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Vail Daily letter: ERS debate all about ‘me’

David Dillon
Eagle, CO, Colorado
newsroom@vaildaily.com

This is not in any way whatsoever a letter in support of or opposition to Eagle River Station. Let me make that absolutely clear from the outset.

I am compelled only to respond to the constant “ME, ME, ME!” quality of the letters and arguments I continue to read in the Daily. Is everyone so insulated and self-serving that they cannot see that others have different lives, needs, desires, opinions and interests than they?

I see a lot of people on both sides of this issue transparently protecting nothing more than their personal interests while arrogantly and speciously arguing what is best for others and for “the town.”



Most recently, Paul Kulas’ letter, “Pro-Eagle River Station arguments wrong,” struck me as rather imperious, elitist and self-absorbed, not to mention befuddled.

His entire point, he says, is that the plan is not logical. He says the pro-arguments do not hold water. But logic cannot by definition be achieved by a one-sided, subjective view. Unfortunately, Mr. Kulas’ is just that. His arguments also do not entirely hold water, but to that he is oblivious.

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His initial point, that no one in Eagle can survive on $15 an hour or even $60,000 per year because they would never find an affordable place to rent, presupposes that every worker in Eagle lives alone and would be supporting their living situation on a single income.

We all know that is absolutely not the case, so his argument is actually predicated on a rather sophomoric hole in reasoning and obvious omission of truth for someone purporting to apply logic to this debate.

It may be true for some, but not for every individual living here and certainly not for the majority. And the ability to see and analyze objectively all sides of an argument before coming to a conclusion is the foundation of sound logic.



Which is another reason why Mr. Kulas’ arguments fail.

I know many people who would be thrilled for that supplemental $15 an hour or $60,000 per year addition to their household income, whatever the source (local businesses or outside development).

I know families and couples who are having a terrible time because one spouse, partner or child of working age has been unemployed for a prolonged period.

For them, that income Mr. Kulas dismisses as insignificant would be just the thing to put them back on sound financial footing.

And many single people could combine two similar incomes, become roommates and share expenses.

So who is he to speak for everyone in Eagle and say that those sorts of jobs would not be an absolute godsend for many?

Instead of simply arguing that these people cannot afford homes here, I wonder why he did not point out that affordable rental units rather than condos are what is needed here.

I hate to say it, but Mr. Kulas’s letter smacks of wanting to keep the lower income riff raff out of his personal Eagle.

He goes on to say that Eagle needs more shoppers, not more shopping. Absolutely true, to a point. But we simply do not have every type of shopping available in Eagle right now.

I will be the first to champion buying locally and supporting boutique businesses. I will go to a mom-and-pop coffeehouse any day before ever stepping into a Starbuck’s. I will support a family owned restaurant before a chain. I would rather go to an independent bookstore than order from B Dalton or Barnes and Noble. And I would prefer to shop in locally owned Broadway boutiques than online.

We should all look to our town’s own businesses before throwing money to the national corporations, particularly when things are as economically tenuous as they have been.

But I know I cannot find everything I need here. Call me old-fashioned, but I like browsing in stores instead of ordering things online. For myself, I principally shop for clothes. If I were a skier, hunter or construction worker, I would do fine locally. But men’s business attire, which is what my needs are, simply does not exist here.

If you happen to like classical music or art films instead of Britney Spears, country western, “Twilight” or Adam Sandler, try to find a selection of CDs or DVD that may appeal to you without driving to Denver. Go on. I dare you. The list could go on.

And despite all the urging to buy locally in opposition to ERS, I’ll bet that Dell, Apple, Amazon and the like received more business from Eagle Christmas shoppers than did the shops along Broadway. How many here truly put their money where their mouths are?

So yes, we do need more shoppers. But more shoppers also means more residents and more disposable income for those residents, which brings us back to the need for more jobs and more affordable housing.

That being said, there is no getting away from the fact that we also could use more shopping since people must still go to Glenwood Springs, Silverthorne, Denver or their computers because we just don’t have it all here. I am not thrilled at having to drive an hour or two or have to order online for the things I need, so again, Mr. Kulas … it is not all about you.

I have written before in these pages that the people of this town need to realize that not everyone here is a clone. People live here for many different reasons and have many different interests, and your reasons and interests may not be the same as your neighbor. But that neighbor’s opinion is just as valid as yours.

It makes my brain hurt to constantly hear people talk about preserving the “smalltown” feel of Eagle. They say this at the same time that homes, property values and the cost of living here are equal to those of New York, Chicago and San Francisco. It boggles the truly logical mind.

Personally, I have zero interest in Mr. Kulas’ laundry list of all the wonderful activities Eagle has to offer. Zip. Nada. Bupkis.

But again, Mr. Kulas and scores of others obviously love and value them. And I fully support their right to those passions.

But we cannot all be expected to look through his eyes. He has to honor my right to want different things out of my life experience here than he.

I don’t know if ERS will orwill not pass. And again, do not infer support or opposition for the plan from my disagreement with the opinions others have expressed here. I am simply tired of people believing they speak for everyone living here whenever they open their mouths.

Whichever way it goes, my only point is that it is my hope that this whole ugly mess will have opened everyone’s eyes to the fact that no one here lives in a vacuum and that respect for what others want or need and the ability to see things from another point of view other than your own may grow as a result.

David Dillon

Eagle


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