Letters: Vail candidate promises dedication | VailDaily.com

Letters: Vail candidate promises dedication

Compiled by Vail Daily staff
Vail CO, Colorado

Cleveland’s dedication

With the Vail Town Council election only two weeks away, I’d like to reiterate how you can participate in shaping Vail’s future.

In addition to voting at the polls on Nov. 6, you have the option of early voting starting Oct. 25 through Nov. 2 at the Vail Municipal Building. Also, absentee ballots are available from the town clerk’s office at the municipal building. Whichever option you choose, please vote in the upcoming Vail election. Remember that the Eagle County mail-in ballot is only for the school board election.

I would respectfully ask that you consider me for a seat on the Vail Town Council. Having previously served four years on council as well as a number of local and regional boards and committees, my level of experience will be a vital asset as we face the challenges ahead.

My past 11 years work with ECO Trails has a strong correlation to the work that faces the next Vail Town Council. At ECO Trails, a dedicated group of volunteers faced the challenge of designing and paving trails using limited financial resources. Through numerous public and private partnerships we were able to leverage our funds and the resulting trails are being used throughout Eagle County today. We did more than talk, we defined a purpose, we planned a course, and we are getting the job done.

You can count on me to bring the same dedication, drive and results to the Vail Town Council. I look forward to serving you in the future. Please contact me at dick.cleveland@yahoo.com to let me know your concerns or to answer your questions. Thanks for your support.

Dick Cleveland

Vail Town Council candidate

5A a ‘boondoggle’

Citizens of Eagle-Vail, WAKE-UP. You are being led down the garden path towards one of the biggest tax boondoggles this fair valley has ever seen in its short history. The Eagle-Vail Metro Board saying Referendum 5A is not a tax increase does not make it so. Taxes are scheduled to go down 9.4 mills in 2009 due to current bonds being retired. The way I see it, if taxes are scheduled to go down and it doesn’t happen, that is a 9.4-mill tax increase. It’s a tax increase and a huge one at that.

A large, expensive, misleading and very professional media campaign has been launched in support of Referendum 5A. Where did the money and expertise for this come from? On the expertise side let’s go to the eaglevail.org Web site and look at the June 21, 2007 board meeting minutes on the mill levy discussion. Mr. Todd Snidow, from the financial company George K. Baum Inc., a self-described “professional who deals in these situations” is recruited by the board to mount a campaign to promote their agenda. George K. Baum Inc. is the bond company that promoted the last school board bond issue and who presumably stands to gain a nice bit of business if Referendum 5A passes. This is Washington-style special-interest politics and if it’s not illegal, it should be. Citizens, you are being led down the garden path by professionals, and I just want you to know that.

If everyone agrees Eagle-Vail needs a bit of work, and I don’t disagree, let’s see a specific plan with a specific budget and a mill-levy increase that is appropriate for that plan and no more. Randomly choosing to extend the current mill levy because it’s there and everyone is used to it is just the easy way out. The large amount of money 5A would generate with no specific projects with specific budgets will create an opportunity for mismanagement and misappropriation. After a period of time, 5A will generate so much money even the Eagle-Vail Metro Board will have difficulty spending it.

I urge everyone to vote and vote no on Referendum 5A.

Buz Didier

Eagle-Vail taxpayer

Preserving property values

As chairperson of the Eagle-Vail Metro Board, I think it is important to clear up recent misinformation appearing in the paper regarding our 5A ballot question.

Since Eagle-Vail’s inception, the costs of operating our recreation amenities have exceeded the amount of revenues taken in from property taxes and user fees.

Revenue shortfalls have primarily been off set by monies generated from the collection of water tap fees and sale of assets. Now that Eagle-Vail is virtually built out, tap fees are no longer a source of revenue.

Most communities have a sales tax that generates revenues to help pay for things such as recreational amenities. Eagle-Vail does not and cannot collect a sales tax. In order to remain a healthy vibrant community Eagle-Vail needs a new source of revenues to replace the money generated from tap fees.

Approval of 5A will allow the Metro District to continue the same mill levy of 14.835 mills that was levied in 2007. What is being asked for is to continue collecting revenues generated from 9.4 mills of the 14.835 mills (the remaining 5.435 mills will continue automatically). Homeowners have been paying said 9.4 mills to the district for the past 18 years.

The revenues generated from the continuation of the 9.4 mills will generate an estimated $915,000. During 2008 and 2009, $675,000 per year will be used to pay off the remainder of the district’s bonds initially issued to develop the pavilion park and ball fields. After 2009, this money will be spent as follows: approximately $350,000 per year going to operating costs of recreation facilities, approximately $200,000 per year going to deferred and future maintenance of the neighborhood’s assets, and approximately $350,000 per year to secure financing of approximately $3,500,000 to finance a new pool, new tennis courts, and upgrades to the pavilion and golf course.

The $350,000 for operating and the $200,000 for maintenance will continue on just as a sales tax continues on. The repayment of the $3,500,000 used to finance new amenities will be completed in approximately 20 years and the mill levy used for that repayment can be reduced at that time.

The prediction that assessed values will increase every year by 42 percent is highly unlikely. Our assessed valuation from 2001 through 2007 increased less than an average of 1 percent per year. In 2004 and 2005 our assessed valuation decreased by 6.5 percent.

As to the board members: Each member was elected by the voters in Eagle-Vail. The members live and own property in Eagle-Vail just like you. We have a vested interest in the viability of our community just like you. We do not hide behind closed doors and make secret decisions. All decisions are made in public meetings. All financials are of public record and are audited yearly by an independent auditing firm. All budgets are available to the public. The public is always invited to make comments prior to a budget being approved.

I hope the facts above help to clarify the issues involved in this upcoming vote.

John Nichols


Eagle-Vail Metropolitan District

Support Local Journalism