Vail Recreation District: Candidates responses to VHA questions.
VRD Candidates: Please respond to the following
questions. Your responses "in your own words" will be posted to the VHA Website
and distributed by email to our constituents. A link to a webpage containing
the responses of all candidates has been created. A "Word" document is
attached for your convenience. Please email your response to
Thank you for your participation.
1. How would you improve the working relationship with the
residential neighborhood that surrounds the Golf Clubhouse and its proposed
indoor and outdoor event facilities?
2. What changes might you make to change the organization
and operation of the VRD to insure that it functions within its revenue
limitations and the services that its charter allows?
3. How and why are you qualified to serve as a member of
the VRD Board of Directors?
Candidates Responses Below:
Received: Kim Newbury, Kevin Forley, Tom Saalfeld,
#1 working relationship with
I believe in an open line of
communication. I would invite all interested golf course neighbors to attend
the VRD meetings. Also they can visit the VRD web site to look at the meetings
agendas and board packets. If elected to the VRD Board I would seek out golf
course neighbors to try and understand their concerns and give them a voice in
this Clubhouse proposal. I own and have operated a property management company
in Vail since 1986. I have learned over the years that it is best to be
inclusive in these matters.
#2 changes to the
It is important
that the VRD operates pursuant to fiscally sound principles guided by objective
decision makers. When I served on the board 2000-2004 the golf course was very
profitable. Last year I am told it lost close to $100,000. The reasons for
this decline have to be investigated and decisions need to be made on fees and
services such as staffing. The district is reporting a $1.8 million shortfall
for capital expenditures over the next few years because of the decline in
property tax revenue due to lower assessed values. Currently the district makes
enough money through taxes and fees to fund current programing and operations
but it also needs to upgrade and improve fields and facilities and equipment
through capital improvements. The new board needs to identify, address and
eliminate the budget shortfall so it can continue the services that its charter
to serve as a member of the VRD Board
As a former
member of the VRD Board from 2000-2004 I am familiar with the VRD
programing, facilities and staff. This knowledge and experience will be
valuable to the district should I be elected to the Board. As an owner of a
property management company in Vail I manage buildings worth hundreds of
millions of dollars. I create budgets and then operate within those
budgets. I have the passion and desire to face the tough challenges ahead.
Serving the district is my way to contribute to our community
4/24/14 9:23 AM
1. How would you improve
the working relationship with the
that surrounds the Golf Clubhouse
and its proposed indoor
and outdoor event facilities?
It is all about
communication. The residents in Vail need to
speak up and get
involved in the process, earlier the better. I
live next to Booth Creek
Park. The town is currently working
with the local residents
surrounding the park to give us an
opportunity to have
input. I intend to be at the meeting
representing myself and
other neighbors who will not be able
to attend. Itís up to us
to attend the meetings and let them
know what we want as
homeowners in this neighborhood.
My understanding is that
the clubhouse litigation has been
settled by the court. I
think it would be great for the town
and the residents to get
together and work out a plan that will
be equally beneficial.
The Town of Vail won the litigation
but we still need to
find some common ground with all
homeowners. I donít
think it would be a sign of weakness for
the town to approach the
residents and offer them the
opportunity to have
input in how the facility will be utilized.
I think it would show
how strong our community actually is
and begin to bridge a
stronger partnership with all
2. What changes might
you make to the organization and
operation of the VRD to
insure that it functions within its
revenue limitations and
the services that its charter allows?
Iíd like to see
programming expand in a responsible way. It
is important to keep in
mind the physical limitations of the
budget and the
facilities that we run our programs out of. We
have an amazing natural
beauty of our mountain and our town
and bringing in more
recreational events we will bring more
visitors to enjoy our
3. How and why are you
qualified to serve as a member of the
VRD Board of Directors?
I have a Bachelor of
Science in Exercise and Sports
Science with a
concentration in Wellness. I served for
several years on Booth
Creek Townhomeís Board of
Directors. I was
instrumental communicating with all
owners regarding a
massive facelift of all of the units. I am
also a mother of two
school-aged children who are active
participants with many
of VRDís programs. I am also a
part-time employee of
VRD and have a unique perspective
that other candidates do
not have on the inner workings of
VRD. Furthermore VRD has
been an active part of my life
for the last 20 years in
04/25/14 11:26 AM
1. How would you
improve the working relationship with the residential neighborhood that
surrounds the Golf Clubhouse and its proposed indoor and outdoor event
To improve the relationship
with the surrounding residents, I would continue doing what I have already
started. I would communicate the way that everybody should have been
communicating from the beginning.
I keep saying that community,
by definition, requires compromise, cooperation and by all means -
Maybe that sounds like a
political slogan to some, but I believe it!
If I wanted to be another
anonymous resident in a meaningless neighborhood, I would live in a place where
I had no voice in matters of public concern. I choose to be here, where I can
pick up the phone, or knock on doors and speak to people who are involved in
issues that matter to me.
Vail is a terrific place to
live. The people that live here have resources that include vast experiences
and knowledge that have made them successful in the world.
The golf course residents
spent their time and money to draw up plans in an effort to find a solution that
would satisfy everybody. Thatís a tremendous effort that needs to be
commended. At the same time, to the credit of the VRD, they were simply
designing a way to improve the clubhouse facility without increasing mill-levy
taxes, creating the need for special funding, or raising usage fees for the
I have spent a great deal of
time on this issue in an effort to understand whom, or what went wrong. I
expected to find a ďbad guyĒ in the mix Ė someone who got greedy or someone who
was unreasonable. That is not what I found.
Instead, I found a lot of
reasonable plans that were not communicated well.
