Election 2020: Winter Park candidate profiles
Editor’s note: These responses have been trimmed to fit our spacing requirements of approximately 200 words.
Robert “Al” Furlone
Background: I was born and raised in New Hampshire where I Lived Free or Died for 21 years. After finishing college at the University of New Hampshire, I moved to Winter Park and have lived here since 2009. I live here for the outdoor opportunities that this area provides — biking, skiing, hiking — and for all the friendships and relationships that have made this valley feel like home.
Community involvement: Although my resume is not one that’s filled with lists of volunteer hours, I think my friends and family would agree that what I do have is a strong work ethic, a dedication to what I put my efforts towards, and a belief in simply “being a good neighbor.”
Campaign platform: I believe the top three priorities at this time should be 1) Affordable housing: this involves more than just new affordable housing developments. 2) Thoughtful development: the changes happening now are what will shape the entire community going forward. 3) Maintaining a sustainable budget.
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Background: I grew up in a very small town in New Hampshire. I attended the University of Maine, where I obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreational Therapy. I moved to Grand County in 1995 to do a three month internship with the National Sports Center for the Disabled. As soon as I arrived in the Fraser Valley I was instantly in love. I never left and 24 years later, I am still so happy to call Grand County and Winter Park my home. My favorite activities are skiing, mountain biking, attending live music and being out in nature as much as possible.
Community involvement: My experience as a long term resident and in running my business in Winter Park qualifies me to bring your voice to the table. I am looking forward to bringing some needed diversity and new perspective to town council in order to build on past accomplishments as well as helping to chart our course forward.
Campaign platform: 1) Affordable housing: for our permanent/seasonal workforce and long term residents. 2) Balanced and smart growth: ensuring that projects are thoughtfully proposed to the town. 3) Neighboring town relationships: while there are unique aspects that are representative of each town, we should continue to look for ways to strengthen our mountains communities as a whole.
Background: I graduated with a degree in political science from Boise State University and am a military veteran, serving on active duty in both the United States Coast Guard and then the United States Navy after 9/11. After the military I moved to Colorado to begin my corporate career, serving as a division manager for R.S. Hughes Company, an account manager for Coors Distributing Company and later working for School of Rock as the director of development for the western US. In 2012, I left corporate American and joined my wife Shannon to run the Denver based international cancer foundation, Love Hope Strength, as managing director and COO.
Community involvement: My wife, Shannon, and I have lived in Colorado for 15 years. We moved to Winter Park permanently and opened our businesses, Uptripping Art & Furnishings and Handy Henn. I’m a local contractor focusing on remodels in Winter Park and the Fraser Valley, the vice president of our HOA Board and I sit on the board of The Impact Plan, a local nonprofit.
Campaign platform: I feel that I can make a positive impact and have the necessary skills and experience to help guide Winter Park forward. The town is at a pivotal time that requires fiscally responsible and involved leaders who will work tirelessly to tackle issues such as growth, development, housing and transportation. That is who I am and that is what I will deliver.
Background: Moved to Grand County as a fulltime resident in ‘94. Initially, I moved to Grand County to help run an insurance agency in Granby, but I took a chance on real estate in 1994-95, and spent the next 23 years in real estate. In 2017, my career took me right back to where I started in Grand County, and I purchased an interest in Middle Park Insurance Agency. Being a part of starting Real Estate of Winter Park was a great time in my life, but I now find myself happy to be working in a business that can be closed evenings and weekends!
Community involvement: Current Winter Park town councilor, 18 years; volunteer with NSCD, 11 years; Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce, four years; Winter Park Planning and Zoning, 12 years; Winter Park Board of Adjustments, eight years; Grand Enterprise Initiative, three years; Granby Chamber of Commerce, two years; I have also attended a whole lot of community meetings, events and fundraisers.
Campaign platform: I sincerely enjoy being a town councilor and have a genuine desire to be involved with helping the town, community and county move forward. Unfortunately, we are all heading into some difficult times. Responsible and difficult decisions will need to be made in all aspects of our lives. I feel my past experience and knowledge of the town will be more helpful than ever.
Background: I originally move to Winter Park in 1988 with a college degree and no particular plan. Around 1992, I fell in love, got married, had our first baby, went to grad school… In the late ‘90s I didn’t see the career opportunities I was looking for in the Valley. After working for Westin Hotels and United Airlines we decided the Front Range was not the environment in which we wanted to raise our family. In 2007, we returned to the Valley with two children. I worked in property management then had the opportunity to purchase The Viking Lodge.
Community Involvement: Board Member of The Winter Park Horseman’s Association (1990 something – I honestly can’t remember), EGSD DAC (2000-2001), Middle Park High School Alpine Coach (10 years)
Campaign platform: First, I want to make sure our town is connected on the county, state and national level to ensure our residents and businesses receive all the information and funds available so that our economy bounces back in a timely manner. I want to be part of making Winter Park a year-round economy with a regulated and well thought out downtown development plan that includes regulated growth, community sprite and the best access to all season recreation opportunities of any resort community in Colorado.
Background: I have lived full time in the Valley for 12 years. The last seven years I have lived in Winter Park. I’m a semi-retired businessman who was in sales most of my career. Most of my life I have been involved in some sort of negotiations, which I believe is a good tool to have when dealing with others or figuring out troublesome situations. I have no ax to grind or any sort of personal agenda to accomplish in office. I’m running because I truly think I have something positive to offer.
Community involvement: My community involvement includes being a member of the GAP board, which is a charitable arm of the Grand Foundation here in Grand County. We help families in the area who are struggling to get by, especially children and their needs here in the county. I am also a commission member on Winter Park’s Planning and Zoning Commission. I have served on both boards for about five or six years.
Campaign platform: If elected I would focus on attainable housing for the employees in town and on budgetary issues, which will soon be heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. I would like to see our transfer tax money used to supply monetary vouchers to landlords directly to help lower the cost of housing. I think we have several apartments and condos in town that would benefit from long-term rentals as opposed to short-term.
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