GWS Council candidate profile: Mitchell Weimer
Mitchell Weimer is running for Glenwood Springs City Council for the Ward 4 seat. Weimer works as an independent consultant with a background in positions based around strategy and retail, who has also recently submitted a preliminary plan to the Town of Silt for his future mixed-use development project; a long-term endeavor with his husband Cole Buerger. Weimer is running unopposed, but agreed to interview to give the community a better picture of his concerns and priorities. KDNK’s News reporter Hattison Rensberry talked with Weimer about the issues facing Glenwood Springs.
"Weimer: This year, 2023, I think is gonna be an important year for, for infrastructure, right? We've got, we've got the Blake Street, you know, redevelopment. We've got tons of paving that we're doing around this city this year. I think it's incredibly important just for our sanity and the health of our tires and rims, right as we, as we drive.
And then from what I understand, we've got a road tax issue that will be up for renewals soon. So I think it's gonna be an important year for us to really prove that, you know, it's not just the big ideas, it's not just the four 80 donks, it's the, it's the everyday sort of maintenance and, and improvements to our infrastructure that city council really has sort of the biggest, uh, impact on when looking at that.
Rensberry: How we can address the canyon from a local standpoint? What are some solutions?
Weimer: Whatever we can do locally, you know, signage wise, enforcement through town as people head toward the canyon. And then there's the, the subject right now of people exploring Cottonwood Pass. I think that's, A solution. It's probably not the solution, but I think really sort of locally, what we can do is just ask people to, to understand the root causes, around some of those issues.
And as much as our own citizens and residents can affect movement through that canyon, perhaps that's, that's something that we can do to. To help things.
Rensberry: Let's talk a little bit about the sort of debacle that formed out of the 480 Donegan. issue and how that might inform your term.
Weimer: Yeah, yeah.
I, you know, as I was out getting signatures, it was one of those questions that I feel like the constituents had most on their mind. It was a situation of poor decision making by members of the council, and, and I think what that did was it, it eroded a lot of, You know, between, between the citizens and, and the council.
Sometimes the best thing or the only thing that you can do is to be transparent and [00:02:00] fair and respect that the people that are in, in front of you, right? And if you make your decisions with a, with a consistent sort of framework, right? And people can understand what it is you're thinking, where it is you're going.
And there, and there's that trust. Not everyone is gonna always agree with your decisions. Right? Or even maybe like them. But sometimes the best we can do is at least understand the decision and how it came to be.
Rensberry: Let'stalk about some of your concerns when it comes to housing issues for Glenwood Springs.
Weimer: Yeah. You know, a, it's number one, right, has been for a while. I think it, it will continue to be, housing is not a Glenwood problem. It's not, it's not Ward for problem, it's, it's a regional valley wide systemic problem. It's gonna require a broader, coordinated solution to address it. I don't know that it's something that Glen would by itself can ignore or build itself out of or, or put together some.
You know, amazing solution that no one's thought of before and solve it, right? Because you're still gonna have a housing issue in New Castle and in Carbondale and given the, the geography of where Glenwood is being in the middle of the valley, right? We're, we are the transportation nexus, right? And so a, a housing problem up or down valley.
Gets translated into a transportation vehicle problem for us in Glenwood, right? So again, it's a broader regional problem that needs to be understood. I wonder what the opportunity might be around an additional dwelling unit. Right. I feel like they're, they're underutilized, at least in Glenwood. And so for a lot of single family homes, it's the opportunity to build, uh, a studio or a one bedroom apartment above the garage.
Let's say, and to be able to rent that out and enjoy the, the rent as it goes towards your, your mortgage or what have you. So an additional dwelling unit zoning approved. Right. Um, you know, most single family homes are allowed to build a but you just don't see too many of them, um, in town. And I think it's a real opportunity for us to smartly increase density right a little bit without having to build a six story, you know, kind of at the end of the corner.
I think it's an opportunity to build. Kind of housing, because you're not gonna build a 5,000 square foot adu, right? You're probably gonna build a, a studio or maybe up to a, a two bedroom maybe. And so it's gonna be sort of the right housing at the right price points.
Rensberry: For people who are trying to buy, do you have any avenues that you're looking to explore for making that attainable for people?
Weimer: I think at the moment, my position is that the government, and in this case city council, we're not in the business of providing houses to people. Right? I think what we're the best we can do is create an environment, you know, through, through zoning, through incentives, through creative, private, public partnerships.
You know, that sort of a thing for the right builders to come in and build the housing. Right. And, and I think that's, that's about the best that we can do.
It's interesting to run unopposed. I really look forward to serving and, and to representing Ward four in the meantime. Thank you for, for this.
Rensberry: Of course. Yeah. Yeah."
That was Glenwood Springs unopposed Ward 4 City Council Candidate Mitchell Weimer speaking with KDNK’s Hattison Rensberry. All of our other candidate interviews and election information can be found on our website, KDNK dot org