Staufer: Why I’m running for Vail Town Council

Jonathan Staufer
Valley Voices
Jonathan Staufer

For the past two years, I have been honored and humbled to represent our community on the Vail Town Council.

During those two years, this council has answered the community’s call to drive housing solutions while at the same time protecting open space and wildlife. I’ve been proud to serve on a Town Council that could both meet the ideals of our founders as well as meet the immediate challenges before us.

For the past two years, I’ve supported actions that build community. A community needs people living in it, and I have supported this council’s commitment to spending over $140 million to ensure people can afford to live here. I have supported and helped fine-tune the Destination Stewardship Roadmap which, among other things, will help Vail focus resources in a manner that protects the environment on which we all depend, but also help entrepreneurs start new businesses in Vail and propel our economy into the next generation.

Humans are prone to viewing all things through the lens of a current crisis. However, it is important to keep in mind that much of what made Vail a success as a community and as a destination was long-term thinking about and planning for the future in ways that sometimes took years. 

Vail could have been paved over 10 times already. The old-world Alpine charm of Vail Village could have been thrown out for the sake of expediency and higher development profits. There have always been voices clamoring for both. Vail stayed the course and stayed true to its ideals — a town that protects and honors the mountains we all came here — or stayed — to enjoy.

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Some people seem to have taken offense to my calling Vail Resorts “those bastards in Broomfield.” I thought I was too polite. Vail Resorts officials have proven time and time again that they are less interested in working with the communities in which they operate than they are in lording over them. 

Rather than constructive engagement, Vail Resorts leadership treats every issue as a PR issue or a legal issue, responding with PR flacks and lawyers.

Rather than kowtowing to Broomfield, we need to take care of our community, including the good people who run our mountains, and the reasons they live here — including open space and wildlife.

That is something I’ve been doing for far longer than two years and which I will continue doing whether I’m reelected or not.

Next time you load up, ask yourself, “What does Broomfield know about running a ski lift?” Nothing. You know who does? The human who just loaded you.

Vail Resorts would like us to believe that Vail would be nothing without them. 

They’ve got it backwards: Vail Resorts would be nothing without this community and the people who live in it.

Vail has always made its best decisions when its thinking and planning included a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences and I hope, beyond voting, that you’ll speak at council, write letters to the Daily, serve on boards and committees, and take an active role in Vail’s continuing success. We may not always agree on how to get there, but I know we will all agree that Vail is a very special place. We need to keep it that way so that someday our kids, yours and mine, will want to call Vail home.

It has always taken all of us.

Incumbent Jonathan Staufer is one of 10 candidates running for four seats on the Vail Town Council in the Nov. 7 election.

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