The next honorary mayor no longer lives in Durango, but he is well-known around area bike trails.
At 5-foot-10 and 130 pounds, Tom Danielson will likely have the least amount of body fat of any public official in La Plata County. As a world-class cyclist, he will be one politician who cant be accused of exaggerating his athletic accomplishments.
Unfortunately for sports fans, Danielson wont be at City Hall tonight when regular Mayor Doug Lyon proclaims him the honorary mayor for 2012, but another public event is tentatively planned for Nov. 9.
According to the proclamation, the city wants to recognize Tommy D for calling Durango his hometown and his charity rides in support of athletic scholarships at Fort Lewis College, where he earned a marketing and psychology degree and led the cycling team to a national championship.
The professional cyclist and entrepreneur who actually grew up in Connecticut and lives in Boulder gives Durango much of the credit for his professional success.
I feel like Durango is really the reason I have gotten to where I am in my career. I definitely owe the college and the town of Durango for everything I have, Danielson said in a telephone interview.
Its a unique community. If you immerse yourself in it, you can chase any dream you want or live any lifestyle you want. It works the best when everybody works together as a team. Thats what Ive always loved and believed about Durango.
When his professional cycling career is over, Danielson would like to move his family to Durango. Danielson and his wife, Stephanie, have two children, Steven, 2, and baby Stella, three months.
His family and busy career make it difficult for him to travel to Durango as often as he would like. He is speaking at an eye conference in Minnesota this week in support of implantable contact eye lenses that he says have made a difference in his cycling career.
He is also marketing a line of coffee.
When he moves back to Durango, Danielson said he sees himself opening a coffee shop and bakery. Because he does not want to step on any toes, he emphasized that he wont be opening a store here any time soon.
Danielson will be the first honorary mayor in at least five years. In his new capacity, he was not sure how he would wield his power.
I dont really know what kind of power it is, maybe free Dairy Queen Blizzards for everybody? I dont know what it would be ... free coffee at the Bread? Well see what we can do, he joked.
A suggestion that he waive all tickets for bicycle-related traffic offenses conflicted with his perception of the city: Do people get bicycle tickets in Durango? I dont think so.