Vail Valley Voices: Eagle Town Board could use some procedures
Eagle, CO, Colorado
I generally dislike big-box stores and chain restaurants because of the same reason why I like procedures – emotions.
I personally find there is not much emotion in the experience of shopping at a big-box store or eating at a large chain restaurant. The experience is what it is, neither good nor bad, and you know what to expect.
For the opposite reason, I like procedures because they take the emotion out of the issue and allow things to be handled with established protocol.
At the most recent Eagle Town Board meeting, there was a lot of emotion because one former Eagle business owner felt the town’s own procedures were not being followed.
The meeting started with some confusion over the Eagle Auto Sales file being on the agenda at all since that same file had been withdrawn at the previous Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
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This was easily explained, as staff had advertised for the meeting and had to officially continue the file for a future date. But it was not easily explained to a community member as to why a business special-use permit was not being revoked and instead was in for expansion.
Even though this special-use permit was not supposed to be a substantive discussion, it did end up taking most of the meeting time. The mayor questioned whether the Town Board should listen to the complaint at all because the person complaining was only a former business member and has a residential address just outside of Eagle.
The former business owner argued passionately that he was a former business owner in town because the town did not follow its own procedures and laws regarding this special-use permit.
Staff disagreed and walked through its efforts of trying to solve the problem.
The town’s attorney stated most of the towns he works with follow a nice approach in asking for compliance before getting into fines and other hard approaches. And the mayor acknowledged there were probably 100 offenses around town, and this particular one was not being ignored specifically.
From my seat in the audience, I was not expecting such a heated discussion on this evening with such a short agenda.
But since I have attended many meetings, I was not surprised that lack of process, whether or not our community members who cannot vote should be heard, and communication (or lack thereof) cause simple issues to turn into an uncomfortable meeting.
The mayor stated he did not get any of the complaints or issues from the community member because the town had the wrong email address listed for him. It seems this simple error, which I can’t really understand, might have added to the frustration felt from someone who thought the town was not listening.
This was one meeting at which I can’t even remember the details of the other topics discussed, and I am not sure what the resolution was. But I can remember this is not the first time the town’s lack of process seemed to cause great frustration.
It seems that at the same time Eagle is facing financial challenges because of extreme growth, it is also facing process challenges as residents and businesses expect a more official approach in dealing with their concerns.
I am facing another Town Board meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. If you can’t make it, check out the videos at http://www.allabouteagle.com.
See ya’ll at Town Hall!
Brandi Resa is an Eagle resident.