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Letter: Listen to Avon citizens

Buz Reynolds, former mayor of Avon

In the last week I wrote a letter to the editor expressing my concern as a citizen of the town of Avon about an ordinance proposed by the Avon Town Council in the May 6 election. I was very surprised to see a letter in the paper a few days later by the current mayor of the Town of Avon belittling citizen views on this ordinance. After all, isn’t this part of our democratic process? I find it very strange that the mayor has a problem with one of his citizens expressing an opinion about a ballot issue. I have always thought that as an elected official of any office one of the best things to do is to listen to the people of your community when they have a problem with what you are doing. But just to keep the records straight, here are the facts as I see them:

First, the ordinance as written, I have a problem with, so I voiced my opinion. I think it has many loopholes which may affect the town’s residents and possibly could be used incorrectly by future councils.

Second, I personally have a problem with the development of the Westin on the Confluence property next to the Eagle River. The original plan for that property was to have a second entrance to the property via a bridge over the Eagle River to relieve traffic on Avon Road. Common sense tells you that with more than 400 rooms and probably 100 employees on the site all using Avon Road as the main entrance every day during the ski season might put a stress on the road systems. Also, the mass of the project just does not seem in character with the rest of the building in town. The project seems to be developed very well but it remains to be seen if it works well with the rest of the community as it continues to be developed.

Third, I don’t think this council is any different than past council in setting new policy and/or codes. It is done routinely every three to six years. Some of the previous councils in the town of Avon set pretty high standards for our community with some long-range planning. These plans were done with the needs of the community, potential growth issues and ability for the community to pay for these new improvements. The current urbanization of the Avon town core also concerns me. I think the master plans for all townships and Eagle County as a whole might be missing the big picture. I don’t see the need to develop everything possible and max out our community density. I believe that most of us came here to escape the overcrowded areas in other parts of the country and therefore we should be careful not to create the same type of overdevelopment.

Finally, I represented the Town of Avon for 21 years in different capacities. I found it very enlightening when I asked the people of the town what they thought of the policies we were trying to make. I had to make my decision based on the consensus of the people whom I represented, the wisdom of our town staff and my own common sense.

I disagree with the way the ordinance is written. That is my opinion. One thing is for sure, I don’t think it’s a good idea for any public official to call anyone whom they may represent a liar.


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