Vail Town Council candidate Dave Tucker in his own words

Candidate and self-proclaimed ‘guitarpenter’ seeks to represent the community’s working class on council

The Vail Daily is running questionnaires with the 10 candidates running for four open seats on the Vail Town Council. The questionnaires will run in the order that the candidates appear on the ballot, which town staff selected via a blind drawing on Sept. 5.

The Town Council election is a nonpartisan race and will be conducted as part of the Tuesday, Nov. 7, coordinated election in Eagle County. Voters within the town of Vail will be able to select up to four candidates. The three candidates that receive the highest number of votes will serve four-year terms, and the candidate that receives the fourth-most votes will serve a two-year term.

For more information on the Eagle County Coordinated Election — including how and where to vote —visit EagleCounty/US/CoordinatedElection.

Name: Dave Tucker
Occupation: Guitarpenter  (guitarist/carpenter)
Neighborhood you live in: Pitkin Creek Condos in East Vail
Length of residence in Eagle County and Vail: 10 years

Have you served on any other boards/commissions/councils in Eagle County or otherwise? Tell us about your volunteer experiences, involvement and service to the community that you live. How will these experiences enable you to bring value to the board?
This is my first foray into public service in Vail. However, I’ve volunteered in my capacity as a carpenter for over two decades. In Tecate, Mexico, I poured concrete floors for poor families to have cleaner domiciles. After Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, I rebuilt homes in New Jersey and Mississippi.

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Limited funding from different sources necessitated communicating with workers, benefactors and government agencies all from different backgrounds and experiences. 

Why did you decide to run for Town Council?
The inspiration arose from the lack of affordable housing for locals. As the only renter represented in this election, I am acutely aware of the market forces working against the working class in our community. The loss of friends and associates to more affordable locales represents a huge loss to our Vail culture. The talent and unique personality that built Vail needs to be accounted for.

What are the top three things you’d seek to accomplish during your term if elected?

  • Housing: Continue the work on the zoning overlay, find appropriate building sites for Vail Resorts and tactfully address the short-term rental/long-term rental divide.
  • Critical stewardship equals bringing a critical lens to the monetary issues facing the town of Vail. We need to consider what can we address locally while being prepared for the national/international financial pressures.
  • Water planning and conservation equals adopting native plant lawns and incentivizing our ability to develop the remainder of land in a positive way.

The town currently has more projects in the pipeline (bringing housing to West Middle Creek, Dowd Junction and other sites to revamping its municipal building and civic area, relocating the Children’s Garden of Learning, and other redevelopments) than revenue to pay for these projects. What do you feel should be the town’s top three priorities and why?

  • Prioritize housing units that create a buy-in point for those who want to make long-term claims in our community, not just seasonal workers.
  • A critical eye as to the purpose of these projects and the source of financing. I apply the lens that Amish use to decide on the adoption of technology: How does the thing bring about and foster community and how does it hinder it?
  • Child care and services that support young families need to be expanded and improved. Some day, I’d like to start a family here, and the options for care are limited and expensive.

What additional sources of revenue do you think the town should consider and why?
Raise the Real Estate Transfer tax by 1% across the board and 5% for any homes adjoining or within wildlife habitat.

The town has been in the midst of the condemnation proceedings with Vail Resorts over Booth Heights as Election Day approaches. How do you feel the town should move forward in repairing the relationship now that the town council voted to acquire the site?
Las Vegas markets itself with the slogan: “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

I propose the inverse of that idiom is true for Vail: What happens within the town of Vail in relation to the eponymous ski company, Vail Resorts, reverberates to EVERY ski town. 

Right now, both the town and Vail Resorts are at important inflection points.

Political and economic vicissitudes will never completely align with our respective goals. Yet, we are bound by one that is evergreen: We want Vail to be THE premier mountain resort destination in the world.

Outside of affordable housing, what other workforce issues do you think the town needs to address and how do you propose it does so?
I dropped out of college because of mental health issues brought on by burnout and stress. Substance abuse and self-medication are the typical go-tos in the service industry, and for those working multiple jobs to afford living here, it can be grueling. More can be done with outreach to de-stigmatize and connect those who need help with the resources they need.

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