Councilman Stanford seeks second term

(Jackson, Wyo.) - Citing accomplishments on parks, transportation, community services and housing, Councilman Jim Stanford has launched a re-election campaign for the Jackson Town Council. Stanford, 45, filed paperwork last week to run for a second term. He was elected in 2012. “Four years ago, I pledged to be a strong, independent voice on the council, and I have done just that,” he said. In a second term, Stanford said he will continue to “protect what we love about Jackson Hole, while planning for a quality future.” Stanford has been active in every aspect of town government, working with colleagues and staff on a host of capital projects and several major community planning initiatives. He has championed new sidewalks on East Hansen Avenue, South Willow Street, Flat Creek Drive and Alpine Lane by Powderhorn Park. He was instrumental in creating the winter dog park along Snow King Avenue and has pushed for finishing May Park. He helped start the Ride2Fly shuttle to Jackson Hole Airport and with Councilwoman Hailey Morton Levinson helped create Town Shuttle “B,” a faster bus route. He also has helped establish crosswalks and other pedestrian and biking improvements around town, as well as better snow removal and fall cleanup for leaves and yard waste. Stanford has been a staunch advocate for environmental stewardship and protecting civil liberties. He co-sponsored a resolution in defense of federally managed public lands and voted against a $150,000 parking surveillance system. He has fought to keep public lands on Snow King Mountain from being degraded and turned into an amusement park. With the council and Teton County Board of Commissioners, he passed the Integrated Transportation Plan and Housing Action Plan, two broad initiatives that lay the groundwork for reducing congestion, improving transit and building more housing for low-income and middle-class residents. Along with Morton Levinson and Don Frank, he championed a $1.65 million partnership with the Jackson Hole Community Housing Trust in 2013, with the town buying land to help build 28 affordable rental apartments at Redmond and Hall streets. The Trust aims to break ground on the project later this year. Last year the town passed an ordinance cracking down on illegal short-term rentals, thereby boosting the supply of long-term housing and preserving neighborhood character. More recently, the town has begun looking at permitting more accessory residences such as garage apartments and providing incentives for their construction. Throughout the drafting of new zoning for downtown, Stanford has pressed for more residential and less commercial development. He stridently opposed an earlier version of regulations that amounted to a massive commercial upzone and would have worsened the community’s housing shortage. He and Morton Levinson also led the council to stream all meetings on video via the town’s website, Archived videos let citizens keep track of all of the council’s work — and Stanford encourages voters to watch for themselves. Stanford stressed that the council worked collaboratively on all of the measures outlined above, and he credited the town’s fine staff for bringing these projects to fruition. “It is a pleasure to serve with such smart, devoted public servants,” he said. Looking ahead, he is calling on residents to join him in supporting the August tax vote for stabilizing the landslide above West Broadway, as well as the November vote for using a penny of general sales tax for community priorities such as housing and transportation. He emphasized that both of these measures will keep the sales tax rate at the current 6 percent, while providing a more effective way of funding local government. Stanford has been a resident of Teton County since 1992. He lives in east Jackson with his fiancée, Abbie, and their dog, Camille. In summer he works as a boatman for Barker-Ewing Scenic Trips in Grand Teton National Park. This is his 17th year of guiding on the Snake River. He also is a freelance writer, photographer and editor. *Feature Photo: Jim Stanford. h/t Jim Stanford / Pitchengine Communities* #buckrail #news