Incumbents keep Avon seats
AVON ” When the negative campaign ads hit airwaves and mailboxes, Mayor and Avon Town Council candidate Ron Wolfe was forced to shell out more time and money to secure the votes of his peers.
But his efforts paid off winning Wolfe 618 votes, the most of any of the seven town council candidates.
Wolfe’s and Sipes’ wins convinced current Councilman Sipes, who finished third with 559 votes, negative campaigning doesn’t work.
“The voters chose to, in my mind at least, continue the course of Avon, but rejected the notion that we needed a complete shake up,” Sipes said. “I feel vindicated. A lot of good issues were raised in the campaign. Now it’s time to sharpen our pencils and get to work.”
Wolfe, Sipes, candidate Green and their friends and family gathered at Pazzo’s pizzeria for pizza and beers when polls closed at 7 p.m. Sipes even whipped up some venison meatballs for the festivities. But after a hard day of campaigning, the food just made the group all the more tired.
By 11 p.m., Wolfe was in his bathrobe checking some e-mail, Sipes was heading to bed and Green was already there. None were interested in talking to the Vail Daily when the results came in.
“I just can’t,” Sipes said. “I have no more energy left.”
While preliminary numbers put Wolfe in first place, he wouldn’t acknowledge victory before all the votes were tallied.
“I think the results are good, but I’m not going to the bank with them yet,” Wolfe said. “It’s too risky to draw any conclusions.”
Green accepted his defeat saying the voters made their choice.
“It’s been an election about ideas and the voters have had clear opinions and choices,” said Green, who advocated staying Avon’s current political course and garnered 454 votes. “There’s been good dialogue and discourse. That’s what an election is about.”
Green will maintain his position on Avon’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
With his place on the town council secure, Dave Dantas, who finished second with 577 votes, said his first order of business will be to work on reducing or eliminating a property transfer tax for first-time home buyers in Avon or those who move within the town.
“I just want to thank everybody who got out and voted,” he said.
Karri Willemssen, who had hoped to better market the town of Avon and repair the currently shaky relationship between the town and Wal-Mart and Home Depot, said she had a blast campaigning.
“I’m going to try it again,” said Willemssen, who won 462 votes. “You’ll see me back in two years.”
In the meantime, Willemssen said she’ll try to find other ways of getting involved in Avon.
“My mom said to me, ‘Whether you win or lose, we are so proud of you,'” Willemssen said. “It’s been such a positive experience for me.”
Pete Buckley, who placed last with 427 votes and did not return the Vail Daily’s calls, had run on a platform of family values. Buckley wanted to make the town more accessible to families by encouraging development at the Village at Avon and building more bike trails.
Staff Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 748-2927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.