Buckley, McDevitt say good-bye | VailDaily.com

Buckley, McDevitt say good-bye

Debbie Buckley

AVON ” A few years ago, when the wind picked up in Avon, instead of a refreshing breeze, people would get a whiff of something fouler coming from the water treatment plant in town.

“It was like just barely treated sewage, and it was just terrible,” said Avon Councilman Mac McDevitt. “From Nottingham Park to Chapel Square, you could smell it.”

As a member of the Avon Town Council and a board member on the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District -” which operates the plant ” McDevitt pulled the two groups together to hash out the smelly situation, he said.

“There were some heated discussions about what could and couldn’t be done, but I knew they could do better,” McDevitt said.

A year later, both parties reached an understanding, and there have been less than a handful of odor complaints in Avon in the last four years, McDevitt said.

“Things have improved dramatically, and I think I played a pretty key role there,” McDevitt said.

But McDevitt’s influence as a councilman has a time limit. Along with Councilwoman Debbie Buckley, McDevitt will has to leave the council in November because of term limits.

“Eight years is a long time, and I think we’ve done a lot of good things,” McDevitt said. “We’ve made a lot of progress, and I’m happy to have been a part of it. There was a lot of frustration at times, but there were a lot of good times too.”

Buckley agreed her two terms were a lot of work, but says she sees the end of her time behind the dais as “kind of sad, actually.”

And fellow councilors are sad to see them go.

“Consensus builders are important, and they were both like that,” Councilwoman Amy Phillips said. “They didn’t have to have a huge debate about it. They were able to agree to disagree.”

McDevitt’s background in corporate business made him a whiz with budgets, Councilwoman Amy Phillips said.

“When we get proposals, he has really looked into them and analyzed them, she said.

She also touted Buckley’s water knowledge. As a member of the Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority, Buckley’s know-how of complicated water issues was an asset, Phillips said.

Buckley says she’s proudest of the work she and council have done in the recreation area.

“I really am proud of the bike trails,” she said. “It means a lot to me, not just because I’m a cyclist, but because I’m a cyclist who has been hit by a car before.”

She’s also happy with the strides council with affordable housing, including building Buffalo Ridge and setting aside other properties around town.

“We try to make developers step up to the plate,” Buckley said.

While McDevitt has cut back on his community involvement in recent years, Buckley said she’ll stay busy as a board member of the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, a volunteer at the Minturn Senior Center and participant in several other groups ” not to mention keeping up with her day job.

Both will remain in Avon, but the amount of time they spend in council chambers is bound to change.

“I’m sad to see Mac and Debbie go,” Councilwoman Kristi Ferraro said. “They are both really good to work with, good council people, very committed, so I hope we can find some good quality candidates to fill their shoes.”

Staff Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 748-2927 or nfrey@vaildaily.com.

Vail, Colorado

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