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Eagle election coming up on April 3

Eagle Valley Enterprise
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyYuri Kostick, candidate for mayor.
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EAGLE, Colorado – Eagle voters will head to the polls April 3 to choose a mayor and Town Board members.

A current trustee is challenging the incumbent mayor, and eight candidates have stepped up to seek one of three seats open on the Eagle Town Board.

Incumbent Eagle Mayor Ed Woodland, an attorney with an Eagle-based private practice, is seeking re-election. Woodland was elected to the mayor post four years ago. He is being challenged by Yuri Kostick, a current member of the Eagle Town Board. Kostick works as an Eagle County Energy Smart Program home energy adviser.

With Kostick running for mayor, there are no incumbents seeking re-election to the Town Board. The eight candidates for the three seats are:

• Jeremy D. Cossette, an independent housing contractor.

• John A. King, a construction inspector for the town of Vail.

• Joe Knabel, a construction contractor employed by R.A. Nelson.

• Lonnie Leto, manager of the AmericInn Lodge and Suites in Eagle.

• Anne McKibbin, an archeologist employed by Metcalf Archaeological Consultants Inc. of Eagle.

• Skylar Mitchell, of Lowdermilk Mitchell Mechanical Services of Eagle.

• Brandi Resa, an accountant employed by a local construction company.

• Max Schmidt, Majack development construction and Schmidt Auto Mall and Schmidt Motorsports.

Mail-in ballots were sent out last week and can be returned to Eagle Town Hall until 7 p.m. April 3. To vote in person, the polls will be open at Eagle Town Hall from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 3.

Profession:

• Former business owner of local landscape contracting company.

• Currently environmental planner, manager of Energy Smart Colorado for Eagle County.

How long have you lived in Eagle?

• 10 years.

Why are you running for Eagle Mayor?

• I love Eagle, I love raising my family here, and I believe that I have the vision and positive energy to continue to help Eagle prosper.

What are the most important qualities Eagle’s mayor must present in representing the town?

• Being consistent and fair and having a willingness to listen to the people of Eagle.

Both mayor candidates have served on the Eagle Town Board for the past four years. What do you see as your biggest accomplishment during that time? What was your biggest disappointment?

• Working with the business community, One Eagle and the Eagle Chamber.

• The creation and establishment of funding for marketing and events which will bring real jobs and activity to our town and will increase general-fund revenue.

• No disappointments.

The Eagle River Station proposal will be decided by the current Town Board prior to the election and, ultimately, by the voters of Eagle, but what is your opinion regarding the proposal?

• I cannot comment on the current proposal because state law prohibits it.

• I did not vote for ERS version 1.0 and am dismayed that the new proposal has come back approximately 30 percent larger than the previous version and am concerned about the risks of such an enormous project.

How would you describe Eagle’s economic future? What are the top three priorities for Eagle during the next 10 years?

• I will be proactive regarding Eagle’s economic future.

• Putting all of our eggs in one basket is not an economic plan; it is a gamble based on market forces that Eagle doesn’t control.

• Keep existing businesses in town and do everything we can to help them be successful.

• Preserving and enhancing Eagle’s sense of place and community is the highest priority.

Other comments?

• I will keep businesses in Eagle.

• I will establish a real economic plan for our town.

• There is no silver bullet for Eagle; instead, the silver buckshot approach is what we need now and into the future.

• I will not be afraid to take on the establishment.

Profession: Attorney in private practice.

How long have you lived in Eagle? 14 years.

Why are you running for Eagle mayor?

I am proud of how Eagle has evolved, but it still needs a strong, principled leader who understands how to move the town forward by working with both the public and private sectors to bring jobs and investment back into the community without sacrificing true quality of life.

What are the most important qualities Eagle’s mayor must present in representing the town?

Integrity and creativity. Integrity in the mayoral context means dealing with people honestly and candidly so they are clear about what you believe is in the town’s interest, what is not and why you believe what you do. As mayor, creativity means you believe every problem has at least one solution.

