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Letters to the editor

Kathy Chandler-Henry

Ballots are in the mail! By now, many of you have received your ballot for the November election. I’m writing to ask you to vote “Yes” on Eagle County’s Referendum 1A.1A is the Home Rule Charter Commission question. There are two parts to the question: first a “yes” or “no” on electing a commission, and second, selection of 11 members to serve on that commission.The actual decision on home rule will be made after the Home Rule Charter Commission researches the options and presents a charter to the county commissioners, then to the registered voters, to accept or reject.I believe a “yes” vote is in order for the following reasons:1. The best government is that which is responsive to the unique characteristics of its communities. A well-designed home rule charter would allow us to create a structure of government that works best for the citizens of Eagle County.2. A group of elected volunteers will research options and return a charter to the public for review, within 240 days. It’s a short-term, intensive effort, and the people of the county can accept or reject the charter at a special election which will be held for that purpose.One possible outcome of a home rule charter could be the expansion of the current Board of County Commissioners from three members to five, with better geographic representation throughout the county. The charter could also allow those commissioners to be elected on a non-partisan basis, as is the case with Town Council members.Voting “yes” on Referendum 1A allows us to look at creating a more efficient and effective county government. I believe this is a positive step for the future of our county, and have put my name in the hat as a candidate for the Home Rule Charter Commission. Please give me a call or e-mail if you’d like to discuss the referendum or my qualifications.Don’t forget to mail those ballots!Kathy Chandler-HenryEagleYes on 1AI’d like to offer my strong support to vote yes on county issue 1A which would authorize the formation of a committee to draft a home rule charter. The approval of 1A only forms a committee to draft a charter, which all registered voters would have the opportunity to review and vote on in about a year. While the ideas of being able to expand our board of commissioners, make the elections non-partisan and provide better geographic representation are compelling, I believe that unless we move forward with a formal committee the debate is merely an academic exercise.Perhaps one of the most compelling arguments to expand our board of commissioners is that, under the current system with only three commissioners it often means that only one vote swings an outcome. That inevitably can breed a climate where even simple matters can become too politicized.As a candidate for the committee I think the home rule concept is appealing. However, it’s a months long process that is best served by keeping an open mind which, if elected, I would most certainly do. If you believe that it’s worth taking a closer look at updating our county government and make it more accessible and efficient, then voting yes on 1A is an excellent first step.Don CohenEdwards Seeking re-electionIt is with great enthusiasm that I have decided to seek a third term on the Vail Town Council.On any given day I spend a few hours talking with business owners and managers as part of my job before getting in the after-school car-pool line and then heading to my daughter’s soccer practice, which I help coach. Every chance I get, I try to recreate on Vail Mountain, North Trail or Vail Pass. My daily routine sums up my strong connection to our town’s economy, families and local environment, and has given me the perspective that I’ve brought to Town Council over the last six years. The next couple of years are critical for Vail’s future. We must harness the energy from all the redevelopment and make sure we apply it to the elements that make our town a community. Our reality is that residential development is so valuable that it doesn’t make sense for property owners to build anything else. Vail must cultivate an environment where our residents can count on an increase in retail space, office space and hotel rooms. This will be key to creating a strong year-round economy, including year-round jobs. We also need to continue to make the town family-friendly. If we don’t, we’ll end up with only very wealthy retirees, seasonal employees, and a sterile, resort-only experience. Consequently, I want to continue to work to ensure Vail provides the kind of municipal amenities that make our town a great place to live and raise a family. I’ve witnessed our ability to even occasionally convince families to stay or move back to town and live in a little bit smaller house – that’s what I call a win. Over the next two years, I want to help make sure our parks and recreational facilities are tremendous, that we are home to successful schools, and that we continue to offer top-of-the-line pre-schools for our residents and employees. Also, I will continue my relentless efforts to reduce the noise on Interstate 70. After six years, I’ve reached at least one conclusion: that we have to do everything we can to keep Vail a place where a broad variety of people can live, work and play. It’s in that spirit that I am run for re-election. Greg MoffetVailPartially correctMatt Zalaznick got it almost right in his commentary Saturday about pine beetles and fire. Yes, they are a problem, one that has been compounded across Eagle County because people are building homes in the woods. He did, however, misrepresent the wildland fire danger on Battle Mountain south of Minturn.That’s the 5,317-acre property where a private ski area and golf course has been proposed by the Ginn Company.Zalaznick lamented the fact in his commentary that mankind has been slow to learn about the dangers of wildfire and that history appears to be repeating itself on Battle Mountain.Because he’s not yet toured the property, he is probably unaware of some significant issues that influence wildfire potential on Battle Mountain.The first is that the property is largely rimmed by huge cliff bands that act as a natural fire break.Second: The pine beetle control work on Battle Mountain – at 800 acres – is the largest pine beetle control project in the county. It will reduce the wildland fire danger by removing potential fuels. An article about that control work was published recently in the Vail Daily.Third: Some of the forest on Battle Mountain had been logged over the years by the mining company prior to the purchase last December the Ginn Company. That logging actually helped to create a more diversified, more fire-resistant and pine-beetle resistant forest. All that activity has left behind a nice piece of property, but certainly not the “wilderness” he portrays.Fourth: Because he has not visited the mountain, he has not seen the huge open bowls and glades that will be a boon for skiers. Both the glades and bowls act as large fire breaks.Fifth: The U.S. Forest Service is describing Battle Mountain as the single largest fuel break between the Holy Cross Wilderness and Vail ski area and beyond. A quick call to the Forest Service will confirm that.If you have more questions about Battle Mountain or the Ginn Company, please call. As we have demonstrated in the past, we will go out of our way to assist you.Cliff ThompsonCommunications Director The Ginn CompanyVail, Colorado


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