Vail Daily letter: Eagle-Vail’s ‘Scrutiny of Shall’
Editor’s note: Find a cited version of this letter at http://www.vaildaily.com.
Eagle-Vail Metro District Board President Chuck Toms and Board Secretary Kim Bell Williams will seek legal advisement on whether the word “shall,” as written in the bylaws, should actually be interpreted to mean “may.”
What could possibly be their reasoning for doing this? It’s true! These two directors actually halted important decision-making at the June board meeting to seek legal scrutiny of the word shall. One might refer to it as their desired “Scrutiny of Shall.”
Are you shaking your head? Unfortunately, the High Five Access Media meeting video does not show the head scratching or the confused expressions on the faces of the citizens who watched it all unfold. My husband had to be restrained from pulling out precious hairs from his already balding head.
For months now, the community and qualified volunteers desiring to fill the vacant Metro District Board seat have been left hanging in limbo as Toms and Williams appear incapable of working with other board directors to make a choice. Both must explain why decision-making requires the expenditure of funds on an attorney to perform an autopsy of the word “shall.” Are they seeking validation of a position held? Do they not have a responsibility to fill the vacancy as required by state law and the Metro District Bylaws?
Should President Toms explain his confusion over “shall”? In April and June of this year, I submitted to the records custodian records requests for basic procurement documents from contracts that were awarded to President Toms’ businesses following his appointment to the board in 2015.
Neither the custodian nor Community Manager Jeff Layman were able to provide records evidencing adequate liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, the timely filing of conflict of interest disclosures or proof that competing bids were solicited showing that the board president wasn’t given work in violation of state conflict of interest laws where a board director is involved.
Should Mr. Toms contact his own attorney for an opinion as to whether he complied with statutes and bylaws? Should Toms ask his attorney if the word “shall” as it appears in all the laws he swore to obey actually means “may”? If Mr. Toms does visit his attorney, possibly he could also ask whose responsibility it is to ensure that records are kept in compliance with records-retention schedules.
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Are we seeing more bears because there are more bears on the valley floor, or because we’re all spending more time at home? It could be a bit of both.