Both mayor candidates have served on the Eagle Town Board for the past four years. What do you see as your biggest accomplishment during that time? What was your biggest disappointment?

Biggest accomplishment is to have led the town through difficult financial times, doing more with less. Pound for pound, Eagle offers great services and amenities. Biggest disappointment is that we have not grown our sales tax base while every other community in Eagle County has.

The Eagle River Station proposal will be decided by the current Town Board prior to the election and, ultimately, by the voters of Eagle, but what is your opinion regarding the proposal?

I have focused on ERS from a jobs and investment perspective. Any time someone proposes to invest millions of dollars into Eagle, we should negotiate in our own best interest and see if the investment is made. If it happens, it happens. If it does not, we move on.

How would you describe Eagle’s economic future? What are the top three priorities for Eagle during the next 10 years?

I am optimistic about our economic future. Eagle is a great town and always will be, but we need to attract new business and investment, expand our commercial base, re-invest in our town and create new jobs.

Other comments?

Being mayor of Eagle is about more than one project or issue; it is about having a vision and a plan for the community as a whole. We need to keep Eagle moving forward, look at all options, invest in our community and create new jobs. As a business owner, I have done those things. As Eagle’s mayor for the last four years, I have done those things; and you have my pledge that if re-elected, I will relentlessly pursue new opportunities that make our community a better place to live for generations to come.

Profession: Archaeologist.

How long have you lived in Eagle?

I have worked for the same company in Eagle since 1981, been a resident of Eagle since 1988 and been a homeowner in Eagle since 1989.

Why are you running for Eagle Town Board?

I have served on the Eagle Planning and Zoning Commission for the last eight years and would like to take that experience and continue to serve the town in the role of trustee. I would like to help continue to make Eagle a great place to live and work.

The Eagle River Station proposal will be decided by the current Town Board prior to the election and, ultimately, by the voters of Eagle, but what is your opinion regarding the proposal?

I am in favor of Eagle River Station. It will bring jobs, infrastructure improvements, tax revenues and enhances our draw on visitors and regional shoppers. It complies with the Eagle Area Community Plan and is an opportunity for this town that I believe we would regret passing up.

Once seated, the new Town Board members will face review of the Haymeadow project proposed in the Brush Creek Valley. What is your opinion of this development proposal?

I am in favor of the Haymeadow development. It is a well-designed and thought out residential development with school, trail and parkland amenities. If approved, the developer will be poised to start when our housing market recovers. Meeting the town’s requirements for adequate public facilities, namely traffic, will be key.

How would you describe Eagle’s economic future? What are the top three priorities for Eagle during the next 10 years?

Eagle’s economic future is tied to sales tax revenue. The most important decisions our Town Board will make will be in balancing the town’s budget. Managing that budget as we emerge from the economic downturn is critical, as is planning for the future.

Eagle’s top three priorities should be: one, improving the Highway 6 corridor; two, working with downtown property owners and merchants to help maintain the economic viability of our downtown; and three, assuring that if Eagle River Station does proceed, that it enhances our entire town.

Other comments?

Please vote on April 3. I would be honored to continue to serve our community and will do everything I can to contribute to sound decisions and policy for our wonderful town. Please feel free to contact me at amckibbin@centurytel.net or 970-471-0723.

Profession: Construction contractor employed by R.A. Nelson; current member of the Eagle Planning and Zoning Commission.

How long have you lived in Eagle? Five years.

Why are you running for Eagle Town Board?

To be a part of the responsible leadership that moves Eagle forward into the future. The time spent on the Planning and Zoning Commission has been an invaluable experience and logical progression to the position of trustee. This experience provides a solid foundation for moving forward into greater service for our town. Eagle is the place we have all chosen to call home. We must work together to make this the best place to live.

The Eagle River Station proposal will be decided by the current Town Board prior to the election and, ultimately, by the voters of Eagle, but what is your opinion regarding the proposal?

As a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, we gave a unanimous affirmative vote recommending approval of the project to the Town Board.

