Letters to the Editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the Editor

Compiled by Daily staff

For BrownI agree with so many others who have endorsed Roger Brown for county commissioner. Roger is an historian and a visionary for Eagle County, and his perspective would be so very valuable as a county leader. I hope enough thoughtful voters read or hear of Roger Brown’s platform about housing, transportation, open space, work force, water, immigration, energy, and federal lands. His ideas are refreshingly intellectual, creative, specific, and doable, and he has a proven ability of completing projects with high quality. And, like Mr. Ogilby wrote, Roger will work extremely well with the two remaining Commissioners. Eagle County will be a better place in the near and far future with Roger Brown’s influence.Steve SmithEagleFor BuckleyI am asking Avon voters to elect Pete Buckley to the Avon Town Council. Pete is relentless! Pete is tireless! Pete is determined to place the interests of working families in Avon No. 1 in all decisions that affect Avon and its residents. Pete knows what has been missing on Avon Council: dedicated leadership! Prevent lawsuits against the town and unneeded condemnation against private property. Vote for Pete! He’s the best advocate the little guy in Avon will ever have! Randy Milhoan For SipesIt’s rare that you meet an elected official who can bring to the table so much passion about his hometown yet remain open to new ideas and experiences. All while contributing to the group so many of his own – without the showmanship that usually accompanies people of the “elected” stripe. This is why I’m writing to encourage support for Brian Sipes.As a fellow elected official from over the hill in Breckenridge, I have had the opportunity to work with Brian one weekend a month as part of a state-wide group of policymakers and officials who meet in Denver to focus on economic development issues affecting our communities. And while endorsements from folks from outside Avon may seem nothing more than lip service, I can tell you with confidence that the town of Avon has one of the state’s brightest and most forward-thinking individuals serving their community.I can’t pretend to know intimately the issues Avon faces this November, and certainly there are choices to make. But our towns have much in common and share similar values, challenges, and opportunities, and I am fortunate to work with Brian and to share his insights with my own community. And frankly I find myself a bit envious that Avon has someone of Brian’s caliber, and has the opportunity to appoint him to a second term next Tuesday.Dave RossiBreckenridge CouncilmanSchool bond neededSo why a new high school? Taking a break from writing recommendations for Battle Mountain High School kids applying to Stanford, Duke, Harvard and North Carolina, I took a minute to reflect on 3B. As a teacher and coach at the high school, I spend a lot of time with other people’s kids, so perhaps it is self interest, but let me share some observations:1. Kids sit on the floor to eat lunch because there isn’t enough room in the cafeteria, others eat lunch just outside of locker rooms and bathrooms, and others eat in class because they spent 22 minutes of a 30-minute lunch break in line waiting to purchase food. Adding extra lunch periods only leaves kids eating lunch too early or too late in the day and leaves administrators spending inordinate portions of their day supervising lunch. Such suggestions are merely Band-Aid solutions. The numbers have simply outgrown the infrastructure. It’s just too small.2. New teachers, those most vulnerable to leaving the profession according to studies, travel from room to room with shopping carts full of their materials because they have neither an office nor a classroom of their own. Valuable instruction time is lost transitioning from venue to venue.3. The kid on my soccer team with cerebral palsy and another student in a wheelchair in my second-hour class must ride two elevators and a lift device to travel from the art room to the office. This journey cuts into their class time because the lift is often broken. (Ask Pat Phelan some time how he hurt his back carrying a wheelchair up a flight of stairs to help when the lift broke.)4. The heating and cooling and communications infrastructure are maxed out and failing with so many bodies in the building at once.5. Security is a concern in the post-Columbine era as the school has gone through multiple renovations up the hill a little farther each time, and has too many entrances and exits.6. Halls are crowded at certain choke points as students try to navigate their way from class to class.7. We need a bigger trophy cabinet! How about all the success of the teams in recent years? Despite these challenges, kids are proud to represent their community.I implore everybody to vote yes on 3B. It is a statement about how much we value our kids and our community. As I travel around this state with two incredible groups of athletes who do so much to represent our community in a positive light, we have made this observation. As we travel west we pass Coal Ridge High School in Silt, a brand new building built with a bond their community passed. As we go north we arrive at Steamboat High