Mayor skips highly-anticipated meeting
With Mayor Pete Muldoon missing in action at last night’s Town Council meeting, acting mayor Jim Stanford said that some organizers of the now-approved snowmobile Snocross event were simply greedy and were really attempting to reap tens of millions of dollars in profits by selling the Snow King Hotel for 60 million dollars.
Stanford accused the General Manager of Snow King Hotel, Jim Young, of spinning a Dickensian story about the hard times that the hotel is going through and said that some businesses stood to make tens of millions of dollars with the potential sale of the hotel.
The hotel, however, is not the applicant for the race.
The ISOC Snocross event, which is funded in part by the Travel and Tourism board, was turned down by the council earlier in the month amid concerns of hours of operation and liquor sales. The event was reconsidered, however, when one of the councilors said she wanted to hear revisions to the proposal.
Hailey Morton-Levinson voted in favor of the updated plan as did councilman Bob Lenz.
Councilman Don Frank, who voted for the original proposal, also voted in favor of the revised agenda item. “I am concerned about folks who have to bridge the shoulder season without income. For those of us who have steady income, the concept of red ink is just a throwaway, it’s a punchline,” he said. “But if you’re a working person who has no income from late summer or early fall until the middle of December, this is a real personal crisis.”
Frank said the up to three thousand individuals or families in Jackson are ‘food-insecure’ and that they would be happy to know the council and travel and tourism board worked to even out the economy in Jackson during slow periods in the year.
While Stanford said he made no disparaging comments about snowmobiling, he did say he was concerned about participants drinking all day and that the police would be chasing participants around the town square and around the bars.
Stanford also accused organizers of the event of being un-neighborly.
“Snow King unfortunately has a track record with this council that hasn’t exactly been stellar in some regards when it comes to the use of the town property. It’s the town property that we are stewards of and charged with safeguarding and there have been misrepresentations and there have been issues that we have had to take up from time to time that our staff has had to chase down and wrestle with and, unfortunately that casts some doubts on the credibility and confidence when a big event like this is dropped in the town’s lap at the eleventh hour.”
Stanford said that applying for the event six months before it occurs did not allow for the town to plan for the event by arranging for snow plowing and law enforcement staffing. “No one would treat their neighbor that way”, he said.