Leoff and Waller beat applicants Robin Hern, John Anderson and Dave Valentine. All of the applicants, except for Valentine who was absent, took the floor in front of council and a seemingly large crowd in Rebekah Hall to campaign their reasons for applying to the open seats.
Leoff, who has been on the board for three terms in six years, told council in his speech that his role in HARC is “protecting the historic district and applying the guidelines within the framework of the land use code.” He added that the hardest thing for HARC to do is to “balance the needs of the community against the rights of the homeowner.
The stakes are quite high at HARC,” Leoff said. “I believe the preponderance of the past applicants would attest to my fairness and even handiness. Everybody gets the same consideration.”
Town Councilmember Andrea Benda questioned Leoff about previous decisions that may have been politically motivated.
“I have observed that you have made these things political,” Benda told Leoff. “When I read the paper, I read about things that have nothing to do with HARC.”
“I don’t think a commission member should give up his first amendment rights,” Leoff replied. “We are the ones who see the trends in both a positive and negative. We have a social responsibility to make people aware of what is going on so they can make decisions for themselves.”
Not long after Leoff finished his statement, Councilmember Bob Saunders, in support of Leoff, told council that, “Chance is a very qualified and very concerned applicant.”
Waller, who has been on the commission for the past two years told council that his experience in building is what HARC currently needs.
“I do my homework and take the time to work with staff when an application comes in. I have a background in building,” Waller told council. “We can’t be influenced by the dollar out there and we must maintain the character of Telluride.”
Sonchia Jilek, the current chair of HARC, told council during the public comment portion of the meeting that she would like to see both Leoff and Waller reappointed.
“We are a great working board and we are finally gelling together,” Jilek said. “This is nothing against the other applicants but at this time it would be terrible to lose either Chance or Joe on HARC.”
Saunders, “in the interest of keeping continuity,” nominated Leoff for a council vote and was approved unanimously. The council vote for Waller followed in the same way.
Hern, who is an architectural intern, and Anderson, who is an alternate member of HARC, were both thanked for their interest by members of council.