Residents explain their candidacies and visions
Editor’s Note: The Vail Valley Chamber and Tourism Bureau sent questionnaires to the candidates running for Vail Town Council. Portions of their responses will run periodically in the Vail Daily this week.
Why are you running for Town Council?
Kent Logan: I believe that I can make a difference when the priorities are to one, bring jobs back and two, ensure we have the financial and management capabilities to complete our major reconstruction projects.
Greg Moffet: I believe I’ve been an effective council member and I represent a viewpoint which doesn’t get much attention otherwise – that of working people and families who are too busy getting about their lives to attend incessant meetings. I bring the experience of a local, small business owner doing business in ski towns all over the U.S. to bear on our community’s issues. Also, I pay attention to the fact the town of Vail is one of the largest employers in Eagle, Summit and Garfield counties. We need to maintain, and improve upon, the town’s culture of constituent service – if you don’t believe that the Town has great, highly motivated employees, try interacting with any other governmental agency. The only way to do that is through making sure our employees are well treated and motivated. because mistreated employees give lousy service and generate needless expense from high turnover. One of my primary goals is to make sure that the government does not run roughshod over our citizens and businesses. And that our policies protect our constituents from governmental overreaching.
Paul Rondeau: Seem to get involved by attending and speaking at council meetings, writing letters, volunteering for various things – might as well “go for it”
Kim Ruotolo: I am a candidate without any “do or die” issues, and I think that is an important viewpoint that could be lacking on the new council. Rather than being set on any one thing that must get done, I look forward to reviewing each and every issue before the town with one goal -will it benefit the town now and in the future.
Rod Slifer: I have the “fire in my belly” to assure the town keeps moving forward with the redevelopment plans the public and private sectors have initiated.
Mark Gordon: I’m running for Town Council because I recognize how complex the problems are that face the community. I also recognize that solutions to the problems lie in the collective ability of the people. One person cannot solve the problems. However, one person alone can make a difference.
Bill Jewitt: I believe that we are at an important juncture in the history of Vail – many important projects are in planning stages as well as serious financial decisions facing the town – and I would like to continue to work with the council and the new town manager to solve these issues.
What is your vision for Vail?
Moffet: A vibrant, diverse community that serves as the world’s best winter sports destination and the place corporate America meets. A place people want to visit and live.
Rondeau: 1. Vail is the place to visit for body and health. 2. Vail is the place to visit for mind and soul. 3. Vail is a great place to visit or live for all ages. 4. Vail is a great place to visit or live for all seasons. 5. Vail is a great place for employment and small business ownership.
Ruotolo: I envision a revitalization of Vail Village and Lionshead through cosmetic improvements, private redevelopment projects and a greater and more diverse retail mix. I also hope to create more reasons for singles, families and “empty-nesters” to choose Vail as their permanent, year-round residence. I see a fire station in West Vail. I see a completed conference center in Lionshead attracting more guests to our community.
Slifer: To fulfill the town of Vail vision statement we articulated in 1999, “to be a premier mountain resort community”
Gordon: Vail needs to be not only the No. 1 ski resort but also the No. 1 ski town. We need to be a thriving, vibrant community, with a diverse citizenry and business mix. We only have to attract a small percentage of the estimated 25,000 new people that will be moving to Eagle County in the next 25 years to become a “new” town. It is imperative that we stop the “us” versus “them” game. Our community includes full-time residents, second-home owners, businesses, non-resident employees and guests. Each of these groups has to realize that what benefits any one group benefits us all. If we start working together, all of the pieces of the puzzle will fit together smoothly. Within the next decade the conference center will be attracting year-round visitors to Vail. The influx of new guests will help spur a better retail mix. As more “fixer-uppers” come on the market, a more diverse group of full-time residents can start moving into Vail. With Middle Creek and a new mixed-use neighborhood where Timber Ridge stands today, the employees of the new businesses can afford to live in town and take advantage of the many amenities, such as the free public transportation system. Hopefully, many of the second-home owners will decide that that they want to make Vail their primary residence, and many of the dark houses on the hills will start to become homes. I’m very optimistic about Vail’s future. But we have to work together to make this happen.
Jewitt: Six to eight years in the future I see Vail entering a period of strong growth and revived excitement, fueled by new projects such as Lionshead redevelopment, the Front Door project, the Four Seasons, the conference center and redevelopment of the Vail Village Inn, the Tivoli, the Sonnenalp and other properties as well as the rejuvenation of Bridge Street and Gore Creek Drive. I also believe that the national economy will be back on track and it will be a great snow year. These changes will make it possible to reinvest in the community, providing a broad range of cultural and recreational activities.
Logan: Re-enforce a sense of community – “A Community First.” Rebuild the core – Vail Village and Lionshead – and rebuild the town infrastructure. “Re-populate” the Town. Town government needs to be more responsive to its citizens
Note: The eighth candidate, Dave McDougall, did not turn in his responses.