Petty arguments vs. Middle Creek |

Petty arguments vs. Middle Creek

Mark Gordon

I don’t think I’m misrepresenting their arguments by claiming that when we take them as a whole it all boils down to this reprehensible statement made in the Council Chambers at the PEC meeting on August 12, “Not in my town.”

The key word used by these opponents is “town.” Vail is a town, not just a resort and certainly not a private club. As a town, Vail has a responsibility to all of its residents not just the wealthy.

I know that “these people” are not evil. And I’m sure they have even deluded themselves into believing that they are opposing affordable housing for laudatory reasons.

In fact, I would bet that if we could let them see themselves the way the majority of the citizens of Vail see them they would be horrified.

They would quickly march to the Town Council Chambers and protest loudly that Middle Creek must not only be built, but it should be expanded and the housing should be further subsidized. I am an optimist and believe that even the second-home owners want to do the right thing.

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That being said, I have to take issue with a few of their statements. Throughout the PEC meeting last week they kept saying that they are speaking for the citizens and homeowners of Vail.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. I personally know quite a few homeowners (many of them registered voters) who take the exact opposite position in regards to affordable housing in Vail.

The opponents even go so far as to ask the Town Council to listen to the majority. Happily, this tactic is bad strategy for their side. I believe the majority of Vail residents strongly support this project.

What they should be saying to the Town Council (if they were honest) is don’t listen to the majority; just listen to the wealthy and powerful.

But I’ve got news for “these people.” This is America, the little people have some power, and we intend to start flexing it. Of course it is an uphill struggle, but residents of Vail are pretty good at climbing mountains.

The opponents also have a strange way of asking a question over and over again without giving an answer. They keep asking, “what will this development say about Vail?” I think they don’t give the answer because they assume everyone will answer the question the same way they do. But let me give them the correct answer.

An affordable housing project such as this one, located close to the village, will say that Vail is a community. We are not a private club. We welcome and appreciate the workers of this great country. Vail wants to help everyone in our community live a quality life, in short to live the American dream. I firmly believe that when vacationers see Vail’s world-class commitment to its workers they will know that their time spent with us will also be world class.

The Middle Creek development is not perfect. It can use some improvement, and hopefully as the review process continues, the plans will be refined.

But let me say emphatically that Middle Creek has to be built. What infuriates me is that we are wasting valuable review time discussing what has already been decided. We should be using our time more constructively to improve Middle Creek, not wasting our time answering bogus arguments.

The citizens of Vail agree that housing is a pressing need for our community, and the Middle Creek development is a necessary step in the right direction.

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