Vail Valley Voices: Eagle Town Board gets busy
Ryan Summerlin September 18, 2012
As I headed to Town Hall in the rain last week, the need for good fiscal management was readily apparent in the puddles, drainage and layout of the streets, as over time, maintenance is important. This seemed an apt reminder on the night the auditor would present the 2011 Financial Statement report. The meeting started with a moment of silence for the remembrance of Sept. 11. Up next was public comment, which consisted only of the Eagle Chamber providing an update with its renewed and continued efforts in the business community. Although the seats were not packed, the Town Board probably made many Eagle Ranch homeowners happy by approving the renewal of the Eagle Ranch Wine & Spirits liquor license.Next up was the auditor’s report. As I understood it, the town’s assets decreased a bit over the past year, the town did a good job of budgeting sales tax revenue and expenses and, overall, has books in excellent working order. However, I read the six issues the auditor pointed out as serious enough that I wanted to see a written response from staff. Since the town manager and town clerk-finance person report directly to the Town Board, I felt that significant delays in schedule preparation and an annual recurring trend of developers not being billed timely and/or in full should be addressed in a more formal review process, given our roles as fiduciaries.But on this evening, that did not happen, and the auditor’s report was accepted with no formal requirement for answers. The Haymeadow applicant’s final presentation was next, and passionate public comment followed. Deliberations did not start, since one trustee was absent and the board agreed that such an important land-use file should be discussed with a full board, if at all possible. The mayor also stated that public comment will be allowed at the next meeting.Two hours later, after that file closed, there were two ordinances and a resolution passed. The first finalized the issues related to medical marijuana, and the next ordinance and resolution was to set the trash-collection sizes and fees that had been out of date. Without the town manager present, the payment of the bills was authorized without answers to a couple of questions.There were plenty of answers from the town’s engineer with his update on the Eby Creek Road improvements project, which is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2013.Open discussion included closing Hernage Gulch to foot traffic, the Town Board taking over the travel-management plan from the Planning and Zoning Commission, an update on the successful Wheels & Wings show (Trustee Knabel volunteered at the event with the Eagle Chamber), a status on the work session with Gypsum, a concern over the strategic goals discussion being pushed given the upcoming full agendas and an FYI as to the good attendance for Porchlight Players’ (www.porchlightplayers.com) annual show at the park. I also again voiced concern over the need for progress reports or regular financial updates so that issues such as those noted in the audit did not recur. But of course, if Eagle River Station is as successful as touted, the financial windfall for the community would certainly help alleviate the tight budget we are facing as we head toward our first work session at the end of the month or early October. If you want to find out whether or not Eagle River Station will help the tax coffers soon by hearing about the mayor’s visit to Kansas City to visit their shopping centers, check out the audio on my blog at www.brandionboard.wordpress.com. And if you want to know what else is going on in town or hear the Haymeadow deliberations, come to the next meeting scheduled for Sept. 25, starting at 6 p.m.See ya’ll at Town Hall!Brandi Resa is enjoying her first political experience on the Eagle Town Board of Trustees and blogs about her experience. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She speaks for herself and not the full board.