Menconi, Woodland face off in Eagle mayor race
There’s no doubt that it’s the mayor’s race spurring higher than usual interest in the Eagle election this year.
County Commissioner Arn Menconi and Town Trustee Ed Woodland are facing off in the bid for Eagle’s highest office. Woodland, who has served as a board member for four years, says he wants to see projects that were started during his tenure through to completion, such as working on traffic improvements on Eby Creek Road, and construction of a new sewer plant.
He’s pledged to work with Eagle County and the Town of Gypsum to develop a solution to regional traffic issues.
Woodland said he’s ready to lead the Board.
“I’ll expect all trustees to be fully engaged and prepared. The mayor’s job is to see that all trustees explain their thought processes,” says Woodland.
He lays out several mayoral goals including increasing revenues by drawing new business to town; acquiring new, usable open space through developer concessions and purchases with other partners; and planning for key staff positions that may turn over in the next four years as long-time employees retire.
Menconi says he’s running because he has developed a deep affection for the town his family moved to two years ago. If he is elected, he would serve dual roles as county commissioner and mayor until his commissioner term ends next January.
“I like land use, and like the processes,” says Menconi, explaining why he chose to run for town office. He says the challenges facing the town are similar to those facing the county, but in a more compressed arena.
He says the existing town board has missed opportunities to partner with other entities to find solutions to issues such as traffic problems.
Menconi is upfront about his concerns about big box store development.
“The town of Eagle is not running out of money. We are about to run out of small town character,” says Menconi. “I don’t want to see a shopping center the size of Flat Irons Mall with up to 1,000 units of housing, a highway interchange, and a high school.”
Woodland, on the other hand, labels himself as “open-minded,” rather than “pro-growth.”
“My loyalties are with the town,” he says.
Woodland notes that Eagle had land which is attractive to national retailers.
“We don’t want to rule out the opportunity to diversify, just because on a philosophical level we don’t like big boxes,” Woodland says. He says he will look to the Eagle Area Community Plan for guidance on the issue, but noted the town board must also consider financial issues.
Both men have young families. Woodland and his wife, Kristen, have five children. Menconi and his wife, Ann, have two young children.
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