Hayes Walsh: I will work on housing, return of the promenade, expansion of transport
My goal as a candidate for council is to implement and carry out the will of the residents of Frisco. I hope to bring transparency to the local governance process and offer solutions directly for public voting in as many situations as possible. When tough decisions need to be made at the board level, I will gather input from constituents to guide my decision-making and vote in accordance with a consensus majority.
While collecting signatures for the Frisco housing petition, council members spoke to me candidly and made it clear that they did not feel beholden to the will of the people, but rather were elected to do what they saw fit, regardless of the public’s position on an issue. I fundamentally disagree and believe that the duty of the council is to implement the will of the majority. I aim to change the culture and practices of counseling from within the system.
Priority #1: Main Street Promenade
My #1 priority is to make the main street promenade. Over the past two summers, downtown has transformed from a highway into a livable open-air community, where people gather in meaningful ways. The promenade has increased pedestrian safety and improved the quality of life for residents. I believe an annual walk from June to September is a highly desirable amenity that will increase the value of the property. 85% of residents polled were in favor of continuing the Main Street promenade, and council rejected it. This is a decision that should have been communicated directly to voters to determine an objective measure of how the majority of our community wants to move forward.
Priority No. 2: Housing
I’ve spent hundreds of hours discussing Frisco’s housing situation with 1,000 people. I learned that most people in this town are smart, kind, have good ideas, and offer a range of opinions covering a wide range of thoughts. Allowing the community to vote on specific legislation gives everyone a chance to participate in shaping policy around a complicated issue. Giving people a voice brings increased participation in the process and allows the community to move towards solutions rather than getting bogged down in debate. The proliferation of short-term rental technology has changed the game, and we must decide if there is a line between subsidizing an investment property and operating a commercial enterprise. I believe there is a line to be drawn and it should be determined by our residents at the polls.
Priority n°3: Public transport
After spending 80 hours circulating the Frisco housing petition, one thing has become abundantly clear: There will never be fewer people in Summit County. Tourism will only continue to increase in the years to come, with each group of visitors adding at least one vehicle to the road. Going forward, we must focus on maintaining the quality of life of our residents by creating effective, efficient, free and comfortable public transit solutions. We need to create systems that enable and encourage visitors to get around Frisco without using a car. Summit Stage is fantastic county-level gear that we should be developing locally for everyone’s benefit.
Hayes Walsh is running for one of three open seats on the Frisco City Council.