Catching up with odds ‘n’ ends
Every once in a while, it’s time to catch up on odds and ends. I figured I better get to it now, since I intend to spend most of next month on election issues. So here goes.CANDIDATES: There’s still time to pick up the papers necessary to run for one of the four seats on the Vail Town Council that are open for election this November. All it takes is two years residency, voter registration and names of 10 registered voters on the petition. If you’re not satisfied with how things are going, this is your chance to get in there and make a difference.TOWN PARKING: Interestingly, the day after my column regarding the parking problem over at the lot at the town offices, I received a call from a guy who had gone over to the town on Monday to do some business. The result? He left because he couldn’t find a parking space. We’ve had to hold up more than one Liquor Licensing Authority meeting while people drove around looking for a place to park.But what’s more annoying is that the lot is used regularly for the conduct of private business by town employees. Did you ever see the Schwann truck there? That’s a sort of gourmet food company that delivers by custom order through their catalogue. They’re regulars with the town staff. So the next time you’re having a dinner party and you’re pressed for time, place an order and have it delivered to the town’s front desk. No reason why you can’t get the same service. After all, you pay the bills.Or how about Mountain Man Nuts? They deliver, too. But the one that really got me was the day that I was blocked in because a glass company was replacing a windshield for an employee while she was at work in the building. I was told I would have to wait to get out because “I won’t be finished here for a few minutes.” And this was an employee who certainly should have known better.Call me crazy, I but think it’s unacceptable that taxpayers are unable to find a parking space when they’re attempting to conduct business with the town while the employees are not only taking up all the space but also using the lot for private business.VAIL RESORTS: As a result of the new Lionshead redevelopment, VR is required to provide 150 employee housing beds. This is partly due to the units lost at the Sunbird and because of needs generated by the new hotel etc. But unlike other developers, they’ve been given five years to meet this requirement. The “Ruins” in Cascade Village is the result of the last time I remember a project being allowed to put such requirements off. And that’s still unresolved. But that’s another story.STREETSCAPE: As you’re well aware, Crossroads redevelopment was turned down by our illustrious leaders. But regardless, Meadow Drive streetscape is still going on, with or without Crossroads. Additionally, the bills for that streetscape continue to roll in, with or without Crossroads. But without Peter’s project, the town’s portion of those bills is much bigger than it was previously because, you see, Crossroads was to pay for part of that streetscape expense. But since Peter pulled his application, the town had to make a $2.6 million adjustment to its budget. At last Tuesday’s meeting, the Town Council had to authorize the transfer of $1.3 million from the general fund and $1.3 million from the real estate transfer tax fund to the capital projects budget to cover the portion that was to be paid by Crossroads. Sometimes they’re just too clever for our own good.MICROPHONES: “What was that?” “Can you hear what they’re saying?” “Are the microphones working?” “I’m moving up front.” These are the comments heard in the back of the room at every Town Council meeting. These are public meetings. The implication is that the public should be able to hear. Not so on Tuesdays. We spent a lot of money on a new audio system for that room, but nobody uses it. It shows a lack of regard for the public that they are sworn to serve. And it’s just plain rude.SKI MAGAZINE: I’m getting a copy of the report so I can study what caused us to drop to No. 2. But from a quick review, it’s pretty clear that Vail Resorts did a bang-up job on their part. It just doesn’t get much better than Vail Mountain. And the frontline employees did a spectacular job, too. Customer service rose from No. 9 to No. 6. The problem seems to be in the community; i.e., low points for “family programs.”I’ll do a complete evaluation, but probably not until after the election. And while nobody’s happy with these results, every once in a while it’s OK to be reminded that we can do a better job. This could be a heads-up that we need to do our best when guests arrive this winter.BIG CORRECTION: Ooooops!! The Vail Chamber and Business Association’s Vail Town Council candidates forum will be Oct. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at Donovan Pavilion. Sorry for the mistake last week. If you have any questions you would like to have answered during that session, please contact the VCBA office by phone: 477-0075, fax: 477-0079, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or stop in the office in the transportation center. All suggestions will be confidential.WHAT’S NEXT? Starting next week I’ll focus on election issues: conference center (including the phone survey that’s making its way around town), home rule, smoking ban, candidates, etc. Let me know if you have a favorite that needs attention.Do your part: call them and write them. To contact the Town Council, call 479-1860, ext. 8, or e-mail email@example.com. To contact Vail Resorts, call 476-5601 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For past columns, go to vaildaily.com and click on “Columnists” or search for keyword “ferry.” Kaye Ferry is a longtime observer of Vail government. She writes a weekly column for the Daily. This column, as with all personal columns, does not necessarily reflect the views of the Vail Daily.Vail, Colorado
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Are we seeing more bears because there are more bears on the valley floor, or because we’re all spending more time at home? It could be a bit of both.