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Letters to the Editor

Compiled by Vail Daily staffVail CO, Colorado

Bad bureaucratsI can no longer poise my pen.The Big Brothers (and Sisters) have done it again; is it so terribly hard for our governing bodies to hear the little guy (and girl)?:A. Buffalo Ridge needs public transportation to and from Wal-Mart, can you please find a way to support them?B. No used to mean no; didnt our voters choose against home rule last November?C. Why are so many additional and expensive restrictions and road blocks being placed upon the Habitat for Humanity developers on Highway 6 in Edwards?Re-adjust your spending in favor of the less financially able residents in our valley. I realize some waste takes place in every government take away from some other of our more lucrative spending issues, please. We are all trying to make a living here surrounded by our majestic mountains. Help where you can. I believe you can.Podie DixonEdwardsExperience speaksI recently attended an Eagle County Republican Central Committee meeting at which the central committee decided that it did not have the authority to vote to endorse or overturn a decision of the Eagle County Republican Assembly held in May of 2006 regarding the home rule charter. Republican and Democratic county assemblies are held every two years at which time party members are in attendance who have been elected at their county caucuses in the April preceding the assembly. The assembly attendees vote on the party platforms and other issues which may come before the assembly. Eagle County has 29 precincts. Both the Democrats and the Republicans usually have 60 to 100 people in attendance at their assemblies depending on the year. In contrast, a central committee meeting for either party has far fewer attendees, usually 20 persons or less to decide day-to-day events. The central committees for either party do not have the authority to change platform or policy decisions made by the assembly at these two-year gatherings. Both parties set policy for the next two years. It usually can be found on their Web sites.Both the Democratic and the Republican assemblies voted against the home rule charter for a number of different reasons at their respective assemblies held in spring of 2006.Ms. Sharon Greene, who recently wrote a letter to editor, was not a representative to the Republican Assembly and only recently was appointed a central committee person from precinct 15. As a person new to Republican politics in Eagle County, she is not familiar with the assembly or central committee policies in Eagle County. She, like many people on the Home Rule Committee and on the editorial staff of the Vail Daily, has no experience with the nuts and bolts of county government. The home rule charter has some merit, but also has been written by people who do not understand the complexities of running a county with a $100 million budget. To say that five people will govern better than three is naive in its simplification. The legal ramifications of such a dramatic change as well as the unintended consequences of this action can be costly as well as extremely difficult to remedy. The devil is in the details could never be more true than in radical change in county government designed by a charter committee with good intentions but no practical experience in the current complex functioning of the Eagle County government. Commissioner Tom Stone was at a meeting with the Weld and Pitkin County attorneys to discuss the positives and potential pitfalls of home rule because these two counties have that form of government. Neither of these attorneys recommended this action because of the unintended and unforeseen consequences, which outweighed the benefits of changing to a home rule county. Representatives of the home rule committee did not attend this meeting and did not hear this important legal opinion. Unfortunately the proponents of home rule, in their eagerness to influence the vote, have maligned former commissioners who have expressed their opinions as officials who truly have the experience and the judgment of daily work with the complex issues of fast growing Eagle County. These commissioners have responsibly built an airport which brings in millions of dollars in revenue and sales tax to Eagle County. They have built affordable housing, parks, recreation, a womens shelter and facilities on both sides of Eagle County and still managed to balance the budget. Former commissioners Johnnette Phillips, Michael Gallagher, Bud Gates, Dick Gustafson, and Tom Stone have sacrificed their personal lives to serve the people of Eagle County for a combined total of 42 years. Why would anyone prefer the judgment of a well-meaning but inexperienced committee formed less than a year ago over the expertise of five seasoned Eagle County commissioners? Why change the government of a county which has accomplished so much and so well? Henri StoneFormer Chairwoman Eagle County RepublicansEditors note: Both the Democratic and Republican assemblies voted on the first draft of the home rule charter, which voters defeated last fall. Neither party has voted on the home rule charter which was revised to keep political party designation for county commissioner candidates voters are being asked to approve now.SOS thanksThanks to Vail Resorts, Copper Mountain, Steamboat, Durango, Eldora, Ski Sunlight, SSV, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, the Snowboard Outreach Society Board of Directors community volunteers, sherpa mentors and so many others who supported the Snowboard Outreach Societys Colorado programs through our best season in history. Snowboarding, adult mentorship and life skills workshops have encouraged nearly 100 Eagle County youth in SOSs University Program to become more engaged in their communities this year. Although the SOS staff and families we serve are tremendously grateful for the support weve received, a few of our SOS University participants would like to voice their appreciation: Thank you Vail Resorts for providing a 10-day pass for me. Without it I could not have accompanied my group through the riding season. It was a lot of fun riding with my group. Thank you again. Juan Carlos Hernandez, age 14, Berry Creek Middle School Dear Vail Resorts, Thank you for the great weather and snow. We really appreciate it. Thanks for letting us ride. Scooby Katz, age 12, Minturn Middle School Dear Vail Resorts and Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, It was very nice to let us snowboard on Vail Mountain. I really enjoyed snowboarding with the people in Ski and Snowboard Club Vail. I cant wait to come to Vail next year. Kyle Ernest, age 13, Minturn Middle School Vail Daily, Vail Resorts and Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, Thank you so much for getting the word out about SOS and letting us use the mountain. Also thanks for letting us use the building. I had so much fun! Thank you! Marisa McArthur, age 12, Berry Creek Middle School Thank you for providing passes for SOS students. We have enjoyed being able to get up on the mountain. Thank you to all the sherpas who take time to show us new things. Gladys S., age 17, Battle Mountain High School Dear Ski Club Vail, Thank you so much for helping us ride this year. We appreciate you for letting us use your building to meet. We couldnt have done it without you. We would also like to thank Vail ski resort for letting us ride on the mountain. Thanks a bunch! Andrea Malagon, age 12, Berry Creek Middle School Dear Ski and Snowboard School, Thank you for teaching us how to snowboard. Youve helped us on the mountain. Weve learned balance, speed and S-turns. Thanks for the knowledge. D.J. Medina, age 13, Minturn Middle School Dear Vail ski resort, Thank you for letting us ride on the mountain. Thank you so much for making this all possible for us. Karina Reyes, age 13, Berry Creek Middle SchoolWith a ton of appreciation, Michelle HartelSOS Curriculum Coordinator Vail parkingTown of Vail parking seems to be caught between making the roads safer for Vail drivers and making money. I have used the get-out-of-jail-free parking pass a few times this season, and I feel very grateful that I had that opportunity. However, when I went to use it this past Sunday, not only was I asked to give my name, my drivers license number, and the make of my car, but I also learned that this information was being used to flag those people who have used the pass too much. If the town is going to offer this program (which is hardly publicized, anyway), there should be no restriction on number of uses. I understand that no restrictions create the possibility for abuse, but it seems to me that now, midway through the program, the town has become more concerned with losing $17 per car than encouraging safer roads. I realize that with the end of paid parking this point is moot, but for the future, please dont penalize those who make a smart choice by leaving their cars in the structure when theyve had too much to drink especially when that option is offered in the first place. Libby McCarthyVailTrail closureCan someone in the Forest Service please explain the logic and rationale behind closing North Trail for two months in the spring? How is an intermittent hiker, dog-walker or trail runner going to screw up the elk migration pattern more than, oh, I dunno, I-70 or Highway 6? This makes no sense to me. Im as into the elk being happy as the next guy but theres a spectacular disconnect on this for me. Id love to hear how this is justified.Tim MoffetVail


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