Letter: Arn Menconi shows political courage | VailDaily.com

Letter: Arn Menconi shows political courage

Terri Allender, M.A., L.P.C.
Vail, CO Colorado

With the mayoral election in Eagle fast approaching I would like to share some thoughts with the community about Arn Menconi. During his terms as county commissioner, Arn has certainly been the center of a great deal of controversy. He has been accused of “micro-managing” and many other things. I would like to present a different perspective of Arn to the community based on a recent dealing that I had with him about a very sensitive and important issue.

I have lived in the Vail Valley for the better part of 33 years and have watched the political arena here with a combination of amusement, and admitted indifference. As the valley has changed and grown explosively, as the cost of living in the community has escalated and the gap between the haves and have-nots has continually widened, I have seen the struggles that our local and county governments have encountered in efforts to meet the diverse needs of the community. As a therapist who works with children and families in the community, it has seemed too often that the needs of those who want the Vail Valley to be their playground have won out over the needs of those who make the Vail Valley their home and make it possible for this area to be the world-class playground that it is.

When a group of like-minded individuals including myself became concerned that the existing bureaucracy was not responding adequately to some specific needs of the children of our community, we decided to approach Arn, largely because of his espousal of values that all citizens of Eagle county (including children and families) are important.

During the process of expressing our concerns and the follow up that occurred, I found Arn to be someone who is very principled in a way that isn’t often found in politics. He was quite introspective about how much he was willing to risk by bring up the issue to the “powers that be,” and after weighing it carefully and diligently, he came to the conclusion that the issue was more important than the potential consequences to him. Many politicians are willing to give lip service to these values, but when they are tested, most seem to buckle under the specter of damaging their political careers. Arn demonstrated both courage and moral conviction by being willing to take this concern to the appropriate decision makers, and because of taking this willingness, I believe that some positive changes are now occurring in our county which will have long-term benefits for children and their families.

I am not a resident of Eagle, but if I were, I would certainly want to consider the character of the individuals running for public office. I would want to have a sense of their willingness to tackle difficult issues with the vision of the greater good of the community in mind, rather than how they can personally benefit or even how those who may have promoted and supported them can benefit. I would want to support a candidate who can be courageous in the face of some of the enormous pressures that continuing growth in our communities bring and the very hard and sometimes unpopular choices that have to be made to sustain not only a growing, but also a healthy community for all residents.

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