Vail Daily letter: Kudos to Eagle board |

Vail Daily letter: Kudos to Eagle board

Despite what the vocal minority in the town of Eagle would have people believe, I think I speak for most citizens in the community when I say “thank you” to the existing Town Board of Trustees and town staff for keeping the process of selecting a new town manager moving regardless of the results of the upcoming board of trustees election. I think it would have been absurd to drag our feet and start this process upon the swearing in of the next board.

Isn’t it that type of behavior that so many of us are critical of on a national level? Isn’t that why things take so long in Washington, D.C.? I understand that there are people who believe that the new board should select the new town manager, but if we adopted that thought process our town would only be moving forward for a portion of each year as we suspend work to “wait” for the next board to take up work at the tail end of some trustees’ terms. We can’t hit pause on our future in advance of every election cycle. Further, the current board of trustees has identified its two finalists with transparency, inclusion and a level of professionalism that I don’t think Eagle’s ever witnessed in the selection of previous town managers.

Inclusion is a key word here. By inclusion, I mean forming a selection committee that includes trustees whose positions are not expiring in this election, members of town staff who will ultimately work with the new town manager, and members of the community. The committee worked in tandem with the search firm to represent citizens in the process. They even made certain that candidates for the board of trustees met the town manager finalists and could weigh in with their thoughts.

I also think it’s important to note that while Jenny Rakow has done a great job as interim town manager, there is an entire staff at the town who haven’t known who their boss will be for months. Many of them have being picking up extra hours and responsibilities in the absence of an official town manager. It’s time for their future to be decided. We owe them that.

From what I can tell, both finalists for this position have plenty of experience needed to lead Eagle into the future. What message are we sending them in all this banter? Are they any less qualified based on who selects them? Clark Gundlach and John Schneiger made it to the top of a group of more than 50 applicants. They’ve dedicated hours of time and effort into getting to this point and were vetted by a professional search firm and a diverse committee of Eagle elected officials, employees and business leaders.

Hats off to the sitting board for keeping the ball rolling on finding a new town manager and taking the flack from a vocal few to protect the overall interest of Eagle.

Lonnie Leto

General manager, AmericInn Lodge and Suites

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