Vail Daily letter: Eagle can’t lose
Ryan Summerlin March 27, 2014
About me: I’m a native of Michigan, the Upper Peninsula in fact. I’m proud to be a Yooper! I came to Colorado in 1982 with a van, my boyfriend, a Siberian husky and $800. For the better part of 32 years, I’ve been “living the dream.” I am an avid outdoor person with many varied interests that take me to the forest, the rivers and the mountains.
After a season working as a ski technician at Ski Cooper in Leadville, my Colorado “hometown,” and a few years in Lakewood working as director of dietary services at New Beginnings Counseling Center, I came to Vail. I sold t-shirts for Charlie Stone at the top of Bridge Street across from Cyranos, making $8 an hour. That was in 1987.
About four years later, I bought my first condo in Avon for $37,500. Today, young college age folks are still coming to Vail to work and enjoy healthy, outdoor, active mountain lifestyles. The only difference is, that condo is now worth close to $300,000. Unfortunately, wages have not kept pace with the cost of living.
My career: I’ve spent the last 27 years living in Eagle County and have resided in the town of Eagle for more than a decade. I’ve been a part of many significant projects and developments, that have been the evolution of the Eagle Valley.
The skills acquired throughout my career in ski and golf resort operations and real estate development serving in administrative, middle management and financial roles as well as my financial, construction, development, retail leasing, marketing and sales experience add tremendous depth to my qualifications for Eagle Town Council.
My community: In 2001, the developers of Eagle Ranch subdivision and town of Eagle collaborated on a community garden using existing open space. In 2005, I was asked to help with a sustainability plan for the gardens. We reorganized as a nonprofit as Brush Creek Park Community Gardens. While forming the nonprofit, I cooperated with many of the town leaders and area businesses to manage resources, fundraise and grow what is now known as The Eagle Community Gardens.
The Eagle Farmers Market took root in Eagle Town Park in 2010. A co-creation that operated four summers through 2013. I am proud to have been involved, honored to have worked with the community and town leaders to make a difference in our community.
My promise: These projects are examples of my community involvement, commitment and desire to make Eagle a better place to live, play and do business. We, the citizens of Eagle, have an opportunity to shape the future of Eagle using common sense, mindfulness, best environmental practices and fiduciary responsibility. We need strong financial planning and reserves to get us through uncertain economic times with large projects ahead comes simultaneous growth and development. Let me be very clear, I am not a politician, I’m a pragmatist.
The founders of this nation were not politicians. Many, like John Adams and James Madison, had almost no political experience when they were elected to serve in the Continental Congress. Experience, no. But they had education, ideas and conviction. They gave us liberty and the most brilliantly devised system of self-government in history.
A politician works with details. A statesman works with ideas. A politician debates the cost of a plan. The statesman questions the wisdom of the plan. A politician tells his constituents what he did for them. A statesman doesn’t worry about what he can do for his constituents, because he’s too busy trying to guarantee a future for his constituent’s grandchildren.
If you will vote for me on April 1, I promise I will do my best to serve the best interests of our citizens and community. The caliber and quantity of candidates running for election is indicative of the level of interest in the future of town of Eagle. The way I see it, Eagle can’t lose.