The Vail Daily is hosting a Q&A with the five candidates vying for four Avon City Council seats. The questionnaires will be conducted in alphabetical order. Candidates each run for a four-year term in nonpartisan elections. According to the city charter, the four candidates who receive the most votes in the general election will fill the vacant seats.
The city council vote will be part of the election on Tuesday, Nov. 8, which is conducted as an election by mail and is coordinated with the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder’s office. Ballots will be mailed starting October 17, 2022.
Last name: Tamra Nottingham Underwood
Occupation: Lawyer (solo business/estate planning practice in Avon)
Place of residence: Valley Bottom, Hurd Lane/Eaglebend Drive
Length of Residence in Eagle County: 54 years old
Have you served on any other boards/commissions/councils in Eagle County or elsewhere?
I served as the Avon City Attorney from 1989 to 1990 and first served on the Avon City Council from 2004 to 2008. I was thrilled to be elected to my current term in 2018 and I’m proud of my four very productive years on behalf of Avon. I represent the city on the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, I’m an alternate on the board of directors of High Five Access Media (Channel 5) and I’m a director on the board of three Avon affordable housing companies for non-profit (EagleBend, Buffalo Ridge and Kayak Crossing).
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Why do you want to serve on the Avon City Council?
I’m running for re-election because I want to continue contributing to Avon’s bright future. I bring a long-term vision and a steady hand; maintaining our incredible quality of life by continuing to cultivate productive projects and positive relationships is my passion. I see the uniqueness that Avon has with our wonderfully diverse residential population and I want to work with the Avon Board and staff to continue to improve our Avon lifestyle. Avon is “the heart of the valley” in many ways and I want to make sure the heart becomes even more vibrant and healthy.
What did the current council do well?
City Council is at its best when we think through complex issues, listen to the public and our professional advisors, and apply our time, energy, collective intelligence and creativity to problem solving. Respect for others is essential. A recent example of our good work was to start regulating short-term rentals.
What could the current council have done better?
A difficult period was the recall from 2020 to 2022; while it was a trial, i hope the lessons learned will ensure that a recall of the council will never be repeated in our city. It was not only financially costly, but it brought to light some truly unfortunate discourse that goes against the Avon community that I love and respect.
As housing continues to be one of the county and city’s biggest challenges, what options do you think the Avon City Council should explore to create/obtain critical workforce housing ?
I support resolving the workforce housing crisis in our valley on several fronts, such as accelerating the development of employee housing and building inventory; collaborating through creative public-private partnerships (as on Metcalf Road’s Tract Y); enact legislative/code amendments, including inclusive zoning, short-term rental regulations, and community housing development incentives; and the expansion and improvement of Mi Casa Act Restriction Program.
There is no “silver bullet” but if we commit to working aggressively on many initiatives, the crisis will ease.
What is the issue you hear the most about from Avon residents? What do you hope to do to resolve this problem, if elected?
Along with having to provide additional new community housing, Avon residents and business owners tell me the most about prioritizing climate change initiatives, managing parking and improving public transport. I pledge to work hard on all these issues.
I support the formation of the Regional Transit Authority which will also be on our ballots this fall and it really touches on part of the solution to all of these problems. The RTA will improve our bus service to get more people out of their cars and better move our workforce and skiers throughout the valley with a free zone between Avon, Vail, Beaver Creek and Edwards, an Eagle Circulator -Gypsum. I hope to facilitate the creation of new housing for RTA employees here in Avon.