Four Vail Town Council seats to be decided Tuesday
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – Voting in Vail’s election ends Tuesday. There are seven candidates running for four open seats on the Vail Town Council. Here’s a review of each candidate vying for office:
Stephen Connolly has some ideas for transparency and better marketing that he’d like to bring to the table if elected to the Vail Town Council.
Connolly, 53, works in sports marketing and feels he would bring a critical mind and common sense to the council. He ran for council in 2007 and lost.
He was motivated to run this year because he didn’t like the process the current council followed with relation to the conference center funds projects and subsequent drafting of a ballot question, he said. Connolly has lived in Vail full time since 2000, but has been in Vail off and on since 1987. Civic service is a part of Connolly’s family background, he said. It’s also his time to contribute more, he said.
He thinks the town needs to eliminate its Commission on Special Events and Vail Local Marketing District boards and create a chief marketing officer position. He thinks one person focused on the task of marketing could do more than what the boards have done.
Daly has been on the council for four years. He has been an important part of the Colorado ski industry for the last 30 or so years.
That background is important, Daly said, because the town of Vail is also in the resort business and he has worked in that business from both the for-profit and not-for-profit sides.
“There are very few people with the experience I’ve had, being involved with the community, ski companies and the town,” Daly said.
Daly wants to continue to protect the town’s economy – something he said the town has been successful in doing in recent years.
Daly also wants to help the town staff rebuild the budget process “so that it more clearly reflects what we’re spending on operating costs versus capital costs, and allows us to control those costs more effectively.”
“I’m adamant about trying to continue to preserve a sense of community in Vail and sustainable environment that will keep families living here and attract more families to live in Vail,” he said.
Farrow Hitt enjoyed being a Vail Town Council member for six years – it’s one of the major motivations for his current candidacy to do it all over again.
Hitt left the council in 2009. He had recently lost both of his parents and had to devote more time to family business, which is why he didn’t run for re-election at that time.
Hitt felt he was beneficial to the council. He showed up to meetings prepared, he said, having read every word on every page of the council packets, which can sometimes equal hundreds of pages.
Hitt, the general manager at the Simba Run condominiums, said he understands the beat of the community because he is a worker.
Hitt is also proud of some of the financial decisions he was a part of in 2008, as the recession was making its way to Vail. He feels that council had a lot to do with the strong financial state the town is in today.
With time spent on Vail’s Commission on Special Events and Vail Economic Advisory Council, Rayla Kundolf feels she’s ready for the next step.
Kundolf is running for the Vail Town Council because she thinks she can bring a fresh perspective to the town government. She feels there are a lot of voices on the council now with not much happening.
Kundolf see four components to the town of Vail’s success: Guests, the community, second-home owners and seasonal workers.
She’s also focused on events that bring people to town. She said the town’s events “layer Vail.”
Kurz came to Vail in 1966. The town looked nothing like it does today, and Kurz has enjoyed watching it evolve over the years.
Kurz, who has served on the Vail Town Council for eight years previously, with four years as mayor, said Vail has given him so much. He’s running for council again because he wants to pay Vail back.
Kurz said it’s important to pay attention and to always remain ready to grow and change.
“The marketplace is constantly changing, not only because of the economy, but because of consumer wants and needs,” Kurz said.
With Vail’s upcoming 50th anniversary, Kurz said it will be important to not just focus on the past 50 years.
“I’m proud of the last 50 years, but let’s not forget about the future,” he said.
Moffet has a long list of local government experience, but it’s his business experience in the private sector that he really thinks sets him apart. He owns an advertising company that he said is perfect experience for the job as a council member.
Moffet’s campaign platform has been straightforward – he wants Vail to flourish economically.
He also wants to grow Vail’s middle class, something that has to be figured out in order to keep the community of Vail intact.
Moffet said anyone who’s interested in where he stands on an issue should just ask. Moffet is the kind of guy that will talk – and he’ll admit he’ll sometimes talk and talk – openly.
“I’ve got a very public record,” he said. “You don’t have to guess where I stand on stuff.”
He said it’s important to continue to focus on the quality of the Vail product. One way to do that is to ensure marketing remains a focus.
Rogers is running for re-election because she thinks there’s more to accomplish as a Town Council member.
Rogers is proud of the town’s conservative fiscal management throughout the last several years. She said the town is in a great position financially, but that you “always have to keep on your toes.”
She supports new ideas to create that year-round vitality, one of which is the development of health and wellness-related economic engines in Vail. She said the potential public-private partnership between the Vail Valley Medical Center, the Steadman Clinic, Steadman Philippon Research Institute and the town of Vail is an opportunity that could make a big difference.
She thinks the work that needs to be done in relation to the economy – and specifically the ongoing development of a strong year-round economy in Vail – needs to be backed by experience.