Pete Buckley, Avon Town Council (incumbent) |

Pete Buckley, Avon Town Council (incumbent)

Daily Staff Report
Special to the Daily Pete Buckley

I dont quit when things get tough! said Peter Buckleys election flyer four years ago. After four years on the Avon Town Council, Buckleys new campaign flyer has changed to: Proven determination, proven accountability.People already know I dont quit when things get tough. Im running now on my track record of proven accountability and proven determination, said Buckley, an incumbent and one of six candidates vying for one of three seats at the Avon Town Council other candidates include Tamra Nottingham Underwood, Bob Trueblood, Amy Phillips, Kristi Ferraro and Ron Moreno.Buckley, 48, who shares the Town Council with his wife, Debbie, a councilwoman since 1998, said he wants to run again because he feels hes been effective on council.Ive done some things and accomplish some things that I think favored the voters in Avon, said Buckley, who has lived in Avon for eight years. Debbie and I dont have any kids so we like working through some of the towns issues, he added.Buckley came on board on council in 2000, two years into Debbies first term as a councilwoman.Debbie doesnt like to talk about politics in the house, so if we have to talk about town issues we take a walk around the block in Wildridge, Buckley said.Debbie should be the next mayor of Avon so she doesnt vote always against me, he joked. We disagree on many issues.One of the issues the Buckleys dont disagree on is taxes. Were both conservatives. In the past four years, I have fought for a balance budget and to prevent any new taxes, said Buckley, who calls himself the most fiscally conservative on council. You have to think about the towns money as your money.His commitment to the town, Buckley said, was tested in 2003, when he faced computer fraud charges. The District Attorneys Office eventually dropped the charges against Buckley although the civil lawsuit brought by Buckley against Vail Resorts hasnt been resolved yet.During all the time the case was going on, I showed up to work, I voted and I did my job, Buckley said.Eagle County Commissioner Tom Stone said hes looking forward to continue to work with Buckley.(Peter) has served the town of Avon well, Stone said. Its very helpful that Pete has developed a good relationship with me as a county commissioner. I talk to Pete more than any council member about issues that are before the town and the county and we look for ways to work with each other.Also, Pete speaks his mind, which many people find abrasive, but thats a good think today as an elected official, Stone added.What you first learn when getting on the Town Council is that it takes four votes to get anything done, Buckley said.And it all starts with a conversation, he said. You got to have the idea and the energy and the argument to convince your peers. Sometimes its easy and sometimes it is very, very difficult. Its good when you win an argument and you either get new legislation or a new program started.When its no fun, is when you go down in flames, he added.Buckley, who makes $6,000 as a councilman, said he plans to spend between $500 and $1,200 for his campaign this year.I havent accepted any money from any company and I dont intend to, he said. It sends the wrong signal to the voters.Its not the money that keeps you going, he added, its the desire to make a difference in the town of Avon. I still have fire in my belly to work on council. In four years on the Avon Town Council, Ive missed only one meeting because I was in Washington D.C. on business. This was confirmed by Patty McKenny, Avon town clerk.

Incumbent councilman says Avon should be careful with sales taxBy Veronica WhitneyDaily Staff WriterQ: What do you expect to be your job as a council member?A: I am currently an Avon council member and the only candidate running from Wildridge. We are the elected board of directors of the town of Avon and also the local liquor license authority for Avon. Our No. 1 job as elected officials is public safety. Our No. 2 job is a fiduciary responsibility to the people who live in Avon. That means a balanced Avon budget, no tax increases and no increases in long-term bond debt, and that is just what has been accomplished in the last four years.Q: How would you manage growth in the town?A: No one elected official has total control in Avon. All of us on Avon council struggle from time to time putting at least four votes together in order to get something done. On a good day you can carry some influence with your elected peers, on other days you dont. It is the same when it comes to managing growth in Avon. Council does not have direct, complete control over the Village at Avon (where the Wal-Mart is), nor on the confluence site, which is where the Beaver Creek rodeo is currently held. The trick to managing growth is to try and extend your individual and group influence into the development community at large. Q: What are the three most pressing issues facing the town?A: First and foremost is our continued fiscal responsibility. All things good start with a town that is financially healthy. Our ability to fund programs that help small business and attract new business depends on maintaining a vibrant economic climate in Avon that generates our sales tax revenue. Second issue is managing the growth of Avon. We have to be careful not to siphon off all the sales tax from old town Avon into new town Avon (the village), because it would hurt our ability to fund programs that attract new business. Third issue? Thats easy, traffic. Nothing makes a roundabout in Avon look better than another new traffic light in Edwards. Five new Edwards traffic lights in 18 months by my count. Ouch. Im proud to say that traffic mitigation has always been a top concern in Avon just look at our new four-way interstate exit for the Village as an example.Q: Locals have voiced concerns about transportation. Would you support expanding the transportation system around town?A. Positively, yes. Just as soon as we figure out how to pay for it. I believe it would be fiscally irresponsible to extend our existing town of Avon bus system without knowing how to were going to pay for it. If that involves a tax increase, Ill vote against it. If it involves instituting bus fares, Ill seriously consider it, but only at the request of the Avon citizens.Q: What do you see in the future for the Village at Avon?A: What Magnus Lindholm tells me, because and make no mistake about it its Magnus check book that is fueling the development of the Village. New restaurants, retail shops, and separate parking structure on the Village site, that will make the floor of the Village pedestrian friendly, a constant concern that always comes up when talking about Avon. Avon will continue to evolve into a hybrid ski-tourism town. Q: How could the town profit from its proximity to Beaver Creek?A: I cant think of a better neighbor to mark the south entrance to Avon than our friends at Beaver Creek and the Beaver Creek Resort Company. Theyve made the best of their working relationship with Avon. Examples abound. When winter skier parking was no longer an option along Highway 6, Avon stepped up and offered to allow the overflow skier parking on the confluence site in Avon. This is the exact same location where the Beaver Creek rodeo is held. My favorite part of the Beaver Creek rodeo is the fact that its held in Avon not to mention the sales tax revenue Avon enjoys and the increased summer tourists that get to attend our mutual Thursday night summer event. One of Avons most mature neighborhoods, Sunridge, is changing their name to Liftview Condominiums to commemorate the opening of the two new ski lifts. Some say that makes beach front in Avon. I say, bring it on.Q: What can the town do to make it more convenient to walk around?A: Make it safer to cross the street in Avon. The roundabouts in Avon work great at smoothing traffic flow, however the imperfect side-effect was that they made it less safe to cross the street. Council, at that time, knew there was a problem and put in speed bumps or crosswalk speed bumps, if you prefer to get the cars and trucks to slow down. Pedestrians still have the right of way in the crosswalks, however its still a scary thing to have to walk across Avon Road at noon or 5 p.m. Avon police park a car from time to time on Avon Road we dont use police mannequins and that helps slow traffic as well.

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