Luigi Chiarani

Telluride Town Council candidate Luigi Chiarani. (Courtesy photo)

Luigi Chiarani is a 32-year resident of Telluride who has never run for political office until throwing his hat in the ring for one of two open seats on Telluride Town Council this year. His campaign slogan is “Take it easy.” It’s more than the refrain of a popular song, but his overall attitude.

“Let’s take it easy and think about growth in a healthier, more long-term way,” he said. “Let’s make slow, thoughtful decisions.”

Chiarani is semi-retired and spends his winters as a ski instructor for Telluride Ski Resort. Now in his 24th year on the mountain, he said the job has taught him valuable lessons.

“I’ve grown through that job,” he said. “I’ve learned to listen. To not be No. 1, but to be No. 2.”

He said that town staff would be his guide when it comes to finances, planning and other functions of government.

“I’m not pragmatic,” he said. “We have staff for that. I don’t need to redo their work. They are a highly qualified staff. I just want to listen and to bring ideas into an open, public forum.”

It’s not that he doesn’t have ideas of his own. For example, rather than creating more parking in town, he proposes finding ways to limit the number of cars that come into town. Telluride is a town filled with creative people. “I don’t have the answers, but let’s figure it out,” he said. “We ‘re a small town that can make a big impact on the planet.”

If elected, he said he has the time to devote to the job, and time to help the community “stay healthy.”

Name: Luigi Chiarani

Time in Town: Full-time year-round since August 1987

Any board/volunteer/political experience?: No current board memberships. I am currently the safety officer, guide pilot and web administrator for the Telluride Air Force. I’ve served on staff or as a volunteer for many festivals since 1987, including Telluride Film Fest, Mountainfilm Festival, nearly all music festivals and numerous KOTO events — DJ for 18 years now inactive and fill-in DJ only. I’ve also volunteered for Search and Rescue operations.

Politics: Non-affiliated. Never sought elected office.

Why are you running: I live at the end of a road in town in a pretty, lovable, quiet, studio. I do not want to shrivel, lose relevance, submit to time limited in self-reflection. The length of experience earned through observation in my/our tiny town needs to be shared in a kind, wide view perspective; I want to share the value of existence here.

Besides housing, what are some of the issues facing town citizens?: Maintaining eye contact, what does that mean, right? Welcome one another, take time to learn, grow from understanding background variations, motivations, acquired educational opportunities, know your neighbor at least a little.

What skills do you bring to Town Council?: I am reasonable. I consider long-term ramifications/consequences, I know our economy, our guests, our business owners, our kind service workers who make all the difference in the world to those who visit Telluride seeking relief and coolness from the slowly boiling world beyond our valley.

What is your definition of community, and what is the state of Telluride’s community?: All of the above plus and most important, as I walk along Black Bear Road to the first bus stop I pass a preschool, I listen, children laugh, whimper, adults care for them hold their hand lead them to water. Further along Black Bear Road, all the colors of skin reflect mountain sunlight, Asians, Latinos, Eastern Europeans, Africans, Big Island Australia and small dry lands among the oceans. Telluride can be — and should be — the best example of community on Earth.

What do you see on the horizon in four years … issues/your goals, etc.: Living, sustaining a high quality of health and happiness. Dreaming and driving itself into a green future, which started a long time ago with builders, developers, real estate pros helping new community members understand the fragility and supporting the health of social fabric and business practices of Telluride, the dream town for the world. We can keep it and dream it into reality.

Editor’s note: The Daily Planet will run candidate Q&As over the next several weeks.