Big buildings a big issue in Vail elections | VailDaily.com

Big buildings a big issue in Vail elections

Edward Stoner

Special to the Daily The conference center proposal, among other potential development, could play a key role in this fall's Vail Town Council elections, voters say.

VAIL – The proposed conference center and the at-least temporarily defunct Crossroads renovation will be major issues in the upcoming Vail Town Council elections, voters say.West Vail resident Sally Jackle said future Town Council decisions on the conference center and Crossroads will help determine what direction Vail takes.”The conference center might bring out a lot more voters than there normally would be,” Jackle said.In addition to the council election, voters will be asked to approve a lodging tax increase to help fund construction and operation of a conference center. In 2002, voters approved a tax increase that was later determined to be insufficient to build and operate the conference center. The vote , therefore, is essentially a do-or-die vote on the center.

Jackle said developer Peter Knobel’s withdrawal of plans for a new Crossroads building in August after the council voted against his idea should also figure prominently in the election.”What happened on Crossroads should stir up interest – anger and support,” she said.West Vail resident Jonathan Staufer said a big issue for him in the Town Council election is “growth versus maintaining charm.”The new One Willow Bridge Road condominium building is an example of a development that fits the character of Vail, he said.”How do we encourage that type of development while making sure the door is closed to developments that rape and pillage the character of the town?” Staufer said.West Vail resident Jason Katzman also cited the demise of the Crossroads plan as a big issue in the Nov. 8 election. He says he wants to vote for someone who will represent all members of the community.

“It’s a matter of getting someone to see we’re a functioning town with residents that live here year round,” he said. “Town Council needs to looks at the issues from an all-inclusive, wholistic viewpoint.”The terms of four council members expire this year. Incumbents Diana Donovan, Farrow Hitt and Dick Cleveland have said they are going to run again. Incumbent Greg Moffet said Tuesday he is still undecided on whether he will run.Donovan and Moffet, if re-elected, would be restricted by term limits to two more years on council.The top three vote-getters will have four-year terms. The candidate with the fourth-most votes will get a two-year term.West Vail resident Mark Gordon has stepped forward as a candidate. He said he’ll start walking door-to-door talking to Vail residents next month.”I’ve been talking with people in the community, doing a lot of listening,” Gordon said.

Prospective candidates can get a petition from the town clerk and start collecting signatures Monday. To get on the ballot, at least 10 signatures of registered Vail voters are needed. Town Clerk Lorelei Donaldson recommended that candidates get more than 10 in case some of the signatures don’t qualify.The petitions are due back by 5 p.m. Oct. 7.Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 604, or estoner@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado