Tuesday’s Election Day
Locally, the town of Vail is looking for a tax increase to build a conference center and 12 candidates are running for four seats on the Avon Town Council.Regionally, voters can raise taxes to conserve both land and water.Statewide, Amendment 31 asks voters to chose how English is taught in public schools. Local voters must also choose between a Leadville incumbent and an Eagle-Vail resident to represent them in the state House of Representatives. Voters will also cast ballots in the race for governor.Nationally, Coloradans will cast votes in a contentious race for the U.S. Senate. The outcome is certain to affect whether Republicans or Democrats control Congress.The following is a list of races on the ballot in Vail, Avon and Eagle County.Vail- Referendum 2C – The town is hoping for a property tax increase to do various repairs and renovations, including fixing the main fire station, heating sidewalks and other projects. The town wants to keep up with approximately $700 million private owners, such as Vail Resorts, will spend in the coming years to spruce up their buildings, hotels and other properties.If passed, property taxes would increase $40 per $100,000 in market value on residential properties and $120 per $100,000 for commercial properties.- Referendum 2D -Sales and lodging taxes would be increased to pay for a $46 million conference center in Lionshead. The project is seen as integral in attracting more summer visitors, though opponents warn it could be a major bust for the town. The referendum would more than double Vail’s lodging tax and raise sales taxes to 9 percent while the project is being built.Avon- Twelve candidates, including three incumbents, are running for four empty seats on the Avon Town Council. The town faces continuing expansion, a slumping budget, calls for economic redevelopment and Vail Resorts’ plan to build a gondola from Avon to the slopes of Beaver Creek.- Referendum 2E – The “use tax’ It would impose a 4 percent tax on all building supplies used in the town of Avon. Supporters say it would provide the town with crucial revenue to run its ailing bus system. Critics say it unfairly singles out builders.Gypsum- Referendum 2F – Proposes repealing eight-year term limits for Gypsum Town Council members.Eagle County- Eagle County Board of Commissioners – In retaining his District 3 seat representing western Eagle County, Commissioner Tom Stone, a Republican, faces a challenge from unaffiliated candidate Laurie Bower and Democrat Gerry Sandberg.- Open Space, Referendum 1H -This would increase property taxes countywide to raise $2.9 million a year and create a fund to keep coveted plots of land undeveloped. If approved, the countywide property tax levy will go about $14 per $100,000 assessed value of a house.- County Sheriff – Deputy Joe Hoy, a Republican, faces Deputy Bill Kaufman, a Democrat, to replace longtime Eagle County Sheriff A.J. Johnson, who is term-limited.- County Clerk and Recorder – Democrat Earlene Roach faces Republican Teak Simonton to replace the term-limited Sara Fisher.- County Coroner – Democrat Kara Bettis and Republican Bruce Campbell -both deputy coroners -face off to replace their term-limited boss, Donna Barnes.- Term limits -Seven separate referendums, 1A through 1G, propose repealing term limits for each elected position in Eagle County: assessor, clerk and recorder, county commissioner, coroner, sheriff, surveyor and treasurer.- Referendum 5A – Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District, allows the district to increase debt to build parks and bike paths; install irrigation pipes; and landscape, among other improvements.RegionalReferendum 4A – Colorado River Water Conservation District, which proposes increasing property taxes to deal with dwindling water supplies, includes increasing storage capacity and building reservoirs. The proposal would increase property taxes $2.30 per $100,000 of assessed valuation to raise an estimated $2.5 million annually for 20 years.State- Amendment 31 -Initiative would dismantle bilingual education in public schools by place non-English-speaking students into a one-year immersion program, after which they would join regular classes. Proponents say it is the best way to guarantee students become fluent while critics warn immersion is too accelerated, will wreak havoc on schools and could cost schools more money.- Sen. Wayne Allard, a Republican, is in a repeat against Democrat Tom Strickland, a former federal prosecutor. Control of the Senate may hinge on the race that has been called one of the nastiest in the nation.- Rep. Mark Udall, D-Boulder, faces Republican Sandy Hume, the Boulder County treasurer, to represent Eagle County in the U.S. House of Representatives.- Gov. Bill Owens, a Republican, faces the most formidable challenge for reelection from Democrat Rollie Heath, a Colorado businessman.- Attorney General Ken Salazar is being challenges in his bid for re-election by Republican Marti Allbright.Polling placesPolls will be open for the general election from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The locations of polling places are listed below followed by their precinct numbers:- 1 – Red Cliff Town Hall, 400 Pine St.- 2 & 12 – West Vail Lodge, 2211 North Frontage Rd.- 3 – Minturn Town Hall, 302 Pine St.- 4 & 22 – Edwards Elementary School, 0122 Meile Ln.- 5 & 16 – Eagle County Building, 500 Broadway.- 6 & 9 – Gypsum Town Hall, 0050 Lundgren Blvd.- 7 – Basalt Town Hall, 101 Midland Ave.- 8, 24 and 25 -Eagle County Community Center, 0020 Eagle County Dr.- 10 – Burns Baptist Church, 22545 Colorado River Rd.- 11 -McCoy Community Center, 26 McCoy Rd.- 13 – Vail Town Hall, 75 South Frontage Road.- 14- Vail Mountain School, 3160 Katsos Ranch Rd.- 15,18 and 19 – Avon Elementary School, 850 West Beaver Creek Blvd.- 17- Eagle-Vail Pavilion, 538 Eagle Rd.- 20 & 21 – Singletree Community Center, 1010 Berry Creek Rd.- 23- Eagle Baptist Church, 14600 U.S. Highway 6.Candidates for Avon Town Council:Bob Angel, sales associate, Vail DailyBobby Bank, businessmanTab Bonidy, architectDebbie Buckley (I) Web designerRene Martinez, maintenance workerMike McClinton, auditor for Vail ResortsMac McDevitt, (I) retired high-tech executiveSteve Miller, cellular consultantRon Neville, property manager, Vail ResortsBrian Sipes (I) architectAlbert “Chico” Thuon, ski & river guideRon Wolfe, retired executive(I) – IncumbentOther ballot amendments to the Colorado Constitution include:- Amendment 27 – Limiting contributions individuals and corporations can make to political campaigns.- Amendment 28 – Providing for automatic mail-in ballot elections beginning Jan., 2005.- Amendment 29 – Requiring all candidates seeking nomination in a primary primary be placed on the ballot by petition.- Amendment 30 – Allowing residents to register to vote on the day of an election, beginning Jan., 2004.The are also a series of referendums on the ballot:- Referendum A – Exempting district attorneys from constitutional term limits.- Referendum B – Authorizing local governments to provide health care by partnering with public or private agencies- Referendum C – Permitting the Legislature to establish requirements for county coroner.- Referendum D – Repealing obsolete constitutional provisions, such as a congressional term-limit provision found unconstitutional in 1998.- Referendum E – Making March 31 “Cesar Chavez Day,” in honor of the civil rights and labor leader.