Meet the Minturn Candidates







John K Widerman – Mayoral Candidate

WidermanAs a 10+ 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 4 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 leadership. I originally moved to here for the abundance of outdoor activities and have grown to love our town for everything that it is (an isn’t). That said, I remain deeply vested in improving the parts of Minturn that are critical to our economic health and wellbeing, while maintaining the characteristics that keep our community rooted in why we all live here so that we can maintain

our independence. I am pro-business, and believe we need to have smart, community driven development that can help bring us to a critical mass to support the businesses we have. 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.

As Mayor, I am always interested in listening to constituents, and finding solutions that work. I believe that going backwards is not an option, but also understand that moving forward does not mean we will lose the charm and character we have, and if done well, will preserve it for years to come.

Thank you for your vote,
John Widerman


Hawkeye Flaherty – Mayoral Candidate

FlahertyAbout me. I was born and mostly raised in Minturn. I attended Junior and senior High School in Fountain Colorado when my dad transferred from Camp Hale when it was closed to work at Fort Carson near Colorado Springs. I moved back to Minturn after a couple years of college and have been here ever since.

I’ve been married to my wonderful wife Jean for over 40 years. We have three grown children, all graduates of Battle Mountain High School and three wild and crazy grandchildren. I currently work as a front line supervisor for the Streets Department of Public Works for the Town of Vail. Been doing that for the past 24 years.

I have served on the board of directors for Upper Eagle Valley Water and Sanitation for eight years. I served as Mayor of Minturn for many years and if re- elected would bring years of experience in dealing with problems the Town currently faces.

The prominent issue facing the Town is growth and all the associated matters, questions, problems and concerns associated with growth. I have the background, expertise, and experience to better deal with these issues than they are being dealt with now.

Hawkeye Flaherty

TucholkeDarin Tucholke – Council Candidate

  1. 602 Main Street 1992-1995
  2. 484 Eagle Street 1995-1998
  3. 480 Taylor Street 1998-2005
  4. 530 Taylor Street 2005-present

Occupation: Self employed since 1989.

  • The goal of this town should be to preserve the small town character and small town family life.
  • We need to require Xcel Energy and Holy Cross to bury the transmission line 100%.
  • We need someone who can be successful in obtaining grants.
  • Working with the small businesses and citizens at all times and establishing trust between our residents and local officials.
  • Understand how we can increase our tax base and be financially responsible at all times.
  • Working with landowners to allow sensible development which includes ways of solving issues of density, building heights, and supplying amenities to our citizens.
  • The town needs to help our youth whenever possible through community events, scholarships and workshops.
  • Minturn should always recognize and be aware of what brings people here.
  • Minturn needs to promote and prosper with events that are already proven like live music and holiday gatherings.
  • We need to continue to monitor river quality and continue improving our most valuable resource.
  • Minturn has to be working and rebuilding its infrastructure through grants and other viable measures.
  • We need to work with our county and state to improve the workforce housing need through affordable housing opportunity.

Darin Tucholke

Eric Gotthelf – Council Candidate

GotthelfEric was born and raised in the Vail Valley and has had a fondness for Minturn ever since his parents brought him trick-or-treating as a young kid. Eric and his wife Lauren bought their first house in Minturn and are looking forward to calling this community home for many years to come. Eric graduated from Battle Mountain High School with honors and earned his bachelors degree in Finance at Santa Clara University. After graduating Eric worked at Slifer, Smith and Frampton selling Real Estate and is now working for a small company in the Information Technology field.

Eric and Lauren chose to make their home in Minturn because of it’s small town character, charm and community. Preserving that is Eric’s primary goal and the reason he is seeking re-election to Minturn Town Council. Minturn should continue to maintain its

independence and preserve the quality of our water and Eric has voted with Council for improvements to that system. Eric also supports recreation and the proposed Minturn Bike Park. Another hot topic that has come up recently surrounds development and Eric believes some growth will be necessary to improve sales tax revenue and support our local businesses. It is important for that growth to not change but improve the unique character and funkiness that is Minturn, all while maintaining a community feel with more affordable local housing.

