Minturn Town Council profiles: Widerman wants to continue town’s progress | VailDaily.com
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Minturn Town Council profiles: Widerman wants to continue town’s progress

Incumbent mayor seeks another term

John Widerman
Voting in Minturn Minturn is holding a town council election April 7. The format has changed to an absentee ballot vote, and voters will select four council members and the mayor. In addition to mayor, voters will select three council members for four-year terms and one council member for a two-year term. Incumbent mayor John K. Widerman IV is being challenged by former mayor Gordon “Hawkeye” Flaherty. Incumbent council members Terry Armistead, George Brodin and Eric Gotthelf are running for re-election. Challengers Darin Tucholke, Spence Neubauer and Gusty Kanakis are seeking seats on the board.

Profession: MBA Graduate student (final semester!) and FirstBank Employee.

Why are you running? As a 10-plus year resident of Minturn, I am still considered a newcomer by some, but I assure you I have devoted myself to being as Minturn as they get. I have enjoyed the last four years on this council (the last year as your mayor), and I am excited to see the progress we have made continue with such an amazing group of leaders.

What’s the biggest issue facing the town? Our water infrastructure has aged in place and is now in need of replacement. We need leadership that is willing to address these concerns through data-driven solutions, not fighting to keep it the same for future generations to deal with.

What should the future hold for the rail line through town and the property near the rail yard? I would like to see the railroad parcel reasonably developed, and the current proposal has, so far, received unanimous support from our council. The area is well suited for development compared to other areas in town, and, quite frankly, with our current Water Capital Infrastructure plan, we forecasted pricing around a growth scenario. I believe this is a good opportunity to see what’s possible in that space. 

As far as the rail line is concerned, I believe it’s going to take a real visionary to make anything happen on the tracks. I’ve seen several concepts, the rehabilitation cost of the tracks is just so high. If it was to ever be abandoned, I would look to the community for direction, but I can imagine open space would be high on that list. 


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