Community Committee for Education member Liam Hahn, a Steamboat Springs High School student, listens as  member Collin Kelley speaks during a committee meeting.

Community Committee for Education member Liam Hahn, a Steamboat Springs High School student, listens as member Collin Kelley speaks during a committee meeting. Photo by Teresa Ristow. |

Education committee will wait until 2017 to make ballot recommendations


— A committee gathering feedback on the Steamboat Springs School District will wait until 2017 to make any recommendations to the Board of Education about possible ballot measures to fund district improvements.

Community Committee for Education, or CC4E, members met Tuesday to review a tentative timeline from now until November 2017.

“Even doing something in November '17, we’re still on a tight timeline of getting everything done," said Robin Schepper, committee member.

Eleven members of the 18-member group held an informal vote last week on whether to move forward with any recommendations before this November’s election, and the majority voted to wait until 2017.


Community Committee for Education Chair Bette Vandahl, right, speaks during a committee meeting.

On Tuesday, committee members said the group’s reason for waiting was because there wasn’t enough time before November for the group to complete its research and educate the community on potential recommendations.

Committee member Jeanne Mackowski said she supports the decision of the group but had hoped things would be moving faster.

“I’m personally disappointed that we’re not moving faster,” Mackowski said. “I had perhaps hoped that we could do something this November.”

The committee is now working to create task forces on various topics that align with the feedback the group has received so far about the district.

Suggested committees would focus on facilities, policy/accountability, finance/budget, programs/staff, community collaboration and demographics.

CC4E members would be represented on each task force, and the committee is seeking community members interested in joining a task force.

Community members could be parents or school staff interested in the district and could also be local experts, such as banking professionals for the finance task force.

According to the proposed timeline, between now and October, CC4E would establish the task forces, work on creating frequently asked questions materials on school finance, visit potential school sites, discuss the demographics reports and review the facilities master plan.

Between September and December, the group would host a series of educational forums with the Steamboat Pilot & Today and continue working within task forces and posting feedback on the group’s website.

By January and February of 2017, CC4E would refine recommendations and identify financial needs and host community forums and meet with stakeholder groups to test ideas.

Under the proposed timeline, CC4E would provide recommendations to the Board of Education in March 2017 and then continue educating the community on the proposed plans while seeking to garner endorsements for whatever might be put on a November ballot.

CC4E is actively seeking members of the public interested in serving on the task forces. Find out more at or email

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow


Russell scott 11 months ago

This town is simply paralyzed in getting anything done for the schools. So sad, so sad indeed.


Scott Wedel 11 months ago

This town has twice passed a half cent sales tax to provide additional funding for the schools.

This town made the smart decision to not spend $92M for a new high school that won't be needed for probably 20 years.

According to district's demographics report, Fall 2016 was expected to have 207 Kinder students. According to budget for next Fall, the district is expecting 150 Kinder students in SCE and SPE combined.

An argument could be made to put a bond measure for maintenance on the Fall 2016 ballot, but it we have no idea what changes might be proposed to the schools then it makes no sense to rush maintenance fixes that might be replaced a year later as part of a school remodel.

CC4E is not paralyzed. It is setting up to move forward based upon findings that will be documented as to why these are believed to by facts. It has to start from scratch because such a poor job was done prior to 3A and 3B. None of CC4E task forces would be willing to say that all they need to do is gather the material used by previous school board.


Teresa Ristow 11 months ago

The half-cent sales tax has been passed by voters four times.


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