Having just found out that the development of the office building on Ford Park is again on the agenda, I would like to go on record that I vehemently oppose any further building on Ford Park with the exception of the planned upgrades of the toilet facilities.
Whether we call it an educational center with offices or whatever, it's still a building. Let me first point out that if it had not been for Joe Langmaid, John Donovan, Dr. Steinberg and myself, there would not be a Ford Park.
There was already an approved plan for 200 condominiums to be built there. It was only through our perseverance that we got the rest of the council to bring it to a vote of the people. There were only a little over 300 registered voters and over 290 agreed with us. It was the biggest landslide victory ever recorded in Vail.
On various occasions, I have referred to New York's Central Park. Had the New York City Council approved everything suggested that came before them to "improve" the park, Central Park would be built over two and a half times. New York city councils over the years realized how important the park was and still is.
The same holds true for Ford Park. If we continue to give in to the development agenda, we'll end with an urban free-for-all instead of a beautiful park. There are already other building plans in the offing if this one gets approved, including another building and land set aside for a statue of President Ford.
We already have a Ford Park, a Betty Ford Alpine Garden, Ford Amphitheater, Gerald R. Ford Memorial Highway and a Gerald R. Ford Post Office. I think even Jerry Ford would agree that we have done enough to recognize the importance of his contribution to Vail.
Surely we can do more for his legacy than building on every square inch of the park named in his honor.