RIDGWAY – “I know I’ve got big shoes to fill,” said Tim Patterson, Ridgway’s newest town councilmember.
Patterson was sworn in at last month’s regular meeting to fill the seat vacated by long-time councilor Paul Hebert, who resigned earlier in the summer to travel with his wife, Shawn McKearnan.
“It’s going to be a huge learning process,” said the first-timer to elected office. “But I’m excited to bring a unique perspective to council: that of a business owner in the historic business district, a storefront, in town.”
Patterson, who moved to Ridgway in 1998, owns RIGS (Ridgway Independent Guide Service) Fly Shop on Sherman Street in the old Little Chef building. He’s been in business there since 2001. (He has also just started Tellurides, a transportation/limo service.)
Patterson ran for election on the April 2010 ballot, but came up short “by seven votes, something like that,” he said. As the next-closest vote getter, by custom Patterson was offered the seat when Hebert decided to relinquish his.
Why say yes to the invitation? Especially when the seat is up for re-election again next April? “I’ve been in Ridgway a long time. I feel like it’s time to step up and contribute, give my input on the challenges we face,” Patterson said.
Winter is a slower season for RIGS, so Patterson should have time get up to speed on issues before council. Winter hours have been cut back to just one day a week, Saturdays. Though Patterson was quick to add, he will be doing some limited waterfowl hunting and winter fly-fishing, “which can actually be a wonderful time to fly fish,” he said. In fact, he’s organizing regular fly-tying seminars, on Saturdays at the shop, with well-known guest fly-tyers beginning sometime around the holidays.
Patterson is passionate about water issues, naturally. He briefly served on the town’s planning and zoning commission. He is married with a 4-year-old daughter.