Understanding – Town of Eagle’s – Majority Voters

by Clayton Moore

A reasonable question:  How best to describe the majority of the Town of Eagle Colorado – Voters?

FACT:  Last Tuesday, April 3rd 2012 the majority of Eagle voters elected a new Mayor (Yuri Kostick) and top Board of Trustees “vote getter” (Brandi Resa) were elected to what other communities call their City Council.

Both candidates ran on a strong anti-development (read: against ERS) during their individual and ultimately successful campaigns.

What have we learned from the majority of Eagle Voters?

FACT:  On Tuesday, November 1st 2011 – the majority of Eagle Voters approved the only Tax Increase that passed on a (Vail to Gypsum) Eagle County ballot during 2011.  That proposed Tax Increase appeared ONLY on the ballots of folks living/voting in the Town of Eagle.  The Tax increase was aimed 100% exclusively at Eagle’s Tourists/Guests that stayed in any Hotel/Lodge in Eagle.  In an otherwise competitive lodging market and thanks to majority Eagle voters – their Hotel guests now pay more taxes to rent a room in their Town.  (Click Here)

FACT:  Eagle’s Hotel Foreclosure – On February 21st 2012, just 3 months after the Hotel Tax increase was approved by Eagle voters…the Eagle County Public Trustees office – reported a $4.9Million dollar Foreclosure (Click Here) against a Hotel in Eagle known as “The Eagle Lodge and Suites” located just off the I-70 exit in Eagle.  For three years and counting…Eagle and Gypsum still led Eagle County in the total number of Home Foreclosures, due uniquely to Job Loss.

If you choose to believe what was printed in the Fishwrap this past week…

There are now 81 less Business Licenses being issued (read: Taxpaying Businesses) in Eagle 2012 than in 2008.

FACT:  Eagle’s now new Mayor Elect Yuri Kostick ran his campaign on the theme “Don’t Worry, Vote Yuri!”  Apparently the majority of Eagle Voter’s aren’t worried either.

Eagle’s City Council apparently is.

FACT:  In their Council’s recent vote on ERS (6-1) in favor of approving ERS…the single dissenting vote in that election was cast by (then) City Council member and Mayoral candidate “Don’t Worry” Yuri Kostick.

Consider:  Seriously, just how aware is the current majority voter in Eagle about the state of their Towns economy vs. the folks that serve on their City Council?  Do the majority of Eagle voters – really consider “Letters to the Fishwrap’s Editor” a legitimate source of factual/accurate News reporting about their Town?  It is reasonable to believe that the majority of Eagle’s Council reviewed all the current financial information on the condition of Eagle’s Economy (as well as ERS projections) before their (6-1) vote to approve.  Factually; they have an elected, Legal and Fiduciary obligation to review and evaluate before voting.  The ECT believes six elected members fulfilled their obligation before that (6-1) vote.

FACT:  Scheduled for Tuesday, May 22nd 2012 is the vote (Eagle’s Public Referendum) to approve or not, Eagle River Station.

FACT:  Regardless of which way that Public Vote goes…there are undeniable risks to Eagle’s Economy.  Stay the course documented above? Or take a chance on ERS and the undeniable economic (and Community) risks that come with approving it.  We’ll all know more soon.

Perhaps majority Eagle Voter – Mayor Elect Yuri’s next election theme could be “Vote Yuri! – Eyes Wide Shut”  The ECT wonders majority voter, if this Ostrich’s head is sporting a “yellow smiley face” too!

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13 responses

  1. For a guy spouting Facts in every other paragraph, you should be clear that the two successful candidates you berate ran strong “smart-growth” campaigns, NOT anti-development campaigns…FACT

    I hope the readers of this obscure rag – the ECT – click on the Nov. 1, 2011 ballot language “link” you provided. You should take more caution when insinuating the Majority of Eagle Voters are somehow responsibly for the Eagle Lodge and Suites foreclosure. A $2/day tax increase that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2012, had no impact on a hotel foreclosure only 52 days later. For a publication touting “…is dedicated to informing people who have to think for their living”, you sure know how to insult your readership!!

