Our View: Davis, Foley, Mason, Langmaid for Vail Town Council
This is a particularly good year for Vail Town Council candidates.
Seven excellent candidates are seeking four seats on the seven-member board. Our recommendation is for Vail voters to re-elect council members Kim Langmaid, Jen Mason and Kevin Foley, along with newcomer Barry Davis.
The incumbents are doing a pretty good job handling the town’s affairs, and Davis presents voters with an opportunity to elect a candidate who brings a fresh perspective and thinking to the board.
Again, though, any of these seven candidates would bring knowledge, experience and a love of the town to the office.
Pete Seibert’s name will ring a lot of familiar bells with voters, since he’s the son of Vail’s founder. But Seibert’s more than just a familiar name and face. He has long experience in the resort and real estate businesses, and has spent years involved in community groups including Ski and Snowboard Club Vail.
Brian Stockmar brings perhaps the longest resume to the race, with experience in international law and finance. Stockmar is also the current chair of the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission.
Karen Perez is representative of a new kind of Vail resident. An attorney, she works remotely, but is involved in the Vail Valley Business Women and other civic groups. She’s also a member of Vail’s planning board.
Any of these candidates would do well on the council. But the four candidates we’re recommending bring a mixture of personal, professional and community experience that’s hard to top.
Incumbent Kevin Foley is the longest-serving member of the council — all done within the town’s term-limit regulations. Foley is the quintessential working man in Vail, having experience in the lodging and restaurant business. He’s seen, and participated in, most of the town’s most contentious issues since the 1990s, including as a one-time member of the Vail Recreation District’s board of directors.
Foley is on Vail’s front lines nearly every day — he postponed an endorsement interview due to a large group coming in without notice to the restaurant at which he works.
He has a distinctive perspective about how the town works — and doesn’t — for the people who really make the place run. For a town with a focus on housing, that’s important.
Jen Mason also brings long experience in Vail to the council. When it comes to events, Mason’s tenure managing the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater gives her invaluable knowledge when it comes to understanding events and what it takes to lure and host them. Her current job as the executive director of the Colorado Snowsports Museum adds to that perspective.
Mason has visibly agonized over some decisions in the past, trying to find the balance between neighborhood wants and the town’s needs. She brings a thoughtful approach to those deliberations and listens to arguments for and against sometimes-divisive issues.
Kim Langmaid, the third incumbent running this year, has lived in the valley virtually her entire life. She knows what Vail used to be, and, learning at the feet of her parents and grandparents, knows first-hand about running a small business in a resort town.
Langmaid, the founder of Walking Mountains Science Center, often takes a little different view of various issues facing the council. She’ll almost always ask how just about anything can be more environmentally responsible, from new building projects to looking at more sustainable ways to heat the town’s streets.
That brings us to Barry Davis, the person who would be the rookie on the council. As a member of the Vail Commission on Special Events, Davis is no stranger to the town government and its operations. Davis has bought, run and sold several businesses in town, including Yellowbelly chicken, and has a keen understanding of the challenges and rewards of running a small business in town.
Davis is also a resident of the Chamonix townhomes neighborhood, living there with his wife and young son.
From hiring to housing to bringing a different perspective to the town’s ongoing debate about short-term rentals, Davis has the mix of experience and inquisitiveness that will serve Vail well in the coming years.
Again, Vail voters can’t make any bad choices this year, but Davis, Foley, Langmaid and Mason are the best of a good group.
Please, though, do your own research into these candidates. Our opinion should be just one data point among many. For more information, check out our voter guide at vaildaily.com.
The Vail Daily Editorial Board is Publisher Mark Wurzer, Editor Nate Peterson, Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart, Advertising Director Holli Snyder, Digital Engagement Editor Sean Naylor, Business Editor Scott Miller and Eagle Valley Enterprise Editor Pam Boyd.