Letters: Readers endorse candidates
Vail CO, Colorado
McQueeney’s the best choice
Don Roger’s editorial “Best fit for school board” misses the mark. Jeanne McQueeney is a far better candidate for the Eagle County School Board over Margaret Olle. First we need a “downvalley” representative who understands the complex issues facing our district. Margaret Olle may be enthusiastic, but is not representative of the Eagle/Gypsum parent. Margaret Olle resides in Cordillera and her children attend “up-valley” schools.
Margaret Olle has only resided in Eagle County for two years. Jeanne McQueeney has lived in Eagle for the past nine years (with 16 years in Eagle County) and her children have attended Eagle Valley Elementary, Eagle Valley Middle School and Eagle Valley High School. Jeanne McQueeney is committed to education as a strong supporter of early childhood education, she has sat on a variety of child- and youth-focused boards, she has 12 years of teaching experience and has taught for nine years at Colorado Mountain College helping teachers to further their education.
Jeanne McQueeney is the best choice as representative of the Eagle district.
Rogers will fill the gap
A good councilperson should have the following anatomical features: Prominent ears ” the better to listen; a well developed brain ” the better to think; a big heart ” the better to care for all of the citizens in town; wide eyes ” the better to see what is really going on; and, a sensitive nose ” the better to smell when something is rotten.
We support Margaret Rogers because she has all the requisite anatomical features ” plus maturity and experience that will allow her to fill the experience gap being left by our excellent retiring councilpersons. Please join us in voting for Margaret.
Silvia and Alan Danson
Council needs Proper
I’m writing in support of Scott Proper for Vail Town Council.
We have a good lineup of candidates including lots of old-timers who have the experience, contacts, and wherewithal to make things happen. We’re going to end up with a good set of council members.
However, every institution needs to stay with the times, bring in young ideas, and eventually pass the baton to the next generation.
Scott Proper is a perfect candidate for this role. He’s 11 years younger than any other candidate and he has already demonstrated his penchant for public service. He was on the Conference Center Task Force in 2003, he has served on the Design Review Board, and he is now chairman of the board of the Vail Recreation District where he has helped improve its financial status, its relations with other valley organizations, and its customer satisfaction. He is also president-elect of the Vail Rotary club.
So check him out. Our future requires some new-generation councilors. His Web site is ScottProperForVail.com.
Tax them, not us
Everyone who took Econ. 101 raise your hand. OK, that’s everyone. Remember the part early in the first chapter about “opportunity cost?” Well rather than an abstract example like your econ textbook used, the use tax on developers gives us great, real world, HIGHLY QUANTIFIABLE examples of opportunity cost.
First let’s imagine that the Vail Town Council back in 2002 had put the construction use tax rather than the proposed mill levy increase on the ballot, and that it passed. It doesn’t take too much imagination given how close the vote was (in the interest of full disclosure, I was the only 2002 council member who did not support that mil levy increase).
The tax would have captured 2 percent of the roughly $1.5 billion in construction since then, including Arrabelle, The Front Door, the Gore Creek Town homes, the Four Seasons, Solaris, the Sonnenalp expansion and One Willow Bridge Road. Because the tax is on materials, and they make up about half of the cost of the job, it amounts to a tax-deductible 2 percent on the total construction cost. That’s $30 million in lost revenue for the town to pay for fire stations (and firemen salaries), road repairs, new buses, a new transit center, etc.
In Econ 101 terms, the opportunity cost of choosing not to vote for and pass the use tax in 2002 is $30 million of civic benefit. Where did the money go? To the developers, of course.
Now let’s project forward. Currently between the Lionshead parking structure and Ever Vail, as well as a couple other projects in the works, it’s pretty easy to project another $1 billion in construction spending over the next couple years. What’s the opportunity cost of not capturing 2 percent? It’s $20 million. By the way, that’s also the opportunity cost of waiting and studying the use tax as several council candidates have suggested. With the town’s projected capital needs at somewhere north of $20 million, that would make a big dent in solving the long-term financial challenge facing the town.
