Vail Daily column: Little-known elections |

Vail Daily column: Little-known elections

the Vail Daily Editorial Board

It seems as though this year’s election season has been going on for ages now — because it has — but please don’t let the static of November’s general election distract you from some important choices coming up in April and May.

They don’t get nearly the attention of November elections, but spring elections for town boards and a host of special ballot questions could have a bigger effect on our day-to-day lives — and our tax bills.

The towns of Eagle, Gypsum, Minturn and Red Cliff will hold town council elections on April 5. Eagle tends to get the most attention right now, since several of that town’s elected representatives, including the mayor, have stirred up more than their share of controversy over the past year and change.

Eagle voters have a chance to select three new Town Board members on April 5, and the town will have a new mayor, Anne McKibbin. That’s good news.

The next Minturn Town Council might have a big say in the town’s future, weighing in — or not — on a proposed land exchange that could put Battle Mountain into public hands turn Meadow Mountain into deed-restricted, protected private property.

As opposed to our rarely-seen state and national representatives, the people seeking to guide their towns’ futures are our neighbors. We see these people in grocery stores, restaurants and elsewhere. If you have a complaint or something to add to a town’s to-do list, you know who to call.

That’s representative government at its best, and most responsive.

In early May, voters in the entire valley are being asked to tax themselves to support the now valleywide Eagle County Health Service District, which provides ambulance service from Vail Pass to Dotsero to Bond, Burns and McCoy.

Voters in about half the valley will be asked to fund a new building and other improvements for the Eagle River Fire Protection District — by far the biggest revenue request this spring. The Gypsum Fire Protection District is also taking another crack at a what officials are calling a badly-needed tax increase.

Residents in other districts will be asked to select new board members — again, these are our relatively easy-to-reach neighbors — and voters in the Edwards Metropolitan District are being asked to increase the sales tax there to fund road and recreation projects.

This is all real, day-to-day stuff. And it’s all far easier to understand than questions about bathroom email systems or how to build a giant border wall.

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