Interest in running for council takes off
Interest in running for the Vail Town Council has more than tripled.Two more potential candidates for office picked up nominating petitions Tuesday, said Town Clerk Lorelei Donaldson, making seven the total number of petitions in circulation. They include:- Peter Cook, an East Vail resident and a member of the board of directors for the Vail Recreation District.- Mark Gordon, 40, a lead foreman with Vail Mountain’s communications center in Lionshead.- Kent Logan, 59, a retired businessman.- Greg Moffet, incumbent town councilman- Bill Jewitt, incumbent town councilman and owner of Bart & Yeti’s bar and restaurant in Lionshead.- Rod Slifer, incumbent town councilman and a former Vail mayor.- A man who apparently prefers to remain unidentified.First out of the gate”I picked up my packet and I’m already halfway through the signature-gathering process,” Gordon said Monday, the first day petitions became available. “I look forward to serving on the Vail Town Council.”Gordon has said his goal is to promote “the long-term health of the entire community” with specific proposals to help increase sales taxes, the town’s primary source of income.Originally from Louisville, Ky., the three-year Vail resident is an employee of Vail Resorts, a fact he said will not be a factor in his decision-making process should he be elected. He has been actively campaigning for weeks, even writing letters to the editor of the Vail Daily.”I’m in this for the long haul and have already shown what my vision for Vail’s future looks like,” Gordon has said. “We need to keep this vision in mind and should always be moving toward it.””State your vision’Logan, 59, who let his intentions of running be known last month, joined Gordon on Monday in taking out a petition. The former investment banker already had issued what he calls a “vision statement” in which he says he’d like to “make a difference at what I believe is a critical time in the evolution of our community.”Owner of a private art museum at his home in Vail’s Potato Patch neighborhood, Logan first expressed his intentions last month as part of a pro-business coalition with Jewitt. When nobody joined the pair, Logan and Jewitt decided to disband their coalition and go it alone.”I’m out meeting people. The response to my vision statement has been very gratifying,” Logan said Tuesday. “It’s difficult to embrace change, and I think it’s important to state your vision.”Logan said “it would be nice” if all candidates – even incumbents -issued their own vision statements early on in the election process.”If somebody says the council has no vision, they should furnish a vision themselves,” Logan said. “If we can get a debate going on the issues, instead of just personalities, I think everybody wins.”Incumbents in, tooIncumbents Jewitt, Moffet and Slifer picked up their petitions Tuesday after the council’s bi-weekly work session.Slifer, mayor of Vail from 1977 to 1984 and co-partner in Slifer, Smith and Frampton Real Estate, had remained on the sidelines until Tuesday, saying he hadn’t made up his mind.Now, the soft-spoken, long-time councilman appears to have decided, although a vision statement so far has not been forthcoming.”Yes, I’m going to run,” Slifer said Tuesday.And Moffet said he’s “absolutely looking forward” to running for a second term in office, although he hasn’t written a “manifesto” outlining his vision.”It’s good work and I’m glad there’s a lot of people interest in doing it,” Moffet said. “From the basis of experience and a lot of good fights over the past four years, I’d say the town is a better place, or at least I hope it is.”Vail again has been named the No. 1 ski resort, and it’s a great place for a family to live,” Moffet added. “We just have to keep our eyes on both of those balls.”VRD to council?Then there’s Cook, whose political experience comes with having successfully run for a seat on the Vail Recreation’s board of directors as part of a coalition with Nino Licciardi and Julie Hansen. That five-member board oversees an annual budget of $1.6 million and runs recreational programs and facilities within the town of Vail.”I’m going to keep my options open,” Cook said.Mystery petitionerLast but not least, the seventh petition-taker remains unknown, as he has not expressed his wishes to this newspaper. Perhaps a vision statement is forthcoming, however.Gordon, meanwhile, said he can’t understand why anybody would hesitate to alert the media about their intentions as soon as possible.”Everytime your name is out there, the better,” Gordon said.Despite the sudden rush Tuesday, Donaldson said the way things are proceeding is relatively normal.”People like to think about it,” she said. “Some come in right away and pick up a packet, then I never see them again. Sometimes they come in the last day, run out to get signatures and come back just before deadline.”They really just want to get their names on the ballot,” she added.Vail residents have until Oct. 3 to file their petitions, signed by a minimum of 10 registered Vail voters.