If it doesn’t come from the use tax it’s got to come from somewhere. I suppose we can chose not to incur the capital costs and the associated operating costs that accompany new capital projects. That’s a greater opportunity cost than our community has shown any willingness to bear in the past.
So another “cost” of voting no on the use tax is that we all will have to figure out what kind of tax we’d rather impose upon ourselves. Why I favor the use tax, and opposed the mill levy increase (for that matter, every property tax increase we’ve been faced with the last few years from the town to the county to the school district), is pretty simple. For most of us, the use tax is invisible because it will fall on developers that will pass it along to their price-insensitive second-home buyers. The best kind of tax is the one that you benefit from and that someone else pays. This fits the bill nicely.
Please vote yes on Vail’s construction use tax.
Save the pool, tennis courts
If 5A doesn’t pass, as even the critics from Eagle Bend acknowledge, there will be no pool in 2008, the tennis courts will deteriorate further, the golf course will get even more rundown and generate less revenue from play, and Eagle-Vail will no longer be the community that attracted my family here 20 years ago.
With a low annual property owner association fee of $100 and a very low mill levy that will be capped by 5A at no more than 14.835 mills, without another vote of the local taxpayers, I do not think that we will generate any more interested homebuyers if we allow our facilities to look like a third-world country.
As the increase in my duplex’s value demonstrated, real estate has been the best performing component of all my investments and I will gladly VOTE YES ON 5A to maintain both the value of my residence and the appeal of Eagle-Vail.
A meeting worth attending
Last week I hosted one of the “neighborhood meetings” that the district has created to allow for open discussions with members of the community, parents, teachers, etc. I must say that I was pleased with the results.
I applaud the administration for their candid and open responses. They offered answers to all questions, whether it was something that they were proud of or not. I believe that many people learned a lot about how things are handled within the school district as well as realizing that some things were up to the state and there was nothing that the local district could do to change.
I believe that this is a great step on behalf of the district to move forward into a more positive direction and that the winners here will be our children. I encourage others to call the district and schedule their own “neighborhood meeting.” It was a great experience.
Brush Creek Elementary
Team turned heads
As another season of mountain biking comes to a close, it’s time to properly thank the sponsors of Team High Maintenance. The all-women mountain biking team was not only turning heads this year, but yet again was a force to be reckoned with. As a whole, the team did very well in the Vail Recreation District’s town series, but more notably, each competitor produced some impressive individual results. So, for five years in a row, our mission has been accomplished: First to introduce new women to the sport of mountain bike racing, then to encourage each member to push through their own perceived limits and surpass their goals, and most importantly, to have fun through team camaraderie, all the while looking good (battle wounds and all).
So thank you to our generous sponsors: Darby Architects, Silverthorne Automotive Group, 1stBank, Kirby Cosmo’s, Well Heeled, Steve Hill Home, Vail Ski and Snowboard School, Vail Valley OB/GYN, Gallegos Corporation, Howard Head Sports Medicine Centers, Charlie’s T-Shirts, Mark Ridenour and Alan Crouch. Without you, this fantastic group of woman would not be able to come together each season. You’re all appreciated and we look forward to your continued support.
Sincerely, the poster child for Team High Maintenance,
A bad combination
(Refer to the letter to the editor titled “Traffic jam in Eagle”)
Laurie Bowman, I can certainly sympathize with your wait trying to get out of Eagle any time near 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. (not that it’s any better coming home off I-70 in the evening.) I generally take Highway 6 when I drive and it’s hard to get through the roundabout because it’s one lane.
The issue, as I see it, has to do with a poor combination of a roundabout and a stoplight. If both were either a roundabout or stoplight the traffic could more easily flow through them. As it is now, the light backs traffic up through the roundabout rendering it useless. I don’t see the development to the east doing much of anything for or against this situation, especially in the near future.