Vail Daily letter: Vail needs better
Vail, CO Colorado
I know the next Vail Town Council election is not until November 2009, but a recent legal decision may have already affected the election. In a nutshell, the decision clears the way for council members Newbury and Hitt to run for re-election and thus serve for 10 years.
Given the record of the current council, this decision is dangerous. The current council has shown a complete lack of leadership and has accomplished virtually nothing in terms of the town’s big issues.
Has anything been done about parking? No. Has anything been done about Timber Ridge? No. Has Vail Resorts provided the employee housing required for Arrabelle Square? No. Has anything been done about affordable housing in Vail? Well, sort of – one duplex. West Vail fire station? No.
One accomplishment of Newbury and Hitt was being two of the three “yes” votes for a $20 million bus stop in Lionshead, which will never happen and should never have been voted on, let alone passed with only three votes. Councilman Gordon also must take some of the blame, as he once again recused himself from voting on issues that concern Vail Resorts.
The state of Colorado recently offered to give the town control of the frontage roads and $11 million to maintain them. The council should have jumped on this without reservation. By controlling the frontage roads, the town now controls parking. This is a bargaining chip that is invaluable. Want to bring Vail Resorts to the table on parking? Ban frontage road parking. The council has taken no action.
The working-local platform that Newbury, Hitt, Gordon and Foley ran on sounded good at the time, but clearly some of these people are simply in over their heads.
The complex issues facing Vail, as well as the new economy we are in, require a strong council with a multitude of business background. We need a council that can make a decision, stand behind it and see it through.
Remember that last fall, when the ramifications of the recession became apparent, it was a group of private business leaders and former council members who brought the town together to discuss the issues, not the Town Council.
I hope people who vote in Vail will examine the record of this council before November. The proof is in the pudding. Replacing Kent Logan and Rod Slifer with Farrow Hitt and Kim Newbury is akin to replacing John Elway and Terrell Davis with Brian Griese and Travis Henry. It didn’t work for them, doesn’t work for us.
Richard Silverman Vail