Voters ask: Avon for locals or tourists?
AVON ” As Avon Town Council candidates waived their signs outside the Avon Town Hall, voters lined up in the dim hallway waiting for their turn to vote.
“I like to stay active in local politics,” said Bob Bloczynski, who’s lived in Avon for just more than a year. “I like to know where the money’s going.”
As Bloczynski cast his votes for the new council candidates, he said he wants council members who will make Avon unique from the other resort towns surrounding Avon.
“Something more fresh and new, something unique with it’s own character,” he said.
Bloczynski’s not sure what that new Avon will look like, but he knows it’s going to take a lot of planning, so new councilors best be ready.
Although voters declined to share which Avon Town Council candidates they voted for, many said they wanted a more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly town ” one with an expanded bike trail.
“It should be more people-friendly,” Fred Gessnar said.
A seven-year Avon resident, Peggy, who declined to give her last name, said she was all for revoking Avon’s property transfer tax.
Avon resident of eight years, David Moe was most interested in casting his vote against Amendment 39, a law that would require schools to allocate 65 percent of school budgets to limited classroom expenses.
“I’m not for it because it doesn’t fund stuff like hot lunch or administrators,” Moe said.
Next to Moe, his wife, Dawn, said the war in Iraq is her motivation during this election season. “We need to bring our troops home,” she said. “If you don’t vote, you can’t change anything.”
Scott Somas was also at the polls to vote on school issues. Somas, the father of school-aged children, said he was in favor of 3B, a $128 million school bond that will build new schools and repair or upgrade existing ones. But even if he didn’t have kids, he’d vote for the bond, Somas said.
“I think it makes sense. I think we need the educational facilities,” said Somas, who has lived in Avon since 1987.
Avon resident Jake Wells has a baby on the way and was particularly interested in voting for 1A, an early childhood tax that would fund things like preschool and health care for youngsters.
“It’s important,” he said. “Education isn’t the place to save money.”
He’s not as concerned about Avon, which he said is “going in a direction that’s going to be good for the people that live here.”
David Collins made quick work of his ballot voting only for sheriff ” Scott Griffin ” and a vote to legalize small amounts of marijuana for personal consumption.
“I don’t even smoke weed, but I think (Sheriff) Joe Hoy wasted a lot of money going after people who smoke weed,” Collins said.
Julie Ozog, an Avon resident of 10 years, admitted she hates politics and the negativity of smear ads, but she wants her opinions to count too. So, she bundled up her infant daughter, whom she said she hopes sleeps through the voting process, and took her place in line.
With the line stretching to more than 25 people, election judges allowed people to cast their votes on paper ballots, instead of on the electronic voting machines.
By late afternoon, the line of voters waiting their turn at the Avon Town Hall had slimmed down. But the promise of long lines at quitting time loomed.
Those who could finagle the time off work, didn’t work until later or didn’t work at all, took the opportunity to cast their votes during the slower time.
“You’ve got to put your voice out there,” said Avon resident Kevin Smithers. “I’m not planning a revolution or anything, but it’s important to make your opinions known.”
Living in Avon for a couple years, Smithers said the development at the Village at Avon, which includes Wal-Mart and The Home Depot, is his greatest concern.
“Well, I don’t own a house, and I’d like to, so I’m for the development,” he said.
Jennifer Bruner and Mark Strickland agreed development was inevitable and necessary, but within reason. “There are changes in Avon by the week,” Strickland said. “We need to continue to grow but not get too crazy.”
Strickland said the planned East and West Avon villages would be a good addition to Avon for both locals and tourists. But voters disagreed over whether Avon should become a resort community like Beaver Creek or Vail Village or remain more focused on year-round residents.
“We need to grow more like a community, not like a resort,” said one pregnant lady who declined to give her name.
Staff Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 748-2927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.