Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor


I have been a Vail citizen, resident and taxpayer since 1972. About 1973 The Vail Town Council took the then very controversial step of buying the 40-acre Anholtz property, which is now Ford Park.

About 1980 the Vail Town Council took the equally controversial step of enacting a town of Vail real estate transfer tax. Today, about a third of the land in the town of Vail is open space. I am told that this is the highest percentage of any municipality in Colorado.

Many think that the town of Vail today is considerably and obnoxiously overbuilt for what is meant to be a pristine mountain village experience. Can you imagine how awful Vail would be today without the approximate 33 percent open space and with 600 condominiums jammed in Ford Park instead of the Ford Amphitheater, the softball fields, the tennis courts and the Betty Ford Alpine Garden?

In a few more days the voters of Vail and all of Eagle County will be asked to vote on a countywide open space referendum that would increase property taxes just a little to provide a dependable funding source to acquire and preserve some of the little remaining open space in Eagle County west of the town of Vail.

A similar measure was defeated 56 percent to 44 percent about eight years ago. This was a pretty reasonable showing of support for an “invisible” five-week political campaign. In retrospect, seeing the massive spread of development in the county in the past five years, I think that we can see that we all would have benefited by passing this measure at that time.

It should be noted that our major resort competitors, Summit County, Pitkin County and Routt County already have open space funding similar to this open space initiative.

In the highly competitive world of Colorado mountain resorts, Eagle County needs to catch up in the acquisition of open space so that we can remain at least as attractive as our resort competitors to our resort clientele.

If we wait another three to five years to consider this issue again, any desirable undeveloped open space land will be too expensive to buy and may already be a sea of development of condominiums and “big boxes.”

The truth is that the second-home owners will pay more than 70 percent of this tax increase. Most of them support this measure even more strongly than those of us that live here because they don’t want to be here anymore if we nearly duplicate the metropolitan environment that they flee when they come to relax and recreate in Eagle County.

As it is now more than 50 percent of our winter airline guests come through Eagle County airport. To be sure that they won’t return, let’s build both sides of I-70 with wall-to-wall condominiums for them to look at from the Gypsum interchange to the Avon interchange.

Some say those in the town of Vail should not support this measure because they have done their part. I disagree.

I believe that what is good for land preservation in the county is good for the town of Vail, its citizens and its taxpayers. The cost is only projected to be a maximum of $11.66 per month on a property assessed at $1,000,000 – peanuts in the overall scheme of your life.

Some will say that the Eagle Valley Land Trust will do this job for us. Not so.

I am a director of the Eagle Valley Land Trust. It has no permanent funding mechanism and has to obtain voluntary contributions to fund its open space projects. This is very difficult and time consuming. It makes the acquisition of the more expensive, more desirable properties nearly impossible. Therefore, its land acquisition capability is very limited.

Please remember the courage and foresight of the Vail town fathers and vote YES on the Open Space Referendum 1H on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Your children will thank you for your foresight in this matter.

David L. Cole


Democratic act

Here’s why I supported the recent ad placed by Rick Cuny about Avon Town Council members Peter and Debbie Buckley.

Earlier this year, I wrote to the Avon Town Council regarding an issue that was very important to me, but where the Buckleys were in agreement on the opposite side of the issue.

I received communication back from several members of the Town Council, including Mayor Yoder, but not the Buckleys. The issue was ultimately resolved by Mayor Yoder voting to break the tie.

The issue was important to me, and the next time it may be important to you. There are those who are quick to criticize Mr. Cuny’s tactics. I, for one, applaud him in that – in a very creative way and for a few hundred dollars – he was able to alert the citizens of Avon to something that is considered by some to be wrong. He stood up for what he believed.

As a result of his actions, there are far more people informed than if he would have done nothing.

Now that they are informed, if those same citizens see nothing wrong with a husband-and-

wife team on the board, they can ultimately cast their votes accordingly and accept the consequences of their decision. Is that not, in part, the purpose of freedom of speech?

And for those who that think the ad was sexist, nice try in your attempt the change the issue.

Tom Koehler

Contributor to the Citizens For Fair Representation.


Experience matters

I’m writing in support of Earlene Roach’s candidacy for the job of Eagle County clerk and recorder.

The clerk’s position is a technical job that requires some very specific knowledge. For over 20 years, Earlene has worked in the Clerk’s Office.

She understands how to supervise an election, and has full knowledge of the processes involved in issuing motor vehicle licenses and recording property transfers.

In recent years, she’s demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the state’s liquor licensing procedures and has taken a fair but no-nonsense approach to overseeing that aspect of the county’s business.

She’s also known for her good sense of humor, friendly demeanor, strong work ethic and ready laugh.

Earlene is the candidate with experience. She’s been in the trenches for the past 21 years. She will serve the county well as clerk and recorder.

Besides, anybody who after all these years remains such a big fan of Elvis demonstrates not only loyalty and tenaciousness, but also good taste.

Bill Heicher


Location, location

Here are five reasons I think Gay Steadman does not want affordable housing near Spraddle Creek:

1. She will have to look at it.

2. She will have to look at it.

3. She will have to look at it.

4. She will have to look at it.

5. She will have to look at it.

Jeff Hutchinson


Support Local Journalism