Town Council candidates make final pitch to voters
Ryan Summerlin November 4, 2013
VAIL — This fall’s Vail Town Council campaign has been a sprint of just a few weeks. That’s a relief from most of the political campaigning we’re subjected to these days, but everyone’s had to pack many things into a relatively few days on the calendar.
Since Tuesday is Election Day in Vail, we asked the candidates to make one final pitch to voters with this week’s question. Their answers are below.
In the past two weeks, I have met the Vail I didn’t know. Each day, I meet new people and hear their stories about what brought them here and, more importantly, what keeps them in Vail. Our histories are different, but our future is intertwined. While Vail doesn’t define us, it is the common thread that holds us all together.
I want to continue to give back to Vail. I serve on a town commission. I understand how important it is to listen and work with others to form a consensus.
I own two businesses in Vail Village with my husband. I understand how difficult the seasonality of the resort is for our community. I see the positive impact a small town government can have for businesses. We need a voice for businesses on our Town Council.
I have two sons growing up in Vail, attending Red Sandstone Elementary School. I want more families to be able to have the same incredible experiences we have because we live in Vail. We need to provide more options for growing families to stay here.
I have lived in Vail for 20 years. Vail has given me lifelong friends and family. I have the experience, knowledge and passion for our community to continue the dream of our Vail pioneers. I hope you will consider voting for me.
I have lived in Vail since 1980. As a business owner, I understand the challenges that face small businesses in Vail. I also understand the challenges and economic sacrifices working families make to live here every day. We need leadership that can find solutions and balance issues to be effective. As a member of the Vail Town Council, I will try to be a “good neighbor” and approach the issues with a higher level of compassion than I have seen in recent years.
My career as a hotel condo manager gives me perspective on tourism and second home ownership. As a current board member of the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association, I have had a chance to give something back to the lodging industry and the entire state of Colorado. Because of my willingness to take a stand on issues, I have been invited to Washington, D.C., three times this year to talk about immigration reform, foreign worker visas, and how they affect small business and our communities. I would consider it to be a privilege to serve on Vail Town Council. I believe that with the right leadership in place Vail will continue to be the premier mountain resort community in the nation.
My name is Meighen Lovelace. I am a wife, mother of two fabulous daughters, and community organizer. I work across Eagle County with many different outreach projects. I participate in the following organizations: the Healthy Communities Coalition, Health Services Advisory Committee, the Vail Valley Salvation Army, the Mountain Harvest Foundation (food policy council). I’m a Colorado Trust health equity series participant, a board member of the Pooh Corner Preschool, a PTO member at Red Sandstone Elementary School, a West Vail community garden member, and am the founder and chairwoman of the Avon community garden. I serve as the Family Leadership Training Institute site coordinator.
Community service and engagement are the paths I walk daily. I come to the council with an open mind, an open heart and a true love for the amazing town we live in. When we understand that every voice in Vail is important, we begin to work together towards a strong, unified community. Lets grow Vail’s bright future. Together.
Sounia Nejad Chaney
Vail needs council members who will represent the residents and regular folks, not just the large organizations and business interests. I can help provide the new leadership Vail has been in need of and has demanded in council goals.
My love for the Vail community is only strengthened by my commitment to raising my family here and investing in its continued success as a homeowner. I have a diverse background, which allows me to better understand the unique perspectives presented to the council.
I have headed a technical consulting firm, which allows me to be a great asset as Vail aims to be more tech savvy. I have served on many boards and was president of one which exercised the group dynamics skills that are essential for being productive in a team setting.
As an immigrant, I can be a catalyst in making Vail the premier global destination. My paramedic and ski patrol background allows me to effectively relate to the local healthcare industry. And, my experience as a ski instructor and concierge make me appreciate what really makes Vail tick: providing outstanding guest services and the high quality of life that our residents and visitors have come to expect!
I’m the right candidate because I would bring an on-the-street perspective to the council. Listening to locals and guests is the best way to gain the insight needed to maintain the quality of life we expect.
I will strive to maintain the character of Vail, which keeps our guests returning. These goals need to be accompanied with economic vitality, which will ensure businesses success, keep real estate values strong and, I believe, lead to a more balanced community.
Being on the streets from East Vail to West Vail, on the mountain and at our recreation facilities is the only way to hear the voice of the people. I will do that. Listening to the citizens who fill our town boards is critical.
Being an effective leader requires being a good listener and understanding that every opinion matters. Being on town boards has shown me how to do this.
As a business owner, I understand the unique challenges the business community faces.
Although I feel staff and department heads voices are invaluable, my decisions will be my own based on the voice of the people who ultimately are trying to ensure the quality of life they expect for themselves and their families.
Why re-elect me? I am willing to continue to invest my business acumen, experience, passion and time into making Vail “Like No Place on Earth.” Residents, with and without voting rights, can be assured that I will continue to solicit and listen to opinions, generated on both sides of an issue, before making my final recommendation. I do not have a personal agenda and will be thoughtful before I jump in and state my opinion. I am an independent thinker who will not march in lock step if I disagree. I will strive to be a consensus builder because community trust and open communication are very important to me.
I have the experience needed, in both the council role and business management, to make $54 million decisions. I offer unique experiences in planning and zoning, business operations, resort operations, marketing, international travel and financial acumen that help balance council discussions and decisions. I am confident the extra time I volunteer to serve on additional subcommittees and advisory councils will continue to be beneficial to the town.
On Nov. 5, rehire me to continue my work on behalf of the town of Vail and its full and part-time residents and guests.
If I’m fortunate enough to be re-elected to serve our community, then I’ll hit the ground running — there is no on-the-job training. Additionally, I have a lot of experience accomplishing community objectives. I know how to work with multiple constituencies to get things done, such as the four government entities involved in the Vail Gymnastics Center (talk about herding cats!).
I bring a regional perspective, and I am a vocal advocate for our town’s interests regionally. I am easy to find, I spend a lot of time working with our business community in the Village, in Lionshead and in West Vail. Having raised my kids here, I am very familiar with the challenges and rewards of being a Vail family. I am pretty uniquely qualified to wrestle with the challenges facing Vail as we address how to stay a community. I also have some very clear and achievable ideas about how to do it.
I am clear about who I work for and answer to (and it’s not a lobbyist). It’s us, the people that live, work and own businesses in Vail. My 10-year council record stands as a testament of my commitment to the people of Vail. If you vote for me (and please do), then you know what you’re getting.