Vail Daily letter: Running for Avon’s council | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: Running for Avon’s council

Chris Evans Vail, CO, Colorado

“Evans elected to Avon Town Council”… At least I hope that will be the headline on Nov. 3. After numerous requests from others to run for the Town Council and some time away from working on the Town of Avon Planning & Zoning Commission, I have decided to enter my name in the election for the Avon Town Council on Nov. 2. My experience within the town of Avon as a member of the Planning & Zoning Commission, business owner and parent of three girls gives me a strong background to draw upon to help guide Avon forward over the next four years.I grew up in upstate New York, did my undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia and my master’s degree at University of Colorado in Boulder. Both of my degrees are in aerospace engineering. I worked in Houston for NASA at Johnson Space Center and then for an engineering software firm in Boston prior to moving to Avon in 1995 and settling in Wildridge in 1996. Since that time, my wife and I started a construction company, Evans Chaffee Construction Group, which we continue to own and operate. I am proud of the fact that our firm has twice been acknowledged as the Vail Valley Business of the Year – once in 2004 and again in 2008. Through our annual Evans Chaffee Kickball Classic and Pancake Breakfast, along with many other nonprofit involvements, we have donated more than $200,000 to worthy local charities, some of which are the Eagle County Women’s Shelter, CASA, The Youth Foundation, First Descents, Vail Valley Foundation and this year’s beneficiary, Small Champions. In January 1997, I applied for a position on the Avon Planning & Zoning Commission and was appointed to six consecutive terms through 2009. I served as chairman from 1998 through 2009. During my tenure on P&Z, I was involved in the annexation of the Village at Avon, two comprehensive plan updates and myriad other sub-area plans, including the East Avon Town Center Plan and the West Avon Town Center Plan, among others. I am proud of the direction that Avon has taken during the 12 years I participated on the P&Z and I want to continue to serve the town as I enjoy being involved in the community.My experience and commitment to Avon are two important factors that I can bring to the table as a Town Council member. With the 12 years of experience of working for the town of Avon Design Review Board, I would bring a level of understanding and experience that would hopefully add substantially to the Town Council. I feel that experience gives me a better insight into the history of Avon and the process through which we have arrived today. It also gives me an understanding of how to get things done. The town is not perfect, and there is a lot of hard work to do moving forward. Experience counts when selecting the best candidates for the job of directing Avon into the future.As chairman of the P&Z for 11 years, I did the best I could to evenly and fairly evaluate applications. I believe that I set an example that other members of the P&Z could respect. Most importantly, I learned how to consistently enforce the rules and agree and disagree with an applicant’s point of view in a manner that was professional, respectful and defensible. I feel this is really important, because the Town Council is responsible for establishing the rules and regulations under which the town functions. I have spent years working to enforce those rules and regulations, and I have seen firsthand what works and what does not. My reasons for running for the Town Council are simple. My first reason is that Avon faces a lot of important decisions for our future, and I have the experience and desire to help our town become great. In my 12 years on P&Z, I have gained a tremendous amount of experience, education and insight into what works well for this town. My business experience involves large multi-million dollar projects throughout Eagle County. I am comfortable developing budgets and, more importantly, working within a budget. As demonstrated on P&Z, I am not afraid to speak up for what I believe is right. My experience will allow me to be up to speed very quickly and actively participate on the Town Council. My decision to run is not a spur-of-the moment decision. It is the result of 12 years of commitment to this town. With luck, I will add eight more years to that.My second reason for running is my “agenda.” I do not have one. I am not running for personal benefit or gain. I am not running because I am unhappy with where the town is. I am running because I can look past those items and focus on the bigger picture of what is best for the town and what the town’s residents really want. This is not about what is best for me.I have also learned two very important lessons: to listen and to compromise. It is so important to listen to opposing points of view and put yourself in that person’s position to empathize and look at all sides of an argument prior to making a decision. Compromise is the key to reaching a successful decision. With seven members on the Town Council, I believe it is important to state your point of view and explain why to the fullest extent possible. But I have never seen a resolution that has been perfect for everyone involved. To that end, I am pragmatic. I believe it is important to stand strong on what you believe in, but I also believe that it is important to be willing to listen and compromise in order to build a consensus and get things done.I am looking forward to being elected and serving on the Avon Town Council. I want to hear what your concerns are and what you see as important for Avon. You can contact me via e-mail at Evans.AvonTC@gmail.com, on my cell at 970-471-5147 or on Facebook at “Chris Evans-Avon Town Council.” Thank you for your support on Nov. 2. Experience counts!Chris Evans Avon