Eric Gotthelf

Spence Neubauer – Council Candidate

NeubauerSpence Neubauer moved to Colorado to ski and spend his life in the mountains. He was a ski patroller at Copper Mountain when he met his wife, Stefanie. They started a family together and Spence became a stay-at-home Dad to their two sons Declan and Lachlan, as well as their chocolate lab, Burger. Seven years ago, the family moved to the Vail Valley and rented homes in several different communities, including River Run, Eagle-Vail and Intermountain. They were always intrigued by Minturn with its completely independent atmosphere. Three years ago the family bought their home in Minturn and have never looked back.

They have made wonderful friends and neighbors in Minturn and truly enjoy the rewards of living in a small hometown.

Spence loves being outdoors; he telemark skis, fly fishes, mountain bikes, and hikes in the little spare time he has. He also manages their small basement apartment.

From 2008 to 2013, Spence was a ski patroller at Copper Mountain. He obtained his EMT certification from the Wilderness Medicine Institute in Wyoming. Spence graduated from Boston College in 2007 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communication.

Spence is running for Town Council because he loves Minturn and wants to see it thrive. He wants to be a part of the decision making process as the town continues moving forward. Part of that involves growth. Minturn is a wonderful small town in a bustling tourist destination. Nobody wants it to be only second homes and short-term rentals. However, economic stability in volatile times is hard with a small full-time population. Responsible growth to boost revenue and long-term viability is an issue that requires compromises from both sides for Minturn to flourish. Additionally, a static supply of homes with an increase in demand is causing home prices to become unreasonable. Affordable housing is achievable with an increased supply of homes. Refusing to build has only made housing more expensive.

Another current concern is the town’s water. This issue is intricately linked with the population. The town needs more safe water as the town grows, but the payment burden also spreads between more people, lowering costs per person.

Spence’s goals for the town are maintaining the small town character of Minturn while improving economic resilience through increased primary home ownership at affordable prices.

Spence Neubauer

George Brodin – Council Candidate

BrodinI would like your vote for Town Council. I currently sit on the following committees: MFC Minturn Fitness Center, Minturn Water Committee, NWCOG Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, and QQ Regional Water Quality and Quantity Organization.

I enjoy being a part of the Town Council. I like hearing from you;

Reasons for Running:

  • I have been in Minturn since 1984, raised my family here and I care deeply about this Town. My wife and I have raised our children here, and just last year taught our grandson, Kenton, to ride a bike on Pine Street. Perhaps you have seen or heard us, “C’mon Grandpa George!”
  • I understand the challenges facing the Town, am very approachable, a team player, and I understand the history of most of the item we face.
  • Council Packets are as small as 40 pages and as large as 200 -300 pages. I do my homework ( read the packet and look up and understand any words or acronyms I do not know ) and bring questions and different viewpoints to the meeting to allow myself and others to make informed decisions.
  • I have worked with 5 Town Managers; Ann Capela, Gary Suitor, Jim White, Willy Powell, and Michelle Metteer, and I have seen dysfunctional divisive Councils and highly efficient Councils and feel myself a very steady and stable contributing member of any Council.
  • I like hearing from you 970-390-3177

Issues and Goals currently facing the Town:

  • Water: I would like to see our water plan become a physical reality; new building, new plant, new tanks and pipelines with as much grant assistance as we can find.
  • Bolts Lake Reservoir: I would like to see this lake built with benefits for the Town of Minturn and for the region.
  • Battle Mountain Development Resolved: We have been in this dance for more than 15 years and the scope has been greatly reduced from 1700 units to most recently talked about 500 units. This reduced scope and impacts comes with reduced promises and benefits far different from the original project and would be subject to a Town wide vote once specific promises, benefits, and potential impacts have been identified.
  • Dowd Junction: There is a great opportunity for Dowd Junction / Forest Service Administrative Site to be developed and bring sales tax dollars to the Town. (kind of like Minturn’s Costco) There is also access to Meadow Mountain, a park-n-ride, and regional transportation stop that needs to be protected. The Town is in a position to take a major leadership role in this and it’s important to the Town.
  • The Downtown Commercial area has changed ownership and needs to have a plan and direction made in order to move forward.
  • How parking throughout Town is managed should be a comprehensive system; we have bits and pieces that work in specific areas and then large areas where unspoken feuds exist over what is and what isn’t and what should and what shouldn’t be, not even talking about snow removal concerns.

