Vail Daily Candidates’ Questionnaire: Rod Slifer
– Name: Rod Slifer- Age: 69- How long have you lived in Vail, and where did you come from originally?:Forty-three years in Vail; originally from Brighton, east of Denver.- Occupation: Real Estate, senior partner of Slifer, Smith & Frampton Real Estate.- Political/government experience:Boards of directors, public and private, past and present:Xcel Energy, 1988-present; Alpine Banks of Colorado, 1973-present; Eagle County Planning Commission, 1966-75; Vail Planning Commission; Vail Town Council,1977-85 (mayor 1978-85) and 1999-2003; 5th Judicial District Nominating Committee, 1979-86; Colorado Association of Ski Towns, 1979-85 (president 1980-81); Vail Metropolitan Recreation District, 1965-80; Governor’s Metropolitan Round Table, 1982-86; Berry Creek Metropolitan District, 1979-85; Colorado Executives for Opportunity.1) – What specific concerns or issues led you to run for Vail Town Council?”There are several redevelopment projects critical to our economic viability and I want to make sure they get started. It will take a public/private effort to move us forward.”2) – What do residents of Vail want from local government, and how do you plan to meet their needs?”Residents expect regular municipal services delivered at the lowest possible cost. More importantly, they want leadership and a vision for the future. I offer both.”3) – What personal qualities do you feel you offer that will best benefit town government?”I offer experience, vision and a burning desire to make Vail No. 1 in every way, but the town and town council cannot do it alone. It will take the combined efforts of the town, citizens and business community working toward a common vision and goals. We can agree to disagree, but must then put our differences aside and move forward.”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?”I addressed this in #1 and #3. However, to expand on the issue, we must redevelop those projects being proposed. They will bring in an enormous amount of sales-tax revenue when completed. We must create a larger retail mass to offer more variety and an experience that will attract more shoppers. We must move forward in building the conference center the voters approved.”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?”Our natural environment is perhaps our most valuable asset. We must always consider environmental impacts in everything we do. We must also try to mitigate some of nature’s impacts, such as beetle kill – which creates fire danger – protect our limited water resources and mitigate highway noise, to mention a few.”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?”Parking has to be expanded. We have an offer from Vail Resorts to pay for approximately half the cost of another layer of parking at the Lionshead structure. We should aggressively pursue this public/private opportunity. We must consider safer parking on the Frontage Road. We need to make sure we have utilized all potential sites for additional parking.”7) – Declining sales-tax revenues are being blamed for a decline in Vail’s economic vitality. If re-elected, how would you turn things around?”We have already taken steps to remedy sales tax decline, which I have addressed in previous questions. Again, it will take retail merchants, the entire business community and the town to turn the economy around. There is not a simple answer, but the execution of several things, such as streetscape improvements, more retail space, more lodging and a great marketing effort, are examples of what have to be done.”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?”As the population of permanent residents declines and the number of second-home owners increases, we swing back to being more of a resort. We will always be a community, but affordability has caused many longtime residents to move west of Vail. I don’t see that as bad, but merely a fact of what has happened. I also envision many second-home owners spending much more time here and many even becoming permanent residents.”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?”The next public project is the conference center. It has been funded by a lodging tax and a citizens committee will make recommendations to the council after receiving input from consultants who are currently conducting a study as to its size, program of space and a business plan as to how it can be operated. This facility will have a very positive economic impact on the town of Vail.”10) – If not stated above, what is your position on the Vail Conference Center?”I support it wholeheartedly for the reasons mentioned above.”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?”The town council has addressed the seasonal housing issue for the immediate future. There is still a need for affordable housing for permanent residents and we need larger units to accommodate families. The town does have land that would be suitable for this type development, which can be addressed by the next council.”12) – What is your position on building another fire station in West Vail?”I have consistently supported building a fire station in West Vail.”13) – What is your position on consolidating fire and emergency services with other agencies downvalley?We should evaluate not only the feasibility of consolidating fire service, but also other municipal services. If we can provide the same or better services at a lower cost, we should look at consolidating.