New Eagle Town Council members take virtual oath
New members have high praise for outgoing members
Eagle’s new Town Council members took their oaths in a new way when they were sworn in during a virtual meeting, while also heaping praise on outgoing members.
Newcomers Ellen Bodenhemier and Adam Palmer, and incumbent Mikel “Pappy” Kerst were sworn in during Tuesday evening’s virtual meeting. They join Matt Solomon, Andy Jessen and Scott Turnipseed.
That leaves a vacancy on the seven-member council. Turnipseed ran unopposed for mayor and Tuesday resigned his town council seat.
To replace him the council will take applications through close of business next Friday. Finalists will be interviewed and the mayor and council will select someone from that pool of applicants to fill the vacancy.
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High praise for outgoing members
Anne McKibbin, the outgoing mayor, and Kevin Brubeck and Paul Witt did not seek re-election and Tuesday’s meeting was their last. As soon as Bodenhemier, Kerst and Palmer were sworn in, all three signed out of the virtual meeting to enjoy the warm spring evening.
During their last meeting Tuesday, Witt called it “an honor” to serve on the council, as did McKibbin.
Brubeck said he was “humbled” to be elected to serve, and expressed confidence in the new council.
“We are prepared to launch into the future, and you are the people who will take us there,” Brubeck said.
Turnipseed, wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with “Eagle, Colorado” on the front for his first meeting as mayor, ticked off a long list of accomplishments including expanding, open space, the town’s second water treatment plant, and leaving the town on strong financial footing.
“Between 2016 and 2020 they increased town revenues by millions of dollars. That’s important because it will help us get through this COVID-19 crisis,” Turnipseed said.
Municipalities live on sales tax revenues, and the COVID-19 shutdown left Eagle 28% under projected sales tax levels.
Turnipseed said Eagle is in better shape than some communities, some of whom are down 50%.
In one of their first official actions, the Town Council opened discussions about how much spending to cut and how much of their savings to spend. They also authorized Town Manager Brandy Reitter to write a letter encouraging the federal government to include relief funds for towns and other smaller governments that are reeling from plunging budget revenue.
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When a crowd of around 500 people showed up in Vail on Tuesday night to join a protest march in support of Black Lives Matter, the gathering plainly violated Eagle County’s current COVID-19 recommendations.