Bumgarner says he’s behind the residents | VailDaily.com

Bumgarner says he’s behind the residents

Tamara Miller

Jerry Bumgarner speaks his mind, whether it’s popular or not.

In the two years he has served on the Minturn Town Council, Bumgarner has occasionally found himself on the losing side of a vote. That’s OK, he said.

“Conscious-wise, I have to voice my opinion,” he said.

If residents like the job he’s doing, Bumgarner hopes he will be re-elected to the council. If not, well, that’s just the way things go, he said.

Bumgarner, who owns JB’s Barbecue, is one of five candidates for three seats on the Minturn Town Council. The election is Tuesday.

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Candidates and residents agree that this year’s election is a pivotal one. Much has changed in the last two years, but not all like what has happened.

Mayor Earl Bidez and councilman Ron Spohrer have expressed support for a proposed recreational vehicle park built on town-owned property. Bumgarner isn’t so sure about the idea, he said.

Early proposals for the project, which would be built and financed by a private developer, called for about 60 RV hook-ups, 15 cabins and five camping spaces. Now it looks like the town is considering a park that would have 100 to 110 RV hook-ups and 40 to 50 cabins.

Critics fear the project will change the town’s character and doubt how much sales tax revenue RV enthusiasts will really bring to town. The fact that the developer, Rocky Mountain RV Resorts, believes increasing the size of the project is the only way to make it financially feasible gives critics of the project some credibility, Bumgarner said.

“We still haven’t seen a financial (profile) from them,” he said. “We need the numbers and to know how it will benefit the town.”

Bumgarner said he is concerned about the town’s finances. Minturn, which has a $1.2 million budget, will have to replace its water plant soon. Bumgarner would like to see the town parks improved, as well.

He sympathizes with owners of older homes who are finding it difficult to improve their houses and still comply with the town’s ordinances. Those ordinances require anyone modifying their house to comply with certain regulations, such as having a stronger roof.

He said he listens to residents concerns.

“I like to stand up for the resident’s rights,” he said. “If they have a complaint I don’t mind going to bat for them. We are called servants. We should be serving.”

Staff writer Tamara Miller can be reached via e-mail at: tmiller@vaildaily.com or by calling 949-0555 ext. 607.

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