Vail Town Council Candidate: Dick Cleveland |

Vail Town Council Candidate: Dick Cleveland

Because I care deeply about Vail and am committed to the future of the community.

– The monetary and non-monetary costs of growth and development. Managing construction impacts on businesses, residents and guests, parking and traffic congestion, and impacts on the environment.

– Ensuring a workforce to service current businesses as well as the new development. This requires sufficient housing and efficient transportation alternatives.

– Environmental consciousness to secure the future quality of life in Vail. Attending to pine beetle and wildfire mitigation, noise reduction, recycling, air and water quality, and generally reducing our impact on the environment.

– Implementing alternate funding sources for the maintenance of current town infrastructure to guarantee the future of Vail’s public assets.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

The housing ordinance was a step in the right direction. It remains to be seen if it will have sufficient impact on the employee crunch. Additionally, the Town Council’s willingness to explore the formation of a countywide housing authority and its consistent efforts to find a solution to Timber Ridge are commendable.

The council’s fiscal responsibility can be questioned on a number of issues. These include the incessant expenditures for never-ending studies, the failure of the council to control the cost overruns on the Seibert Circle re-design, the temporary windmill installation, and the inflatable rubber bladders recently installed in Gore Creek.

Yes. I think the council and staff have a responsibility to investigate private developer proposals that may provide benefits to the community at large and which the town cannot provide. In this case, the construction of a conference center and the expansion of the existing parking inventory without the use of taxpayer dollars are both benefits to the community. The proposed hotels will increase the number of truly “live beds” in town. That being said, it remains to be seen if the project is economically viable and if it can sidestep the pitfall of continued major Lionshead construction.

In a perfect world, it might be a good time to slow down, take a deep breath and see if the new development really will provide for Vail’s renaissance as it has promised. Will the new high-end developments really contribute to the “live bed” base as they have assured the town? Will we be able to service the new development with sufficient quality employees? Ultimately, current and future development will take place on private property, excluding the Lionshead parking structure. Therefore the town has little ability to interfere with private property owners’ rights to redevelop within the existing development guidelines.

The town must require that all new development carries its fair share of the burden of providing housing and transportation options for the employees it generates. We must responsibly redevelop Timber Ridge, develop the Chamonix Property to provide a variety of housing opportunities, and explore other parcels in Vail where housing could be appropriate. Vail must also work with Eagle County, ECO Transit and the recently formed countywide housing group to assure affordable housing and public transportation throughout Eagle County. Employee parking options must also be provided.

The town needs to be the leading steward of our unique mountain environment. We need to promote public awareness of the various environmental programs that are currently in place. Vail should continue to expand recycling opportunities, implement new energy efficient building codes, use biodiesel fuel in town vehicles, and continue to purchase hybrid replacement buses for the town bus fleet. Green and sustainable development should be encouraged in both the public and the private sectors, as should LEEDS certification for new construction.

I do support the construction use tax. I also support stringent evaluation of council spending practices. The projected shortfall is not a new issue. It was recognized in 2002 and the council elected to put a mil levy increase on the ballot. It failed. Currently development does not cover the costs of increased service demands and additional infrastructure necessitated by growth. This 4 percent tax on construction materials will help close that gap. Should this measure fail, the council will be forced to make cuts across the board including capital projects.

Q: What qualifications would you bring to the Town Council that set you apart from the other candidates?

A: I have a broad level of community and governmental experience. Locally I’ve served on the Vail Housing Authority, the Vail Economic Advisory Council, the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission (current chairman), and the Vail Liquor Board. As a Vail Town Council member from 2001 to 2005, I represented the people of Vail on numerous regional boards and committees and served two years as mayor pro tem.

For 11 years I chaired the ECO Trails Committee. Through collaboration, cooperation and plain hard work, this committee partnered with state, federal, county and local governments as well as developers and neighborhood groups to pave trails throughout Eagle County.

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