One of the great things about Salida is that it has been able to stay a real mountain town. However, Salida and Chaffee County are changing. Many of these changes are positive; for example we have new businesses opening and a more diverse economy than a decade ago. Unfortunately, like much of Colorado, we have also seen the cost of housing skyrocket far beyond what the average Salidan can afford.
A better economy, affordable housing, and managing growth are all interrelated. Maintaining what we love about Salida does not happen by chance. It requires leadership and discussions about what kind of community we want to become. It also involves working together to drive the change and not be overrun by it. We need leadership that brings our community together to determine what we want for Salida’s future.
Salida has always reinvented itself when times have changed – a railroad town, an agricultural town, a mining town, and now a regional hub. Salida is known for its lifestyle, and our values of being caring, neighborly, and resilient have made Salida special. I believe these values are worth nurturing as they are the bedrock of our community.
When a community is healthy, it can get things done. The residents, elected officials, city staff, and local organizations work together to address community challenges. The past few years have me worried about our future. We need a Mayor who can foster a healthy community discourse, not create discord. We need a Mayor who can support an effective and engaged City Council and guide them towards shared goals and priorities. Lastly, we need to maintain professional staff that can offer support to the Mayor and Council to address some of the significant challenges we are facing.