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Vail Valley Voices: Positive should be discussed

Brandi Resa
Vail, CO Colorado
valleyvoices@vaildaily.com

At a previous town of Eagle meeting, a trustee said, “Bring on the lawsuit.” After Tuesday’s 4-3 decision to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, it was not clear if the town will face a lawsuit or a referendum or if the medical marijuana dispensary owner will simply lose the family savings.

And even though during the latest election in Eagle County, the majority of Eagle precinct voters were in favor of medical marijuana dispensaries, it was not clear to two of the trustees that that meant Eagle residents would want a dispensary in their town.

It is always tough to witness a hardworking business owner lose their business, whatever the reason, but it is more difficult to understand when the police, the town and the state confirm they have done everything they have been asked to do and more. Although the owner is probably still upset over the decision, at least they can feel confident that they have an impressive attorney in Sean McAllister who can lead their response.

From a couple of comments made, audience members were vocal during the board discussion. I know I have wanted to shout from my seat a few times, so I felt sympathy for them as once public comment closes, it is hard to accept some of the comments of the board. One outspoken resident got up during the second round of public comment to tell the board it made a big mistake and that if it is that concerned about the impact of marijuana on public safety, it also should institute a ban against liquor stores because liquor has a greater impact on our community welfare.

After the decision was reached, the 12 or so people who showed up in favor of the medical marijuana dispensary, and the one against it, emptied the room. The board was exhausted from the issue but still had some other items on the agenda. There was a community request for Project Graduation and a $30,000 matching grant request to move the recycling center with cooperation (and matching funds) of the county.

The sales tax report was presented by staff, but there was confusion over how to read the report as some trustees were reading the numbers as 25 percent down and some were reading them as 4 percent down. Market Street and Chambers still lead the way in sales tax production. There never seems to be any positive info presented related to the numbers, and to me, it seems there is a disconnect between not liking the sales tax numbers and issues before them. At the beginning of the meeting, a fairly new retail business let the board know it would relocate to Edwards and the reasons why. Although the board might not have been able to resolve the situation, I was disappointed that not one board member apologized for the situation and the fact that the business was leaving Eagle or thanked the business owner for his recommendations so the town does not lose future business for similar reasons. There was then discussion about the meeting local business owner John Shipp requested. Some members were reluctant to meet with him as not to overstep the marketing committee and because they were not clear what he was wanting with the meeting. Trustee Scott Turnipseed stated that Shipp is exactly the type of business owner and contributor the town needs and that if he asks for a simple lunch meeting, the board should go.

Instead of seeing the glass as always half empty, I would rather the town leaders at least mention some of the positives happening, including new businesses that have opened (thank you, Active Communications), events that are coming to town (such as the Karate State Championships this weekend being led and brought here by James Lee Karate) and the fact that a successful businessman like Shipp has promised to contribute a lot toward the town’s success.

Trustee Yuri Kostick would rather see two-sided copies as this request has become repetitive and tiring for him.

And I would like to see more people attend the next Board of Trustees meeting, which will be held Tuesday at 6 p.m. The decisions the board makes do affect your life, so see y’all at Town Hall!

Brandi Resa is an Eagle resident.


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