Vail Daily Candidates’ Questionnaire
– Age: 45
– How long have you lived in Vail, and where did you come from originally?:
“Over nine years full time (4 years part time before that). Originally from Minnesota.”
– Occupation: Owner of Tiga Advertising, Inc.
– Political/government experience:
Four years Vail Town Council; four years Planning and Environmental Commission.
1) – What specific concerns or issues led you to run for Vail Town Council?
“Originally, I thought the council four years ago was obstructionist and anti-neighborhood. They seemed to focus exclusively on the village cores at the expense of the neighborhoods. They also were ineffective at leveraging community benefit from private development.”
2) – What do residents of Vail want from local government, and how do you plan to meet their needs?
“That runs a pretty wide gamut. I think a lot of people, especially those that are too busy to squander precious time on attending meetings, want the town to take care of basic civic responsibilities like safety and recreation. They want the government to keep the town a great place to live and make a living. I have focused on that the last four years and will continue to keep that as my objective if I’m re-elected.”
3) – What personal qualities do you feel you offer that will best benefit town government?
“I am passionate about making Vail great. I am a successful business owner, husband and father – not necessarily in that order. I ski, bike (road and mountain), run trails, snowshoe, skate and coach kids – I haven’t lost touch with what brought most of us here.”
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?
“Continue to focus on increasing sales-tax collections. Holding levels relatively steady the last couple years is a testament to the town’s investment in the business community and the effective use of the lodging tax for marketing. Push for bed-base increases, as lodging is the biggest sales-tax generator we have. Continue discussion of shifting revenue reliance from sales to less volatile taxes, like property taxes.
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?
“I was part of the council that adopted the current mission/vision emphasizing environmental stewardship as a town goal. I think overall we’ve done a good job of weighing environmental considerations in our decisions – except for snowmelting the streets, which really increases greenhouse gas emissions. We purchased several open space parcels, including the East Vail waterfall. We protected the upper bench of Donovan Park. We should (and are) taking a much closer look at alternative fuels and technologies to operate town vehicles.”
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?
“With the majority of the money coming from Vail Resorts, build another plate of parking on the Lionshead structure as part of the conference center development.”
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?
Continue to focus on increasing sales tax collections – holding levels relatively steady the last couple years is a testament to the town’s investment in the business community and the effective use of the lodging tax for marketing. Continue discussion of shifting revenue reliance from sales to less volatile taxes, like property taxes.
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?
“If we lose the community, we lose the resort. People that can vacation anywhere chose Vail in part because we are a great town. So we have to take steps to make sure we maintain – and improve upon – our population diversity. Hopefully, in 10 years there are still lots of families, as well as young singles and empty-nesters, living here year-round.”
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 town needs an indoor recreation facility to house gymnastics, dance, martial arts, yoga and other activities that appeal to a broad range of ages and activity levels – and an outdoor pool.”
10) – If not stated above, what is your position on the Vail Conference Center?
“Wildly in favor.”
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?
“As involved, but we need to shift focus to the next huge un-met need, which is family-sized housing. Currently, people outgrow The Commons and North Trail Townhomes with their second child. We need to offer these vitally important members of our community options to help them decide to stay in town.”
12) – What is your position on building another fire station in West Vail?
13) – What is your position on consolidating fire and emergency services with other agencies downvalley?
“Assuming we get the right service-level guarantees, which seems doable, I’m in favor of it.”