Vail Daily letter: Support our schools
As a former school board member in both the “lower valley” and the “upper valley,” I understand both sides of voting to increase a mill levy and passing a bond. I was once a 20-something, a 30-something and now a 50-something — all the while living in the Eagle Valley. I know firsthand how critical it was to have good schools as a parent whose child attended Eagle County schools — from pre-school to high school (both public and private). It was critical to me as a parent, and it was critical to me because I knew if we didn’t have good schools for the children of our great employees, our ski resort economy would not be successful, either. We operate as a community, not silos of activity — it is an integrated community largely based on a resort economy and a lifestyle that binds us together. If we are to maintain our exceptional lifestyle, our resort economy and our real estate values, we need to occasionally increase the funding. Why? So we keep and recruit great teachers, have safe and secure schools that meet the needs of a tremendous resort based economy.
No one questions Vail Resorts when a $10 million gondola is installed or a new state-of-the-art Epic Pass system is installed — that is good business. I would dare to say we shout for joy with such improvements. The difference is that this is a corporate decision, but shareholders care and, interestingly, those good investments by Vail Resorts have paid off handsomely with clearly documented share value increases. In my mind this mill levy and bond initiative is just the same as a smart corporate decision. At 50-something, I could easily say, enough already, I paid my taxes, there should be no reason to increase the taxes, but as a business person I understand the need to recapitalize and not simply improve but move ahead of the competition. As a shareholder in our public schools, I want my teachers, my community assets to be the best — not just adequate. I want this community, we call home, to be the best it can be, not only for my child who has long left the system, but for my grandchildren, the children of my colleagues and the robustness of our community.
I don’t question the business acumen of Vail Resorts when it comes to improvements — it works. And, I’m not questioning the smart business decision for a $1.90 per month per $100,000 increase in my shareholder taxes. Good schools are based on good teachers, good leadership, good stewardship and indeed smart influxes of operational and capital funding! What’s the outcome? Good schools, good community and a great place to call home.
Lissa J. Tyler