Tanecia Spagnolia: Let’s prioritize housing, child care and community

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Tanecia Spagnolia

Occupation: Business owner of Timberline Craft Kitchen & Cocktails and Tree Line Bloody Mary Mixes, mother

Years in Summit County: 4 full time, 6 part time

Family: Married to Joe Spagnolia and have two young girls, ages 2 and 4

Civic involvement: Summit County Chamber of Commerce board member, Summit County Rotary Club active member, donate to various local charities

It would be an honor to serve on Silverthorne Town Council because I have a passion for this community and its future. I can advocate for many facets of the Silverthorne community. I understand what it takes to raise children here and how hard it is to find child care. I have experienced what it takes to start a business. I will advocate for our local families, businesses and workforce.

Born and raised in Pennsylvania, I grew up skiing and snowboarding in the Appalachians. I graduated from college with a bachelor’s in business marketing and moved to Colorado for the outdoors and culture. After a year in Denver, followed by a season of snowboard instruction for Breckenridge, I moved back to Pennsylvania to work in the scientific industry. My heart missed the Rocky Mountains, so after obtaining my master’s in business, I moved back to Colorado.

After 14 years of various roles in supply chain, marketing, sales and product management, I wanted to start my own business. I always loved working in restaurants and had a passion for the culinary and craft cocktail industry. While attending culinary school and working on a business plan to open a restaurant, I founded Tree Line Bloody Mary Mixes, which are now sold all over Colorado, including in many bars/restaurants, and nationally via e-commerce.

In 2017, my husband and I were residing in Arvada. We loved Silverthorne and the community, and we agreed this was the perfect location to raise our children and open our new restaurant. In November 2019, one month after our second daughter was born, we opened Timberline Craft Kitchen & Cocktails with no investors or partners.

Not only did we experience all the pains of a new business, but after four months of operations, we encountered the pandemic. We learned to navigate how to keep our business afloat, help our employees make ends meet, and keep our family safe and healthy. Through perseverance, I believe we have overcome some of the most challenging obstacles any new business owner could face.

Priority No. 1: Affordable housing

Owning a business with 20-plus employees, I see firsthand the challenges of finding affordable housing. I rent our condo in Wildernest to employees well below market value. I also subsidize the rent on a five-bedroom house in Silverthorne for employees. These concepts are something more business owners need to do to help the workforce.

Furthermore, we need to push through more affordable housing concepts like Smith Ranch for families and Alpine Inn for seasonal workers. We need more restrictions on short-term rentals so there are more long-term rentals available. Affordable housing is not just about seasonal resort and service industry workers, but also local business owners, government employees and anyone who wants to raise a family here. Affordable housing should be attainable for those who live, work and own businesses here.

Priority No. 2: Child care and child programs

Having two young kids who are not yet in school and need day care is the life I’ve lived for the past three years. Summit County is home to hundreds of families that want their kids to grow up in this amazing region and experience all it has to offer. We need more child care options, more after-school programs and more rec center classes that don’t fill up in 45 seconds. The local governments need to subsidize child care and kids programs so they are available to everyone.

Priority No. 3: Bring the community together

Silverthorne has done a great job with community events, but with the increase in hotels, second homes and tourists in town, we need to continue to bring locals together with events, arts and entertainment. Silverthorne is so much more than a tourist town; we are a tightly knit community, and we need to continue to fund local programs to make this community a great mountain town to live in.

The past two years have incubated a lot of hate and division in society. We need to come together, respect one another’s opinions and choices, and go back to the basic saying of, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Tanecia Spagnolia is a candidate for one of four open seats on Silverthorne Town Council.