Vail Daily Candidates’ Questionnaire
– Age: 69
– How long have you lived in Vail, and where did you come from originally?:
“15 years full-time, bought our first property in Vail, 1963; originally from Wisconsin, where I learned to ski and met my wife , Nancy, in that order.”
– Occupation: Retired – IBM
– Political/government experience: “(a) Worked with government organizations developing missions/strategies and improvement programs while with IBM. (b) Frequent attendee and active participant in Vail’s council meetings over last 10 to 12 years.
1) – What specific concerns or issues led you to run for Vail Town Council?
“(a) Lack of urgency in addressing problems; (b) Lack of synergism in working together; (c) Limited vision.”
2) – What do residents of Vail want from local government, and how do you plan to meet their needs?:
“(a) Residential bliss: (1) Municipal services and infrastructure; (2) Special Vail needs, such as a reduction in noise from Interstate 70 and a third fire station; (3) Special needs related to point in time or a life cycle, such as housing and youth activities.”
3) – What personal qualities do you feel you offer that will best benefit town government?
“(a) Ideas about outcome, e.g. vision and fiscal responsibility; (b) In-depth decision making: pro/cons, decision alternatives; (c) Independence of special interests; (d) Involvement at right level: “Can see the forest from the trees”; and (e) Impatience as an occasional necessary ingredient to a sense of urgency.”
4) – The most recent Vail Community Survey identified “sustaining economic vitality of businesses in Vail” as the most important issue on the minds of Vail’s residents. How do you plan to address that?
“(a) Facilitate: for example, make rules and regulations user-friendly, help the business community set up a Business Improvement District, move Vail’s revitalization projects along through the “processes”; (b) Fund: “prime the pump” to organizations that provide accountability, e.g., through the Commission For Special Events; or (c) Get out of the way: e.g., don’t try to impose rules and regulations that are not needed or wanted.”
5) – The second-biggest issue on the minds of Vail residents is the “protection of Vail’s environmental resources.” How do you plan to address that?
“Environmental protection: (a) Continue volunteer cleanups of town, rivers and roads; (b) Continue some funding of the I-70 stream cleanup till state and federal governments can play their correct roles; (c) Institute town jaw-boning, technical assistance, code enforcement re-energy efficiency for homes and commercial structures; (d) Let public in on pro-con reasoning to go for heated streetscape.
“Note: We did not go for LEED green certification for Donovan Pavilion due to cost – a lost opportunity.”
6) – The third-biggest issues on the minds of Vail residents is “adequate and safe parking for peak visitor periods.” How do you plan to address that?
“The die is cast for this coming season – some widening of South. Frontage Road, Vail Resort’s west lot, the lot at the Chateau at Vail, Park “n’ Ride for locals. Early next spring, evaluate how it went. If Ford Park is back on the plan – a serious safety issue would do that- a business case has to be put together that includes substantial ground rent for our open space.
7) – Declining sales-tax revenues are being blamed for a decline in Vail’s economic vitality. If elected, how would you turn things around?
“Again, work on the revenue-increase side of the equation: facilitate, fund or get out of the way. Then work on the expense side, with possible top-down cuts and for sure, bottom-up productivity working with our new town manager.”
8) – Vail began as a ski resort and evolved into a community. Where do you see this ongoing evolution going over the next 10 years?
“My vision statement defines our town’s mission to be the “premier mountain resort and residential community” in five dimensions. We already are there for No. 1 and No. 2 – body and mind activities. We need to bring some young people back for No. 3: “all ages.” We will have No. 4: “all seasons,” when our economic engine is in place – including a “right sized” conference center. Finally, No. 5: a great place for employment and business ownership will also be there.”
9) – The Donovan Park Pavilion is the first permanent community amenity built by the town of Vail since the Vail Public Library in 1983. What kind of facility, if any, would you most like to see in the future and how would you propose funding it?
“Except for the third fire station, any future public facilities have to focused towards the infrastructure that must mesh with the enormous private development coming online from the village to Lionshead. Finding the funding for this is what all the sales tax fuss is about. A tool called Urban Renewal Authority will help us raise over $8 million dollars for Lionshead – but its complicated and has caveats.”
10) – If not stated above, what is your position on the Vail Conference Center?
“The right size to match the conference rooms and ballrooms in existing/planned/envisioned hotels. If there is a choice of small, medium, large or extra large, perhaps we go with medium or large?”
11) – The approval of housing at Middle Creek and the purchase of Timber Ridge are significant steps in Vail’s efforts to bring affordable housing to its employees. Do you believe the town should be more involved – or less involved – in providing housing?
“At the moment, we need to complete Middle Creek and take a deep breath. Let’s see what impact the apparent over-supply of rental units in our geographical area has on rental and for sale property in our town.”
12) – What is your position on building another fire station in West Vail?
“I have gone on record for some time to support it: To provide the minimum response time for fire and first-responder service across our 10-mile long town of Vail; and to provide back-up in the event of multiple events spread across town and I-70.”
13) – What is your position on consolidating fire and emergency services with other agencies downvalley?
“Emotionally, I am against it. Fire protection service is typically one of the first things established in a community – it’s the heart of a town for the physical presence and a sense of community. The financial considerations may be overwhelming. But who knows, because all the talks are going on in secret?”