Letters to the editor
In early October, the citizens of Eagle County will receive mail-in ballots with a couple of interesting questions to answer. Although this election day is not expected to have a big turnout, the voters of Eagle County could start the ball rolling toward improving the structure and operation of our county government. Question 1A will ask Eagle County citizens to allow an elected citizen commission to draft a county charter that could make government more responsive and more representative. We will also be asked to choose the people who should do that work. Our existing county government is constrained by state statutes that were written as if one size fits all. Eagle County is a sprawling and geographically divided county that does not fit under the old order of things. If 1A is passed, citizens could draft a charter that would change the number of county commissioners from three to five and make geographic representation part of the deal. This alone would be worth the effort. Especially on the Roaring Fork side of Eagle County, where we have little or no opportunity to attend county meetings that require a 120-mile round trip. If we had our own commissioner, we might actually run into them at the grocery store, sporting events or on the street. As it stands, most of us don’t even know who “our” commissioner is. We would have someone at the table that knows the issues in our community and could go to bat for us on budgetary, land use, trails and transportation issues. You will be asked to vote for three people from each of the existing three precincts and for two at-large candidates. On the Roaring Fork side, I would ask that you vote for Bob Schultz and me. In District 1, Colleen McCarthy; in District 2, Don Cohen, Ron Wolfe and Charlie Wick; and at-large, Dave Mott and Rohn Robbins. Our challenge is to get the vote out on both sides of the county, select local citizens from both sides of the county who will work hard to draft a simple charter that most everyone can live with and then adopt a charter that will breathe new life into our county government. Bob Schultz and I are in the book. Call us if you have questions or suggestions. AND PLEASE, when you receive your mail-in ballot, vote yes on question 1A. Jacque Whitsitt Basalt Running for council Over the past few months several people have urged me to run for public office. After a lot of thought and due diligence, I have decided to run for a seat on Vail’s town council. I am the owner of Verbatim Booksellers. Being a small business in Vail has brought its challenges, but all those challenges have become opportunities. Every day I walk into my store and work hard to create value for my customers, my staff and the town I call home. Author Jeffrey J. Fox reminded me that a small-business owner does more different things in a day than a CEO of a Fortune 500 company does in a month. Unlike top executives in big companies, the small-business owner sells, buys, borrows, bills, collects, guesses, decides, risks and does so every single day. Most small-business owners go to bed every night worrying about meeting payroll, paying suppliers, paying back the bank, solving problems, bringing in more revenues, doing the right thing and doing the right things right. Every morning I get up and do what I have to do to make my business succeed. I will work hard on the Town Council to make Vail succeed. There is a reason we all moved to this quaint mountain village. And now we are at a crossroads. That crossroads has divided this community for the time being. I expect this, too, shall pass and we will all look at this as another opportunity. You know, “Even a blind man knows when the sun is shining,” so it’s best to sometimes remind ourselves that Vail is the best resort in North America and can be the best in the world. Just look around you. I feel we can respect the past, but look to the future. I ask for the support of Vail’s residents come election day. Remember, there is a difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in something, you do it only when it is convenient. When you are committed to something, you accept no excuses and produce only results. I will be committed, not just interested in making Vail a better place. Robert Harrison Aikens Vail Thanks for opportunityAs of Friday, Sept. 30, the Vail Valley Chamber & Tourism Bureau will no longer operate the Vail Village and Lionshead visitor centers. As we hand over the keys to the new operators, I’d like to thank the town of Vail for allowing us to play such an important role in the visitor experience. I would also like to thank the Vail business and lodging community for their years of partnership and support in the visitor centers.The Vail Valley Chamber & Tourism Bureau has proudly managed and operated the visitor centers for over 30 years. In that time, we have warmly welcomed millions of Vail’s guests to the community. The visitor centers have not only been a resource for Vail visitors, they have also been a place of fun and laughter, a center for learning, a springboard for successful careers and a place where the spirit of goodwill and service has flourished. Although the VVCTB will no longer be in the visitor venters, we will continue to serve Vail’s guests through our Central Reservations department, our Lodging Quality Assurance department, the Platinum Service Program and our many other customer service initiatives. We will continue to develop innovative programs that serve the local business community and will work tirelessly to improve the conditions for business success. It has been our pleasure to serve in the Vail visitor centers.Katie BarnesDirector of Visitor ServicesVail Valley Chamber & Tourism BureauLet’s go backJust finished reading my Sept. 30 issue of Mountain Weekly, and was shocked to see a color picture of myself, middle age, salt and pepper (Don Rogers). Could we take a vote by e-mail, phone and mail on whether or not we like his old B&W pic better? Give poor Don and I a break. I vote for B&W. How about you? Please publish the results in the Mountain Weekly, so I can see how we do. A 29-year Oklahoma lover and supporter of BailBrad Tankersley Oklahoma City, Okla. Vail, Colorado
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Are we seeing more bears because there are more bears on the valley floor, or because we’re all spending more time at home? It could be a bit of both.