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Catching up with this and that

Kaye Ferry

Every once in a while, you have to catch up on a lot of loose ends. This is one of those times.Enough alreadyWill the Eagle County commissioners ever stop? It’s hard to imagine elected officials that act more like a group of kindergartners. And they get paid well for this!There’s always one pointing a finger at the other(s). Tom Stone may very well have pushed the envelope in his dealings. But let’s be fair. He checked it out with the then county attorney, Tom Moorehead, who cleared the path. Tom M. told Tom S. that there was no conflict. The new county attorney, Diane Mauriello, has since supported that. And these opinions were made public under questioning by Mike Gallagher.So what’s the problem? The state of Colorado is notorious for having very lenient laws regarding conflict of interest with elected officials.I’ve been pretty verbal in my thoughts on this subject. We’ve more than skirted the issue in the TOV. In my opinion, we’ve blatantly tested the good will of the community. I have called more than one elected official on it. Even the appearance of an impropriety should be avoided.But in the absence of stronger state legislation, I wholeheartedly support Mr. Menconi’s proposal of a code of ethics for all of our electeds. They have one in Denver as well as several other Colorado towns. I only hope that ALL officials in ALL elected positions in Eagle County will eagerly embrace such a proposal. And those who won’t, well, maybe they’re the ones whom we should worry about the most and maybe they’re the ones who don’t get our vote the next time.But something comes to mind. In making this suggestion, perhaps Mr. Menconi needs to think hard about the relationship that he and his wife have with Vail Resorts. While it technically skirts the issue on any legal conflict, it probably fits the definition of the appearance of impropriety.This is definitely any area where the community should weigh in and insist that we set some standardsThe bubble, againI went to the Vail Recreation Board meeting on March 9. No question about it, the VRD does not intend to take the financial hit for the ice bubble again next year. And it would be irresponsible for them to do so. They have a fiduciary responsibility to get their books in order. They cannot allow themselves to be brow beaten by the Vail Town Council.Finances aside, there is an overwhelming consensus that the skating programs will grow, by an estimate of 50 percent, by moving the facility to either mid- or downvalley.It’s time for them to put their foot down and let the TOV deal with the bubble. There are several offers to buy it. The hope by all concerned is that the TOV sells that big white thing to somebody else in the valley. Let’s hope the VRD holds firm.Finally!For the first time since I have been here, the Town of Vail is making a very concerted effort to include the business community in what it’s up to.The beginning of a long and arduous streetscape schedule will begin in Vail Village on April 19. Actually, some of the prep work will begin before that.The town of Vail, led by Scott Bluhm, has done an admirable job of keeping the business community informed. Scott has been regularly attending VCBA meetings and has provided schedules, maps, and contact numbers. Once construction is under way, there will be meetings every Thursday morning at 9 at the Christiania Lodge.While the project may test our patience, this kind of communication will go light years toward soothing the process.Hard to believeSome thought it would never happen. Others hoped it wouldn’t. And the rest just thought it took too long. Whatever your take on the project, the good news is that Middle Creek Village, known as Mountain Bell to some, is right on schedule.I was invited for a tour last Thursday with the developer, Mike Coughlin. What a spectacular achievement for this town. I predict that resort communities from all over the country will look to Vail as being the industry leader in offering affordable, quality housing for our seasonal workers.The spaces are bright and functional and the views are to die for. The first apartments will be available in September, and full occupancy is slated for November.With this in mind, applications are now being taken for a waiting list. They are available at the VCBA office or at http://www.vailchamber.org.Vail Film FestHave you heard? We’re about to have our first film festival in Vail. And it stands to be pretty special. I’m on the board, so I’m learning a lot that I had no reason to know before. There will be a total of approximately 45 presentations, including feature films, shorts, documentaries and TVpilots – something unique to this event. There will also be a host of panel discussions and seminars with industry leaders.For Vail residents, there’s a special package. Visit http://www.vailfilmfestival.org and enter “vail” as the promotion code. You can then buy a screening pass for $50 which allows you entrance to all of those presentations.A reminderTomorrow night is the Vail Town Meeting at Donovan park from 4-6 p.m. A “State of the Town” presentation will include the year in review plus on overview of projects that are in the works including Lionshead. There will also be time available for Q&A. So this is your chance to find out every thing you ever wanted to know but didn’t know who to ask.Happy St. Patrick’s Day!Cars on the Frontage Road: Saturday, zero; Sunday, zero.Do your part: call them and write them. To contact the Town Council, call 479-1860, ext. 8, or e-mail towncouncil@vailgov.com. To contact Vail Resorts, call 476-5601 or e-mail vailinfo@vailresorts.com. For past columns, vaildaily.com-columnists or search:ferry.Kaye Ferry is a longtime observer of Vail government. She writes a weekly column for the Daily.


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