September 6, 2005
I heard a funny story from someone a few weeks ago. It’s about the county commissioners. Two, actually. I let you figure out which two. Keep in mind, it’s hearsay. That means I wasn’t actually witness to what I’m about to relate. But I trust the someone who was and told me the story I am about to pass along.It was mid-day and a restaurant in Eagle was in the fortunate position of having two of our esteemed commissioners there for lunch. Oh, don’t worry. They weren’t at the same table. That wouldn’t be ethical. And we all know how concerned they are about keeping up at least the appearance of propriety. Why they even want to write a code to cover just that topic.No. They were sitting at separate tables, each with a different small group.What really struck my friend as peculiar was that midway through whatever they were doing, they got up and changed seats. And as they passed each other in the process, they also exchanged comments. He really didn’t know what to make of it, and neither do I. I just thought I’d pass it along while you’re thinking about whether to increase the number of commissioners. Which I support. But just imagine if there were five of them. It’d look like musical chairs.And on to the next. But let’s get something straight before I say another word. I love the amphitheater. It’s a beautiful place and a treasure for the community. But. Isn’t there always a but? It’s my observation that somewhere, in the most seemingly perfect situation, there is always a but.So what is it out at Ford Park? Let me tell you. Two of my best friends were visiting here from Santa Fe. They timed their trip to overlap with both the New York Philharmonic and the ballet. The wife is fairly seriously handicapped as a result of a tragic automobile accident 27 years ago. Her husband is a retired physician. Not to dwell on the details, lets’ just recap by saying she is in constant pain, has braces on both legs, and walks with canes.We left my house for the symphony at 5:20. As I live one block away, we thought we had plenty of time to drive and arrive for a 6 o’clock start. Of course, my friend has a handicapped sticker.After a long line and much confusion getting the gate to open, we finally arrived at the handicapped area only to be told they were all filled and we would have to park up at the lot. We dropped off my guests, I stayed with them, and a friend took the car up above where we were told there were handicapped spaces, but there weren’t. It only gets worse.But my question is, how in heaven’s name with the rapidly advancing age of this community and the distance down to the amphitheater, can we function with three handicapped spaces there? You heard me. Three.So I got inside and was relating this story to some people when another friend arrived. She had just experienced the same thing. Her visiting 83-year-old mother who had only been released from the hospital two weeks before, had to walk down.You know the three-space story. Now you need to know that there are only two carts. When the question was raised as to how they could function with so few carts, her mother was told that they cost $15,000 and if she wanted to make a contribution, they’d get more.Come on, guys. There’s got to be a better solution because in reality, we have no solution right now. I have some ideas. Call me. But we could start by being polite.One last thing. There are a lot of critical issues on the town’s plate right now. Decisions that will definitely shape Vail’s future. So I’ll just throw this out.If you’re concerned. If you don’t agree with the recent decisions that have been made. If you’re worried about the future. If you care about the community. This message is for you.The Vail Town Council has four seats up for election this November. Some of the incumbents are running again. Some haven’t announced yet. But no matter what any of them decide, they still have to get re-elected. And they will unless someone runs against them. It’s time for responsible citizens to get up off the sofa and become personally involved in their local government.If you or anyone you know is even slightly interested, I’d urge you to give it serious thought. Nomination petitions can be picked up from the town clerk beginning Sept.19. You must have lived in the town for two years and be a registered voter to qualify. Ten signatures of support from registered voters are required on the petition. The petitions must then be submitted to the town clerk by Oct. 7 for certification.We seem to have a community where there’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking that goes on. And I’ve been told that’s not unusual. What I think is unusual is this. Vail is a very small community. Consequently, the decisions that are made are not only more personal, they’re more public.Yet because we are so small, you can make a difference. It’s not like big city politics where you never know about an issue until it’s over. Here you can be in on the process and truly affect the outcome. Give it some thought and urge your neighbors to do the same. Remember the saying, “You’re either part of the problem or part of the solution”? The choice is yours. Kaye Ferry’s column, as with all personal columns, does not necessarily reflect the views of the Vail Daily.