Slack wants balance on council
VAIL – Political newcomer Kristy Slack said she wants to bring balance to the Vail Town Council.”The older male population is well represented and the younger population and the female population are struggling,” she said.Child care is one issue Slack said needs more push from a female point of view. Slack cited a recent meeting when Councilwoman Kim Ruotolo urged council members to fund a child care center. “Although they passed it, the men were a little more reluctant,” she said. “It’s taken a little more persuasion for the men on the council to go forth and take a step toward making things happen.”She also wants to see more for-sale affordable housing for young people, she said, but expressed reservations about caps on resale price. “I think we need to do something else to keep people here,” she said. The town needs to make an effort to keep people in Vail, and from not moving downvalley, she said.Slack, who works as a sales manager at the Cascade, has no political experience. But she said that’s not necessary. “How many of the current Town Council member had political experience before they were re-elected?” she said.She’s attended as many council meetings as she could, and watched others on TV, she said.
OriginsSlack grew up in Champaign, Ill., home of the University of Illinois. She went to college at Illinois State University, where she studied tourism. In 2001, needing an internship to finish her degree, she headed to Colorado, where her family had vacationed. She got an internship at the Vail Valley Chamber and Tourism Bureau, which turned into a full-time job.She had only been in Colorado for summers, and decided the winter weather wasn’t so bad, either. “I came for the summer and stuck around because the winters aren’t nearly as harsh as Illinois’,” she said.At the Cascade and previously at the Chamber and Tourism Bureau, Slack works with meeting planners to bring conferences, meetings and other programs to Vail. Talking to people about their expectations of Vail has helped her understand what Vail needs to focus on to attract visitors, she said.She’s in favor of the proposed conference center. It should have already been built, she said. “We need to be able to bring bigger programs in,” she said. “Each sales manager at each hotel probably turns down at least two large programs a year that simply can’t be held in our larger facilities.”The people who visit Vail because of the convention center will spend money that will filter down to restaurants, shops and on-mountain activities, she said.
Help for businessesThe town needs to be giving more assistance to Lionshead businesses affected by construction. “It’s almost as if you can’t walk through Lionshead now,” she said.She would work to make sure people still come to Vail during upheaval of construction, she said. Vail shouldn’t lose any retailers or restaurants because of the construction, she said.On this issue and others, Slack said the balance she would bring to council would help better representation Vail’s residents.”If you get down to the real core of it all, left-handed versus right-handed people think differently, men and women think differently,” she said. “You just go about making decision in different ways.”Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 604, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado