Vail Daily letter: Offering new direction for town of Eagle
Vail, CO, Colorado
As they complete their ballots, I hope the electorate knows of Robert Frost because on April 3, they will face a similar choice: Eagle, Colo., is at a crossroads.
Some think the town election is only about one project, but the underlining issue is the character of our town, what direction we as a community want to go, and most importantly where the citizen sits on the organizational chart.
I believe most agree we need to create jobs and revenue to grow and maintain the high quality of life we enjoy. But how to do so and what jobs are sustainable over time can cause heated discussion among friends and neighbors.
Unfortunately, these heated discussions have been going on for at least five years when it should have ended in January 2010. This is not because the developer should have gone away, but because the town leadership should have brought both sides together to see what kind of project we could support as a community in east Eagle.
I honestly believe that the “yes” and “no” sides (won’t it be great when we can stop using those terms?) are not that far apart on a project we can embrace and support for the developer. But over 30 percent bigger than we voted down and 80 percent bigger than Glenwood Meadows, with 550 housing units, is simply not it.
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Possibly because it is so big, it seems Eagle River Station will trigger a citizen’s vote (or not) for the candidates. This should definitely be a consideration, but one project should never be the focus of our future, our resources, or our town.
To be a strong economy, we need to embrace the five business districts and various residential neighborhoods for what each offers entrepreneurs and families. The offerings are not the same, which is actually a positive since a truly sustainable community has a diverse mix for visitors, businesses and residents alike.
When the voters go to mark those boxes, they will choose to follow the same old path (and one like many, many towns across the country) or they will choose a less-traveled path where we try to formalize a relationship with our neighbors in Gypsum to share in revenue and the risk and where we realize that the more we involve citizens in the town (which given the technology, there are many ways), the better we as a community will be since one of our greatest assets are the very people and businesses the leadership is supposed to represent.
The current mayor has been in office for four years, so if you feel great about the direction of the community, like your voice matters, like Eagle is a positive environment for businesses and citizens, and are happy with his accomplishments, vote for him. However, if you think Eagle might be able to expand on instead of eliminate the uniqueness and smalltown character and actually appreciate citizens who try to be involved, then vote for Yuri Kostick as the new mayor of Eagle and for a belief that we do not need to be anything other than Eagle, Colo., since that is pretty incredible in itself.
I’d also ask you vote for myself if you want someone concerned greatly about the transparency of your government (I am responsible for the board packets being available to the public and filming meetings); Lonnie Leto, a fresh perspective and someone instrumental in bringing the two chambers together and the lodging tax passed to promote and bring events and people to town; and Anne McKibbin, who has already been serving the community on the Planning and Zoning Board for years.
It is a great commitment for anyone who runs for public office and an even greater responsibility if elected. But overall, the biggest responsibility is who as a citizen you put your faith in and if you want that to be a positive outlook that celebrates discussion and welcomes participation or one that seems upset at the intrusion.
If you’d like to try a new direction and believe in what Eagle, Colo., can be, follow Robert Frost’s direction and choose the less traveled path with your choices on April 3.