Daly, former VR exec, tops in Vail voting
VAIL ” Andy Daly, the former Vail Resorts president, made a decisive leap into Vail government Tuesday, topping the Town Council election with 690 votes.
“I’m delighted,” Daly said as he passed around celebration drinks at the Bully Ranch restaurant. “At the same time, I’m humbled that so many people have placed their confidence in me.”
Dick Cleveland and Margaret Rogers were also elected to four-year terms.
Incumbents Kim Newbury and Kevin Foley were both re-elected, winning two-year terms.
Daly was president of Vail Resorts, the company that runs Vail and Beaver Creek mountains and is the largest employer in town, from 1992-2002. He led the company in the wake of the 1998 arson fires on Vail Mountain.
He said he got a lot of votes because he made connections with a diverse types of Vailites.
“During my years at Vail Resorts, I was able to talk to people at all different levels in the community,” he said.
Cleveland got hugs and handshakes as the election results were announced in the hall of the Vail Municipal Building.
“It’s a lot better outcome than it was two years ago. I’m happy,” he said.
Cleveland, a councilman from 2001-2005, was voted out of office two years ago following his opposition to the then-controversial Crossroads project.
“I think I offered something this year that people thought was valuable ” experience,” Cleveland said.
His day ended better than it started ” he took a spill while campaigning in the Town Hall parking lot in the morning, and ended up with 15 stitches in his hand.
Rogers said her experience as a lawyer appealed to voters, especially as the town faces tough negotiations with developers over the proposed redevelopments of the Lionshead parking structure and Timber Ridge.
“I’m gratified that (voters) saw the vision of Vail the same way I saw the vision of Vail,” Rogers said.
The No. 1 issue now facing the council is resolving how Timber Ridge ” the large, town-owned employee-housing complex ” will be redeveloped, Rogers said.
The turnout was 24 percent, with 946 votes cast in the election Tuesday. The record for a regular town election is 1,356 votes, a turnout of 36 percent, in 2005. For the special Crossroads election in the summer of 2006, 1,577 votes were cast, or 39 percent.
Newbury and Foley, the incumbents, will both stay on council, coming in fourth and fifth, respectively. They each garnered two-year terms.
“Everyone loves a Southern girl!” said the Georgia native Newbury, who was wearing a T-shirt that said just that, after the results came in.
Her experience was important to Vail voters, she said. She’ll continue to be an advocate for the middle class and families, said Newbury, a mother of two young children.
“Housing, housing, housing,” she said. “We can’t say enough about that.”
The results were announced in Town Hall a few minutes after the outgoing council celebrated its end with a champagne toast. The new council members will be sworn in at the next Vail Town Council meeting.
Mayor Rod Slifer and Councilman Greg Moffet are term-limited and will not run again. Councilman Kent Logan, who has served on council for four years, did not seek re-election.
The new council will be Cleveland, Daly, Foley, Mark Gordon, Farrow Hitt, Newbury and Rogers. The new council will elect Vail’s next mayor from among its ranks.
Voter Mike Phillips, casting his vote Tuesday, said he liked Daly, in part because of Daly’s experience at Vail Resorts. Phillips said it’s important that the town work well with the ski company ” and other businesses.
“I’m very interested in seeing businesses be well supported,” he said.
Gigi Dramis, another voter, said Tuesday she liked candidates Bob McKown, Foley and Newbury.
“I like the local that has lived here a long time that looks after the people like me ” service industry, has a family,” he said.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.