Three seats contested for downvalley rec board | VailDaily.com
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Three seats contested for downvalley rec board

Kathy Heicher

The Western Eagle County Metro Recreation District – or, WECMRD – serves an area from Edwards to Dotsero. The rec district operates the athletic field complex at the Eagle County Fairgrounds and the ice rink and pool in Eagle. The district is working with Gypsum on a proposal for a recreation center in that town, and with Eagle County on soccer fields and athletic facilities at the Berry Creek in Edwards.

Five candidates are seeking election to three seats on the WECMRD Board of Directors. Following are some brief profiles:



Julie Ault

• 46-years-old



• Eagle-area resident (kids ages 5 and 7)

• Family participates in WECMRD baseball, soccer and hockey programs. Coaches hockey.

• Veterinarian, Castle Peak Veterinary Clinic



Why seeking office: Was encouraged to run by hockey friends. “There are so many great programs out there. I want to be part of the planning.” Very interested in youth hockey programs. “I’m for all recreation. My kids will be heavily involved in WECMRD programs. I thought this would be a good place for me to be.”

Top priority: “So far, I think WECMRD is doing a pretty good job … I think it is pretty exciting that we have so much available to us. I want to make sure we do the best we can and make sure the kids have a good time in the process.” Has a particular interest in the hockey program.

Ed Coulter

• 34-years-old

• Eagle resident with family (kids ages 7, 10, 13)

• Contractor – owns construction company

• Has been involved with WECMRD for nine years as coach, program participant

Why seeking office: Current board members encouraged me to run. “As a parent and a coach, and with my construction background, I think I would be a good choice.”

Top priority: To ensure all sports are represented equally. “I want to make sure everybody gets covered.” Believes WECMRD should continue working in the direction of regional programs. “We will directly benefit with more fields and more kids participating in baseball and soccer. By letting Vail Rec into the program, we will expand the competition.”

John McCaulley

• 49-years-old

• Edwards resident (kids ages 15, 1)

• Family participates in WECMRD programs (lacrosse, hockey)

• Fireman-deputy chief with Eagle River Fire Protection District

Why seeking office: Have always been interested in recreation, is active with Eagle Valley Skating Association. Likes the partnership WECMRD has participated in with the ice rink, ball fields and Berry Creek facilities. Has served on the Edwards Metro Board for 13 years; and is now term limited. “Edwards Metro has an improved relationship with WECMRD. I would like to see it continue.”

Top priorities: Continuing development of programs for younger kids, particularly around school breaks, so working parents know their kids are occupied in a healthy way. “I really like the idea of keeping kids busy.”

Wants WECMRD to continue the kind of partnerships that produced the ice rink, and the future rec center in Gypsum. “I want to make sure we are not going crazy duplicating stuff.” Is concerned that a county recreation center in Edwards would hurt the Avon facility. “We need facilities that compliment each other, not fight each other … let’s get people to work together … the ice rink was the perfect partnership.”

Stephanie Samuelson

• 34-years-old

• Eagle resident (kids ages 2, 5, 11)

• Family involved in WECMRD programs including basketball, soccer, swimming. Volunteer coach for 4-5 years.

• Part-time caterer, full-time mom

Why seeking office: “It is important to get equal representation for all sports groups and make sure that no one (sport) takes priority.” Wants to maintain district’s philosophy of offering many programs and meeting growing community needs.

Top priority: Keeping in touch with the community. Current WECMRD board has done an excellent job of maintaining strong working relationship with local governments. “When we work together, everybody gets more out of it … the community gets more benefit.”

Need to meet needs of athletic, and non-athletic groups with programs, family fun days, field trips.

Chris Williams

• 40-years-old

• Eagle resident

• WECMRD Board incumbent (served 6 years).

• Participates in some WECMRD programs (basketball, softball)

• Civil Engineer, Johnson, Kunkle & Associates

Why seeking office: Since the taxpayers approved a mill levy increase, WECMRD has had several projects in the works. I would like to see the recreation center for the town of Gypsum completed; we’re working on a long-term plan for the swimming pool and ice rink in Eagle, and there are a lot of things happening on the Berry Creek Fifth filing that I would like to see completed.

Top priority: The biggest priority is the Gypsum Recreation Center. “I would like to see everything work out between the entities.” Regarding cooperation between the recreation districts in the valley, we are already doing that with programming. Nobody has given us a formal plan for consolidation of the recreation districts. “We are providing programs already to the Edwards area and beyond.”

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Western Eagle County Metro Recreation District election

When: Tuesday, May 4, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Polling places: Gypsum Town Hall, 50 Lundgren Blvd., Gypsum; Western Eagle County Ambulance District building, 360 Eby Creek Road, Eagle; Edwards Ambulance District building, 1065 Edwards Village Blvd., Edwards

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