Everybody has valid ideas,
issues and resolutions to reaching the common goal of rebuilding a dangerously
dilapidated building. We (as a community) just need to find the middle ground
that satisfies everybody involved. It can happen!
There is an option to hold a
formal mediation as a way to find middle ground in this issue. I think that the
facts could be reviewed at such a meeting and a resolution could be found.
I have reached out to
everybody I could, met with them and learned answers to many of my questions. I
have created an email for those who donít have time to meet or speak on the
A simple answer to this
question is this:
A round-table type of open
exchange and genuine compromise has to be the method of communicating for
publicly funded projects, from this point forward. Simply holding an
open-to-the-public meeting to discuss issues is not enough. This is a special
interest organization that needs to make an extra effort to involve the public
for cooperative decision-making.
What changes might you make
to the organization and operation of the VRD to insure that it functions within
its revenue limitations and the services that its charter allows?
The Rec District will always
have to work within the confines of the revenue that it collects from property
taxes. There will never be a surplus of funds to fulfill our every wish. We are
facing some lean years financially, while simultaneously needing to address
capital expenditures from facilities or mechanical devices that have reached the
end of their useable life.
The district has to operate
more efficiently than before, but that is just a function of good management.
We have some opportunities to fill gaps in our operations that answer some
demands from the public, so that they donít find something else down valley.
The community programming
above the Vail welcome center in Lionshead is proving to be very successful.
The various programs for both adults and children are meeting demands for our
residents. We need to find more opportunities like these, to fill the needs of
residents and visitors while they are in Vail. There is more room to make some
money and enhance our town by using facilities that we already have in more
efficient ways. I have been researching ideas for ways to use the Gymnastic
building during the day when it sits idle until 3:00 in the afternoon. Multiple
uses for existing facilities are a better utilization of our tax dollars.
Iím good at thinking outside
of the box, but honestly, Iím simply speaking to the public and listening to
their needs and ideas. We all want to keep families in Vail. Itís the VRD
board of directorsí job to find ways to make that happen. The board should work
as a special interest group that enhances the town and eases the burden of the
I am acting now, the way that
I will act if elected Ė I am communicating with the public and listening to
their issues and ideas. This needs to be the way of life for the board.
Collect information and create buy-in around new ideas that keep us moving
3. How and why are you
qualified to serve as a member of the VRD Board of Directors?
My education and my work
experiences are all over the map. I have created and re-created myself over the
years, so that I could continue living in Vail.
As it turns out, all of the
skills that Iíve picked up along the way can be focused when I need to make
I understand what it takes to
make a business work and where to turn when I need answers. My compassion for
others gives me the benefit of seeing issues through other peopleís eyes, so
that I can understand what it takes to find resolution.
I have been around enough
construction to know what to look for so that a project stays inside of a
predetermined budget. And I have used all of these experiences to get answers to
the clubhouse project as well as finding more public input that will increase
revenues by meeting our taxpayerís demands.
Connie Miller: 4/29/14 10:38 AM
would you improve the working relationship with the residential neighborhood
that surrounds the Golf Clubhouse and its proposed indoor and outdoor event
has designated a staff member to be the liaison between the residential neighbor
hood that surrounds the Golf Clubhouse. This will enable residents to have
direct contact for communications with the VRD and the Golf/Nordic Club
operations. The VRD board will be informed of the communications and will help
advise and consult the VRD staff as to appropriate actions that can be taken to
ensure timely and harmonious solutions to any issues that may arise. In addition
this will help facilitate streamlined and direct communications with one point
of contact for the community to voice their wants and needs. I will work with
the liaison and encourage anyone in the community to share their thoughts and
ideas with the VRD to make the new Clubhouse a success for everyone.
changes might you make to the organization and operation of the VRD to insure
that it functions within its revenue limitations and the services that its
encourage the organization to increase itís marketing to develop under or
untapped sources of revenue. Costs associated with producing events and programs
can be defrayed through strategic alliances with more advertising partnerships.
It is my understanding that the tax revenues collected by the Town of Vail at
special events hosted by the VRD are not directly distributed to the VRD. I
believe that it would be prudent for the VRD to negotiate a percentage of these
tax revenues to help offset the projected $1.8 million loss (by 2015) in Capital
Expenditures. Once the Golf/Nordic Center building has been completed and the 18th
hole is back in use an increase in daily fees should be implemented to restore
the reserves for future appropriations and capital needs.
and why are you qualified to serve as a member of the VRD Board of Directors?
lived and played in Vail for more than 25 years. I have enjoyed playing golf,
cross- country skiing, softball, tennis, biking and hiking through out Vail. As
Executive Director for Small Champions of Colorado I have had the unique
opportunity to work with Camp Vail for many summers. The staff do an outstanding
job helping our physically and multi-challenged children enjoy the sports
opportunities VRD has to offer. Alice and her staff at the golf course provide
one-on-one lessons for our Champions through out the summer in addition to our
Summer Camp. In my roll as E.D. I am responsible for our programming, fund
raising and budget. I understand fiduciary responsibility and checks and
balances to keep a balanced budget. I am always seeking creative ways to fund
raise and keep our costs low. I am also a small business owner, co-owning Peace
of Mind Property Management, Inc. (PM)2 with my husband, Mark Miller. We have
created a thriving business by designing a business plan, following detailed
outlines and checklists, listening to our clients every request, and
implementing action plans to get it done in a timely fashion and correctly.
Integrity and honesty have helped us be successful for over 14 years. I was a
Vail Ski instructor for 26 years. I have worked in commercial and financial
printing, helping bring many companies through the IPO process. I have a B.A.
degree in International Affairs and French from the University of Colorado, and
a Master of Management degree from Cambridge College. I believe my experience in
both the profit and non-profit world, along with my ability to listen, will be a
good asset for the VRD board.