Eagle Town Board candidates in their own words | VailDaily.com

Eagle Town Board candidates in their own words

Town's mail-ballot election set for April 7

Eagle’s Election a Go Eagle’s municipal election is set for April 7. Because it’s a mail ballot election and requires little or no human contact, the town board decided it would go ahead as planned. The last of the ballots were scheduled to be mailed March 27. Eagle voters will decide three things:
  1. Three town board members. Scott Turnipseed is running unopposed for mayor.
  2. Eagle’s proposed home rule charter.
  3. Whether to keep the town’s part of the increased countywide tobacco tax in the town, or let the Eagle County government keep it.

Mikel Pappy Kerst

Profession: Beaver Creek Manager Base Mountain/Public Safety

Why are you running for Eagle Town Board? I love Eagle and love serving this community. As the only incumbent, and having 14 years of experience with the town, I bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and want to continue to serve as an asset for my community.

How long have you lived in Eagle? I have lived in Eagle for 28 years and built our home in the Terrace in 1995.

What is the biggest issue facing Eagle? The top two issues we face are the budget and staffing. Our town is growing and along with that increase in revenues, we have an increase in costs. This month’s outbreak of COVID-19, and the associated economic impacts will require a board with knowledge of our budget and how to maximize our support for our community. In regard to staff, we need to figure out how we can pay staff enough to live in the community they serve.

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Do you support home rule ballot question? Why or why not? I am in SUPPORT of home R=rule. “The best government is that which is closest to the people.” One of the most notable provisions adopted by the charter includes the tax protections from TABOR. The charter prohibits the town from having the power to raise taxes, add news taxes, or refund a tax surplus without the approval of the voters.

What does Eagle need most and how would you achieve it? The relationships I have developed over the many years of living and working in Eagle are very important — to me and for the community. I would like to continue our town’s development of these relationships — in the business community and with other government entities.

Ellen Bodenheimer

Ellen Bodenhemier

Profession: Financial Manager of our Eagle-based business. Household manager to two children (13 and 10), a dog and horse.

Why are you running for the Eagle Town Board? I believe in becoming involved in organizations whose mission you believe in, and I believe in upholding the town’s mission statement, “Maintain and enhance quality of life for everyone in our community.” I will engage residents, businesses and strategic partners with integrity, creativity and a collaborative spirit. I will build from the good work of prior boards, bring fiscal responsibility, resource management and empower town staff and its capacity. I seek multiple viewpoints while strategically cutting red tape in the bureaucracy of a growing mountain town. I seek high-leverage opportunities to strengthen the economic vitality of our community.

What is the biggest issue facing Eagle? Maintaining the small town, quality of life for the community, while building the economic capacity and guiding strategic growth.

How long have you lived in Eagle? Ten years.

Do you support home rule ballot question? Why or why not?

Yes. home rule will allow us to bring broadband to Eagle, create a code of conduct for the Town Board, allow ordinances to be enacted quicker and gain more local control over sales tax revenues. It will not impose taxes on voters without ballot and taxpayer approval, per TABOR. It was a well-constructed charter that will be beneficial to our town.

What does Eagle need most and how will you achieve it? Building community and economic resiliency and vibrancy. I will work to do this by building a resilient economic climate for small businesses, managing resources to protect wildlife, recreation and natural resources, work to balance housing needs and provide workforce housing, mitigate traffic impacts of upcoming development through redevelopment of Highway 6 and Brush Creek road extension and continually engaging and empowering residents to build our sense of community.

Maren Cerimele

Maren Cerimele

Profession: Director of Membership at Vail Valley Partnership

Why are you running for the Eagle Town Board? I am running for Eagle Town Board of Trustees to be a catalyst, convener and champion for Eagle. As a trustee, I will bring new solutions to the table to inspire positive change, bring people together to make things happen, and focus on a sustainable and prosperous community.

How long have you lived in Eagle? Since June 2018

What is the biggest issue facing Eagle? The biggest issue facing Eagle is the need to balance growth with community sustainability. A recent presentation on demographics hosted by the Eagle Chamber showed that Eagle is the No. 1 community in which people want to live, given the choice. People want to live here and be a part of this community, perhaps to raise a family, start a business or become engaged in the town’s vitality efforts, but we are lacking in housing inventory and options. Responsible growth while preserving the community’s culture is vital to Eagle’s sustainable future.

Do you support the home rule ballot question? Why or why not? Yes. home rule allows the town the flexibility to govern within a framework that ensures Eagle grows purposefully and to the principles of the community.

What does Eagle need most and how would you achieve it? Eagle needs a balance of varied housing options and economic development solutions to ensure the community’s growth and sustainability. I will work toward this by supporting in-fill development projects near the downtown core, advocating for accessory dwelling units as part of new construction and for existing modifications, and supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs with the resources they need to succeed. My decision-making framework as a trustee will be based on community sustainability which includes social, economic, and environmental aspects. Learn more at facebook.com/maren2020.

