Vail council candidate Travis Coggin in his words
Incumbent wants to continue to create more housing opportunities for residents
The Vail Daily is running Q&A’s with the 10 candidates running for four seats on the Vail 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: Travis Coggin
Occupation: Real Estate and management for a family office
Length of residence in Vail: I moved to Vail in 1988, so about 33 years. I left for college, graduate school and jobs in Aspen and Chicago. I’ve been back full-time since 2012.
Have you served on any other town boards or commissions? (That includes the Vail Recreation District and county boards and commissions, if any): No, only Town Council.
Why do you want this job? I want to build on, and utilize, the experiences I’ve gained over the past four years on council and continue to collaborate with the other council members, community leaders and business partners to address the challenges Vail is facing.
What has the current council done well? What could it have done better? The council handled Vail’s COVID response well. Council quickly acted to allocate resources to support critical nonprofits throughout the valley to help community members with housing, food and child care needs. Additionally, we directed town staff to work with the local business community to create outdoor dining areas, implement common consumption areas and defer sales tax collection which, in essence, provided a short-term loan to help our businesses get through those first few uncertain months.
Council could have started the short-term rentals study 12-24 months sooner. I know we will get to a data-driven solution that balances the many aspects of the issue, including protecting neighborhood character and acknowledging private property rights, but I wish we had started the process earlier.
What’s your position on the proposed half-cent sales tax increase for housing initiatives? I’m a supporter of the sales tax for housing. I believe it’s the most equitable way to raise money for a critical community need, especially because it does not apply to grocery store purchases. Locals’ housing keeps kids in local schools and keeps families employed in local businesses. I’m glad the funds can be used both in and out of the town of Vail, because we can’t address all of the town’s housing needs within town boundaries. Finally, I believe it makes sense for the tax to “sunset.”
If elected, what’s the main thing you’d like to see the council accomplish in the next two or four years? In the next two to four years, I want to continue to create more housing opportunities for our community both in the town of Vail and throughout the Eagle River Valley. Second, we need to collaborate with the U.S. Forest Service, our government representatives and local partners to mitigate the impacts our wild areas are experiencing from the significant increase in visitors. Our trails and forests are being “loved to death” and it is unsustainable. The council will need to make sure we’re maximizing the benefits of the SHRED Act and also collaborating with local businesses, governments and nonprofits to protect these natural community assets. Third, we need to start moving ASAP on the Civic Area Plan to maximize the Tax Increment Financing. Lastly, I want the town, in collaboration with our regional partners, to enhance the public transportation service throughout the valley.