    A single project like ERS will temporarily create construction jobs in Eagle…if approved by voters. Red Development will not guarantee those jobs will be given to Eagle County contractors. Read: those jobs could easily be given to Red’s contractor buddies from Kansas City…or elsewhere. And once 700,000+ square feet of commercial is built in Eagle, and let’s pretend – unrealistically – that they will fill the space with tenants, those newly created jobs will pay (Target average):
    Cashiers $8.50
    Buggy Carts $9.00
    Store Speciallists $9.50
    Flow/Logistics team $10.00
    Team Leaders $15.00

    Take the highest paying job, $15.00/hour equals $31,200/year…assuming 2080 hours worked annually. So the highest paid retail employee at a big box Target in ERS is going to pull Eagle and Gypsum out of the housing foreclosure recession?? Really?? Some people call ERS a “gift-horse” that Eagle voters are willing to deny yet a second time. I’m happy to call myself a ‘Majority Eagle Voter’, then!! A County-Wide Economic Development plan should be bringing sustainable, high-paying, college-educated businesses and employees to this valley. If this is all about the money, then bring jobs that bring the money. $8-15/hour jobs will not rebuild the Town economy…FACT

    Clayton obviously, and unfortunately, has issues with Mayor Elect Kostick. To be accurate, when referencing 81 less Business Licenses being issued in 2012 than in 2008, don’t forget to mention Town of Eagle Mayor Ed Woodland, term served between 2008-2012…FACT

    With Mayor Kostick taking office, the Majority of Eagle Voters will worry less about Eagle’s future, thanks to the new leadership. Don’t get misled by a cute campaign slogan versus the FACT that voters truly care about their Town, and therefore voted for Yuri. As for the Town Trustees, they probably have good intentions when voting in favor of ERS. They see upfront, potential gain of money and jobs, and believe they can be responsible for providing that to Town residents by way of a quickie “all eggs in one basket”, instant gratification approach. Sadly, they don’t recognize the guaranteed long-term pain this project will create for the entire Central Mountain.

    FACT…the Majority of Eagle Voters spoke clearly in 2010, voting against ERS. Now, the project is 30% larger than 2010, and 80% larger than Glenwood Meadows. Eagle Voters should not even be in a position to “take a chance” on ERS 2.0. There is too much risk, and there ARE better solutions to developing that land to bring long-term, positive growth to the Town’s economy. Don’t be duped by a deep-pocket, out-of-state developer into thinking ERS is the savior for the Town of Eagle. We demand better!

    As for Mayor Elect Kostick’s next election theme, I’m sure it will be, “Don’t Worry – Vote Yuri…AGAIN”!! Don’t mess with success…

    • Thanks for reading the ECT.
      Obscure? We’ll share our web site “hits” with you sometime.
      Ask your (ballot issue) 3B friends what they’ve learned about the
      scope and reach of the ECT!

      Smart Growth?

      OK – Where is the plan (any alternative suggestions) from these two new candidates?

      Ok yeah, they don’t have one/any.

      Good luck majority Eagle voter.

      • Ps
        Stay tuned for several good, “viable” ideas from the new Mayor and highest vote getter. Taping meetings was just a start! Many of these ideas, btw, were shelved by the “old board” and present Town Manager- several have been in the pipeline. In good time ECT- in good time.

      • Jan – Am sure you have heard some of the Eagle ‘street talk’.

        Re: Eagle’s City Market…wanting a larger store and bigger parking lot.
        If Eagle City Market were to move further west along Rte.6 out of Eagle….
        Second item…ECT has this documented…”at any time voters in Gypsum could vote
        to terminate the Costco revenue sharing agreement with Eagle”.
        If either of these events came to pass…
        ECT didn’t report that because it was (mostly) street talk.
        We’ll see what the new Mayor/biggest vote getter has in mind.
        ECT hopes something good happens as families in Eagle-Gypsum hardest hit by home
        Foreclosures…you know that.
        We’ll see…
        (We can agree?) No matter which way next months ERS vote goes…there is a bunch of economic risk.

  2. Settle down! No need to get defensive! Thanks for the offer of sharing your “hits”, but I’ll pass.

    Give the new candidates a chance to get into office before you start knocking them down. Is it your opinion that 700,000+ sf of new commercial space in Eagle is the economic solution? I’ve heard alternative solutions from the candidates, and many other concerned Townspeople. You, Town Officials and Red obviously refuse to listen. I’ll be happy to continue to voice my alternatives once ERS is denied…AGAIN!

    I’ve seen you question “Smart Growth” a number of times now. Allow me to inform you on what it means by sharing the links below. What you’ll learn is that Eagle, CO is on a path of wonderful Smart Growth, by definition. ERS on the other hand, is the antithesis of Smart Growth, resulting in sprawl. For you and your readers that don’t know what Smart Growth means, please look at:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_growth – or – http://www.smartgrowth.org/
    I’m here to help! Enjoy…

    • Letter from the Daily Fishwrap – 10APR2012 Copied here for ECT reader review.

      Who paid for those ads?

      Reading the recent pro-Yuri, pro-Brandi letters in this paper, there was a lot of conversation about “transparency,” implying that they would not be involved in any backroom deals. As voters, some of us decide intuitively, trusting the rhetoric and letting our emotions decide. But I, being a natural skeptic, felt some research was in order.

