Vail Daily letter: New leadership needed |

Vail Daily letter: New leadership needed

Kudos to the writer who said the town of Avon doesn’t need a road diet, the town of Avon needs a spending diet! Well said, and I couldn’t agree more!

I recently heard from Matt, the Avon planning director, the town has allocated $2.5 million for this “road diet” project that 95 percent of the response in the paper has been against. That’s $2.5 million, folks, for seasonal bike lanes that maybe 1,000 bike riders use. Probably not even that.

I’m not sure who comes up with these lame ideas, but this is as bad as the initial Skier Building fiasco the council was shoving down our throats, regardless of what we the taxpayers of Avon wanted! Well, congrats to the residents of Avon for speaking up and stopping that initial purchase! You saved us a lot of money on that fiasco. Now let’s see if we can do the same here and have residents get involved to either make this a better project or get it canceled altogether!

Really what’s up with this Avon Town Council and the town manager? They are obviously ignorant to the wishes of the residents of Avon and on a mission to do and spend what they can and want, wherever and however they want. Is it all just a power trip they’re on?

It make no sense to spend that much when so many are opposed to this project and it causes more problems than it solves. I think this project should be canceled immediately. Add the much needed crosswalks and call it a day.

They say the objective is to slow drivers down. Then look at what Carbondale did to accomplish that. What they did is way better than this proposal. I also don’t see other ski towns needing to spend this amount of money on bike lanes. Do they not have bike riders in Aspen, Vail, Snowmass, Steamboat, Tahoe or Jackson Hole? Are our visitors and local bike riders incapable of navigating through traffic with cars on the road? As a writer mentioned in an earlier editorial, “making drivers nervous” is a good thing. No, it’s not! Nobody should be nervous on the roads, and if they are, they better know the rules of the road, because when they don’t, someone will get hurt.

Here’s an option: Let’s allocate $80,000 on advertising (which is a lot) and educate bike riders and drivers on how to ride and share the road together, then we save the other $2,420,00 for other much needed projects or to pay down some of the town’s debt. (Note to Town Council — just because you spend a lot of money on something doesn’t mean you’re getting the best deal for our taxpayer dollars!) Take the new town logo for example — $75,000? Really? That’s embarrassing and, as a designer, I know you didn’t get a good deal for our money on that! The Town Council needs to do a better job inviting the community early on into the process and not keeping us in the dark or posting information in the paper the day of, like this rebate subsidy. You have an unbelievable source of talent and resources that live here in the community that I imagine would be happy to help with a process the council obviously seems to know very little about.

Well, after seeing what’s happening here the past few years, I think it’s time for some new representation on the Avon Town Council. After all, they’re elected to represent the wishes of the residents of Avon, which they seem to be doing the complete opposite of.

Thanks for your service, mayor, but it’s probably time you get on your bike and ride off into the sunset. However, I’d suggest you avoid using West Beaver Creek Boulevard on you’re way out, because it’s a mess over there with the confusing new bike lanes and traffic patterns.

On another note, I read our new stage needs a windscreen. Really? Is that what we need to bring bands to play on the stage? Wow, we should have bought that earlier then. Who knew it was just a simple windscreen that prevented us from booking bands at that venue all summer? Maybe we should get massage chairs and a couple hand masseuses for the bands also. And the town manager supposedly offered Stoughton cash and trade to help fund his WonderGrass event, while Stoughton say no such offer of cash was ever offered. Ouch! That’s very disturbing! Someone’s not telling the truth here!

Seriously, who else is renting that stage in the middle of winter? Nobody. So why isn’t the town doing what you can to help fund the WinterWonderGrass event that brings guests into town that will shop, eat, drink, dine and sleep here? It seems like a no-brainer. It’s like the town manager and council are tripping over a dollar to pick up a penny! Why are they all of a sudden tight with our tax money when it comes to WinterWonderGrass but willing to throw money into attracting and subsidizing some business that will bring minimum wage jobs into an area with an affordable housing problem? Will we next subsidize these low-wage jobs with stipends to help these new employees afford to live here? If the commercial rents are too high for a business to open, then that’s the landlord’s problem and he’ll need to lower the rents to attract tenants. It’s not the Avon taxpayers’ job to subsidize them! I’m totally against this rebate plan. Where will it stop? If we have that much money to throw around on these frivolous projects, then let’s lower our tax rate so the taxpayers will pay less in taxes and the town will be forced to spend less. The town shouldn’t be wasting our tax dollars in this manner, subsidizing some business owners and not others. It’s just not right.

Well, the election is coming up. I urge everyone to get informed and vote for the future of Avon. We have a big decision coming up as to what to do with the old police and fire station parcel. I’m sure the town manager and council already has plans for that, regardless of what we the taxpayers will want, but if we elect the wrong people into office who knows what will become of that area. So it’s important everyone gets involved and informed on this matter and get out and vote in new members onto the Avon Town Council.

Jim Bahan


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