Daily Editorial: The mayor who saw it all
Vail CO, Colorado
You could say outgoing Vail Mayor Rod Slifer has done double duty for his town.
You see, this is the second time he has finished up an eight-year term, most of it as mayor. And the second time he has seen Vail through big change.
In 1985, the outgoing mayor had finished overseeing the construction of the Dobson Ice Arena, library and Lionshead parking structure, among other key buildings. He helped replace a departing town manager or two, police chief and fire chief. He helped pass a tax ” the handy real estate transfer tax that has proved so helpful over the years.
Now, at the end of 2007, the outgoing mayor has served during the bulk of the Billion Dollar Renewal (now approaching $3 billion) and contemplation of Ever Vail to the west of Lionshead and reconstruction of the Lionshead garage into something much more fitting for Vail. He helped replace a town manager, police chief and fire chief.
The more things change … right?
Sure, Vail Associates became Vail Resorts and went public. But then as now, the town and ski company had that special if often wary relationship that inspired mention in Slifer’s outgoing remarks in 1985.
The town government worried then, as now, about how it could afford the needed work on infrastructure, deal with an “erosion” of lodge rooms and handle stagnant revenues.
Affordable housing was a big problem, as it is today. Water might have been a larger worry then compared to now, but there was no mention of I-70 congestion and noise in Slifer’s 1985 remarks.
He brought a ton of well-humored and much-needed perspective to the job this time around.
The mayor is an authentic Vail pioneer, here from the beginning. The town was extremely fortunate to have him continue to help shape the community these past transformational eight years, as well.
” Don Rogers for the Editorial Board
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