      I recall that they were both involved in the core group of the political issue committee created to fight Eagle River Station in the January 2010 referendum. Brandi was the chairperson and Yuri an outspoken supporter. They were influential in defeating the project by 156 votes out of the 2,194 cast. Brandi’s issue committee spent an amazing $74,104 campaigning against the approved development plan. That amount was $10,000 more than the developer spent defending the project. I wanted to know who would/could spend so much money to influence a referendum in our quaint little suburb of Vail.

      The financial disclosure forms, obtained from the Town Clerk’s Office, show that 15 individuals, most of whom were not registered Eagle voters, contributed $3,433. Jan Rosenthal’s Citizens For the Future of Eagle contributed a massive $70,671 to Brandi’s committee. Jan did not file a public-disclosure form for her organization, so there is no public record of who contributed to her group. Whoever it was had the legal right to give her the money, but I take issue with the fact that the identity was deliberately withheld from voters. It appears to me that Jan created Brandi’s committee to launder the $70,671 and not file financial disclosures for Citizens for the Future of Eagle. Legal or not, the lack of transparency of these actions influenced the outcome of the election.

      Here is why I care about this issue: My wife and I live inside of the town of Eagle, and Eagle’s financial condition directly affects us. Since we moved here 10 years ago, we have invested both our time and money in this community. I understand that someone who lives inside of Eagle or in the surrounding area has a right to disagree on issues, but I am disturbed that people who live outside Eagle’s boundaries can influence the future well-being of our town. They may spend a few weeks in the area annually, but we live here year-round.

      It is clear to me that by influencing the last election, they have denied the town of Eagle the opportunity of enhanced future revenue, and I don’t see them coming forward to write a $2 million check to Eagle to make up for our current shortfall. Do Eagle residents want a town that is unable to maintain or improve its facilities because a noncitizen does not want to see a new development in town? Even if that $70,671 contribution was legal, it doesn’t pass the ethics test with me. If money is free speech in politics today, then Eagle voters deserve full disclosure.

      Who is really doing the talking, and what are their motives?

      Paolo Narduzzi Eagle

      • Please see below my response as emailed earlier today to “staff at ECT”

        Bottom Line: First of all, I for one, as one of thousands of people that are opposed to this larger version of ERS (after a NO vote to a much smaller proposal 2 years ago) am “choosing” not to get more “into the negative fray” with the obvious mudslinging that is occuring from the Yes side. And, it’s very clear that the ECT and Business Briefs newpaper are leading the way in the negative YES campaign where media is concerned. Fact is that ECT has the number of “hits” it does because most people just love “dirty laundry.” The National Enquirer has an amazing readership too.

        We, the oppostion to ERS 2.0, choose to take the “high road” with facts and details that speak for themselves. Fact~The smart, good, voting people of Eagle are smart enough to make up their own minds on this issue, irrespective of what is being spent on campaign advertising. Whatever vote comes down (the NO (again) or the Yes vote) we will all have to live with that decision..for generations to come. Our only hope is that our newly elected officials will honor the will of “the people” this time around. Clearly by voting yes to ERS 2.0 in a 6-1 vote a few weeks ago, there was a blatant disregard for the voter’s voice in 2010-whether the election was won by 156 votes or not. For real facts as to why we believe ERS is not the right project for eagle, in particular in these tough economic times, go to http://www.yestoeagle.com

        My earlier response to the ECT regarding Paulo’s letter and then it’s “over and out” for this business owner and Eagle resident….

        Bottom Line: Many people were involved with the prior campaign- hundreds of people. Actually, thousands when you see how many people voted No.

        As Paulo pointed out, money was spent “legally” on the campaign 2 years ago. It was all totally legal.
        Fact is…what happened 2 years ago has nothing to do with now. Campaigns allow for anonymity. We were just honoring the wishes of various donors. “Money laundering”? That comment borders on slander.
        End of story.

        The question you should all be asking is….
        Who’s spending the big money NOW? We’d like to know just how much RED has spent since ERS 2 has come about. Then again, it really doesn’t matter.

        More importantly… why is an out of state developer, with the help of Eagle officials and the past Mayor, pushing so hard when the people voted no to a smaller project 2 years ago?

        This was what was written earlier to Paulo Narduzzi’s Vail Daily letter and I stand by those words.

