Western Eagle County rec district candidates vie for seats | VailDaily.com
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Western Eagle County rec district candidates vie for seats

Daily staff report
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Mikayla Curtis

Where to vote

This is a polling-place election, held May 3. Voters can cast ballots at the Eagle County Health Service Building in Edwards, at the Eagle Pool and Ice Rink and the Gypsum Recreation Center. Polls are open 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Absentee ballots may be requested via an application for absentee ballot that is completed, signed, and returned to the Designated Election Official’s office. The last day to request an absentee ballot is April 29, and the voted absentee ballot must be received by 7 p.m. on May 3 to be counted. To request an application for absentee ballot, contact Beth Johnston, 970-926-6060 extension 1, email bethj@mwcpaa.com, or mail to 28 Second St., Suite 213, Edwards, 81632.

EAGLE COUNTY — There are several people running this year for seats on the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District. This is one of the larger districts in the valley, in terms of both population and geography. The district includes much of Edwards, as well as the towns of Eagle and Gypsum and the Dotsero area.

Seven candidates are seeking three available four-year terms on the board; two candidates are seeking one available two-year term. Candidates were asked to answer questions about themselves.

Mikayla Curtis



Occupation: Eagle River Youth Coalition manager of strategic impact.

Length of term sought: Four years.



What made you decide to run for this board? I currently work with community partners to understand and address needs of local youth and families. I want to bring this experience to the board.

In your opinion, what has the district done best? Conversely, where can the recreation district improve? The Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District has done well at offering unique programs and opportunities across facilities. Moving forward, I think the district should improve individual and family recreation opportunities.

What is the most pressing need for the district during the coming five years? Staff support, along with increased and diversified recreation opportunities for a growing community.



Do you have any additional comments? Recreation is a positive way for youth and families to be engaged in the community and promotes healthy life decisions, stronger relationships, and healthier communities.

Elizabeth “Liz” Jones

Occupation: Beaver Creek Resort company director of administration.

Length of term sought: Four years.

What made you decide to run for this board? As a parent and a taxpayer, I’m interested in seeing district facilities reach their maximum potential and serve all valley families.

In your opinion, what has the district done best? Conversely, where can the recreation district improve? The Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District provides the best facilities and safe environments for our families. Improvements can be made with through strong partnerships with local sports clubs, schools, and governmental agencies.

What is the most pressing need for the district during the coming five years? Transparency and a shared vision for the future needs of the valley are needed, along with a refocused approach towards service for all children.

Do you have any additional comments? The public worked hard to bring the district’s facilities to life; the district board must work even harder to meet the needs and high expectations of the public it serves.

Robert “Bobby” Ladd.

Occupation: Architect.

Length of term sought: Four years.

What made you decide to run for this board? To continue my involvement in supporting and growing recreational and sports programs and pushing for new opportunities in Eagle County.

In your opinion, what has the district done best? Conversely, where can the recreation district improve? It has provided fun and affordable recreational solutions to Eagle County children and adults. We need to continue to improve on marketing and outreach to ensure that programs and recreational opportunities are reaching the entire populace.

What is the most pressing need for district during the coming five years? Continued improvements in facilities to maintain the quality and safety for all recreational participants.

Do you have any additional comments? This is a financially sound special district providing great recreational opportunities for many years. I would like to continue to do my part in helping the district grow to meet the needs of the ever-changing recreational and sports world.

John McCaulley.

Occupation: Manager of customer and metering services, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District.

Length of term sought: Four years.

What made you decide to run for this board? I enjoy working with the community, partners and boards. I find it very fulfilling to be on the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District board. I want to again be a member of this world class recreation district. If you know me, then you know me as an active member of the community in the district. I also posses a strong knowledge of Title 32 Special District law, risk and insurance standards.

I am a skilled board member and wish to serve because I believe I can be a contributor to the board and can step in with very little need for training, I know the history of the district. I understand budgets, policies, and am very familiar with all district facilities. My values and philosophy easily align with the district — affordable recreation opportunities, available to all our taxpayers, with high quality facilities.

In your opinion, what has the district done best? Conversely, where can the recreation district improve? The district has had a lot great improvements :The Gypsum Recreation Center, the Eagle Pool and Ice Rink, and the Edwards Field House are examples, completed with the cooperation of the towns, county and metropolitan districts. This district is in the process of doing a community survey to help the staff and board determine community needs. I would like to see more fitness programs available in the Eagle and Edwards area.

What is the most pressing need for the district during the coming five years? Most of the fields the district manages are not owned by the district. We need to work on long-range agreements with the towns, county and entities like the school district for cooperative, scheduling, use, management and maintenance plans to improve and enhance these fields. There is ever-increasing need for this field use from just about every outside sport and age group, from football, baseball, lacrosse and soccer to special events and tournaments.

Do you have any additional comments? I have been involved with the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District for many years as a parent with children in many sports. As a board member for more than eight years, and as volunteer advocate doing anything for the district when I am asked.

I have been on multiple boards including Edwards Metro District, Western Eagle County Recreation District, Eagle River Fire Protection District and the Special District Association of Colorado. I am currently serving on the Edwards Community Advisory Committee and the state group’s legislative committee and the Property and Liability Insurance Pool.

