Same standards to apply for appointees |

Same standards to apply for appointees

Tamara Miller

EAGLE COUNTY – Arn Menconi is a county commissioner. Rob LeVine is a local businessman. Both served on the Lake Creek Affordable Housing Board until about two weeks ago, when County Commissioners Tom Stone and Michael Gallagher removed LeVine and Menconi from their positions for approving a $200,000 grant to the Buffalo Ridge Affordable Housing Board in Avon.Both were appointed by the commissioners to serve. While one is an elected official, and the other serves as a representative of the business community, both are expected to represent the opinions and wishes of the board that put them there, Gallagher said.”If someone is appointed by Vail Resorts to serve on a board they are representing Vail Resorts’ interests,” Gallagher said, adding that a person appointed by the county should represent the county’s perspective.”(LeVine) also was appointed to serve for us,” Stone said. This is news to LeVine, general manager of the Antlers hotel in Lionshead, who served on the Lake Creek board for nearly six years.”I assumed I was being appointed because I have some experience and expertise and that the decisions I made would be based on that experience and expertise,” LeVine said. “I would hope that would usually jive with what the commissioners thought, but probably that wasn’t the case all the time.”It’s clear that part of the dispute over the removal of Menconi and LeVine centers on philosophical differences. Menconi believes county appointees on housing boards – or any boards – should be able to make decisions based on their own judgment, he said.”What’s the point of having intelligent people on a board if they aren’t allowed to think independently?” Menconi said. The commissioners are responsible for making appointments to three housing boards: Lake Creek in Edwards, Riverview in Eagle-Vail and the Golden Eagle Senior Apartments in Eagle. The commissioners appoint three members to each of the boards. With just three members, Riverview’s board consists only of county appointees. Golden Eagle (a senior facility) has five and Lake Creek has five.”It’s really a practical process that we go through so we can spread the work out among the three commissioners,” Stone said. “If we could do it, the full (county commission) would attend all the meetings that the different boards have.”Stone has suggested restructuring all the housing boards to accomplish that. He hopes to have all three commissioners sitting on every housing board, he said. Currently, only one of the county representatives on each of the boards is a county commissioner. The rest of the county-appointed seats are filled by county staff members, or in the case of Lake Creek, a local business leader.But stacking the housing boards with just county commissioners could deprive those boards of some new perspectives, LeVine said.”I guess I think appointing a member of the community on varying boards like that, with varying experiences, brings something to the party,” LeVine said. “Sometimes people in the community may understand the issue better than the commissioners, as hard as that may be to believe.”Staff Writer Tamara Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607, or

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