Ferry: Vote no on Vail’s construction tax | VailDaily.com

Ferry: Vote no on Vail’s construction tax

Kaye Ferry
Vail CO, Colorado

They did it. The Vail Town Council gave themselves a raise. So that just makes the vote on construction “use tax” vote a no-brainer. No being the operative word. Talk about shooting themselves in the foot. No little handgun for these guys, they pulled out a 12-gauge and made the decision real easy.

But don’t forget. This tax won’t simply apply to builders and developers. It will apply to us all. If you decide next spring to add a deck to your house, you’ll get caught in this quagmire as well.

This is classic government at its best (or rather, worse). The arrogance of it all ” to vote themselves a raise while asking the public for a tax increase.

And why is a tax increase necessary? Let’s start with the folly of heated streets. Oh yeah, we love to proclaim that we’re “green.” That we’re environmentally sensitive. That we respect the world around us.

Are you finished laughing yet? Because clearly there must be a joke somewhere that I missed.

And of course, as a means of portraying to the world just how in tune with nature we are, we installed $94,000 worth of windmills. Something to do with wind power.

Another joke missed by almost everyone. I know we’ve been told it’s OK because some of the money was raised privately. Yet I keep going back to my father’s old philosophy. If it’s money ill spent, it doesn’t matter whose it was because it’s still a waste. Remember “Waste not, want not”? With them it’s the opposite. They wasted and now they want.

But also remember this. We don’t have a deficit. Not yet. Only if they continue to spend. They want a new tax to cover the deficit that they’re planning to create. And I for one will not help them fulfill their fantasies. So I say VOTE NO FOR THE CONSTRUCTION USE TAX. I just wish I still lived in Chicago so I could VOTE NO more than once!

And how about the Lionshead parking structure agreement? For a document that took more than four months to prepare, there were so many holes in it you could have driven a semi through. After countless meetings on what will trigger the start date, they still got it wrong. What part of the Ever Vail Parking Structure didn’t they understand? It was clearly stated, over and over, by both Vail Resorts and the business community. Because until you and I and all of our guests are parking in it, not one brick can be removed from the current structure. An oversight? I’ll let you decide, but it reeked of a hidden agenda from where I sat. Fortunately, it wasn’t hidden well enough because the wording was amended to reflect what at least the rest of us previously agreed to. Up goes the Ever Vail lot. Then and only then, down comes the Lionshead structure.

Now I admit, it’s hard to pin Jello to the wall. But that’s exactly what’s going on here. Any document is a waste of time until Vail Resorts comes to the table. And that just plain ain’t gonna happen until they (Vail Resorts) gets exactly what they want in Ever Vail.

So what’s the rush with signing this premature document? The election. Our elected officials and the town staff want some semblance of commitment before the shift changes. Training the new guys will be easier with a signed document, flimsy and irrelevant as it is. Relevant happens in the offices in Boulder.

Last but not least was last Tuesday night’s love fest. When it was announced that Mr. Katz was coming, interest piqued and consequently, the room filled. But it was all for naught. By 6 p.m., tempers had eased because the real fireworks happened during the 3 p.m. work session, which of course was closed to the public.

And that’s OK. It’s the nature of both battle and politics. Show a dispassionate face regardless of sentiment. So as much as many in attendance came for the fireworks,

there were none.

But I’ll tell you what there was. There was a sappy and pandering commentary from behind the council bench telling all who would listen what a touchy-feely relationship exists between the Town of Vail and Vail Resorts.

Not only is it not true, it supposes that all of us are idiots who would believe such drivel. It’s no mystery. The tension between the ski company and the town hasn’t been this strained in eons, unquestionably the worst since I’ve been following it. And for the Vail Daily, who I rarely defend, to be named as distorters of the truth on this subject, is in itself a distortion of the truth. It not only attempts to demean us by the supposition that we can be so easily duped, but it demeans those who attempt to perpetrate such obvious B.S.

Credibility is a very delicate concept. Once damaged, it’s difficult to repair. A lot of credibility was lost last Tuesday as eyes rolled to the back of most heads in the audience. If truth doesn’t work, isn’t silence better than misrepresenting reality?

Do your part: call them and write them. To contact the Town Council, call 479-1860, ext. 8, or e-mail towncouncil@vailgov.com. To contact Vail Resorts, call 476-5601 or e-mail vailinfo@vailresorts.com. For past columns, go to vaildaily.com and click on “Commentary” or search for keyword “ferry.”

Kaye Ferry is a longtime observer of Vail government. She writes a biweekly column for the Daily.

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