ERS is an opportunity for the town to significantly increase the sales tax revenues, as well as provide one-time revenues of over $13 million from use tax, building permits and sewer and water tap fees. There would be increased revenues generated by the project, with no attached debt liability for the town.

Once seated, the new Town Board members will face review of the Haymeadow project proposed in the Brush Creek Valley. What is your opinion of this development proposal?

The “sketch plan” provided by the developer received a unanimous affirmative vote by the Planning and Zoning Commission, finding the project to be in substantial compliance with the guiding documents of the town.

The developer is making great efforts to be in compliance with the visions of the town for the property and to retain the “harmony” of the Brush Creek Valley corridor.

The long-term project provides for increased property tax revenues in addition to the increased opportunity for sales tax revenues as more residents become established within the community.

How would you describe Eagle’s economic future? What are the top three priorities for Eagle during the next 10 years?

Smart decisions made now will provide for a promising and opportunistic economic future for the town. As we recover from the economic downturn, we must be optimistic and progressive in our thinking in order to capture opportunities as they are presented to the community.

Promote growth and in-fill of the existing business areas, as well as within the growth boundaries set by the town.

Other comments?

I would be committed to the position of trustee for the town of Eagle. It is my belief that as trustee I would be responsible to the citizens of our town for making the best decisions possible for our future. While there can always be opposing positions on any issue, I am committed to listening to the concerns and opinions of the citizens and formulating the best decisions possible.

Profession: I am the general manager of the AmericInn Lodge and Suites. I have also been the president of One Eagle and vice president of the Eagle Chamber of Commerce.

How long have you lived in Eagle? I have lived in the valley for 15 years and in Eagle for five.

Why are you running for Eagle Town Board?

To bring new ideas. I worked with a small group of concerned citizens and the Eagle Chamber of Commerce to pass 2A. This $2 addition to the lodging tax gave the town of Eagle a $100,000 marketing and events budget and led to a part-time town position.

The Eagle River Station proposal will be decided by the current Town Board prior to the election and, ultimately, by the voters of Eagle, but what is your opinion regarding the proposal?

I would have like to see a more open communication link about the possibility bringing ERS out to the Tower Center in Gypsum. I believe this is a very powerful idea that has not been analyzed closely enough. A closer relationship with the town of Gypsum would benefit both communities.

Once seated, the new Town Board members will face review of the Haymeadow project proposed in the Brush Creek Valley. What is your opinion of this development proposal?

I have sat in on a developer presentation of the Haymeadow project. I was very impressed with that presentation and feel that at the right time, the Haymeadow project will become an asset to the town of Eagle.

How would you describe Eagle’s economic future? What are the top three priorities for Eagle during the next 10 years?

Eagle’s economic future is a bright one, filled with possibilities. We must meet these possibilities with a long-term economic development plan and a philosophy of small-town character. Three top priorities for Eagle during the next 10 years are capital improvements, the formation of a long-term economic development plan and working on economically sustainable growth.

Other comments?

Eagle is one of the best small towns in the United States. We must continue to grow while holding on to our small-town charm. I believe we do this with a lot of input from our citizens, by listening to the voice of the people.

Profession: Accounting has been my career, and I am fortunate to enjoy my chosen profession. I do have my Certified Public Accountant license and maintain my required continuing-education classes, although I work at a local construction company instead of having a private practice.

How long have you lived in Eagle? I have lived in the Eagle Valley for almost seven years and in Eagle almost five years, being thankful for the tremendous lifestyle we enjoy here.

Why are you running for Eagle Town Board?

Given the technology available, one of my goals is to give citizens ways to participate without having to sit at Town Hall on Tuesdays. I’d like to increase the transparency by building on my accomplishments of filming meetings and making the town provide the board packets to the public.

The Eagle River Station proposal will be decided by the current Town Board prior to the election and, ultimately, by the voters of Eagle, but what is your opinion regarding the proposal?

