Vail Daily editorial: No-brainer with Vail funds
Vail, CO Colorado
The people who contribute to endorsement editorials have been known to have long, and sometimes loud, discussions about the Vail Daily’s opinions about candidates and ballot questions. This time, those voices spoke in unison: Well, duh!
Vail Ballot Question 1 – asking voters to spend on community projects about $9.4 million in tax money first raised to build a conference center – may be the easiest endorsement we’ve ever faced. Vail voters shouldn’t think twice about marking the “yes” box on their ballots.
Here’s the main fact voters need to understand: If the ballot question fails, no person or business gets a refund check. Instead, the town will lower its lodging tax over the course of many years and slowly replace that revenue with money from the conference center fund.
That’s just bad business.
And the money will go to some worthy community projects: renovation of the Vail Golf Club clubhouse, improvements at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater and expanding the playing fields at Ford Park.
All those projects will merge town money with money from either the Vail Recreation District or the Vail Valley Foundation, so the Question 1 funds will do more than they could have by themselves.
With all that said, we wish the ballot question was asking voters if the town could keep the money for a few more years to see if it would be needed to help with the still-in-its-infancy joint effort between the town and Vail Valley Medical Center to use the town hall property to expand the medical center.
We wish Town Council members had been more forthcoming about the legal advice they received to spend the money on these projects, this year. This is, after all, the town that ignored for the better part of three decades a court order to build a West Vail fire station.
But wishes are just that. In the words of a wise man, “If a frog had wings, he wouldn’t thump his bottom when he hops.”
Question 1 is what we have, right now. There is no alternative, and the projects proposed are certainly worthy. What’s done is done and has no effect on the proposal now before Vail’s voters.
This is just about the easiest vote over money any voter, anywhere, could cast.