Vail Daily’s View: Vail leaders return their raises |

Vail Daily’s View: Vail leaders return their raises

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail, CO, Colorado

Thanks, but no thanks.

How many people do you know who turn down raises they’ve earned?

That’s what Town Manager Stan Zemler, Town Attorney Matt Mire and Municipal Judge Buck Allen did recently.

They didn’t have to do this. They could have gone like their bosses, the Town Council, and set their jaws, taken their ribbing, declared how they deserved their raises for protecting the town as they have and not let some pesky public opinion get in the way. The very thought.

Clearly, the town of Vail is no AIG. The financial world would not be teetering today with the town’s staff at the helm. They did a sound job of turning bounty into savings that is taking some of the edge off the struggles today.

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And these three earned those raises, even if those would have been a bit less than the million-dollar bonuses lavished on AIG whizzes who utterly failed in their jobs.

There’s much to admire in this. They should be repaid on the other side of the economic storm, of course. In the meantime, they get it.

Thank goodness because the council seemed a bit, well, confused about the message they are sending when their town outside the council chambers is struggling big time.

We’ll refrain from the minus this and minus that. These are the mountains, after all, where booms bust, just as surely as busts eventually turn into booms.

If the council has raises to give out right now while the world outside is going the other way, surely it has the means to help its business community a bit more.

That help, done well, can only help the larger community and the town government, too.

It’s not as if the town is doing nothing to help the business community. Vail is among the leaders in contributing to marketing efforts, for example.

But what else could and should they be doing if they were perhaps more focused on the economy than giving raises or, say, getting distracted by weighty issues like going “paperless” while the town in effect is burning?

You’d think the crisis we all are living through would have their full attention.

It certainly should. It’s that serious.

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