School, a completely renovated building built by passing a bond. As we go east we pass Summit High in Frisco, another brand new building built by passing a bond. In the playoffs we stayed home in the first round and played Mountain Range High School, another brand new school built in Westminster by passing a bond. After beating them we travel to Lakewood Memorial Stadium, renovated with $1.4 million as part of a $328 million bond passed in the Jeffco School District for many needed construction projects in 2004. Eagle County is a world-class community. Eagle County needs a new school. We can afford it and we need to pass 3B.I ask people at both ends of the county to support this measure. Let’s not pit ourselves against each other. This bond includes funds to make Eagle Valley High School workable in the short term and to purchase land for a future new school in the west end as growth demands it. A vote now for this measure implies that a future ballot initiative will be supported for that end. I have no qualms, either, about acknowledging that the biggest burden of 3B will be placed on second- and third-home owners with mansions close to the resorts. We are the people who pull their weeds, clean their houses, drive the vans, teach their grandkids how to ski, and lead them to the best (OK, not all the best) powder stashes and fishing holes. They pay taxes in their primary residence, and many of them that I have spoken with are amazed at how low their taxes are on their property here. They will laugh if we vote against our own self interest because of in-fighting and petty politics, and they will not decide to sell their property over an additional few dollars a month per each $100,000 in value. If they do, perhaps one of us can buy it!Finally I ask you to support this ballot measure regardless of how you feel about TAP. This means you, certain teachers and other naysayers. School-reform movements, teachers, administrators and superintendents come and go, as we’ve seen in Eagle County as much as anywhere. Buildings and architecture remain, however, as symbols of our priorities. These new schools will outlive all of our careers and will be a part of the fabric of our community. TAP will evolve and change and become the collaborative tool it is intended to be. Intelligent people will adapt to circumstances, results and morale. It will happen. I am awestruck by the character, achievements and commitment of our kids. Whether it is running their way to a state championship, raising funds for an orphanage in Ecuador, supporting a developmentally challenged kid as he scores his first goal, taking and passing multiple Advanced Placement exams or becoming the first in their family to go to college, these students are making us proud every day. Please support 3B and get out and vote. Our kids deserve it. Dave CopeOn right trackWe have owned a condo at Canyon Run since 1998. We are among that large group of non-voting taxpayers known as second-home owners. But we spend 10-12 weeks in Avon each year and have a serious interest in local issues. Of the various Avon town councils that have been in place since 1998, we feel the current group is far and away the best. This council has been very active in developing a vision for the town, and implementing it. We think this vision is good for Avon and would like to see all the current plans completed. Also, we have seen some of the candidates complain that the current council has not had a good relationship with Traer Creek, the developer of the Village at Avon. Like this is a problem? We actually feel the current council should be praised for standing up for what’s best for the town, and not just caving in to the developer’s many unreasonable demands for changes to the original agreement. If you are an Avon voter, and agree with us that Avon is on the right track, then we would highly recommend that you vote for Ron Wolfe, Brian Sipes, and Chris Green.Tom and Jeanette HixMy choicesAs the Eagle County Democrats co-chair, I would like to weigh in as we fast approach the Nov. 7 election. After much deliberation and research into the issues, I have made my choices and can only hope that each and every Eagle County resident does the same – regardless of party affiliation. Read about the issues, talk to the candidates and to your friends and associates. Do the homework because the decision is ultimately yours in that voting booth. Vote with your head and your heart. When they are not in agreement – go with your heart. We can change the world, people! To coin a phrase: “Just do it.” Get out and vote! The following are my personal endorsements and do not necessarily reflect those of the entire party. As you will see, I vote for the person I feel most qualified for the job. Admittedly, my choices are mostly Democrats. I am a dyed in the wool Dem and feel most passionately in favor of those measures that have to do with social justice. State: Bill Ritter for governor (a truly open-hearted and intelligent leader). Mark Udall for Congress (proven track record, champion environmentalist). Ken Gordon for secretary of state (definitely time for change here). Cary Kennedy for state treasurer. Dan Gibbs for state representative, District 56 (young, enthusiastic, honest, sincere and a true representative