    • There is no such thing as “Smart Growth”, Dave. Sorry to burst you bubble. There is also no such thing as what the Forest Service calls” a “Controlled Burn. There is only luck burns (that go the way they want) and unlucky burns that don’t.
      The folks who live in and around Los Alamos, New Mexico know exactly what the ECT is talking about. Just one example.
      Now you can too – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerro_Grande_Fire
      Back to your myth of “Smart Grouth”. In spite of the influence of the so called (well intended) Urban Land Institute – on Eagle’s – Eagle Ranch Development – the Sales Tax generating commercial of this “smart growth” development hasn’t panned out.
      The sales tax generated (currently in Eagle Ranch) doesn’t cover the cost of the impacts of ER in the rest of Eagle. This further Eagle’s dependence on the Sales Tax from both Eagle’s City Market – and the revenue sharing that Eagle gets from Costco. Should either of those Sales Tax generating items “go away” Eagle’s economy starts looking a lot more like Red Cliff.
      Further, ZERO traffic mitigation was part of that so called Smart Growth plan, and it was later left to Mayor Ed Woodland to clean up the mess left by (then) Mayor Jon Stavney. Ed did by widing the roads in Eagle so folks could drive to work without Stavney’s massive backup in front of the Eagle Diner every morning.
      The ECT has pictures of that of course.
      So Dave, just what do you do for a living around here? Very clear (whatever that is) doesn’t require a lot of thinking and community awareness.
      Are you a ‘trust funder’? Are you a ‘big daddy gov’mint’ employee? 10-1 says you’re a registered card carrying liberal democrat

  3. Obviously, you’re not interested in learning FACTS, and therefore didn’t take advantage of the links I shared with you. Smart Growth is no myth. If you spent less time listening to Rush and abusing active community members that have different opinions than you, you might learn something new. Without overwhelming you with too many examples, take a look at Seaside in Florida, Daybreak in Utah, and Verrado in Arizona. And don’t worry about my bubble…its not even close to being burst…and you’re certainly not going to do it.

    Eagle Ranch has not lived up to its expectations yet, because the economy crashed during its infancy. You can’t expect Smart Growth to be a light switch that gets turned on, and bam, instant gratification. The developer hasn’t helped make downtown ER successful either, with inflated lease prices. But back to the point at hand, ERS is not the savior! We’re having this discussion because the Town of Eagle faces difficult challenges. But we need to consider the long-term impacts, rather than ‘take a chance’ with 700,000+ sf more commercial space.

    As for me, I’m a Landscape Architect/Planner and small business owner. No trust funder or big daddy government employee here. But good effort trying to slander me! Apparently that’s what you do best. I’ve been involved in some form of design, development and community growth for nearly 20 years now. My degree, my several licenses, and my years of experience means I make it my living to think and be aware of communities. I actually walk the positive road, trying to improve people’s lives through planning and thought. As a free thinker, not influenced by FOX, I actually side with both Republican and Democratic philosophies. I tend to be more of an Independent. I believe all sides have relevant points, and I’m open to listening to them. But why you’re concerned with my political affiliation, and why you feel the need to abuse a fellow debater, has no relevance in our discussion about Eagle.

  4. By the way, why are you censoring my replies during this discussion? You’re readers are only seeing parts of my debate that you’re choosing not to edit. Again, the advantage to having your personal soapbox to spread hate!! Well done, “Clayton”!!

  5. (Just info only about PIF, TIF)

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    A tax increment financing (TIF) is not “free’ money – CATO Institute report: “TIF works by allowing cities to use the property, sales, and other taxes collected from new developments — taxes that would otherwise go to schools, libraries, fire departments, and other urban services — to subsidize those same developments.”
    http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/crony-capitalism-social-engineering-case-against-taxincrement-financing
    /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    The City of Glenwood Springs-PIF (Public Improvement Fee)
    – Glenwood Springs (“City” or “Glenwood Springs”), acting as PIF Collecting Agent, is collecting the PIF on behalf of Glenwood Meadows Metropolitan District Nos. 1 and 3 (together, “Districts”), which constructed and financed these improvements.
    http://www.ci.glenwood-springs.co.us/business/PIF%20Booklet.pdf
    ———————————————————————————-

    However:

    ********************************************************************************
    January 2009

    “PIF may not pay off cost of improvements at Glenwood Meadows –
    Glenwood Meadows developer says public improvement fee probably won’t pay back all the $15.3 million debt”

    The $15.3 million worth of improvements includes $3.5 million for roundabouts at the West Glenwood Springs Interstate 70 exit. There was also almost $4 million spent on work at the intersection of Eighth Street and Midland Avenue plus things like turn lanes and stop lights on Midland Avenue and bike paths from Midland Avenue to the Community Center and under Midland Avenue. Construction of Wulfsohn Road, East Meadows Drive and West Meadows Drive and the associated utility infrastructure also cost about $8 million.

    “That’s what’s been spent,” Maple, the developer, said. “Nowhere near that much has been collected”

    (Read more here-> http://www.postindependent.com/article/20090129/VALLEYNEWS/901289974

  6. Pingback: Economic Cards – Reshuffling Down Valley « News from Eagle County, Colorado

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