Incumbent, two challengers elected in Eagle-Vail
What appeared to be a record number of voters – 287 – elected incumbent Walter Allen and newcomers Cindy Gilbert and J. Halburnt to the five-member board of directors of the Eagle-Vail Metropolitan District.
“I’m very excited and thankful for all the support from the community,” Halburnt,perhaps the most visible candidate during the campaign, said Tuesday night. “I’m going do the best job I can do for the community for the next four years.”
For most of Tuesday, Halburnt stood in front of the Eagle-Vail Pavilion as voters went in to cast their ballots. Following the law, of course, he campaigned for himself waving a bright yellow sign 100 feet away from the polls.
Halburnt runs Studio J productions and does voice-over work. He has a Web site, too: http://www.vote4j.com.
Allen has served one four-year-term on the board, during which he represented Eagle-Vail on the Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority board of directors. He has also been a board member of the Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association.
“I’m real excited about the opportunity to work closer with Vail Rec District and start sharing our facilities,” Allen said Tuesday night. “We really must move toward a more unified youth program throughout the entire valley.”
Residents during the campaign were concerned about a financial loss at the Eagle-Vail golf course last season. Residents also urged candidates to get a bike path or sidewalks built through Eagle-Vail so it’s safer for people to travel through the neighborhoods.
“This problem of the bike path is something we definitely need to deal with,” Allen said. “The bike path is proposed to go on the north side of HIghway 6 and we’ve got to get a safe crossing. That’s just imperative.”
Gilbert is the general manager for a property management company. He was a leading member of the committee formed by the metro board last fall to successfully work on keeping Mulligan’s restaurant open in the golf course’s clubhouse.
Voters Tuesday said they cast their votes to make sure Eagle-Vail’s golf course, swimming pool and other recreational facilities are kept in tip top shape.
“I’m concerned about amenities and a viable community,” said Doris Bailey. “I think Eagle-Vail has done one of the best jobs in the county. Of course, there’s always room for improvement.”
But what’s causing the most controversy in Eagle-Vail is the “half-diamond interchange” the Colorado Department of Transportation plans to build where Interstate 70 passes over U.S. Highway 6. The Metro District has no authority over roads, but residents want the board’s help in preventing the half-diamond from being built and keeping traffic from surging on Highway 6.
“If it’s something the residents of Eagle-Vail want us to pursue we shouldn’t throw our arms up until it’s built,” Halburnt said. “It appears to me that almost everyone doesn’t want the half-diamond and we should give it our best shot to stop construction.”
Resident Steve Thissen said he cast his vote to make sure the neighborhood’s kids have well-maintained recreational facilities.
“See those kids over there,” Thissen said, pointing toward the roller-hockey rink outside the Eagle-Vail pavilion. “It’s keeping those kids out of trouble and keeping them involved in sports – baseball, hockey, soccer.”
Thissen, however, said the neighborhood could use a little brightening up.
“We need some street lights,” he said. “I don’t want to light up the whole place, but at least on the corners.”
Matt Zalaznick covers public safety, Eagle County Courts and Avon/ Beaver Creek. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555 ext. 606 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.