Vail Town Council candidate Reid Phillips in his own words
The Vail PEC commissioner is hoping to bring a unique perspective during a ‘critical time’ for the town
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.
Ballots will be mailed out on Oct. 16. For more information on the Eagle County Coordinated Election — including how and where to vote — visit EagleCounty/US/CoordinatedElection.
Name: Reid Phillips
Occupation: Father, husband, builder and Vail ski patroller (19th season)
Neighborhood you live in: Sandstone
Length of residence in Eagle County and Vail: 29 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?
I am currently a member of Vail’s Planning and Environmental Commission, Vail Open Land Board and Casolar Del North HOA president. My volunteer experience includes Habitat for Humanity Vail and Denver, Lindsey Vonn Foundation, Vail Mountain School, Vail Rec District, Ski Club Vail and Roundup River Ranch. I have always done local charity work and volunteered, as I believe we must engage and help within our community first.
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Why did you decide to run for Town Council?
After working on PEC for the last three-plus years and getting firsthand experience about how to effectively work toward common goals with different approaches, I think I can bring a unique perspective and approach that will be needed during the next critical time for the town of Vail.
What are the top three things you’d seek to accomplish during your term if elected?
- Create a sustainable community environment for individuals and families that live and work in Vail;
- Ensure that Vail has a fair and equitable position within Eagle County’s decision-making process; and
- Reestablish a positive working relationship with Vail Resorts that puts community and environmental issues as top priorities.
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?
- West Middle Creek and Dowd Junction are critical projects that can be funded through public/private investment;
- Better utilization of county and federal funding options including the potential of Proposition 123 funding; and
- Focus on funding the maintenance and upgrade of current facilities that need attention.
What additional sources of revenue do you think the town should consider and why?
The lift tax needs to be addressed; it’s been 31 years since it was last adjusted and the current impact of 2.3 million Epic passes has significantly impacted our infrastructure. I would also like to reevaluate the current fee and tax structure for short-term rentals to make sure that the community is benefiting from its impacts.
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?
Now that the process is in its final phase, the council will need to move forward toward a more equitable relationship with the valley’s largest employer and stakeholder. It’s important for both parties to understand that it’s mutually beneficial if both the town and Vail Resorts are thriving. Our success as a community is unfortunately tied to Vail Resort’s success, but I do believe we can establish a relationship that favors the town’s interests.
Outside of affordable housing, what other workforce issues do you think the town needs to address and how do you propose it does so?
Unfortunately, a large portion of our workforce lives downvalley. We need to do a better job with public transit. I do think the formation of the new RTA will help, and Vail needs to be a primary stakeholder as the town is the No. 1 economic driver in the valley. Not all employees can ride the bus, so the employee parking option needs to be more of a priority. We should not use workforce parking as a source of elevated revenue. The reduced free parking period also has had a significant negative impact on local business. Locals no longer come into Vail for lunch or shopping.