Vail residents express confidence in path of current town council, returning 3 incumbents and adding 1 newcomer in Tuesday’s election |

Vail residents express confidence in path of current town council, returning 3 incumbents and adding 1 newcomer in Tuesday’s election

Vail Town Council candidates talk amongst themselves and waves to passing cars in front of town hall during election day Tuesday, Nov. 7, in Vail. Four seats are up for grabs on the council.
Chris Dillmann | |

How they voted

Vail Town Council election results

Dave Chapin: 646*

Jenn Bruno: 528*

Travis Coggin: 420*

Greg Moffet: 405**

Rodney Johnson: 354

Mark Gordon: 332

Ed Padilla: 158

Brian Rodine: 151

Taylor Strickland: 115

Bart Longworth: 81

Votes cast: 968

* Elected to four-year terms

** Elected to two-year term

Source: Town of Vail

VAIL — Voters here decided on continuity in the Tuesday, Nov. 7, Vail Town Council election. Voters returned incumbents Dave Chapin, Jenn Bruno and Greg Moffet to office while also adding newcomer Travis Coggin to the board.

Coggin replaces Dick Cleveland, who decided not to run for another term. Moffet, who finished fourth, will serve a two-year term, but could only have served another two years before being forced out by term limits.

Coggin grew up in Vail, attending Red Sandstone Elementary School and Vail Mountain School before heading off to college and the world of work. This is the first time Coggin has run for elective office, and he said he’s excited to get to work.

Over a roughly two-month campaign, Coggin said he’s enjoyed talking with town residents.

“The continuity we’ll have will allow us to be a strong council and be able to move quickly on all our decisions.”Dave ChapinVail mayor

“I really had a great time,” he said, adding that he and potential voters talked about their ideas for the community “and how to make the great place we live even better.”

The council has to tackle a couple of significant issues in the three remaining meetings of 2017: formulating regulations for short-term rentals and considering the approval of the Mountain View Residences, a combination of free-market condos, deed-restricted apartments and lock-off units that can be used as short-term rentals.

“I’ve been following those from the periphery,” Coggin said. “Now’s the time to jump in and make sure I have a fulsome understanding of the arguments.”

Coggin acknowledged that he has “a little bit” of reading to do before jumping into those issues.

Gathered with most of the rest of the candidates Tuesday at the Bully Ranch in the Sonnenalp Hotel, Coggin handed his phone across the room to Mayor Dave Chapin to talk about the election.

Chapin’s current term as mayor ended Tuesday. The council will choose a mayor for the next two years at its Nov. 21 meeting. Chapin said he’d like to stay in the job.

Looking ahead, Chapin said the fact that this council returns six of its seven members provides a continuity that will be important as the town’s government continues work on a number of issues.

“The continuity we’ll have will allow us to be a strong council and be able to move quickly on all our decisions,” Chapin said.

While the council is likely to proceed largely as it has, some voters Tuesday were hoping for fresh voices on the board.

East Vail resident Frank Barborek said he voted for new voices on the council.

“It’s important to get some people that think broadly about issues,” Barborek said, adding that he hoped the next council would stop any development on a parcel in East Vail that the council last month rezoned in part to accommodate workforce housing.

Jayne Taylor hoped to see the council put more attention into entry-level housing.

Taylor, an 18-year Vail resident, recently became a U.S. citizen. Vail’s council election was the first time she’d voted in her adopted homeland.

“There’s not a lot of affordable housing for rentals,” Taylor said. Referring to the under-construction Chamonix townhome project in West Vail, Taylor said that a $500,000 sale price “isn’t affordable.”

While the Vail Town Council oversees an operation with a total budget of $78 million, it’s still a mountain town with room for a bit of fun at the ballot box.

Someone going by the name Niko Sayag this fall put several campaign signs in the town’s roundabouts.

“Not running for anything — just wanted a sign,” the signs read.

Longtime resident Charmayne Bernhart took that message to heart and wrote in Sayag’s name on her ballot.

“I hope a lot of other people did, too,” she said.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, and @scottnmiller.

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