Mick Van Slyke eyes housing, transit in Avon council run | VailDaily.com

Mick Van Slyke eyes housing, transit in Avon council run

Editor’s note: Find previous Avon Town Council candidate profiles at http://www.vail daily.com.

The fact that Avon just celebrated its 40th anniversary was a milestone not lost on Mick Van Slyke.

“It has made me reflect on my 21 years living, and working here, and Avon’s past and future,” Van Slyke wrote in an email to the Vail Daily. “I want to take an active role in that future.”

Originally from Utica, in Central New York State, Van Slyke moved to Avon in 1996 to snowboard and cook. He’s currently an executive sous chef, and says his kitchen experience has developed his skills in working with and managing different personalities and decision making situations.

“After traveling for several summers, I was always drawn back to Avon every winter for its sense of community where I ultimately met my wife, Caroline.”

The two bought a home in West Avon two years ago, which gave Van Slyke a new perspective on the challenges of buying a home.

“There are many people that have moved here who came here for the proximity to Beaver Creek, the central location in the Eagle River Valley, and now have moved to other towns, not necessarily because they wanted to move out of Avon, but because they thought they had to,” he said.

Meeting Avon’s Needs

Van Slyke has watched the needs of longtime locals grow as those people found careers and started families in Avon. He says housing options, opportunities to open businesses and outdoor and social activities are among those needs.

Van Slyke feels that meeting those needs requires Avon to progress in a way that will build “a well diversified, strongly connected community.”

“I feel the biggest issues facing Avon are a lack of affordable housing options for locals looking to rent seasonal, long-term, or purchase a primary residence and vacant commercial space sitting idle,” he writes. “My goals if elected will be to find environmentally conscious and fiscally responsible solutions to Avon’s housing deficits, and to make Avon a draw to new business and to keep established businesses thriving.”

Van Slyke wants to see a variety of people and businesses drawn to Avon.

“With growth comes transportation issues, and I would also promote Avon’s free bus system as a great environmental asset,” he writes.