Christopher Pryor

Occupation: Former director of marketing and sales, currently a stay-at-home dad.

Length of term sought: Four years.

What made you decide to run for this board? I see this as an opportunity to help the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District leadership with better marketing of its programs, assistance with staff retention, and the opportunity to foster development programs for the youth of our valley.

In your opinion, what has the district done best? Conversely, where can the recreation district improve? Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District has done well with creating a large and diverse number of programs for our youth and adults alike. The concern with having so many programs is the ability to make sure that each program is adequately staffed and managed for continued quality. I think that Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District can improve its marketing and communication channels, as well as better support their staff.

What is the most pressing need for the district during the coming five years? Remaining competitive against other sports and youth program in the valley, while keeping the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District facilities innovative and well maintained. I also think staff retention and support is very important.

Do you have any additional comments? Having grown up in Colorado and working for a YMCA and later in professional sports, I strongly believe in the foundation that youth sports, programs, and facilities build for our children and families. As a parent of three children ages 6 months through 9 years old my contributions to support this belief will only continue through this opportunity and my involvement with Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District.

Chris Williams.

Occupation: Colorado Department of Transportation Region 3 utility engineer.

Length of term sought: Four years.

What made you decide to run for this board? I will bring new ideas for the growth of the district. As a former board member I bring the experience to implement those ideas.

In your opinion, what has the district done best? Conversely, where can the rec district improve? The district has done a great job of providing a variety of affordable programs for the kids. Offering wellness education in addition to current programs would benefit all residents of the district and complement existing programs.

What is the most pressing need for the district during the coming five years? Keeping up with growth, offering diversified programs and providing funding for the maintenance and operation of existing facilities are the most important tasks for Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District in the future.

Do you have any additional comments? As a former board member I was involved from planning to completion of several major projects for the district. It was very rewarding experience.

Michael ‘Mick’ Woodworth

Occupation: Eagle River Fire Protection District fire marshal, USSF and CHSSA soccer official.

Length of term sought: Four years.

What made you decide to run for this board? I have been involved with the district’s field house as well as the Freedom Park fields as a player, soccer official and a parent. It has been an all-around great experience and the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District is a fantastically run district. I am currently a board member with the Edwards Metro District, and I would like to be able to share ideas between groups.

In your opinion, what has the district done best? Conversely, where can the rec district improve? The district has been very successful. Not only have they brought thousands of people to our county for sporting events, but have been a large part of most of our children’s lives. The current district board has been very successful at their fiduciary responsibilities — they are financially stable and have paid off the bonds for the Gypsum Rec Center while saving funds for future need.

I think that with the continuous growth in our county that the district will need to improve their support services for the management of the facilities and programming. The current employees have a heavy work load and it is time that they get qualified assistance managing and supporting all of the programs. Employee relations with the district will be a top priority.

What is the most pressing need for the district during the coming five years? Again with growth, comes a need for field space. Field time is pretty maxed out and we need to have space available for all sports to practice and play before the sun goes down. I live in Miller Ranch and I watch the teams practice right next to each other into the dark. The district needs to work with the county, metro districts and towns to find more field space and work on plan for organization of field use.

All groups need to have access to the fields. The Eagle Pool and Ice Rink needs help to improve its capabilities. The town of Eagle will probably see huge growth in the next few years and the facility will need some expansion to keep up with demand.

Do you have any additional comments? I have lived in Eagle County for 18 years, married a local girl and have been able to raise my children in Eagle County schools. It has been my pleasure to serve you with the Eagle River Fire, the Edwards Metro District and the Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority. I would be proud to represent you on the Western Eagle County Metro Recreational District board.

Brian Collett

Occupation: Holy Cross Energy foreman, 19 years.

Length of term sought: Two years.

What made you decide to run for the district board? I have three children that have been introduced into many sports through Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District. I have enjoyed coaching four sports through the district, and I look forward to contributing even more!

In your opinion, what has the district done best? Conversely, where can the rec district improve? Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District has given our mountain valley big city opportunities while continuing to bring our community closer together. I believe we are ready for additional facilities to accommodate our growing community.

What is the most pressing need for the district during the coming five years? Making sure every child has adequate field space and equipment while maintaining our aging facilities should be our long-term goals

Do you have any additional comments? I feel it’s my time to give back and do my best to be a voice for all sports and each child.

Mike McCormack

Occupation: Owner of Uncommon Communications, a media relations, marketing strategy and event production company.

Length of term sought: Two years.

What made you decide to run for the district board? The Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District is a huge and positive aspect of our children’s lives. The same is true for many families in Eagle, yet Eagle isn’t represented on the board.

In your opinion, what has the district done best? Conversely, where can the rec district improve? The district really delivers on the participation based model — they’re a great springboard to club or middle school athletics. I’d like to see Eagle more fairly represented, but it’s tough to point out an area for improvement without walking in their shoes for a bit.

What is the most pressing need for the district during the coming five years? Strategic capital improvements as well as the continuing integration of an increasingly diverse community. Business development opportunities with local communities also represent key opportunities.

Do you have any additional comments? My desire to join the district board isn’t so much a desire to effect change. Instead, I’m motivated by the obligation to serve; in this case an organization that’s enhanced my family’s life.


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