Vail Daily’s View: Downturn inspires more teamwork
Vail, CO, Colorado
Economic crisis ” and the continuing Vail Valley problems of transportation and affordable housing ” have forced Vail and Eagle County to look to one another to fund solutions.
The two governments met earlier this week to see if they could share the costs of housing for the resort town’s employees and bus service for the entire valley. Vail said it would consider helping build park-and-ride lots downvalley, while the county said it might be interested in helping rebuild Vail’s Timber Ridge employee housing complex.
No decisions were made, but this recession may bring about the inter-governmental cooperation that is often called critical by candidates running for office but has too often been neglected between elections.
This kind of meeting is a good sign, and the next get-together should also include the towns of Avon, Eagle and Gypsum and the valley’s other decision-making boards.
If you believe in the cliche that every challenge is an opportunity, there’s a huge opportunity here to improve public transportation, create more affordable housing and preserve open space, among other local priorities, if everyone is willing to abandon the turf wars, look beyond town boundaries, and work together.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Young families and other middle-class professionals were under pressure before the economy tanked. Now, that pressure’s borderline existential ” meaning there are more forces than ever convincing them they can’t make a living here. Some have decamped for cheaper regions.
Our valley governments should come together to ensure during these difficult days that more of the middle class doesn’t evaporate. The development industry has been hit particularly hard, and no small number of architects, engineers and development markets have had hours cut back or lost their jobs altogether.
And while the halt of local development has forced the opening of a soup kitchen to help feed out-of-work residents, there might be an opportunity to salt away more open space. Perhaps if our leaders can come up with the money, developers looking for a little cash flow would be willing to part with some Eagle County land for preservation where that makes sense.
A time of layoffs, profit loss and other financial woes is incredibly difficult for everyone. But it’s also a chance for the community leaders to shine in improving the quality of life of the future, when the economic storm breaks.
Vail Daily Editorial Board