Another Vail election ahead
Six weeks after Vail underwent an election to fill four empty seats on the seven-member Town Council, three candidates are preparing to fill a fifth one.Joining Mark Gordon in his campaign for office in the upcoming special election – to be held Jan. 27, replacing Councilman Ludwig Kurz, Vail’s mayor from 1999 until last month – are Farrow Hitt and Lou Meskimen. All three men have taken out nominating petition packets and are actively seeking signatures from registered Vail voters before the deadline to file next Friday.A fourth packet also has been taken out, too, reports the Town Clerk’s Office, although that potential candidate apparently prefers to remain anonymous.”Yes, I’m in the process of gathering signatures. I do intend to run,” Hitt, a longtime resident of Vail’s Matterhorn neighborhood and an active member of the community for 14 years, said Thursday.A familiar faceGeneral manager and an owner at the Park Meadows Lodge, a 29-unit condominium near the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, Hitt, 48, lives with his wife, Bridget, and their 13-year-old daughter, Talli, in their Matterhorn home, which they built themselves high on Geneva Drive. A fixture at Town Council meetings over the years, Hitt has served the town on various committees and community task forces, and has been an occasional contributor to the Vail Daily’s commentary section.”I have my arms around a lot of the issues here, and I am committed to the long-term health of our town and the well-being of the community,” he said. “I already have a good relationship with the town staff and most of the Town Council.””In campaign mode’Gordon said he’s never stopped campaigning since he announced in September his intentions of winning a position on Vail’s highest authority. A “lifelong activist” with a slogan of “bringing the town back to Vail,” he’s chosen simply to remain “in campaign mode.””To me, it doesn’t matter how many other candidates there are, or who they are,” said Gordon, 40, a resident of the Matterhorn neighborhood, too, who works as lead foreman at Vail Mountain’s communications center in Lionshead. “I’m running the same campaign. I feel good about my stance on the issues.”A Vailite for three years, having moved from Louisville, Ky., with his wife, Tracy, Gordon said he’s “looking forward” to this upcoming special election.”I’m especially glad to see more candidates,” he said. “It shows (a seat on the Town Council) is an important position and nobody’s going to win by default.””Not always a cake walk’Approaching the end of his eight years on the council, Kurz said Thursday he’s enjoying his final months as a regular member of the board, having relinquished the title and responsibilities of mayor, which he first assumed in 1999. Rod Slifer, who was re-elected to another four-year term on the council last month, was appointed to fulfill that role by the new council.Ever the diplomat, Kurz said it should be an interesting election.”All three men are serious candidates. I wish them all well and I thank them all for stepping up to the plate; it’s not always a cake walk,” Kurz said. “They all have been involved in local affairs and would do a good job.”Meskimen was not available Thursday for comment.Election infoImportant dates include:- Dec. 26 – Last day for candidates to file nominating petitions with the Town Clerk’s Office.- Dec. 27 – Last day a person can move to town and register to vote.- Dec. 29 – Last day to register to vote.- Jan. 7 – Last day for write-in candidates.- Jan. 15 – Early voting and absentee balloting begins.- Jan. 23 – Last day voters can request an absentee ballot. (The town clerk recommends out-of-state voters request a ballot application by Jan. 16; in-town voters, Jan. 20.)- Jan. 27 – Election Day; polls at the Donovan Pavilion will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.- Feb. 3 – Winner sworn in for a four-year term.To be eligible to vote in the Vail elections, a person must be:- A full-time resident with a current, legal address in the town of Vail for at least six months.- 18 years old or older.- A U.S. citizen.- Registered to vote in Eagle County.The special election this year is not coordinated with any other election.For more information, contact the Vail Town Clerk’s Office at 479-2136.