David Gaboury

David Gaboury

Profession: Direction on private company boards, Former CEO, engineer

Why are you running for the Eagle Town Board? Eagle is a great mountain community today and has an exciting future ahead. I bring a diverse and successful track record in business and community leadership to the role of Board Trustee and would very much like to contribute to shaping the future of our community.

How long have you lived in Eagle? My wife Beth and I have been residents of Eagle for nearly 15 years, and two years ago we made Eagle our permanent home.

What is the biggest issue facing Eagle? The town’s current needs and priorities include growing our tax base, improved environmental sustainability, enhanced broadband service, and expanded recreational tourism — all while promoting workforce housing and making sure we are taking care of wildlife. The most fundamental need is to continue to grow our tax base by supporting business and residential vitality. More revenue from an expanding economic base allows financial flexibility to tackle the other areas noted, as well as our ever-present infrastructure needs.

Do you support the home rule ballot question? Why or why not? Last fall I was elected to and had the privilege to serve on the Town’s Home Rule Charter Commission. I fully support the adoption of our Home Rule Charter. It sets the foundation for more government efficiency, more revenue-generating options and more control over land use, which provide long-term benefits to the community.

What does Eagle need most and how would you achieve it? Eagle needs to support growth that enhances the lives of our citizens while being responsible stewards of our land and resources. In one word this involves balance — expanding both our business and residential base; supporting diverse, attainable residential options; encouraging vibrant neighborhoods and a strong downtown core; more sustainable energy and water use that is cost-effective; and supporting a strong town staff. My experience is that to be a thriving business or community, there are multiple areas that need to all work together. When they do, great things can be accomplished.

Kyle Hoiland

Kyle Hoiland

Profession: Owner of High Country Consulting; Construction Consultant (Project Cost Estimator, Owner’s Rep, Project Manager)

Why are you running for the Eagle Town Board? I believe in a strong community and want to do my part to keep Eagle a strong community. My family and I have supported our community as a local business owners, volunteers in our school district, coaching our youth in various sports and buying local. By being on the Town Board I can play a bigger role in this.

How long have you lived in Eagle? 20 years

What is the biggest issue facing Eagle? Two weeks ago I would have said economic vitality and sustainability. Today, our biggest challenge is avoiding the spread of COVID-19, but once this passes, economic vitality and having a sustainable local economy will be paramount as the country rebounds from the impacts of this virus.  

Do you support the home rule ballot question? Why or why not? I do support it. I served on the Home Rule Charter Commission and helped draft the charter. I was skeptical at first of moving to home rule, thinking that there must be a hidden agenda or some way for the town to create more taxes; but after being a part of the process, seeing what home rule means and understanding that it is not much different than statutory rule, I’m a proponent of it and believe it is what’s best for Eagle.

What does Eagle need most and how would you achieve it? For Eagle to be economically sustainable, we need more attainable housing for young families. I would like to work toward creating a Housing Authority within Eagle that can obtain grants and work with private developers to build more attainable housing in our city limits.

Yvonne Schwartz

Yvonne Schwartz

Profession: Owner/Instructor of Yoga Off Broadway, Yoga in The Park, Yoga+Beats

Why are you running for the Eagle Town Board? I am running for Eagle Town Board as a small business owner, community member, mom, past and present volunteer of several boards in town such as MEAC, BAC, and Eagle Chamber of Commerce.

How long have you lived in Eagle? I have owned a business in Eagle for almost 10 years and lived in Eagle for almost four years. I love our town, but I also see places where we need to make improvements to continue to thrive. 

What is the biggest issue facing Eagle? I believe one of our biggest issues is the inability to move forward on different types of housing options for our community. We are severely lacking in multi-family units and housing options that fit the budget for a large portion of the people who want to live and work in our town. This has a trickle effect … we have very few people in their 20s who live here, which leads us to a shortage of people willing and able to work in our service industry businesses. 

Do you support the home rule ballot question? Why or why not? Yes, I am in full support of home rule. I sat in on several of the meetings for the new charter. Over 93% of Colorado towns are Home Rule. It will allow our community to make decisions that are better representations of the citizens who live and work in our town. I believe it is a step in the right direction for the town of Eagle in making important sustainable changes.  

What does Eagle need most and how would you achieve it? I believe what the town of Eagle needs most is a system for better communication. We have lots of different entities all working to communicate some of the same things. Communication systems that are more streamlined would be a great way to get the citizens more engaged, invested, and involved. 

Charlie Gundlach

Charlie Gundlach

Profession: President and Head Roaster at Color Coffee Roasters

Why are you running for the Eagle Town Board? I want to be a member of the Town Board because I am uniquely qualified to lead this town. There is an opportunity to shape this community into an economically vibrant place we can all thrive in, and I don’t want to pass that up. Eagle is already an amazing place, with an amazing trajectory, and I want to ensure this trajectory is realized. Given the events of the last two weeks, I also now see the opportunity to lift Eagle out of this economic crisis and pick up the pieces so we can come out of this stronger and more resilient than ever. 

