Vail Town Council candidate Edward Padilla hopes to contribute to town’s energy
Edward Padilla is one of 10 candidates — including three incumbents — running for Vail Town Council. The polling-place election is Nov. 7. The other candidates are:
• Dave Chapin
• Travis Coggin
• Mark Gordon
• Rodney Johnson
• Brian Rodine
Editor’s note: There are 10 candidates this year for four seats on the Vail Town Council. For the next four weekdays, the Vail Daily is publishing a profile of each candidate. Profiles are being published in no particular order, and previously published profiles can be found at http://www.vaildaily.com.
VAIL — Like many others, Edward Padilla has turned his vacation home into his permanent address. Now, he’d like to help guide the town’s government.
Padilla, who’s retired from the newspaper industry — he most recently ran the newspaper division of the Washington Post — has had a place in Vail since 1983. Like others, he began spending more time here as the years passed, and a couple of years ago made Vail his full-time residence.
That transition was spurred in large part by the community energy in Vail.
“As you get older, you want to stay active and be with people who are active,” Padilla said. “You want to live a life that’s enjoyable and make a contribution.”
The decision to run for Town Council was based on that philosophy.
“I’m familiar with the town, and I’ve got some time I can devote to keeping this a good place,” he said.
Padilla said Vail is in good shape in many ways.
“There’s a great staff and good people,” he said. “We’re fortunate to have a strong economic base and competent people.”
The challenge for the town, Padilla said, is what the town will look like in 20 years or beyond.
A sense of place
In Padilla’s view, Vail needs to “be a town where people have a sense of place, where all segments of the community are appreciated and working together,” Padilla said. “I’m hopeful Vail won’t be a town only for people with money.”
That’s going to require housing, of course. Padilla said the town has done a “pretty good job” on the Chamonix townhome project. Padilla is also optimistic about the Vail 2027 housing plan, which calls for the town to acquire 1,000 deed-restricted units over the next decade.
Padilla called that plan both optimistic and aggressive.
Determining the town’s housing future needs to be aimed, at least in part, toward people who want to live in town for the longterm.
Padilla said people who buy homes in Chamonix, or live long-term in rental housing, have the opportunity to not just work in town, but to contribute to its civic life in the present and future.
In addition to creativity with housing, Padilla said the town needs to be imaginative in solving its parking problems.
“Sometimes structured parking is economically unfeasible,” he said. “We’ve got to be careful about taking open space for parking.” Quoting songwriter Joni Mitchell, Padilla said the town needs to be sure it doesn’t “pave paradise and put up a parking lot.”
While this is his first shot at elective office in Vail, Padilla has been deeply involved in community projects elsewhere.
When he was running weekly newspapers, he’d sit down with those papers’ editors and publishers and then pick three projects to cover involving the health and welfare of the communities.
In Folsom, California, the newspaper set up a project to train inmates from the state prison for jobs they could do in the community.
Elsewhere, Padilla was a newspaper publisher Trenton, New Jersey, a city he said had some problems related to the fact it’s the state capitol. There, “good, effective planning” helped solve some of those problems.
Being the seat of state government “was the 800-pound gorilla there,” he said. “Vail has the 900-pound gorilla (Vail Resorts). Padilla said the town and resort company have had an “arm’s-length” relationship over the years. The two entities can work together, he said, but maintaining that arm’s-length relationship needs to continue.
With planning and vision, Padilla believes Vail can be well-positioned for its future. Asked what he’d like to see at the end of his first term — if elected — Padilla said “I’d like to say that we’d maintained where Vail had come through great (past) efforts and improved it, with a vision to the future.”
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