Suzie Shepard

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May 16, 2012
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Doubts ERS will be 'fun'

When Jeff McMahon says in RED's six-page flyer that it will be "fun" to go to ERS, I really don't get it.

Do I shop in these stores when I need to? Of course, but I don't consider it fun to go to a big box. I would rather participate in outdoor activities. That is why we live here and that is real fun. Shopping can happen any place in the world. It is not a unique experience.

I think part of the problem with RED is they have not listened to what the people here want. Ideas abound with what they might have done, and the suggestions were ignored. The people who are in favor of ERS have attended few hearings over the last five years for ERS 1 and 2. They are taking the developer's word with little or no knowledge of RED's history or current problems in different parts of the country. They did not hear RED say that they always use their own contractors.They have probably never looked at the ERS file or the testimony of what has been presented.

Now proponents have gotten very vocal after the Eagle Town Board vote, even though the vote was in their favor. They have been insulting and rude at town meetings, including personal attacks on duly elected officials. The appropriate forum for comments is during the public hearing process. There is never an appropriate time for intimidating and bullying comments from the public or town board members.

RED contributed $25,000 to convince people to vote yes, wined and dined seniors and Eagle Ranch folks, as well as the town board members, a tactic not new in the Eagle Valley. A corporation can't vote, but they can influence the vote.

The town proponents say we need more money for Eagle to survive. Ridiculous. When it comes time to renew the town manager's contract, it appears all is well, and the town is not broke. The rest of the time they need money. Well of course. What government entity does not "need" more money? Actually, they like to spend money.

ERS is robbing the school system of taxes with the TIF funding. The former mayor and town board could have insisted the developer at least support the school system. It would have been so easy. The state can not keep making up for developers who refuse to support our schools. Don't think we won't have tax increases because of developers like RED. And while we need our well trained firemen, the fire district is already receiving funds from the second highest mill levy on our tax bill. RED has included them in their district plan to raise funds, but not the schools.

RED obviously paid too much for their 88 acres, and they need to get their zoning to somehow help get a return on their $18+ million investment. But what are they really giving us? Bright lights, interchange at the wrong location, taller buildings than anywhere else in town, no recreation except more restaurants, more traffic, more water capacity to develop other property, and sewer additions we would not need without theirs? RED is only interested in their returns, not the Town of Eagle's future, because they won't even be here.

Please consider a no vote, and learn more about RED.

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The VailDaily Updated May 16, 2012 01:01PM Published May 16, 2012 12:59PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.