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Avon Town Council debate should sizzle in wake of Stage-gate

September 22, 2014, 9:54 am

Ten candidates are vying for four Avon Town Council seats in the Nov. 4 election, and the debate is expected to be lively and contentious at a public forum slated for Wednesday, Oct. 8 at the Avon Town Council Chambers.

Set for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., the debate will be carried live on KZYR (97.7 FM) and Public Access TV 5 on the internet at www.publicaccess5.org. Both broadcasts begin at 7 p.m.

Avon LogoThe event offers a chance for the Avon electorate to evaluate candidates in a side-by-side forum, with each candidate having equal time to answer questions on a variety of topics presented by moderator Rohn Robbins.

Topics will include the candidates’ visions for the future, how the town can strengthen its relationship with Avon businesses and neighboring communities, and how it can engage with Eagle County and other valley organizations.

Another likely topic of debate is Avon’s new stage on the shores of Nottingham Lake – a project being fast-tracked for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in February that is now expected to cost $3.8 million. It was originally projected to cost $1.9 million.

That doubling of cost was the subject of heated discussion during a special council meeting last week in Avon. Video is available on the PATV 5 website. Or Avon Town Council candidate Peter Buckley, who anonymously runs the website Eagle County Times, has posted video of his own comments on the situation.

Also expect questions about the possible town purchase for $3.2 million of The Skier Building at 140 W. Beaver Creek Blvd. along what Avon ultimately hopes is its new pedestrian mall. After the building is finished for another $2.7 million, The Skier Building would become Avon’s new town hall. That plan must be approved by town council at its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 23.

Besides Buckley and incumbent Avon Town Council member Matt Gennett, who was appointed to a seat vacated by Todd Goulding, the other eight candidates are Thomas Beaver, Thomas (Tab) Austin Bonidy, Megan Burch, Angelo Loria, John Minervini, Scott Prince, Sarah Smith Hymes and Charlie Wolf.

Gennett originally voted against the stage project out of fear of cost overruns.

Mayor Rich Carroll and council member Dave Dantas have each served eight years and are not eligible to run under Avon’s term limit. Council member Chris Evans did not file a petition for re-election.

The Oct. 8 forum will begin with an informal meet and greet at 6:30 p.m., followed by the moderated debate from 7 to 8 p.m. An audience question and answer period will be held from 8 to 8:30 p.m., followed by an informal post-forum social from 8:30 to 9 p.m.

To submit a topic or question for consideration, or for questions about the forum, contact the organizers: Public Access TV 5 Executive Director J.K. Perry at Vailchan5@comcast.net; moderator Robbins at robbins@slblaw.com; or Public Access TV 5 President Amy Phillips at AmyVail@KW.com or (970) 331-1645.

The election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 4 in Avon Town Council Chambers, or by mail. Mail-in-ballots will be sent to all registered voters the week of Oct. 14. For more information on the election or registering to vote, go to the Avon website or contact town clerk Debbie Hoppe at dhoppe@avon.org or (970) 748-4001.

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