Vail Daily letter: Let Avon residents vote
On Oct. 14, Avon Town Council completed its hurry-up approval for the purchase and remodel of the Skier Building for a new town hall. I again voiced my opposition to that purchase, which deserves much more review — especially since only very rough remodel estimates were made available.
My experience as a vice president at multi-billion dollar AutoZone Inc. included completing hundreds of real estate transactions — both new building projects and existing building remodels. I am a watchdog with the right skill set to speak out on this rush-job project.
I am less a politician and more a watchdog. A typical politician would have kept quiet until after the November election (I am a candidate for Avon Town Council). A typical politician would also have “stayed in line” and not disagreed with sitting Town Council members.
But again, I am a watchdog. And watchdogs speak up when something looks or feels wrong. At the Oct. 14 meeting I asked about citizens’ rights to petition for a referendum (a direct special election for citizens to vote “yes” or “no” on this project). That right to petition for a special election is part of the checks and balances built into the town’s governance. Avon Town Attorney Eric Heil provided information about petition requirements.
So here’s my question for those opposed to a referendum: What is your objection to letting Avon citizens vote “yes” or “no” on this $6 million town hall project?
If the citizens vote “yes,” the Town Council will regain voter confidence, which I believe it lost with its $2 million cost overrun on the Nottingham Pavilion project this year. On the other hand, a “no” vote will confirm that Town Council has indeed lost credibility with it citizens. The current council has not succeeded in getting direct voter approval for ballot measure expenditures (witness the voters’ “no” vote last November on the Rec Center measure and tax increase).
Some of my neighbors are going to circulate a petition to call for a special election that will allow Avon citizens to vote “yes” or “no” on this $6 million project. I will of course sign that petition!
If you want to sign the petition — or simply express your opinion — please send an email to LetAvonVote@gmail.com