Eagle council candidate Janet Bartnik in her own words
Incumbent wants to focus on sustainability, community engagement and improvements to the housing and child care market
The Vail Daily is running Q&As with the nine candidates running for four seats on the Eagle Town Council. The questionnaires will run in the order that the candidates appear on the ballot. The town is participating in Eagle County’s coordinated election. Ballots will be mailed out Oct. 8.
Name: Janet Bartnik
Occupation: Executive director, Mountain Recreation Metro District
Neighborhood: Soleil Homes at Brush Creek
Length of residence in Eagle: Three years
Have you served on any other boards or commissions, in Eagle or otherwise? Here in Eagle, I served on the Charter Commission, Elevate Eagle Comprehensive Plan Committee, and as an alternate on the Open Space and Recreation Advisory Committee before being appointed to Town Council this past spring. I have held a wide variety of positions for professional associations, such as the Colorado Park and Recreation Association, Missouri Park and Recreation Association, American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration and National Recreation and Park Association.
Why do you want this job? I felt compelled to apply for a council-appointed position following the tragic loss of Adam Palmer and Andy Jessen. I am aligned with the mission, vision and major objectives defined in the Town’s Strategic Plan built with Adam and Andy’s input and prepared to support pursuit of the vision created. With over 25 years of experience in public administration, government finance, community engagement, community development, hands-on knowledge of public agency governance to add to my involvement in the Town’s Charter Commission and Elevate Eagle Committee, I hope to continue to lend my extensive experience to this challenging position.
What has the current Eagle Town Council done well? What could it have done better? The town has improved its collection of input and responsiveness to the community. Recent town accomplishments set the stage for our long-term future: Home rule affords us the ability to locally control our governance, and the Elevate Eagle Plan and Strategic Plan work together to set our course. The Downtown Development Authority has been established. Broadband service, sustainability efforts, a vision for Grand Avenue and a new development code are in the works. This improved connection to the community is just a start; towns can always improve listening, responsiveness and communication efforts.
If elected, what’s the main thing you’d like to see the council accomplish in the next two or four years?
Two years is not long in a government context, but every decision made can have a big impact on the future of the town. I hope to ensure that decisions made by the council are considered with a long-range lens and an eye toward sustaining long-term viability. I’d like to see us work with staff and the community to develop a plan to achieve the Net Zero by 2030 prudently, consider how we might shore up the Town’s financial future, consider options to improve housing and childcare market pressures and continue to strengthen a culture of community engagement across town initiatives.
What are your thoughts on the town’s plan for the East Eagle Sub Area? How should the town prioritize land use to attract the kinds of developments that will best support the broader Eagle community in the years to come?
Using a long-range lens in direction-setting when housing is a pinch point for so many families today is a challenge. However, approved residential developments including Hockett Gulch, Haymeadow and Talon Flats will provide the community with more affordable housing units soon. Ensuring what little viable commercial ground remaining in town is available for future commercial and industrial development will be important to help the town balance its revenue sources among sales taxes, property taxes, and fees. Further, the location of the land included the plan is disconnected from schools, parks and other residential services.
How should the town of Eagle work towards achieving its recently adopted goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2030?
I appreciate the work of Geoff Grimmer and Ellen Bodenheimer in kicking off the town’s net zero work! I see a two-part plan. First, I envision the council working with staff to start implementing an in-house plan for municipal facilities, including Mountain Rec’s, and activities to set the bar high in Eagle County. Then, modeling best practices and communicating that work to the community may inspire individuals to invest in improvements or behavioral changes that will help achieve the 2030 goal.