Vail Town Council backs Eagle County, Vail Recreation District ballot issues
October 18, 2017
Board: Vail Town Council, Tuesday, Oct. 17 evening meeting.
Present: Kevin Foley, Greg Moffet, Jenn Bruno, Kim Langmaid, Jen Mason, Dick Cleveland, Mayor Dave Chapin.
Issues: The town had been asked to pass resolutions of support for three ballot issues this fall. State law prohibits the use of town resources to support or oppose ballot issues, but boards can pass one-time resolutions of support or opposition.
How they voted: 7-0 on all three resolutions.
The ballot questions
• Support for Eagle County Ballot Issue 1A. That ballot issue would raise taxes on the sale and production of recreational marijuana, raising roughly $1.2 million per year for mental health programs in the county.
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What they said: Moffet noted the "appalling" lack of mental health services in the county. Adding that industry representatives seem willing to tax themselves for the mental health initiative, Moffet moved to approve the resolution.
• Support for a Vail Recreation District proposed property tax increase. If passed, then the increase would provide about $1.1 million per year, and would primarily fund a backlog of capital-improvement projects.
What they said: Vail Recreation District Director Mike Ortiz told the council that the district — which runs programs and operates town-owned facilities — has roughly $14 million worth of needed work over the next decade and only $4 million in anticipated funding.
Also speaking in support of the resolution was Michael Cacioppo, a longtime local who often questions the need for tax increases.
"This is probably one of the few governments I've dealt with … that hasn't had a tax increase," Cacioppo said. "They've gone since 1993 without a tax increase."
Bruno said since the district was created in the 1990s, the district has expanded its programs and services without asking for a tax increase.
• Support for town Question 1, which asks voters to exempt the town from state law prohibiting counties and towns from participating in cable TV and broadband internet projects.
What they said: Vail Town Attorney Matt Mire told the council that there are no anticipated plans for any town-sponsored cable or broadband projects. The question, Mire said, is more of a show of support for other communities in a broad-based effort to improve broadband services to rural areas.