Eagle mayor running for county commissioner | VailDaily.com

Eagle mayor running for county commissioner

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado
Daily file photoJon Stavney

EAGLE COUNTY” Eagle Mayor Jon Stavney is setting his sights on the Board of County Commissioners

Stavney, a Democrat, announced Wednesday he is running for District 2, the seat of term-limited Commissioner Arn Menconi. He is the first official candidate for November’s elections.

If elected, Stavney said he wants to focus on improving quality of life, something that depends on providing affordable housing and preserving open space.

“It’s a very touchy-feely thing, but it really depends on land-use decisions,” said Stavney, a 15-year Eagle County resident

He would like to see the towns, county and other major players, like the school district and businesses, work together to build more affordable housing, he said.

The county is headed in the right direction with the formation of a housing action team made up of representatives across the county, but “tough decisions (about traffic, growth and housing) will need to be made in the next 10 years,” said Stavney, who is a member of the housing team and the Eagle County Economic Council.

Stavney and his wife, Mary Ann Stavney, a high school teacher and former school board member, have two children, ages 8 and 4, so he understands the difficulties of high housing costs, he said.

That perspective, “as someone who is in the trenches as a working family,” would make the biggest difference in board decisions, he said,

As a project manager for Beck Building Company, Stavney said he could bring a builder’s point-of-view to the board.

“I pride myself on being fair with developers,” Stavney said. “I think real estate, development and building are an important part of this valley’s economy, and development can be steered correctly for a win-win situation.”

The West End, a development that will bring 72 affordable homes, businesses and offices to Edwards, is a good example of negotiating with developers for community benefit, he said.

However, he said he feels Eaton Ranch, the $12-million site of the Eagle River Preserve, could have been better negotiated to get open space as well as housing.

While he does not have specific ideas on how to do so, he wants to include the growing Latino community in county decisions, too, he said.

“I’d like to see better connections between the Hispanic and Anglo community and see some Hispanic community leaders,” he said.

County Commissioner Peter Runyon’s District 1 seat will also be open this fall. Runyon said he will probably run again for the spot, but has made no official announcement. As of now, no one has publicly announced they will be running for the position.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.

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