Double-digit interest in council race
Kicking off the second week of election season in Vail, two candidates have officially thrown their hats in the ring with hopes of securing a seat on the Town Council.Mark Gordon, 40, who works for Vail Resorts as a lead foreman at the company’s communications center in Lionshead, was first out of the gate, filing his nominating petition last week.”I’m pretty excited. I’ve been meeting with a lot of people,” Gordon said Monday. “There’s a lot of excitement, enthusiasm and energy toward my candidacy coming from various individuals in the community. There’s been significant positive feedback.”On his heels Monday was Kent Logan, 59, a retired investment banker who’s running on a pro-business platform. He put forth a slogan of sorts, saying stimulating Vail’s sales-tax revenues is vital to the resort town’s future – and only then should town leaders consider raising property taxes, which in Vail are some of the lowest in the region.”Not a dime in new property taxes,” Logan said Monday, “until, one, we either exhaust or implement all initiatives to increase sales tax revenues; two, we address the budget and cut out the fat; and, three, we identify specific uses for any increase in property taxes.”Two newcomersNew to Vail’s political fray this time around are Colleen McCarthy, 50, owner of the Baggage Cheque in Vail, and Chris McDonnell, 26, who works for Vail Resorts as a public safety officer at Bachelor Gulch. They became the ninth and 10th people to pick up petitions.”The Town Council has been missing the boat with regards to the business community,” says McCarthy, a merchant in Vail for 25 years. “We need a good shot in the arm.”McCarthy served as member of the Vail Recreation District’s board of directors for four years in the early 1990s, as well as the town’s liquor licensing board. She ran unsuccessfully for the Town Council in 1997.McDonnell says he’s “running for the little guy” on a platform based on changing municipal government.”It’s time to bring change to the Town Council,” he said Monday. “We need some common sense on this board. There are too many there for the wrong reasons.”McDonnell said he doesn’t think his being employed by Vail Resorts, in his case, is a conflict of interest.”My paycheck does come from Vail Resorts,” McDonnell said. “But the money comes from the (property owners) in Bachelor Gulch.”Gang of 10As of Monday afternoon, the complete list of Vail residents to pick up nominating petitions(in alphabetical order):- Peter Cook, an East Vail resident and a member of the board of directors for the Vail Recreation District.- Gordon.- Bill Jewitt, incumbent town councilman and owner of Bart & Yeti’s bar and restaurant in Lionshead.- Logan.- McCarthy.- McDonnell.- Greg Moffet, incumbent town councilman and owner of TIGA Advertising in Vail.- Rod Slifer, incumbent town councilman, a former Vail mayor and partner in Slifer, Smith and Frampton Real Estate.- Two others who apparently prefer to remain unidentified.Four of seven seats on the Town Council are up for grabs, with a fifth seat – the one occupied by Vail Mayor Ludwig Kurz – coming available in a special election Jan. 27. People interested in running for office in the Nov. 4 election are not considered official candidates until they file a nominating petition with the requisite signatures of at least 10 registered Vail voters at the Town Clerk’s Office. The deadline is Oct. 3.Candidates for Vail Town Council must be:- U.S. citizens.- Registered to vote in Vail.- At least 21 years old.- Vail residents for two years immediately preceding the election.For more information, contact the Vail Town Clerk’s Office at 479-2136.Vail candidate forums on tapDaily Staff ReportThe Vail Valley Chamber & Tourism Bureau is organizing two programs in preparation for the Nov. 4 elections in Vail.Thursday, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. the bureau and the Vail Daily host “Eye on Politics: Candidate Orientation” at the Savory Inn, formerly the Black Bear Inn, in West Vail.Then on Oct. 13, the bureau and the Daily co-sponsor a traditional candidate forum for Vail Town Council candidates from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Vail Town Council chambers.Both forums are free and open to the public. Vail residents interested in running for a seat on the council are invited to attend the candidate orientation. The program is intended to be an informal introduction to community politics and local government for potential candidates.Frank Johnson, bureau president, will moderate, posing a series of questions to a group of panelists. The panel will include:- Lori Weigel of Public Opinion Strategies.- Chris Cares of RRC Associates.- Former and current councilmen Kent Rose, Chuck Ogilby and Merv Lapin.A question-and-answer period with the attendees will be held at the end of the session.”We’re hoping the candidates can learn from the panel, then contribute to the conversation,” says event organizer Elyse Howard.For more information, contact Howard at 477-4027.