he has a serious side.
“The way some people feel about me is absolutely incorrect,” he said. “My participation (on council) will be just as unfunny as my television show. I think anyone who cares enough and has been involved is well aware they are two separate people. One is how I’ve made a living, the other is my honest concern and love of the town. I intend to take it very seriously.”
Bergeron was in Breckenridge on a ski vacation in 1973 when his friend’s car broke down. He’s been here ever since, taking a fairly active role in town politics and environmental issues.
He’s wrestling with the decision to run because, he says, he likes the way the current council is directing things, and he knows being a council member takes a lot of time and work.
“It’s a pain in the neck to be a town council member, but that’s why they call it public service,” he said. “You don’t do something like that because it’s good for you, or to fulfill some sort of need for love and recognition. You serve because you feel you owe it to the community. I really feel I owe a great debt to Breckenridge.”
He’s also taking into consideration his wife, Ellen Hollinshead.
“We already dream about our work,” he said. “We don’t know if my wife can tolerate me talking in sleep, suddenly yelling out, “I second that motion!'”
Bergeron has been elected to two positions in his life: to the student faculty council in eighth grade in 1967 and as captain of the football team in 1971. But he’s never been nominated Town Fool. “That’s amateur and I’m professional,” he said.
If he decides to run, Bergeron said he would run on a platform stressing quality-of-life issues for everyone, from those who “wash dishes to people who wind their Rolexes.”
“We’re all concerned about traffic, affordable housing, a stable economy,” he said, adding that he likes the opportunities Breckenridge offers to newcomers, particularly when it comes to moving up.
“You can live a counter-culture life, not work a real job and still be a viable part of the community,” he said. “Breckenridge is truly a melting pot of ideas and socio-economic backgrounds. I want to work to maintain that.”
Bergeron’s policy leanings run more to the left than some, including his love for open space, recreation and the notion of public participation.
“I don’t have any illusions that my passions are going to be the same as everyone else’s, but I think that’s why it’s a council as opposed to a dictatorship,” he said.
“I want what’s best for the town. But I also think there should be someone on council that subsists barely above poverty level,” he said.
Bergeron jokes that, if he runs, he will invest a sizable portion of his personal fortune into his campaign.
“I’m going to sell some rock skis and put all the money into my campaign. I’m going to advertise exclusively in the Quandary Times,” he said, referring to a defunct Breckenridge-based newspaper,
His campaign motto might be: “A Vote for Jeffrey is a Vote for Jeffrey,” or “Put Biff on Town Council and Get Him off the Air.”
If he decides to run, he vows not to promote himself on the air.
“Then I’d have to give equal time to others,” he said. “And the thought of having (Councilman) Ernie Blake on every show is more than I can stand.”