Letter: No conflicts of interest with Brian Stockmar
During the Booth Heights controversy, much was written about conflicts of interest. Regardless of your view on Booth Heights, I hope you agree that it’s fundamentally unfair to ask board members to be objective when their employer has a matter before them. If they recuse themselves or vote against the proposal, they risk being seen as disloyal by their employer. If they vote for the project, opposed members of the public will question their motives.
That’s why both state statutes and our neighbor Avon forbid voting in these circumstances. Sadly, Vail has no such provision. A search of the town of Vail’s codes for “conflict of interest” provisions yields nothing. There is a provision forbidding council members from having a “direct or indirect financial interest in any contract with the Town,” but that’s it, and I find no indication of even that weak provision applying to appointed members of boards and commissions such as the Planning and Environmental Commission.
Again, regardless of your position on Booth Heights, I hope you agree that we should have strong conflict of interest rules that at least match best practices elsewhere. Brian Stockmar has been more outspoken on this critical issue than any other candidate for Vail Town Council. He has been a member of our community for decades, and served us in many ways, including his present posts as volunteer chairman of the PEC, board member and major donor at the Vail Symposium, but he made his living elsewhere, as an international economic consultant.
As the Vail Daily’s recent editorial stated, he has “perhaps the longest resume in the race, with experience in international law and finance.” So Brian has no conflicts of interest, long connections and dedication to our town, and great qualifications. What more could we ask? I hope Brian will get your vote.