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New direction needed at rec district

Warren, Maxine Graboyes

The incumbents are Nancy Stevens who seems like a well-intentioned, nice person; and Ross Davis, who has already served eight years which is the legal term limit, but by some technicality he chooses to ignore this limit and is running again.

They bought us the Dobson debacle with more than $5,500,000 in debt payments ($275,000 yearly loan payments for 20 years) for a facility the VRD does not own and which loses money.

Additionally the Vail Golf Course is in sad shape with decreasing revenues and number of rounds played. Just go look at the 5th and 6th fairways and compare this to the adjacent soccer field.

We need Peter Cook, with a Stanford MBA in finance, who has served on numerous corporate, community and charitable boards and for many years was the CFO of a multimillion dollar company.

We need Julie Hansen, the CEO of Vail Financial Services, with experience in directing and advising companies in budgeting and accounting.

We need Nino Licciardi, here 22 years and owner of a very successful resort property management business.

Peter Cook, Julie Hansen and Nino Licciardi pledge to be inclusive, to use our vast community resources and to improve the dialogue and relationship with the town of Vail, chamber of commerce and other community entities.

They will hold board meetings and elections at times that are convenient and welcome public input and participation. They will seek a solution to gymnastics and a whole lot of other VRD issues using their experience and expertise and develop realistic long range goals and budgets.

Peter, Julie and Nino don’t need to win this election because they are looking for some extra money or need something to do. They’ve looked at the facts, know that a change is needed and want to include all of our community and governing bodies in developing long-term solutions where everyone wins.

The VRD is governed by a board of directors totaling five people, and by electing three candidates we will ensure a change in the right direction.

We will vote for Peter Cook, Julie Hansen and Nino Licciardi. They have the talent, commitment and energy to make a difference.

Warren, Maxine Graboyes

Vail

This is no witch hunt

The so called “three-member coalition” candidates have been called many things over the last few weeks: “The Newcomers,” “Golf Course Coalition,” “negative,” “mudslingers,” “witch hunters,” etc.

If the stakes were not so high, the name calling (while absolutely expected) would be much more humorous. These three candidates are supported by a large group of local citizens, most of whom have lived in Vail for the last 15 to 30 years. They come from all areas of local experience, knowledge and participation with VRD services. They are very concerned about the lack of leadership and direction of the current VRD board. To refer to this group as “the newcomers” is an egregious understatement at best.

To suggest their only interest is the golf course and that all other programs are in jeopardy is absolutely preposterous. The label of the “Golf Course Coalition” is a lame attempt to divide public concerns. To refer to participation in golf, hockey, softball, tennis, gymnastics, nature center, open gym, soccer, football and lacrosse over the last three decades as a “Golf Course Coalition” is simply an attempt to direct the public’s attention away from more serious issues.

“Mudslinging and negative” also depend on the eye of the beholder. Pointing out the obvious, such as the sad case with Dobson, is the responsible thing to do. Holding elected officials and management accountable are also responsible things to do. There have been many questionable decisions over the last few years which the “coalition candidates” are bringing to the voters’ attention. These candidates are more concerned about running an effective and efficient VRD than they are about political correctness.

The best of the season so far is the accusation of a “witch hunt,” as if all VRD employees will be fired, programs eliminated, improvements cancelled and the like. Give me a break. The only witch hunt going on is inside the VRD itself if someone dares speak the wrong words to the wrong people, and in the spirit of PC I will leave it at that.

The bottom line with all the VRD posturing is that the incumbents are throwing out sophomoric labels in an attempt to discredit their opposition and then brag about their spending. Ironically, most of the spending is nothing to brag about. The incumbents say somewhere between $2 million and $4 million has been spent on the golf course. You can build a brand new golf course with that kind of money! Dressing up a tired old horse is not a wise use of funds.

I would like to encourage everyone to vote for Julie Hansen, Anthony “Nino” Licciardi, and Peter Cook in the VRD election on May 7. They have the business and financial expertise, along with the vision, and will to provide honest, efficient, open and straightforward management of VRD facilities.

Jeffrey K. Christensen

Vail


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