Steamboat 700 campaign tops $100K

Developers continue heavy spending for annexation votes; Let’s Vote reports $4K

Campaign finance reports

Good For Steamboat

Reporting period: Feb. 12 to 28

Monetary contributions

Total: $0

Nonmonetary contributions

(All nonmonetary contributions are from Steamboat 700 LLC, for the designated expenditures.)

$3,362.20*, ads, Steamboat Pilot & Today; $25.01, Colorado Bagel Co. and City Market; $79, Mahogany Ridge; $1,875.25*, printing and postage, PostNet; $37.04, Bagel Works; $90.50, Rex’s American Grill & Bar; $346.68, phones and phone cards, Wal-Mart; $85.25, Cantina of Steamboat; $124.01, 8th Street Steakhouse; $1,890, ads, NRC Broadcasting; $259.97, Steamboat Smokehouse; $78.75, Pat Lombardi Design and Production; $50, Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant; $35, The Boathouse; $3,500, campaign phones, Winning Connections; $5,000, consulting, CWJ Inc.; $2,125, consulting, Curtis Church; $1,316, consulting, Tarsha Ebbern; $5,149.86, Campaign Products of the Rockies

Total: $25,429.52

Expenditures

$300, canvassing, Steamboat 700 LLC; $300, canvassing, Ann Butcher; $75, canvassing, Lindsay Townsend; $75, canvassing, David Humphrey; $160, canvassing, Liz Brown; $80, canvassing, Tristan Frolich;

Total: $990

* Indicates the total cost of multiple purchases or payments.

Let’s Vote

Reporting period: Feb. 12 to 28

Monetary contributions

Leslie Gibson, $50; Marcia Martin, $50; Daniel Smilkstein, $100; Happy Stemsrud, $100; Peter Kurtz, $100; Richard Rickerson, $50; Jacqueline Grimaldi, $25; Martha Drake Young, $25; Paula Begay, $50; Katherine Curcio, $50; Ronald Shively, $25; J. Jay Kopf, $50; Stephen Cobb, $25; John Cunningham, $50; Kenneth Manley, $100; Susan Carter, $50; Kay Wagner, $25; Kevin and Jane Bennett, $100; Ann Root, $25; Boyd Bass, $100; Stephanie Faunce, $25; Linda Danter, $25; Claudia Droel, $25; Doris Gentile, $50; Debra Peterson, $50; Cedar Beauregard, $200; Joanne Seymour, $25; Edward Weihman, $500; Ken Solomon, $200; Maryann Wall, $100; William Yowell, $25; Ken Manley, $100; Stan Whittemore, $25; Patricia Flower, $1,000; Elk River Gunsmithing Inc., $200; Walter Glass, $100; Dale Baker, $25; Larry Freet, $25; Teresa Armstrong, $100

Total: $3,950

Nonmonetary contributions

Total: $0

Expenditures

$67.50, Web development, Lisa Sculthorpe; $475, ads, KBCR Radio; $900, ads, NRC Broadcasting; $157, ads, The Local; $1,004.32, postage, U.S. Postal Service; $2,074.73, printing, Northwest Graphics; $1,000, ads, Steamboat Pilot & Today

Total: $5,678.55

Source: Campaign finance reports filed with Steamboat Springs City Clerk Julie Franklin

— Nothing like a hotly contested election to help ease the city’s sales tax woes.

Supporters and opponents of the proposed Steamboat 700 annexation continued their heavy campaign spending in February, pouring thousands of dollars into local media outlets and businesses in an effort to spread their messages leading into the final days of the election on Referendum A. The majority of that spending came from Steamboat 700 developers. Campaign finance reports filed Friday with Steamboat Springs City Clerk Julie Franklin show that the Good For Steamboat committee, supporting the annexation, spent more than $25,000 on its campaign from Feb. 12 to 28.

All of those expenditures were filed as “nonmonetary con­­­­tributions” from annexation developers Steamboat 700 LLC.

The spending continues to show a financial David and Goliath scenario with the Let’s Vote committee, which opposes the annexation and received about $4,000 in contributions during the same reporting period. About 40 Routt County residents accounted for the contributions to Let’s Vote. The committee spent more than $5,600 on its campaign in the 16-day period.

That amount pales compared to pro-annexation spend­­ing.

Including the nearly $75,000 that Steamboat 700 LLC spent from late December through Feb. 11, the developers have spent a total of more than $100,000 on their campaign. The majority of that spending has been for consultants or related services, advertising and campaign products. The rest has been for food, beverages, office costs, graphic design and other expenses.

Let’s Vote reported contributions of more than $10,600 in its first reporting period, from mid-December through Feb. 11, bringing its total contributions through February to about $14,600. The majority of Let’s Vote’s spending has been for advertising and printing services.

The committees’ final campaign finance reporting deadline is April 8. The reports filed Friday continue the trend seen in the first reports, filed Feb. 16, in which Steamboat 700 LLC funds Good For Steamboat and local donors contribute to Let’s Vote. Good For Steamboat returned $110 in contributions received from local donors in the first reporting period.

To explain the funding trend, annexation supporters have cited the millions of dollars developers have invested in Steamboat 700 and their desire to spread their message, while annexation opponents have touted the citizen-led, grass-roots nature of their campaign.

Steamboat 700 attorney Bob Weiss has said filing contributions from Steamboat 700 as “nonmonetary contributions” saves a procedural step. Rather than contribute to Good For Steamboat, which would then buy services, Steamboat 700 LLC buys services for the campaign itself.

Home stretch

Steamboat 700 proposes 2,000 homes and 380,000 square feet of commercial space on a 487-acre site just west of current city limits, over a 20- to 30-year timeframe for development. City voters are deciding the annexation’s fate in a mail-only vote that ends at 7 p.m. Tuesday. City Hall, at 137 10th St., will be open until then to issue and collect ballots.

Registered voters who have lost or not received a ballot can find replacement ballot forms at City Hall and on the Web at www.steamboatsprings.net, through the “Departments” and “City Clerk” links. Registered voters can call or visit City Hall to check or update their address. City Hall’s main phone number is 970-879-2060.

Representatives of each campaign committee said Sunday that their home-stretch strategy is simply to help people turn in ballots.

“We’re doing everything we can to make sure that people have an opportunity to vote on what we think is a very important issue,” said Chad James, of the Good For Steamboat committee. “We’re making phone calls; we’re going door to door. We’re doing literally everything you can imagine a campaign would be doing at this stage.”

Let’s Vote spokesman Tim Rowse outlined a similar strategy.

“All our effort is going into getting as many people to vote as we can,” Rowse said. “E-mail, phone calls, door to door.”

Good For Steamboat reported $4,110 on hand for the campaign’s final stretch. Let’s Vote reported $1,922.68 on hand, but that number could be skewed by an inaccuracy in its reporting of contributions. Let’s Vote reported total monetary contributions of $5,150 from Feb. 12 to 28, but its itemized list of contributions adds up to $3,950.

Let’s Vote Bill Moser, who filed the report, could not explain the discrepancy Sunday. He said the committee did not receive contributions of less than $20, which are not reported.

“I may have made a mistake,” he acknowledged. “I’ll file an amended report if it’s wrong.”

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