Vail candidate field is light
Vail, CO, Colorado
VAIL – With four available Vail Town Council seats this November and just three candidate petitions picked up from the town clerk, the November election is beginning to look like a shoe-in for those who run.
It’s early, though, and many believe some last-minute candidates will emerge as the Oct. 7 petition deadline approaches.
The three petitions were picked up by incumbent Margaret Rogers, former Town Council member Greg Moffet and Commission on Special Events board member Rayla Kundolf. Kundolf, however, said she’s not yet sure whether she’ll run.
“I picked up a petition and I’m putting a lot of thought into it now, but I haven’t made a decision,” Kundolf said Friday.
So that leaves Rogers and Moffet as the current candidate field, as well as incumbent Andy Daly, who has said he’ll also seek re-election.
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Moffet wants to see more candidates and said he’s even trying to get others to run against him.
“We need good people to do this,” Moffet said. “This is as quiet as I’ve heard it at this point in the cycle.”
Rogers is confident more candidates will join the race, especially when they realize how few people are running, she said. Rogers told Mayor Dick Cleveland, who can run for reelection this year but has said he won’t, that he must run if more candidates don’t enter the race.
“He has sworn he won’t do it,” Rogers said.
Two years ago, when there were also four open seats on the Vail Town Council, issues such as how to weather the economic downturn, affordable housing, parking and how to spend the $9.4 million conference center funds were hot topics. This election season, however, seems to have less controversy or argument.
Moffet said the redevelopment of Timber Ridge is at the top of his list of important issues. The redevelopment has been delayed time and time again, and even though the project is as close as it has been to breaking ground, it’s still not a sure thing.
“That’s got to get addressed,” Moffet said.
Rogers agrees. She said Timber Ridge was one of the things she wanted to accomplish when she first ran for council.
“The recession has really thrown a monkey wrench into it,” Rogers said. “No one can get financing.”
Even the current developer who has gotten financial approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development hasn’t closed yet, leaving the project up in the air.
Employee housing will continue to be an important issue, even if current market conditions have made it less critical, because, Rogers said, the market will turn around someday and the town will be faced with the same housing shortage situation again.
Another big issue this year is fiscal responsibility, which candidates agree the town has done a good job with in recent years.
Moffet said the town needs to make sure any future trimming is done without cutting too much meat.
Rogers said it’s important for the town to stay the course.
“We have been very successful, I think, in the last four years or so in keeping our finances under control, operating with a balanced budget, yet still not neglecting the services that keep us No. 1,” she said.
As more candidates emerge, so will more issues, but Rogers said it seems that people are satisfied even with parking these days.
“Things are going well,” Rogers said. “But there’s more work to be done, for sure.”
Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or email@example.com.