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Here we go again

Kaye Ferry

There’s a definition of insanity that I’m sure you’ve all heard, but it’s one that I’ve always loved: doing the same thing and expecting a different result. I’m afraid that’s where we might be with the upcoming election.

There were several attempts to pull qualified citizens out of the woodwork and move them in to the role of candidate for the Vail Town Council. Unfortunat-ely, as Bill O’Reilly of “The O’Reilly Factor” likes to say, the “apathy party” has once again ruled the political process.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I give all the candidates credit for raising their hands. But, alas, we have the inevitable spread – incumbents and everyone else. And with the “everyone else” group, we really don’t have much in the way of track records to assess.



And this is usually the reason incumbents have the advantage. At least there’s name recognition and rather than doing the work necessary to ferret out new information, citizens across the globe tend to vote for the familiar.

But if you don’t want to do the work of researching the candidates’ positions on issues, maybe just answering a few questions will suffice. And if the community survey can serve as a reference, the answers are already there.

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The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



The survey clearly stated that the community is not satisfied with the way the town is being managed. The decisions being made have not been viewed as economically responsible.

The direction we’ve been led in is not acceptable to the 400 that participated. There is no vision, they said. There is no leadership. There are no priorities. Electeds don’t listen to those that elected them. And when too much money was spent on projects, an increase in taxes was (and will be again) proposed as a solution.

So, if you don’t have the time, energy or inclination to embark on a research project, just ask yourself some basic questions. Are you happy with the way the future is shaping up for Vail? Is anyone listening to you? Do you think your tax dollars have been wisely spent? Are you willing to raise your taxes to make up for the unwise spending of the past? Do you think it was smart to spend $200,000 to erect the bubble and then nix the parking solution for almost the same amount of money?



And how do you feel about the conference center? Shouldn’t we have done the studies BEFORE we took the vote? Or at least before we started collecting the money? Do you really think the incumbents have their priorities straight? Do you think they even have priorities?

I’ll say it again, don’t we keep getting the cart before the horse? And the final question must be, Is the current council making decisions that are acceptable to you?

Just remember, you’ve got a choice. If you like the way things are going, just push the incumbents’ buttons. If you want more of the same, you can get it. But if you don’t, there are alternatives.

And in many respects, maybe the unknown gives at least a chance of something new happening. Maybe not knowing how a candidate might perform is preferable to knowing exactly what to expect. The incumbents’ records speak for themselves. Go back to the definition. Are we really insane?

BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: The price for the seven days per week merchant ski pass for Vail and Beaver Creek went up $50 to $699. And the Colorado Pass went up $10 to $329. No comment. But did you know that there is no Merchant Pass Program at the VRI resorts in Summit County? Seems they just use the Buddy Pass as a merchants’ pass – for $299. Even stranger, if locals on the east side of the pass want to ski Vail, they get 10 days for $20. Locals on the west side of the pass can upgrade to ski the Summit for $50. Granted, it’s unlimited days, but how many times do you really want to go over there?

REMEMBER RAZZLE DAZZLE? Are we all so naive as to believe that with one VRI employee and another in partnership with VRI both on the Town Council, it makes no difference when decisions are made? And now one more VRI employee is running. I remember standing in the back of the TC chambers one Tuesday night when a senior VRI exec walked in. It was asked what brought him out on such a snowy night. The answer was “Just want to keep pressure the boys.” True story. There was an agenda item that night that involved the resort company and it needed Town Council approval.

HOW ABOUT THIS: At the last TC meeting the discussion arose as to who would pay for the infrastructure costs required to use Ford Park for parking this winter. The TOV through the Vail Recreation District is providing the land free of cost for VRI to solve its problem. Chuck Ogilby moved to remove the TOV from any other funding responsibility (estimated at $300,000-500,000). It passed 6-1. They left it up to VRI and the VRD to work it out. But back to the point. Guess who was the one vote that wanted the TOV to foot the bill. You’re so smart. The mayor. Who said there’s no VRI connection there? Did anyone notice if that guy was still in the back of the room, “keeping the pressure on”?

FORUMS: Maybe you’re wondering why the candidates’ forum was held at Town Hall, especially since the room is too small. People were sitting on the tables, window ledges and floor. Well, here’s the answer. Requests were made to use Donovan Park Pavilion, but the answer came back: It was not an appropriate use of the facility. Many are trying to determine just what the appropriate use is. It obviously starts with getting your checkbook out. What happened to the words “community center” when we originally talked about building it?

Do your part: call them and write them. To contact the TC call 479-1860 X 8 or email towncouncil@ci.vail.co.us. To contact Vail Resorts, call 476-5601 or email vailinfo@vailresorts.com. For past columns, vaildaily.com-search:ferry.

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


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