for our concerns here in the mountain/resort areas). Kathleen Curry for state representative, District 61. Evie Hudak for State Board of Education. Stephen Ludwig for University of Colorado regent. Amendment 38: Petition rights and procedures: No (current processes are adequate).Amendment 39: School district spending requirements: No (too restrictive and inflexible).Amendment 40: Term limits for judges: No (We need experienced judges).Amendment 41: Standards of conduct in government: No (good idea, bad execution).Amendment 42: Colorado minimum wage: No (should happen at the federal level).Amendment 43: Marriage between one man and one woman only: No (unenlightened, mean-spirited).Amendment 44: Marijuana possession: No (we have enough problems with kids and alcohol). Referendum E: Property tax reduction for disabled vets: Yes (if anyone needs a break, they do).Referendum F: Recall deadlines: No (current legislation is fine as it is).Referendum G: Obsolete constitutional provisions: Yes (basically deletes outdated language).Referendum H: Limiting state business income tax deduction: No (racially biased).Referendum I: Domestic partnerships: Yes (a basic human right).Referendum J: School district spending requirements: No (see No. 39).Referendum K: Immigration lawsuit against federal government: No (you’ve got to be kidding me; let’s work on the problem). Local: Sara Fisher for county commissioner (open minded, fair, fiscally responsible, forward thinking, honorable). Mark Chapin for assessor (knowledgeable, easy-going; who wouldn’t want to work for Mark?). Joe Hoy for sheriff (one of the most accessible, fair and kind cops I know). Teak Simonton for clerk and recorder (one of my favorite Republicans). Ron Wolfe (one of my other favorite Republicans. Ron is intelligent and dedicated. I have great respect for this guy). Brian Sipes and Chris Green (both will complement and work well with the board) for Avon Town Council. Yes on 1A, early childhood services (the right thing to do for those kids less fortunate than ours). Yes on 3B, Eagle County school bond (It’s time). Yes on 1B, home rule (It’s time). No on 5B (I just can’t reconcile increasing property taxes three times on one ballot, unfortunate timing). Be a part of the solution. Let’s change the face of Washington from red, hard-line conservatives to blue, progressive, compassionate Democrats. Now’s the time, it’s up to you. Get out and vote on Nov. 7.New New WallaceCo-chair, Eagle County DemocratsPlatform for SaraAs an Episcopal priest and pastor of a local congregation, I cannot stand by while a valued member of my church family is denigrated. While I cannot and never will endorse any single candidate for public office, I must repudiate recent statements against my parishioner, friend and former staff member Sara Fisher.I suspect Mr. Lederhause knows well that candidates frequently change political affiliations for a number of reasons, a practice that has increased in recent years. I suspect he also knows most voters have the intelligence to examine the character, record and philosophy of every individual candidate and then make their considered electoral determination. Perhaps Mr. Lederhause should consider reserving his thoughts about winners, and especially losers, for a more personal reflection.To those who have distributed slanderous rumors regarding Sara, and in a cowardly unsigned fashion, I think it ironic that you have actually underwritten more free publicity and generated more sympathetic response to Sara than any organized political group could have ever purchased. From the Daily to the Denver Post, your spiteful intentions have given Sara a platform to be considered by those who might not have even considered her candidacy before. At least have the courage of your distortions and identify yourself or yourselves as others do in any honest discussion.I cannot tell anyone how to vote, but I can tell everyone that Sara Fisher has been a trusted, generous, hard-working colleague of mine for years. She knows how to place others’ concerns before her own, and she knows how to think through complicated issues while working to find consensus and success. I believe Sara now knows how evidently threatening her candidacy is to those who will not have the decency to sign their name at the bottom of a page. Brooks Keith Vail For FisherSara Fisher would be an excellent commissioner with her terrific skills and vast experience. I met Sara over 20 years ago, when she was in the corporate world as a human resources manager. She is a good listener and an effective problem solver and was respected by her colleagues. Sara served our county well as clerk and recorder for 10 years. In this position, she attended the majority of commissioner meetings and was able to observe the dynamics of three different boards. This gives her great insight into effective leadership styles and provides her with first-hand knowledge of the issues facing Eagle County both past and present. Sara does her homework, educating herself about the issues and listening to all opinions. She is committed to making our county the very best it can be. I urge you to join me in voting for Sara Fisher for county commissioner.Claire Rogers Eagle Vail, Colorado

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