Eagle Mayor declares conflict after accepting job with trail-building firm
Eagle Mayor Yuri Kostick has notified town staff and board members that he is now employed by a firm that has done extensive trail building in the community and thus will have a conflict of interest regarding any future projects involving Momentum Trail Concepts.
“What I am doing with Momentum is not trail building. It involves working as a landscape architect and planner,” said Kostick last week. He formally notified the town of his conflict on Sept. 26.
Because of his conflict of interest, Kostick must step down from any discussions or decisions regarding future trail building contracts if Momentum is a candidate for the work.
Last year the town contracted with Momentum on two no-bid projects. The first was construction of the Haymaker Trail and the second was re-routing the Pool and Ice Trail. The two contracts totaled approximately $90,000.
The town did not budget for any trail work in 2014, but in 2015, the town anticipates spending approximately $120,000 from the Open Space Fund for potential trail construction and re-routing projects. Much of this work was identified in a trails plan completed in 2014.
“The trustees have signed off on a trail building request for proposals process led by our Open Space (Coordinator) that will pre-select a small group of recommended trail builders,” said Eagle Town Manger Jon Stavney in an email to the board members send Sept. 29. The list includes Momentum and the company, along with the other firms, will bid on the 2015 project as the work is defined.
“The relationship between the mayor and one of the potential trail builders underscores the importance of a robust bid process managed by staff for further work,” said Stavney.
In his email to the board and staff, Kostick also noted that Eagle Marketing and Events Coordinator Amy Cassidy has been hired to complete marketing for Momentum. Stavney noted that Cassidy’s side work with the company “is not a conflict as she has no power to enter into contract with Momentum on behalf of the town.”
Countywide trails effort
In a separate email sent to “Eagle County trails enthusiasts and supporters” on Sept. 16, Kostick introduced a proposal from Momentum to coordinate an effort to obtain International Mountain Bike Association Ride Center status in Eagle County.
“With their recent critical success in building trails in Eagle County, Momentum Trails Concepts was the obvious choice to lead this charge,” wrote Kostick. “Matt (Thompson) and I had actively been discussing ways that we could combine our skill sets and pursue a business venture together. The timing seemed right and our discussions had the opportunity to turn into reality. Rounding out the team is Amy Cassidy who brings critical experience and makes the ‘dream team’ of professionals who can steer this effort. We are locals — we know the terrain both physical and mental and we know how to get this work done.”
Stavney noted this multi-jurisdictional effort has not been officially submitted to town. He said if Momentum requests funding for the effort, Kostick should declare his financial relationship with the applicant.
In his email to the town, Kostick indicated he intends to make such declarations.
“The proposal… will be formally presented by Matt. I am simply being over-cautious to avoid any conflict of interest issues,” said Kostick. “I intend to recuse myself from any funding questions regarding Momentum.”