Beaver Creek incumbents defeated
Beaver Creek homeowners Tuesday dumped two incumbents and elected three challengers to the board that manages the streets, storm sewers, water and sanitation in the upscale ski resort neighborhood.
Tony O’Rourke, who’s been the board’s chairman for five years – and is also executive director of the Beaver Creek Resort Company – lost his seat, along with incumbent Richard Harney.
The three open seats on the five-member board went to Beatrice “Tommie” Campbell, businessman Albert Mielcuszny and retired lawyer John Wells.
“I’m really thrilled,” Campbell said Tuesday night. “I hope I can do the job that everybody expects me to.”
Campbell, the top vote-getter with 144 votes, said her top priority will be to represent Beaver Creek homeowners.
“It’s what the homeowners want. That’s what I’m interested in,” she said. “We all need to really talk and understand what the homeowners want and what is best for Beaver Creek.
“And make it the finest resort in the world – not just the country, the world,” she said.
Wells was second with 141 votes, while Mielcuszny, who runs Viewpoints optical shop in Beaver Creek Village, got 121 votes. O’Rourke and Harney finished far behind with 64 and 57 votes respectively.
“I’m a lawyer and a businessman,” Wells said. “I’m going to approach this in a very business like way and look at the issues that confront the metro board in a financially circumspect way.”
Homeowners have been pushing the board to reduce traffic on Village Road, which runs between the east day skier lot in Avon and the mountain. Last year, the metro board, led by O’Rourke, cut bus traffic by about 15 percent.
Ironically, O’Rourke said, the vote Tuesday reveals an even more politically active group of homeowners in Beaver Creek.
“It’s a reflection that the metro district is now more representative of property owners’ interests,” he said. “Now property owners have all five seats.”
O’Rourke said he hopes the new board will continue to work with the resort and others who have interests in Beaver Creek’s village and slopes.
“They’ll have an obligation to realize the resort is more than just a residential community,” O’Rourke said. “It’s much more complex. They’ll have obligation to reach out and represent all the interests.”
The Metro Board has been working with Vail Resorts to move the maintenance yard where both the neighborhood’s and the mountain’s snowcats, snowplows and other maintenance vehicles are parked.
Vail Resorts is considering moving snowcats and other “tracked” vehicles to a site past the end of Elk Track Road. Both the resort’s and the metro district’s wheeled vehicles, like snowplows, would likely move from the Tarnes Apartment complex to the west day skier parking lot.
The old maintenance yard will be torn down and likely became Beaver Creek’s next and perhaps, last, residential development.
The Metro Board has also been involved in the gondola that Vail Resorts wants to build to carry skiers from Avon to the top of Beaver Creek’s Strawberry Park.
“I’m not sure there are any major controversies at the moment, but you never know from day to day what might blow in,” Wells said.
Campbell said she was also happy for Mielcuszny and Wells.
“I know them and I think they are the most honorable people that could serve on that board,” she said.