Vail Valley Voices: Big topics for Eagle Town Board
Ryan Summerlin November 9, 2012
The last few weeks have been busy for the Eagle Town Board.
At the last meeting in October, there was a light agenda and even lighter attendance, including one absent trustee. First up was the approval of the Grand Avenue Grill liquor license. Next was the approval of the resolution of the Haymeadow project, which did not take long since deliberations had finished during the prior meeting. The lower basin water treatment plant discussion was again delayed to a future meeting while a simple lot line adjustment was approved for the Brush Creek Village Townhomes Common Areas. An intergovernmental agreement was approved with Eagle County for animal control services.
During open discussion, the first committee meeting for the town manager search was set.
After adjournment, the board went into a work session on the budget. There was a high level presentation by staff with some major issues reviewed but not many details discussed.
On Thursday of that week (Oct. 25), the trustees and town manager met with the Gypsum town manager and council at the Gypsum Shooting Sports Park. Since this was the first meeting in several years, the location seemed a perfect choice for introductions and to enjoy one of the great amenities in our community.
Although no official business was on the agenda, some tough conversational topics did arise. Both boards are looking to staff to set up the next meeting in January to continue this conversation and momentum created with new attitudes on the Eagle Town Board toward their neighbors to the west.
The next week included another budget work session. Community requests were reviewed in detail, as were a few other key decisions staff had asked for direction on. The total costs of employee benefits, including 100 percent paid insurance for both employees and families and Christmas bonuses, were not reviewed. Since staff is already working at a reduced level, the majority of the board did not feel this was an area that should be considered, as cutting benefits was not an option.
I was disappointed this was not reviewed as part of the whole financial picture of the town, although it was a positive that going forward, the staff will try to produce a quarterly report.
The board also requested a report to show the longer term financial needs of the town, including a capital improvements and maintenance cost schedule. Staff thought this could be produced in about six months.
On Thursday, Nov. 8, the search began for the new town manager with a committee of six, including the mayor, four trustees, and the current town manager. It was a productive session working toward a stated goal of having a new manager in place by June 2013.
The next regularly scheduled meeting is Tuesday, Nov.13 starting at 6 p.m. and the public hearing on the budget is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 27. If you want to keep up to date, sign up for emails at www.townofeagle.org. Or if you want to tag along with me as I maneuver through this political experience, check out my blog at www.brandionboard.wordpress.com or email me at email@example.com.
Brandi Resa’s opinions are her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the full Eagle Town Board.