VAIL — A term on the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission in the 1990s set the public-service hook into Greg Moffet. Now, he’s seeking another term in his second go ‘round on the Vail Town Council.
Shortly after Moffet bought his business, Tiga Advertising, and moved his family to Vail full-time in 1994, he was talking with neighbor Jan Strauch, then a member of the council, about getting better integrated into the community.
“(Strauch) told me to join the Rotary and get on the planning commission,” Moffet said. That four-year term on the planning commission led, to Moffet running for, and winning a council seat in 1999. He served eight years, took four years off, then ran again in 2011. He was elected to a two-year term, meaning he earned the fewest votes of the winners in that election. This year, he’s hoping for a four-year term if re-elected.
The council job is one of several Moffet holds these days. He has to keep his own business running, of course, and is also a member of the Eagle County Planning Commission.
All three of those jobs add up to a lot of hours every week. Asked how he’s balanced his public and personal commitments, Moffet — who’s usually quick with a quip — thought for a moment before saying he’s not entirely sure.
“I like being busy,” he finally said.
But being busy in a place you love probably has something to do with the answer, too. Moffet, like everyone else running for town council this year, said moving to Vail fulfilled a dream of moving to the mountains and being part of a vibrant small community.
“Living in the suburbs, the sense of community is non-existent,” he said.
While Moffet said he’d never consider going back to city life, he said there’s one problem with living in the place you’ve long dreamed of.
“Vail was no longer a place to escape reality,” Moffet said. “But I’ve never looked back.
But Moffet has dived wholeheartedly into civic life in the Vail Valley. While it’s another job, he’s particularly proud of his membership on the Eagle County Planning Commission, saying it’s essential to have the eastern part of the valley represented on that board.
“It’s helpful to have that perspective on the board,” he said.
As an example, Moffet said that during the planning commission’s deliberations on a large proposed development at Wolcott, “Nobody thought to ask how that would affect parking in Vail.”
Parking, of course, is one of Vail’s everlasting debates. Moffet said that the only thing more troublesome than a resort with parking problems is a resort that doesn’t have those problems.
At the moment, though, Moffet believes the town has a rough equilibrium between parking supply and demand. The town has spent money to accommodate the Colorado Department of Transportation’s requirements for safer parking in West Vail, and has made other outlying parking available. In the resort areas, the addition of the Arrabelle and Solaris garages have take some of the pressure off the parking structures in Vail Village and Lionshead.
“Ever Vail will help when it happens — and I believe it will happen,” Moffet said.
While Moffet believes parking is a less-pressing issue than it was a few years ago, he said he believes the town may have lost its focus on housing.
“We’d made progress on housing front-line employees, and then the economy tanked,” Moffet said. But, he added, “that was a correction, not a trend change.”
The town needs to concentrate on ways to attract a broader spectrum of people to live in town, he said, particularly young families, “people whose kids are going to Red Sandstone (Elementary),” Moffet said.
One way to do that is to work with the Eagle County School District to make Red Sandstone a “magnet” school, a place people want their kids to go to.
Moffet said work will start on that effort if he’s re-elected.
While Vail’s on a pretty good roll these days with plans for the Vail Golf Course prompted neighbors of the course to sue the town about the plan to replace the clubhouse and create a venue better-suited to weddings.
“That could have been handled better,” Moffet said. “The initial renderings put parking on the course. We lost trees and tents were on the 18th green. At this point, parking will be the same and green space is replacing the (golf) green.”
Besides the golf course, Moffet believes it’s only a matter of time before some kind of plan to replace the town hall is revived.
All those things, things that matter to a community, are why Moffet’s involved in the town’s civic life.
“Is there stuff that’s more important? I don’t know that there is,” he said. “It’s important, it impacts the people you run into at the grocery store.”