I attended the Town Council Candidate Forum last Thursday evening which was sponsored by the Rotary Club and the Telluride Association of REALTORS. At the event, several anti-REALTOR comments were made by two of the candidates, namely, Bob Saunders and Chance Leoff. While hearing such comments from Bob Saunders is nothing new (which included telling another candidate that she shouldn't admit to being married to a Realtor), he has a record of doing just this from his seat on council, I was stunned to hear the remarks made by Chance Leoff.
Chance currently serves at the Chair of the Historic & Architectural Review Commission. He said "I understand that a substantial part of the community, particularly the Real Estate community, would very much not like to have any restrictions." In the 13 years that I have been a TAR member as well as the nine years I have served on the TAR Board of Directors, I have never heard a REALTOR in our Association call for any such thing; Realtors clearly understand the benefit to our community by a reasonable and responsible commitment to historic preservation. I myself served on HARC for three years and I believe in the necessity of it for the historic preservation of our town.
Chance, on the other hand, oversees HARC presently at a time when the approval process has never been so obstructive, litigious, arbitrary and unnecessarily prolonged. HARC is dysfunctional in its present makeup and the Town Council needs to address this problem immediately. The Telluride Association of REALTORS has many members whose clients have recently walked away from Telluride because of the nightmare they faced at HARC trying to get their home approved. Losing these projects costs our entire economy much needed revenue that extends far beyond REALTORS to architects, contractors, trades people, designers, etc. This ineffective behavior by HARC is neither reasonable nor responsible.
Those same clients will not be in our restaurants and shops, where they spend far more per year on average than we as locals do. Nor will they be donating their time and funds to our many non-profit organizations. How many more of the people that our local economy needs most do we want to allow HARC to run out of our town?
Let's make HARC a positive part of our community once again. And let's certainly make sure we have positive, decisive and inclusive representatives elected to our Town Council on November 5th!
– Matthew R. Hintermeister, Chair of the Political Action Committee and CAR Director/Board Member for the Telluride Association of REALTORSEndorsed By: Sue Berg, President of the Telluride Association of REALTORS, the TAR Board of Directors, Stewart Seeligson, Steve Patterson, James Lucarelli, Jill Masters, Banks Brown, Pam Guillory, Jake McTigue and Pat Pelisson and the TAR Political Action Committee’s George Harvey, Dirk DePagter and Michael Ward