How long have you lived in Eagle?  4+ Years in Eagle, Colorado Native, and Graduate of the Leeds School of Business at CU Boulder.

What is the biggest issue facing Eagle? The biggest issue facing Eagle is currently the COVID-19 crisis. Right now the uncertainty is weighing heavily on all of us. From an Eagle perspective, the hit to the local economy will surely be hard. From a personal standpoint (as I’m sure a lot of restaurants are feeling the same) we are fighting for our survival here at Color Coffee Roasters. We are taking it day by day and making decisions based on the best available information, all while keeping the safety of our customers and staff first and foremost. We’re going to get through this, but it’s certainly a challenge like we’ve never faced before. Once the dust settles, Eagle will need leadership to pick up the pieces and revitalize our amazing community.

Do you support the home rule ballot question? Why or why not? Citizens should adopt home rule. Home rule opens the door for more opportunity for the town. It’s an exciting way for the town to gain more freedom, leverage, and control of the legislative decisions for the town. I’m all for it.

What does Eagle need most and how would you achieve it? Right now, Eagle needs leadership. In order to revitalize the town after the COVID-19 crisis and further down the line to bring more economic vitality to Eagle, we need a team of people on the Town Board who are ready to get things done. My goal is to bring my energy, creativity, and business knowledge to the Board in order to enact positive change.

Adam Palmer

Adam Palmer

Profession: Sustainable Communities Director, Eagle County

Why are you running for the Eagle Town Board? In 1999, my wife Kalie and I lived out of the back of our truck for six months to save up for a down payment to buy a home in Eagle. With 16 years working at Eagle County in Community Development and currently as Sustainable Communities Department Director, 10 years of service and current Treasurer on the Board of Directors at Holy Cross Energy, co-founder and President of the Hardscrabble Trails Coalition and volunteer on numerous boards and projects, I hope that I may be able to give back to our community through my experience, leadership, and connection to partners and resources support and preserve the small-town character and our tightly knit community.

How long have you lived in Eagle? 20 years 

What is the biggest issue facing Eagle? Our largest issue will be responding and recovering from the coronavirus pandemic. My involvement in the Emergency Operations Center and leading the Economic Response and Recovery Unit will provide useful experience and access to resources to help Eagle recover from this unprecedented crisis.

Do you support the home rule ballot question? Why or why not? Yes, I fully support going to home rule, which cleans up a number of process quirks for the town, as well as gives us more latitude to make decisions to benefit our community. Thanks goes to the leadership and collaboration of the Home Rule Charter Committee for creating a well-thought-out charter.

What does Eagle need most and how would you achieve it? My platform is based upon environmental sustainability, economic vitality, and preservation of surrounding open space and recreation. I believe retaining our quality of life while supporting a vibrant mixed-use built environment in our downtown, connecting downtown to the Eagle River Park, and focusing on innovative economic diversification strategies which include broadband access for all.

Scott Turnipseed

Scott Turnipseed

Profession: President of Scott S. Turnipseed, AIA Architecture and Construction, Inc.

Why are you running for mayor? I have been on the Eagle Town Board now for 7½ years and I feel that I am in the unique position to apply my years of both governmental and business experience to helping lead Eagle into the future. I am excited to be able to work with the Town Board, town staff and the citizens to continue to make Eagle a great place to live, work and visit.

How long have you lived in Eagle?  20 years.

What is the biggest issue facing Eagle? The single biggest issue facing Eagle is revenue. Our sales tax base has been growing at a nice rate for the last five years or so but even with that we, as a town, face challenges with having our needs for proper staffing, capital improvements and maintenance expenses being more than our revenues.

Do you support the home rule ballot question? Why or why not? I am in support of home rule.  It will give us the flexibility to make policies at the local level. It does not give the town or future Town Boards the right to tax the citizens without the citizens’ approval. One example on how home rule can help the town is with the ability to form a utility. We, as a town, have the opportunity to form a broadband utility. The goal of this would be to provide very high-speed internet service to all of our residents and businesses and at a very competitive price. Being home rule would allow us to form the utility to be able to do this whereas as a statutory town (like we are now) would not allow us to do this. We currently have three utilities in the town: Water, sewer and trash. I believe the town does a great job at these three utilities and have every reason to believe that we would do a great job with a broadband utility as well.

What does Eagle need most and how would you achieve it? I believe what Eagle needs the most is resiliency. This COVID-19 crisis really shows how dependent we are on the tourism and travel industry, and when it shuts down it is crippling to our residents and businesses. I am in favor of providing opportunities for new businesses to come to the Town of Eagle and help us to diversify our economy and business base.

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