Other goals:

  • Water and Sewer to Little Beach Park and the Public Works Building and Lease Lots adjacent to the Cemetery.
  • Bike Park south of the Public Works Building
  • Bike path through Town
  • Flush Toilets at Little Beach Park
  • Expansion of Stage and Amphitheater area in Little Beach Park. We, as a community have outgrown this space and need more lawn to sit on and enjoy summer concerts.
  • With the new sidewalks, crosswalks, and paving on main street, we will have an opportunity to once again revisit and potentially lower speed limits on Highway 24 thru Town.

I would like to represent you on Minturn Town Council for another 4 years. 48 meetings plus committee and regional tasks that go with it.

George Brodin

Terry Armistead – Council Candidate

ArmisteadI have lived in Minturn for 21 years and in the Eagle Valley for 28. I have four kids and I am a Ski Instructor and a Musician. I am a board member of the Minturn Community Fund and the founder and producer of The Minturn Concert Series. I also serve on the board of The Glide Project, a nonprofit committed to educating our valleys youth on avalanche dangers.

I have enjoyed four years of town council and would like to serve another term.

I support gradual smart growth. The railroad project can be a logical area for growth as long as the density doesn’t overwhelm existing residents.

I support gradual smart growth. The railroad project can be a logical area for growth as long as the density doesn’t overwhelm existing residents. Battle Mountain poses more challenges as it is located in South town. I would like to see what they come up with after listening to residents concerns on future development up there. I would prefer that Battle Mountain remain in Minturn as we will be receiving all of the impact of a development there.

The 100 block is very concerning to me as I feel our downtown is so unique to this area. We need to protect our downtown character.

Our water infrastructure really is first and foremost of my concerns. We are looking at spending a lot of money to upgrade our infrastructure. I am concerned about citizens and businesses spending so much on their water bills. I am committed to revisiting how we charge for water.

I support the Minturn Bike Park. It is a recreational asset that will appeal to a broad audience. I am cognizant of protecting our remaining elk herds. As more and more people realize how much fun it is to be outside, we as leaders have to guide and educate our public so that we don’t lose those resources forever.

I am committed to continue working on the Minturn Shooting Range. This is another area that has been loved to death. I am hoping that users will learn to respect neighbors, rules and recommended shooting hours. Navigating the problems there as public land are tricky but worthwhile.

I am concerned about Holy Cross power lines running through town. I believe a full burial through town from Dowd to the turn at Battle Mountain Pass is acceptable.

I hope to have responsible development at Dowd, preserving recreation, transit hub and having a tax revenue from businesses. It is the gateway to Minturn and I want all of us to remember this as any development proposals come through. Money is important but it isn’t everything.

Terry Armistead

Gusty Kanakis – Council Candidate

KanakisGusty Kanakis Bio and positions I support and appose.

I am married and have lived in Minturn all my life except for 4 years that I lived in Avon. I have recently retired and have the time to devote to the position of Town Council. I have worked for 3 different municipalities over the years. Around 25 years ago I was on member of Minturn Planning and Zoning Commission. I would like to be a part of the future of Minturn. I

care about Minturn and am proud to live here. I will be committed to making the best decisions possible to represent the town and it’s the citizens. I feel being fiscally responsible for the town is very important. I believe in protecting our environment so future generations can enjoy what we have.

I support upgrading the town’s water system. Minturn’s deteriorating infrastructure is one of the most important issues that the town is facing now. I feel new development should pay an impact fee to cover a portion of the costs.

I don’t want to see the Battle Mountain project de annex from the town and go to the County. I feel an agreement can be reached but a project of this magnitude should go back to the citizens to vote on it.

I don’t support Holy Cross Energy’s above ground transmission lines. They should bury the lines threw Minturn city limits and the area around the shooting range.

If anyone would like to contact me to see how I stand on other issues you can call me at 970- 471-1862

Thank You,
Gusty Kanakis