Letter: Yes on VRD Ballot Issue A to keep shaping valley’s youth
October 15, 2017
Starting at a very young age, the Vail Recreation District — and more specifically its very talented coaches and counselors — taught our three boys everything they needed to know to compete in a wide variety of youth sports in one of the most competitive places on the planet.
From youth soccer to the Kids Adventure Games, the VRD has been there every step of the way. Our oldest son Nick has now lettered in four sports at Battle Mountain High School (baseball, track, Nordic skiing and cross-country running), and he hopes to compete at the next level, but it all started with the VRD teaching him core values at the very beginning in Camp Vail.
In between there were baseball camps, tennis lessons, golf, running races and so much more. And now our middle son Max is a freshman at Battle Mountain, following right in his big brother's footsteps in cross-country and Nordic skiing next month — all because of the VRD.
Finally, our youngest son Rennick is still enjoying affordable VRD programs, including running cross-country with the middle-schoolers as a fifth-grader. But his best memories as a 10-year-old are of indoor soccer called Futsal with Coach Joel and then outdoor soccer in the spring and the fall. As a runner, he's received coaching from the likes of Xterra champion Josiah Middaugh.
Amazing endurance athletes and professional adventure sports superstars abound in the VRD ranks, delivering their wisdom and invaluable insights for the prices of a T-shirt and a water bottle. So for a mere $36 in taxes on $500,000 in home value, it's unimaginable for me to think of voting anything but yes on Vail Recreation District Ballot Issue A.
Over the next decade, the VRD is facing a $14 million budget shortfall in capital obligations for the many facilities it operates and has not seen a tax increase since 1993. Its many programs have grown so much and have touched so many young lives at virtually every socioeconomic level. For us, VRD programs were an amazing summer alternative for two working parents.
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Voting yes on VRD Ballot Issue A is the best investment any of us can make in the future of the Vail Valley. Thanks for your time and consideration.
David O. Williams