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After serving as mayor pro tem for three years, Buena Vista (BV) Trustee Libby Fay is looking forward to stepping into her new role as mayor. She will be sworn in as Buena Vista Mayor on April 26, 2022. Fay, who has served as Trustee since 2018, has lived in Colorado for nearly 45 years and full-time in Buena Vista for nine years.

Fay and her late husband moved to Buena Vista for access to outdoor activities, small-town character, and a healthy environment. “I enjoy being with friends and family, eating and laughing, hiking, cross-country skiing, bicycling, camping, traveling, and other activities.”

What do you want the voters to know about you, and what brought you to Buena Vista? 

“I am Libby Fay, CPA — I am a CPA [Certified Public Accountant] with an MBA from Stanford University. I worked at a ‘Big 8’ accounting firm and then built my own CPA firm, which I sold after 20 years. I spent my career assisting thousands of individuals and hundreds of businesses with taxes, planning, budgeting, and accounting. I am a champion of fiscal responsibility! My CPA work now is as a volunteer income tax preparer in the VITA program in Buena Vista.

“I am a ‘numbers’ person,” adds Fay. “But it’s not just about financial reporting and budgets. It’s also about making projections, evaluating alternatives, and considering ‘best-case/worst-case/most-likely’ scenarios.”

What has led you to pursue being the mayor here in Buena Vista? 

I enjoy serving my community,” says Fay. “I have served as a Town Trustee for four years and as Mayor Pro Tem for three years. I will continue contributing my financial and leadership abilities to the Town. My strong financial background, my positive and diplomatic personality, and my enthusiasm for working together for a healthy Buena Vista will guide my service to you as Mayor.”

Mayor Pro Tem Libby Fay. Courtesy of the Town of Buena Vista

“Buena Vista is in a time of investing in its future through water projects, creating a new police station, recognizing the benefits of having Chaffee County Fire provide fire protection services, and using and modifying our Unified Development Code to provide for a variety of housing,” she adds. “We have a very talented and experienced staff and I enjoy working with all of them for the betterment of the town that I love.”

What have you learned from your previous years in public office? 

“There is a lot to learn. As a small town, we still have the same issues as larger cities. It takes time for many efforts to come to fruition. It is worthwhile to keep pursuing goals and getting things properly laid out by working with others. It’s important to listen to the public and encourage their participation. We are fortunate to have very capable staff and very creative and careful colleagues in Chaffee County, Salida, and Poncha Springs.”

What issues/conversations are at the top of your list for your term as mayor? How do you want to bring more focus to those issues? 

“Some of the most important issues are those that deal with water and growth, workforce housing, childcare needs, and preserving the historic and small-town feel of Buena Vista,” explains Fay. “We already know that we have to expand the use of our existing water rights and prepare to upgrade our capacity to process water. With warmer and drier years likely in the future, our supplies of water will be stretched and we may need to encourage conservation methods. We will need to have a process of gathering input from the public on what the future of Buena Vista will look like in terms of population, housing types, agriculture, parks, open spaces, and business activity. “

How have you seen the town change since taking on the role of Trustee in 2018? 

“The Town has opened the Collegiate Commons apartments, providing housing for many families who otherwise would struggle to live here,” Fay says. “We worked with the Historic Preservation Commission and adopted Architectural Guidelines for East Main Street. We added signage at the town limits and some directional signage, as well as some outdoor art and attractive planters. We reallocated our fire protection services to Chaffee County Fire, resulting in better service and medical training of fire personnel.”

Fay has also seen the town bring the new water tank online, acquire and diversify the town’s water rights, and make plans for expanding their ​​ability to use existing water rights and to provide for future water treatment needs. She adds that Buena Vista’s recreation plans have expanded to offer more programs and involve more participants, and the town has added miles of trails to the adjacent Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. 

“We increased our support of nonprofit organizations and worked with the Chaffee County Community Foundation to coordinate the grant program. We added key personnel to the Planning Department and assisted in the planning and formation of the Chaffee Housing Authority,” she says, returning to housing. “The Farm subdivision is now occupied, while still developing, and the Fading West Factory is in operation,” 

“The Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center expanded its clinic and includes walk-in services,” Fay points out. “Other changes have involved the closing/opening or concept changes in restaurants and businesses such as the Lariat, the former Evergreen Café [now Bread and Salt], the former Casa del Sol [now Sorelle Delicatessen], the former Gone to the Dogs [now Crave], the Distillery expansion, and the Asian Palate changes.”

What are you most looking forward to in your term as mayor? 

I am looking forward to working with a great board of trustees, the town staff, and the people of Buena Vista to make the town even better than it is today.”