Election season finally ends
Those “provisional” ballots – for people whose names didn’t show up on registration lists at their polling places but were allowed to vote now and we’ll check you out later – held up a solid handful of local races until Thursday.
The lone change in in the win-loss column from the unofficial results announced late Election Night was the countywide open space tax. The tax moved from failing by two votes out of some 11,000 cast to winning by 51 votes after the provisionals were finally tallied.
Congratulations to the open space tax advocates, who have worked hard on this issue for over two years. After much wrangling among ourselves, we came to the endorsement conclusion not to support this tax. But it was a close call, and those of us on the supportive side of all that wrangling are well pleased.
The conference center in Vail, which we supported, held up as a victory for the town’s future. Done right, and that’s the challenge to the center’s promoters, this will be a cornerstone to squaring off the dips of shoulder seasons and a key to the success of a renovated Vail in a few short years.
But the property tax hike, a no-brainer we supported, failed. Voters in Vail will pay dearly for this mistake – what were you folks thinking?
You’d still have the lowest property tax of any town in the valley, and 70 percent of your property owners don’t even live in Vail. So the subsequent cuts in services will hurt the residents and will hardly be noticed by the folks who should be paying a fairer share of the cost of making Vail, well, Vail.
Here’s a prediction: Next time this comes up for a vote, it’ll pass. The need will be all-too apparent. Obviously telling wasn’t enough; people need to actually endure the budget ax, stunned when it actually falls and whining all the way to the prudent step of bringing the dirt-cheap property tax to the point it shoulders a more proper share of the costs of running the town.
Carl Miller held on to his narrow victory over Heather Lemon for the reconfigured 56th District state House seat. We hope Lemon stays involved and runs again in two years. There will be no question left that she’ll be ready then.
Avon, curiously, returned all three incumbents running for Town Council in the midst of a veritable herd of 12 people seeking office. Voters, crying “change!” nonetheless stayed with the tried and true, and they were good choices even if we don’t approve of a husband and wife serving on the same body at the same time. Clearly the constituents were OK with that, and their voices are the ones that truly matter.