Three confirm run for Vail Town Council
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – The Vail Town Council election is Nov. 3 and since last Monday, when candidate materials became available, only four potential candidates have showed interest by picking up the nomination packets.
Three of the four candidates are incumbents Kim Newbury and Mark Gordon, and the other is Millennium Bank vice president Scott Proper. The fourth potential candidate is still unknown.
Scott Proper isn’t a stranger to Vail – at 30 he’s already served on the town’s Design Review Board, the Vail Recreation District board, the town’s conference center task force in 2002 and the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission. While not an incumbent, he said he has plenty of experience.
Proper said he thinks his finance experience should make him a valuable addition to the Town Council.
“I think the economy is the single most important issue for probably any government entity,” Proper said. “My biggest attribute is my experience and familiarity in finance.”
Gordon and Newbury offer years of Town Council experience in Vail. Newbury is the most senior council member with six years as a councilwoman, and Gordon has been on the council for four years. Both members say there’s just too much left to do to step down now.
“There’s some things I’d like to see completed,” Newbury said.
Newbury still wasn’t sure she’d be running again as of last week. She said it became official Friday when she gathered all the signatures needed for her candidate petition.
Some political issues in Vail never change – affordable housing, development and the environment are always concerns. The economy, however, is something that candidates in recent elections likely never predicted.
For a town that relies heavily on sales tax revenues – revenues that are down about 16 percent from 2008 – the economy and how it affects Vail’s future is on the forefront of candidates’ minds.
“It’s very important that we create a town organization that spends no more than it takes in,” Gordon said. “We need to make sure that we are operating as efficiently as possible.”
Newbury said the town has done a great job budgeting through the economic downturn, but she said the town can still improve.
“There are always areas where you’re providing service well above the level needed,” Newbury said. “There are always places to look at saving money.”
Newbury wants to prioritize the capital projects on the town’s radar. She said there’s a list of projects, but it isn’t all that organized. She said the town can’t pay for a lot of the projects now, but if money does start coming in the town needs to know where to begin.
Proper said the council needs “to be populated by people who have a lot of direct historic experience in dealing with finance.” He points to Councilman Andy Daly, former president of Vail Resorts, as the perfect example of that experience.
With about six weeks before the election, candidates are thinking about how they’re going to spread the word.
Newbury said she’s a single mother and isn’t a fan of spending unnecessary money on the election. It’s a small town, she said, “so I don’t think we need high budget elections.”
Newbury plans to knock on doors and make phone calls to meet the voters and talk about her candidacy and her record.
Proper said he wants to campaign as inexpensively as possible, too. He’ll probably knock on doors and also pass out business cards that direct people to his Web site.
Gordon said he’ll personally call voters and residents, knock on doors and probably do some radio spots and take out some newspaper advertisements.
The election is a very exciting time, Gordon said, which is why he’s looking forward to it.
“The town still has a lot of challenges – it’s still in a position of transition,” he said.
Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org