'Our doctors can't live
Vail Town Council candidate questionnaire
- Greg Moffet
Daily Staff Report
October 26, 2005
1. Why are you running for Vail Town Council?
I love Vail because we maintain a balance between being a resort and a
community. I want to spend the next two years encouraging a business
environment that will keep locals and visitors coming back. The
private sector is so confident in our economy that it's driving our $1
billion improvement effort. It's going to enhance our year-round
quality of life as well as our guest experience. I do business in a
lot of ski towns; Vail is the one ski town where making a living is an
OK thing to do. We have to keep that mindset.
2. What are the biggest issues facing Vail right now?
When I was first elected in 1999, affordable housing was the biggest
issue. After six years on Vail Town Council, the rental market is
white hot, again. I'm certain that within the next 12 months the
biggest issue will again be ... housing. We are going to be painfully
short of employee and affordable housing and we need to do everything
in our power as a government to ensure the people who make this town
tick can afford to live here. We've made a dent in seasonal and
starter housing. Now we must keep the middle class in town. We also
have to address beetle kill and keep hammering on I-70 noise - it's
ruining our quality of life.
3. What are Vail's greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Vail is home to the world's best ski mountain. It is also home to a
community of full-time residents who value quality of life above all
else. They work hard and they play hard. This is a community that
supports the Middle Creek employee housing complex, the Bright
Horizons day-care center, the Red Sandstone gymnastics facility and
Donovan Park. These are all programs I'm proud to have helped bring
about. Electing forward-thinking leadership that will continue to
provide municipal amenities to ensure its constituency can live, shop
and play here is very important.
4. What is your position on the proposed conference center? Why?
I'm in favor because I'm confident that the demand for conference
space is there; that the center will increase Vail tax revenue by more
than a million dollars annually; and that our hotels, retail shops and
restaurants will benefit from more guests in Vail spending money. The
conference center will take advantage of a core market that already
has affection for Vail - corporate America. The center will not
endanger the town's general fund. We have an enormous operating
reserve to cover several years of deficits, and the bonds will pay the
cost of construction.
5. The planning commission unanimously endorsed a plan for
redevelopment of the Crossroads complex in Vail Village earlier this
year. Do you support that plan, and, if not, what specific changes
would have to be made to this plan to make it acceptable?
If I were to make any changes to the proposed Crossroads development
it would be to go back to the original plan because it had one more
movie screen and more parking. We are in the midst of an amazing feat:
the private and public sector have come together to spend more than $1
billion to ensure Vail is the world's premier resort community for
years to come. Crossroads isn't just another high-end residential
offering; it will create much-needed amenities including new retail
space that will draw families - including both Vail Valley locals and
guests - into Vail Village day after day. None of these amenities will
occur if the town doesn't encourage them. The time is right for this
project to be approved and get under way.
6. Redevelopment is under way in Vail Village and Lionshead, and major
redevelopment is planned in West Vail and West Lionshead. How would
you seek to influence this development?
I am and will continue to be a steadfast advocate for family-sized
affordable housing. I want to oversee proper development that embraces
residents across the socio-economic spectrum. Currently, our doctors
can't live in our town. I want to see development that includes
comfortable townhomes and duplexes for a family of four to five with
school-aged children, it could include two underground parking spaces
and a storage locker. I'd like to see deed restrictions without
appreciation caps. This is how we keep families and the working person
living in Vail.
7. This year's community survey shows residents said parking is the
top issue facing the town. How would you deal with this issue?
This issue will be resolved by the West Lionshead redevelopment; Vail
Resorts is going to have to be a large part of solving the parking
problem. As well, I'll be looking to VR to not only provide increased
parking but increased office and retail space. Our sales-tax-driven
economy depends on creating the reasons for locals and visitors to
come to town, stay, spend money and breathe life into a
family-friendly ski town. We cannot allow high-end residential real
estate to overpower retail, hotel and office space.
8. Does Vail need to be more welcoming to middle-class families? If
As I've stated in question No. 6, keeping middle-class families in
town is vital to ensuring that our community atmosphere continues to
thrive. We do this by facilitating family-sized affordable housing:
holding new development's feet to the fire to create comfortable
townhomes and duplexes for a family of four to five with school-aged
children. This goes hand in hand with town leadership also making sure
the municipal amenities (for example, day care, parks, recreation
facilities, entertainment options as well as office and retail space)
are always there to make Vail the obvious choice for people to live
9. Ask and answer your own question that will help voters decide how
What is one decision you made as a member of Vail Town Council that
will have the most lasting effect to keep the town moving in the right
Our hiring of Stan Zemler as town manager will have more of enduring
effect on Vail's progress than any other decision we've made. There is
a very noticeable change in the tone of conversation throughout town.
People are optimistic and passionate about their future. I attribute
this positive outlook to Stan because he understands the private
sector, their goals, their desires and is so comfortable in his
conversations with them. Stan truly is a representative of the people;
he is able to work with everyone keeping Vail moving forward rather
than being held up by roadblocks.