Three vie for seats on Beav’ metro board
Two incumbents and a challenger will face off next Tuesday for two seats on the Beaver Creek Metropolitan District Board.
Steve Friedman and Mike Bowen are hoping to retain their seats for another four years, while local developer John Forstmann seeks to have his turn on the upscale ski resort neighborhood’s board of directors.
Forstmann, who was involved with the Village at Avon project in the early stages, said he has no particular complaint about the board’s leadership. He said he just felt it was time to get involved.
“I am in the development field,” he said. “I do have an expertise in metro districts, and I just felt I could do a pretty good job.”
Forstmann helped create a metropolitan district for the Village at Avon, an on-going development east of the town now home to The Home Depot and Wal-Mart Supercenter. A self-described “fiscal conservative,” Forstmann said he wants to ensure that property owners’ taxes are being used wisely.
“I think they have to be very careful on what bonds are floated,” Forstmann said. ” I think they have to be very careful on where money is spent and not to go to far afield on where they should be.”
The board manages the streets, storm sewers, water and sanitation for the neighborhood. While Friedman has been on the board, the district has contracted with the Eagle River Fire Protection District for fire protection. The district also has made strides in its relationship with the Beaver Creek ski resort company and Vail Resorts, the ski mountain’s parent company, Friedman said.
“I’d like to see the relationships continue to develop and improve,” Friedman said.
During the May 2002 election, Beaver Creek homeowners overwhelming opted for a change of pace. Both incumbents – including Tony O’Rourke, executive director of the Beaver Creek Resort Company – finished at the bottom of the vote and three challengers were elected for three seats on the five-member board.
Beaver Creek homeowners will also consider a ballot issue Tuesday that, if approved, would expand the use of May 1998 bond proceeds. When voters passed that $4 million bond issue, it was originally intended to pay for a public works and maintenance facility. However, the board has since found a more cost-effective way to build that facility and will not have to use all of those funds on the facility, Friedman said.
“Essentially, we found a way to do it for less money,” he said. “We think we are saving the taxpayers money.”
Friedman wouldn’t go into detail about the changes in the plans for maintenance facility. “We have just found a site as well as a means or mode of operation that will not be expected to require all those funds,” he said.
Forstmann said he supports the ballot issue, which, if approved, would let the metro board use the surplus funds for street improvements.
Repeated attempts to reach Bowen for comment were unsuccessful. According the district’s newsletter, Bowen has been a Beaver Creek homeowner since 1983, and a full-time resident since 1995. A semi-retired businessman, Bowen says in the newsletter he believes Beaver Creek has evolved out of a resort and into a community and it is the job of the board to look out for the community’s interests.
Staff writer Tamara Miller can be reached via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 949-0555 ext. 607.