Frank Lorenti Vail, CO, Colorado

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January 13, 2013
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Vail Daily letter: Critic looks at Minturn's year

Well, another banner year has passed for our Minturn Town Council.Water rates rose again. Earle Bidez, Minturn Council member, said it is only a small amount, but he says this every year. I can add, and the cumulative effect is quite high.Dean Adler, of Lubert-Adler, is supposed to put in new water lines. It's part of the $180 million promised to us, but the council refuses to install them. Sewer rates rise while Minturn has a $21 million contract that states that Dean Adler will build a sewer plant and that the residents would not pay higher sewer fees. The council refuses to build a sewer plant. Buildings in town continue to be built against code. Town Planner Chris Cerimele got scolded by the council for getting caught by me, yet the council handed out a pay raise, bonus, etc., to him.Mayor Hawkeye says building at the entryway into town has no legal parking, yet cars park there every day and stay parked for weeks. It's a dangerous curve, yet he refuses to enforce the code. Shelley Bellm, Minturn Council member, says no new trailers in town, yet when a longtime resident tried to put in a trailer, they got a police escort and I had to fight with Shelley to remove it. Please note the hypocrisy here because Shelley lives in a trailer. Shelley and Hawkeye work for the town of Vail, yet at Minturn Town Council meetings they hate Vail and refuse to work with them to improve our town. This is hypocrisy at its best. Take Vail's money, but hate the things Vail stands for.After many years of me telling the council that we could get some money from Adler four years ago and the council telling everyone I was lying, the Town Council finally got a few million dollars from Adler last year. Seems I was right. But then they give $1 million to Vail Ski & Snowboard School for a health and performance center that the council wanted to charge Minturn residents an arm and a leg to join until I stood up and protested. The council is still wasting that $1 million.Minturn town roads are not plowed well, sidewalks are in disrepair, town is not clean, zoning and town codes are not enforced equally, yet the staff gets raises, bonuses and will get more raises midway through 2013. All of the staff got a share of $20,000 in bonuses. Every year, the staff gets extra money.The council wants to give a free lease of town land to Eagle Valley Alliance because they want to put in a solar garden and charge Minturn residents for solar power. Another business next to this land pays about $45,000 a year for their lease, plus Minturn gets some of the product that they produce. The alliance gets the land for $1 a year, basically free, and no product comes to us unless we pay for it. Minturn residents should come first. Give us benefits, and then I will think about giving away free land leases. We need new sidewalks, a full blown recreation center, a bike path from Dowd into Minturn, streetscape to get more guests into town to help local businesses, roads repaired, roads plowed, Historical Museum building that could also house public restrooms and an information center. It's just amazing that we do not have term limits on our council members. These people have no new ideas, no imagination. They keep paying staff bonuses, raises, etc., and it seems like just one big party at the Minturn taxpayers' expense.Minturn only needs a one-sentence code book: "The Minturn Council will allow what they want or do not want on a case-by-case basis." Then I could not hold them to any fairness of codes.Minturn needs a ski lift to Vail; visit www.minturn2015.com.Those are just a few highlights of 2012 here in Minturn. Go to www.minturntimes.com.Frank Lorenti Minturn


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The VailDaily Updated Jan 13, 2013 02:57PM Published Jan 13, 2013 02:55PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.