Council election season starts Monday
This year has relatively few state and county questions, but Eagle County Clerk and Recorder Teak Simonton said in an email there are a few issues coming in the Nov. 3 general election, including:
• A state question about marijuana tax revenues.
• School board elections in all districts in Eagle County.
• A town of Avon land sale question.
A sample ballot will be available later this week on the clerk and recorder’s website.
As a side note, the Vail and county elections will be run separately. You can’t drop your county ballot at Vail’s town hall, and you can’t drop you town ballot in the mail with the county ballot.
VAIL — This year’s state and county general elections won’t be terribly exciting. But followers of local politics should have plenty to watch in Vail this fall.
Every two years, Vail voters have a chance to elect a new town council majority, thanks to a system that awards a two-year term to the candidate who receives the fewest votes. This year, voters will have the chance to put some new faces on the council, since Mayor Andy Daly and council member Margaret Rogers are ineligible to run again due to term-limit requirements. Both have served two consecutive terms.
That’s two new members. In addition, Mayor Pro Tem Ludwig Kurz and council member Dale Bugby are also up for re-election. Kurz said Monday that he intends to run for a second term. Bugby still isn’t sure.
Starting Monday, potential candidates can pick up petitions from the town offices. Candidates must return those petitions with the signatures of at least 10 town voters by Oct. 2.
“I’ll probably pick up a petition,” Bugby said. “Whether I return it or not depends on the quality of the other candidates.”
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
While this year will see at least two new faces on the council, a couple of residents said they hope the next council largely continues down the current group’s path.
“I hope the (next council) will make what we have better,” former council member Bob Armour said. “We don’t need more quantity, we need more quality.”
East Vail resident Michael Kurz said he and other residents he talks to believe the next council should start with the first principle of medicine’s Hippocratic Oath — first, do no harm.
“Things are going pretty well,” Kurz said, noting that town revenues are solid and the town has plenty of events to keep both residents and visitors entertained.
Kurz said he hopes the next council takes a serious look at finding a place, and funding, for some kind of facility for the arts and cultural events. That’s going to be tricky, Kurz said, considering that an attempt to build a large convention center in the first decade of this century wasn’t realized due to high costs.
“It’s a delicate issue, but there’s a big need,” Kurz said.
Ludwig Kurz said he thinks the next council should continue with its effort to build for-sale workforce housing in West Vail.
“I think under the present circumstances that’s the most pressing need,” he said.
Both Armour and Ludwig Kurz said the town’s continuing efforts to lure and maintain events need to focus on quality over quantity.
Bugby said no matter who runs, he hopes to see some truly new faces on council this fall, not just people who have served on the board before.
“We got three new faces last time,” he said. (Jenn Bruno, Dave Chapin and Bugby were elected in 2013.) “If we can get two or three new people this time, that would be good.”
Aside from fresh faces, though, Bugby said he hopes that people who are both willing to put in the hours of work a council seat requires, as well as a background that brings new insights to the board.
“It just depends on the person,” Bugby said. “You never know who that’s going to be.”
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, firstname.lastname@example.org and @scottnmiller.