Siemonsma wants to mobilize ‘heart of Avon’
Vail, CO Colorado
AVON, Colorado – As the only write-in candidate for Town Council, Paul Siemonsma recognizes he’s at a disadvantage.
His name will not appear on the ballot, so he faces the added challenge of asking voters to spell out it out.
To that end, Siemonsma has printed up cards with his name on them and has set out to mobilize a group of voters who don’t usually rush the polls.
That is, Siemonsma hopes to appeal to first-time home buyers and folks who live in the heart of Avon.
“I am that demographic, and that’s what I feel Avon doesn’t have represented,” he said.
Siemonsma, 35, bought his condo in West Lake Village about three and a half years ago, and has been president of the homeowners’ association ever since. During his tenure, the association has avoided raising dues. Instead, he says he cut costs and used the remaining money to improve the complex. He says he eliminated overpopulation at the complex by enforcing the two-person-per-bedroom rule. He also drastically reduced water usage by doing things like fixing leaks and installing low flow shower heads. He used the savings to install gutters on the buildings and hire private security.
Siemonsma said his first brush with local politics came a few years ago, when his H.O.A. teamed up with others in town to voice their concerns about the town’s proposed booting laws for parking.
The homeowners’ associations had been pushing for the town to allow them to use private booting companies to enforce parking rules, which they thought would be more effective than municipal booting.
“If you’re a homeowner and you come home and somebody’s in your parking spot, you want to be able to do something about it,” Siemonsma said.
Siemonsma moved to the area 11 years ago. In 1999, he started his own Avon-based construction company that built log homes in Bachelor Gulch ( “I’m a big fan of small business,” he says). He currently works as senior estimator for Gallegos Corp.
As for some of the big issues in Avon, Siemonsma said he supports the proposed Main Street project.
“I’d like to see them start the planning process right away,” he said.
Siemonsma said the planning process could take two years, but it would be good to collect bids now to lock in the best prices.
As far as the budget is concerned, Siemonsma said he wants to look through Avon’s expenses to find out where the money’s going and what can be cut, as he did with his homeowners’ association budget.
As far as the legal battle with Traer Creek, the town’s biggest developer, Siemonsma said he’s like to see both sides reach a resolution. Without access to privileged information about both sides’ concerns, though, he could not point to a specific way to go about reaching that compromise.
“A resolution benefits everybody,” he said. “A long drawn-out battle helps no one. You have to sit down with both sides and have open minds and make concessions on each side.”
Staff Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.