Vail to pick five council members
VAIL ” Employee housing, the environment and redevelopment are big issues in Tuesday’s Vail Town Council election, in which 10 residents are running for five open seats.
Mayor Rod Slifer and Councilman Greg Moffet are term-limited, and Councilman Kent Logan has chosen not to seek re-election. The polls are open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Vail Municipal Building.
The candidates are:
Cleveland was a councilman from 2001-05. He is currently chairman of the Planning and Environmental Commission and serves on the county’s trails committee, and has previously served on the liquor board. Cleveland said his experience in Vail government will make him a good councilman, especially as the council is losing several experienced members.
Connolly serves on the town’s Commission on Special Events. He’s running for council because he cares about the town and has skills that would make him a good councilman, including building consensus and being able to “critically analyze situation,” he said. He returned to Vail in 2001 after being gone for more than a decade, saying he wanted to enjoy Vail’s quality of life.
Andy Daly, 61, is a developer and was president of Vail Resorts from 1992-2002. He said he wants to help Vail maintain its quality of life, and that means making sure there’s a middle class in Vail, he said. He has financial experience that will help the town, and his work with Vail Resorts will aid the town in its dealings with the ski company, he said.
Foley is an incumbent council who was elected in 2005 and previously served on the Town Council from 1995-2001. Foley said he wants to make sure developers compensate for the effects they have on the community, including providing employee housing. He said he distrusts politicians and the “only way to fight them is from within.”
Irwin, who has lived in Vail since 1972, said he wants the Town Council to become more welcoming. “Hopefully, behind the table, there won’t be a table between me and the people that come to Town Council,” he said. Irwin said he’s tired of seeing wasteful spending by the town, including the installation of snow-melt equipment.
McKown currently serves on the town’s liquor board. McKown said he’s a supporter of local business people, and wants to lessen the impact of construction on local businesses. Vail needs to look for places in town where it can build affordable housing, but the Timber Ridge property should be used solely for seasonal rental housing, he said.
Newbury is an incumbent councilwoman who was elected in 2003, and she touts the accomplishments of the council over the last four years, including creating stricter affordable-housing rules. She also cites the town’s removal of pine-beetle-infested trees and the purchase of hybrid buses as other accomplishments. Newbury said she wants to make sure that workers and families can live in Vail.
Proper currently serves on the board of directors of the Vail Recreation District and the town’s planning commission. Proper said he’s running because he cares about Vail and has a strong sense of civic duty. He wants Vail to encourage affordable housing, but doesn’t want the town to subsidize affordable housing, he said.
Her experience as a corporate litigator would help the Town Council in its negotiations with developers over large projects such as the Lionshead parking structure redevelopment and Ever Vail, she said. She advocates for Vail to be a leader in environmental stewardship. The town could do things a small as replacing light bulbs and as large as using geothermal energy to heat its streets, she said.
Tjossem has lived in Vail since 1973 and has worked for local ski companies Vail Resorts and Booth Creek Ski Holdings. She said she’s a pro-business, pro-development candidate who can build consensus and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Working in the ski industry for years, she has visited many other skis resorts and has seen how they deal with problems that Vail faces.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.