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Vail Valley election season warming up with council forum, ballot questions

October 16, 2017, 10:33 am
It’s election season in the Vail Valley, and that means it’s time for candidate forums and lots of letters to the editor for and against various ballot proposal to raise taxes for a wide variety of causes (see one of mine below). The Vail Town Council will fill four seats on Nov. 7, and no fewer than 10 candidates will tell you why they should be one of the lucky four at a forum set for 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19 at Donovan Pavilion.

Here’s the Town of Vail press release on that forum:

The Vail Chamber & Business Association is hosting a Town Council Candidate Forum from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19 at Donovan Pavilion, presented by the Vail Board of Realtors. The forum will provide an opportunity for each of the ten candidates to introduce themselves and field questions from panelists and the audience.

town of vail logoThe Vail Town Clerk’s Office has received and validated nomination petitions from ten candidates, including three incumbents, who have filed to run for the four open Vail Town Council seats in the Nov. 7 election.  The ballot order is as follows:

  • Jenn Bruno (incumbent)
  • Dave Chapin (incumbent)
  • Travis Coggin
  • Mark Gordon
  • Rodney Johnson
  •  Bart Longworth
  • Greg Moffet (incumbent)
  • Edward Padilla
  • Brian Rodine
  •  Taylor Strickland

The forum is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend. Rob LeVine, former general manager of Antlers at Vail, will be moderating and light refreshments will be served from Yellowbelly.

For details, contact the VCBA at 970-477-0075 or info@vailchamber.org. Replays of the candidate forum may be viewed on High Five Media. For show times and video on demand, visit http://www.highfivemedia.org/.

My personal feeling, even though I no longer vote in Vail, is that incumbent Dave Chapin, Jenn Bruno and Greg Moffet have done a great job of standing up for the long-term interests of the Vail Valley, balancing community and commerce, and deserve to continue that good work.

The O Zone by David O. Williams

The O. Zone
by David O. Williams

As for the fourth seat, there are a lot of good candidates, including my friend and former council member Mark Gordon and my friend and longtime Vail restaurant manager Rodney Johnson. But since my endorsement is likely a kiss of death anyway, I’ll hold off till after the forum, which incidentally I’ll be hard-pressed to attend as I’ll be in Frisco watching the Battle Mountains cross-country boys try to defend their regional running title.

Speaking of the athletic prowess of our local youth, here’s a letter to the editor I submitted and the Vail Daily was good enough to run on the Vail Recreation District tax increase proposal, Ballot Issue A (sorry for the shameless promotion of our boys’ athletic exploits), as well as a link to a Vail Daily story on the subject. More on other crucial tax questions in a future blog post.

Letter: Yes on VRD Ballot Issue A to keep shaping valley’s youth

Starting at a very young age, the Vail Recreation District — and more specifically its very talented coaches and counselors — taught our three boys everything they needed to know to compete in a wide variety of youth sports in one of the most competitive places on the planet.

From youth soccer to the Kids Adventure Games, the VRD has been there every step of the way. Our oldest son Nick has now lettered in four sports at Battle Mountain High School (baseball, track, Nordic skiing and cross-country running), and he hopes to compete at the next level, but it all started with the VRD teaching him core values at the very beginning in Camp Vail.

In between there were baseball camps, tennis lessons, golf, running races and so much more. And now our middle son Max is a freshman at Battle Mountain, following right in his big brother’s footsteps in cross-country and Nordic skiing next month — all because of the VRD.

Finally, our youngest son Rennick is still enjoying affordable VRD programs, including running cross-country with the middle-schoolers as a fifth-grader. But his best memories as a 10-year-old are of indoor soccer called Futsal with Coach Joel and then outdoor soccer in the spring and the fall. As a runner, he’s received coaching from the likes of Xterra champion Josiah Middaugh.

Amazing endurance athletes and professional adventure sports superstars abound in the VRD ranks, delivering their wisdom and invaluable insights for the prices of a T-shirt and a water bottle. So for a mere $36 in taxes on $500,000 in home value, it’s unimaginable for me to think of voting anything but yes on Vail Recreation District Ballot Issue A.

Over the next decade, the VRD is facing a $14 million budget shortfall in capital obligations for the many facilities it operates and has not seen a tax increase since 1993. Its many programs have grown so much and have touched so many young lives at virtually every socioeconomic level. For us, VRD programs were an amazing summer alternative for two working parents.

Voting yes on VRD Ballot Issue A is the best investment any of us can make in the future of the Vail Valley. Thanks for your time and consideration.

David O. Williams


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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is the editor and co-founder of RealVail.com and has had his awarding-winning work (see About Us) published in more than 75 newspapers and magazines around the world, including 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), the Anchorage Daily Press (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Boulder Daily Camera, the Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming), the Chicago Tribune, Colorado Central Magazine, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Newsline, Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Colorado Times Recorder, the Cortez Journal, the Craig Daily Press, the Curry Coastal Pilot (Oregon), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Del Norte Triplicate (California), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, Explore Big Sky (Mont.), the Fort Morgan Times (Colorado), the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), the Kingman Daily Miner (Arizona), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the Las Vegas Sun, the Leadville Herald-Democrat, the London Daily Mirror, the Moab Times Independent (Utah), the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), the Montrose Daily Press, The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, the Rio Blanco Herald Times (Colorado), Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), the Salt Lake Tribune, SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Sky-Hi News, the Steamboat Pilot & Today, the Sterling Journal Advocate (Colorado), the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Health Magazine, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail, Westword (Denver), Writers on the Range and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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