Sage advice for Vail Recreation candidates |

Sage advice for Vail Recreation candidates

Ken Willson

Although I do not personally know all the candidates, I believe every individual who has placed their name on the ballot, and if elected, to be interested in making the VRD the best recreation district on the planet.

I do not believe ANY candidate is foolish enough to serve a four-year term based on any single issue.

Because an individual plays golf (reading candidate profiles in this paper, I believe most have chosen golf as a hobby) no more means they are a single-issue candidate than if a candidate played hockey, making them a “hockey-only” candidate. If I knew a candidate were a single-issue candidate, they would certainly not receive my support.

As far as candidates I personally support, I strongly believe the best three INDIVIDUALS on the ballot are Julie Hansen, Peter Cook and Nino Liccardi.

I believe the word “coalition” may have been originally used by others, but the facts are these three individuals have joined together for more “bang for their buck” in advertising, mailouts, etc. I have spoken at length to all three, and they are definitely not in “lockstep” on how to resolve issues currently facing the district. All three will bring individual strengths and knowledge to this board to effectively allocate our tax dollars and oversee the myriad of programs offered by the district.

Regardless of your choice of candidates, let’s stop the rhetoric and accusations. For the first time in years there are substantive issues that need to be discussed and it is all right to do so.

The incumbents have to defend their record, and the “new guys” get to offer their ideas and solutions. That is as American as it gets! Let’s respect each other’s right to disagree and to support different candidates, and let us all wake up on May 8, regardless of who wins, and vow to offer our positive support to the VRD and the board of directors. There is far too much at stake to do otherwise.

Ken Wilson

Not just golf

Contrary to what some candidates for the Vail Recreation District Board of Directors would have you believe, the VRD is about more than just the Vail Golf Course.

The current board has been successful in providing a wide range of affordable recreational activities to Vail residents and visitors.

These include golf, running races, bike races, tennis, softball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, flag football, lacrosse, gymnastics, skating, nature center programs, nordic skiing, after school programs, 20 Below Youth Center, skateboarding, concerts and more.

The biggest fallacy that continues to be promoted by the golf coalition of candidates is that the Vail Golf Course funds all of the other programs of the VRD.

This trio complains that not enough funds have been put back into golf course capital improvements. Approximately $3 million in capital improvements have been put back into the Vail Golf Course in the last six years. Since that amount exceeds any net profit from the golf course, how could it be possible that the golf course funds all of the other VRD programs?

While supporting all of the other VRD adult and youth programs, Nancy Stevens and Ross Davis as part of the current board have managed to hold local adult golf play to under $30 a round. Now they are criticized by a coalition of local golfers who are not satisfied with the $3 million in capital improvements to the golf course.

This group criticizes the capital improvements recently made to Dobson Ice Arena, while crying for more to be put into the golf course. They blame necessary VRD belt-tightening on the Dobson improvements which were done when the VRD was financially strong, and before the first down year in the golf course history and Sept. 11. Because of increasing competition within the local golf community and other recent events affecting the economy in general, VRD revenues may continue to be flat.

If so, I’m confident that the current board will make the necessary adjustments to continue offering the same excellent recreational programs that they have in the past.

The majority of golf course revenues comes from visitors. Ironically, this is the very group whose numbers golf coalition wants to increase, while at the same time complaining about the availability of prime tee times for locals.

Costs of other VRD programs, which are not covered by program user fees, are not covered by golf course revenues. These programs are supported by donations, sponsorships and taxes from the community. That’s right, VRD taxpayers, you also help fund all of the wonderful programs made available by VRD.

It’s always easy to criticize someone else’s performance and decisions, particularly when you don’t have all of the facts. It’s much more difficult to propose specific, positive solutions and improvements to a program that is already very successful.

To ensure that the VRD continues to provide an affordable variety of quality adult and youth recreational programs in our community, please support Nancy Stevens and Ross Davis in the upcoming VRD board election.

Jerry Stevens

Glad to hear it

I am so pleased to hear that Tom Stone is running for county commissioner again. He has done so much for Eagle County residents and for their children.

He is the reason high school juniors and seniors can take “dual enrollment” classes, which offer students the opportunity to take college classes while in high school. College tuition is reimbursed if they obtain a C or better in the classes. He is currently working towards students completing their A.A. degree while in high school, at no cost to parents and/or students.

Tom Stone is also the reason nonprofit organizations such as Scouting can work YCC days earning money for special trips, such as Florida Marine Science Lab. This not only allows the kids to pay their own way, but cleans up, repairs and adds to our forests and BLM.

He cares deeply about our children’s future, Eagle County residents’ future and Eagle County itself! When the Christmas tree was cut down to go Washington, D.C., in 2000, Tom Stone was there with all of the Scouts. He was the reason all of this happened. My children will never forget that day!

We still have part of the tree trunk dated and it comes out every Christmas. Thank you Tom for all that you have done! We are looking forward to several more years of great accomplishments with you in office.

Marty Lich Gypsum

Support Local Journalism