Letter: What I didn’t get to say about Booth Heights …
The final Vail Town Council meeting that determined the fate of the bighorns allowed limited time for public input — only three minutes each.
So here’s what I didn’t have time to say — along with some election recommendations for Town Council.
In case you haven’t noticed, there are plaques all over town memorializing the Town Council members who approved the various projects -— Vail Golf Course clubhouse, library, Grand View etc. The obvious one to see as you go to cast your votes for Town Council is on the wall as you enter Town Hall. The real purpose is to provide accolades for those who approved the projects.
But how will this play out with Booth Heights? Do they really want to put their names on a memorial to that brilliant decision that will probably go down in history as the most divisive in our town’s history? Does the mayor really want special notice as the leader of that group? He should just thank his lucky stars that he’s at the end of his political career.
So how about this instead. How about a tombstone? Here lie the remains of a living, breathing, iconic cornerstone of this mountain community, the bighorn sheep. Born before anyone can remember; condemned to death by Town Council decree on 10/15/19.
Some may laugh at the statement, others may cry. But I hope all will remember it when they vote in the Town Council elections. Why? Because the next council will have the last crack at reviewing this decision. The Design Review Board is the last public process that the sheep project will pass through and the council has an opportunity to review their decision.
But back to why this matters as it relates to this election. Because this is the last hope that sanity will prevail in the review process. Bottom line? Sane people must be elected if you want a sane process.
And that brings us to choices. Three current council members are up for re-election: Kevin Foley, Kim Langmaid and Jen Mason and they all consistently opposed the project from the get-go. All we’re left with then are the others and only one of them stands out — Brian Stockmar, and he’s a must.
As chair of the PEC, he fought hard for more information. He believes strongly that we need clear and enforceable criteria for recusal from decisions where there is a glaring conflict of interest. A clear example of that was the PEC member, an employee of Vail Resorts, who swore he had no conflict in voting on the project. Really? Even though the chief operating officer of Vail Mountain was sitting in the room the night of the vote. Come on. Brian also pointed out the fallacies of many of the presentations and their conclusions. But most of all, he voted against the project. He even went so far as to speak against it publicly when the council reviewed it on Oct. 15.
There you have it. Four candidates we can count on. The others? One says no comment on the project — sounds like a dodge to me. The others have all publicly supported housing on that sight. The choices are really clear if you want to give the sheep a last chance at survival.
That’s it. What I didn’t have time to say on Oct. 15 and suggestions on who you should vote for on Nov. 5. The rest is up to you.