I am against this proposal. The project is 30 percent bigger than the proposal that was voted down, has 550 housing units, is 80 percent bigger than Glenwood Meadows and does not seem to fit our unique small town. We can definitely do regional retail in a manner that embraces our community’s strengths and character.

Once seated, the new Town Board members will face review of the Haymeadow project proposed in the Brush Creek Valley. What is your opinion of this development proposal?

Although I have sat through a few quality presentations regarding this proposal, I have not studied the density or layout of the plan. If elected, I look forward to understanding the details better.

How would you describe Eagle’s economic future? What are the top three priorities for Eagle during the next 10 years?

I think Eagle’s economic future could be quite strong if we embrace our strengths and amenities and build on the momentum from the lodging tax. The top three priorities are building revenue, making business owners and citizens feel their voice matters and identifying a long-term plan for infrastructure improvements.

Other comments?

I will work hard for the citizens of Eagle and have fun doing so. We certainly will not agree on each issue, but we can respect other viewpoints and understand that bringing together the community will result in stronger decisions than if we ignore those who voice a differing opinion.

Profession: I am a Colorado native and have lived in Eagle County for almost 25 years. I served on the Eagle County Planning Commission for 10 years and two of those years served as chairman. I have three grown children and now live in Eagle with my wonderful wife and best friend, Helen.

I have over 30 years’ experience in construction and land development. Currently, I am employed by the town of Vail as a bus driver in winter and senior construction inspector in summer.

How long have you lived in Eagle? I have lived within the town of Eagle for the last six years. I also lived in the Eby Creek Mesa subdivision for six years.

Why are you running for Eagle Town Board?

I have met with many of the town’s taxpayers, voters and business owners who feel that they are not being listened to by the current leadership. This must change. The Town Board and staff must remember who works for whom.

The Eagle River Station proposal will be decided by the current Town Board prior to the election and, ultimately, by the voters of Eagle, but what is your opinion regarding the proposal?

I am opposed to ERS for the following:

• The voters already said no! If the project was smaller than originally proposed or had some great amenities, then there could be some consideration, but I cannot support the project as currently proposed.

• Over 500 new residential units, whether rental or for purchase, will do nothing but further depress our housing values.

• The developer’s advertisements do not tell the whole story about the risk to the taxpayers and give a false hope of job creation.

Once seated, the new Town Board members will face review of the Haymeadow project proposed in the Brush Creek Valley. What is your opinion of this development proposal?

I don’t believe that the Haymeadow project is something that we should consider until we solve the traffic problem in the south side of town. This is unless the developer is willing to be a financial contributor to solving the problem.

How would you describe Eagle’s economic future? What are the top three priorities for Eagle during the next 10 years?

I believe that Eagle’s economic future is very bright. We must do a better job of supporting our existing businesses, as they have been our backbone for many years. We also must do a much better job of promoting events in town to generate more revenue through the existing businesses. The new pillow tax will go a long way to this goal.

Other comments?

I would be extremely proud to serve the town of Eagle as a trustee. I will promise that the residents will get a timely response to their questions and concerns. It may not be the answer you were looking for, but you will know that I will be working for a solution to the problem

Lastly, please vote. Your opinion matters!

Profession: Construction, worked for Majack development; automotive, Schmidt Auto Mall and Schmidt Motorsports.

How long have you lived in Eagle? 2006.

Why are you running for Eagle Town Board?

A few people asked me to run.

The Eagle River Station proposal will be decided by the current Town Board prior to the election and, ultimately, by the voters of Eagle, but what is your opinion regarding the proposal?

I am not for ERS. I think that putting in ERS will change Eagle forever. There are box stores 30 miles away in both directions.

Once seated, the new Town Board members will face review of the Haymeadow project proposed in the Brush Creek Valley. What is your opinion of this development proposal?

I have not made an opinion on the proposal.

How would you describe Eagle’s economic future? What are the top three priorities for Eagle during the next 10 years?

I think that Eagle’s economic future depends on our small businesses and home values. I do not have a top three list at this time.

Mitchell and Cossette did not return questionnaires.


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