Q&A with Silverthorne Candidate: Valerie Connelly

March 11, 2022


How long have you lived in the town you're campaigning in?

  • 10 years or longer


What is your occupation?

Tech Support & Business Management


What experience qualifies you for a town council position?

Silverthorne has been my home for over 42 years. I grew up submersed in town politics with both parents active on council and as a town Mayor. As a sales consultant with Summit Daily and Tv8 I have worked with many local businesses and organizations including real estate, lodging partners and everything in between. Currently, I work for the Summit School District in the high school I graduated from. I am so proud to be part of this community and care deeply for the people that live here. I want the best for us all and I understand the fabric of our community.


What changes would you like to see in Summit County? Your town?

I would like to see us focus on infrastructure. I want to see some new solutions to old problems. Reading an article from 30 years ago and housing was a big issue then, we need some creative ideas. We need creative ideas for families and childcare. We need creative traffic solutions. All of these issues have been lingering for years and they are not changing. We need to reflect on why and address the roadblocks.


What is your experience with vacation rentals?

Growing up my parents managed a few HOA's. My job was snow shoveling and hot tub maintenance. I have worked as the Partner Liaison for Summit Express and have quite a few relationships with vacation rental companies.


What impact do you feel the vacation rental industry has in Summit County? Your town?

Vacation rentals have a big impact on Silverthorne- but the biggest is not lodging stays. Sales tax has always been one of the biggest positive impacts from vacation rentals in Silverthorne and surrounding towns. With our location our most visible impact is traffic.


How do you feel about the current taxes in place for vacation rentals? Do you think more should be added? Do you think any should be reduced?

I cannot vote for the current ballot issue the way it has been written. For me to agree lodging tax must be intended for a specific purpose. The proposed increase is too high, however, I do think an increase of 1-2% is due but the use needs to be clearly defined.


Do you believe we have a workforce housing problem in Summit County? And, if so: what are your suggestions to increase workforce housing?

Yes, of course we do. More renting options need to be available. Not everyone wants to buy and some need a secure and reasonable place to live until they can buy. Many Silverthorne neighborhoods have houses that could easily add a single apartment within the towns code requirements, which in most places includes to not be used as an STR. We should be incentivizing these owners.


Are there any other key issues on your campaign platform that you would like to share with us?

As a town council member you are there to represent your neighbors. There are many key issues. Rather than choosing 2 or 3 to be passionate about I think it makes sense to be educated on them all, to talk to the community and try and make logical and fair decisions on their behalf.