Dear Editor,

For 30 years I have lived and volunteered in the Vail School District. Over those years “We have done the hard work of getting along.” The Vail community stood out because we worked together, even during times of controversy and disagreement.

During my sixteen years as a Vail Governing Board Member, I worked with ten board members. I experienced multiple elections with different people running. I have never before experienced candidates being rude to staff, current board members, the superintendent, and other candidates.

Having differing opinions isn’t the same as name-calling, yelling at the board, calling people liars, or accusing people of wrongdoing with no proof. The discord and chaos that happens when we don’t give each other the benefit of the doubt and move to blame is disheartening. At last week’s Governing Board meeting two candidates spoke out in anger against the Vail School Board and Staff. It’s not the first time these candidates have behaved this way.

I’m beyond disappointed by this behavior! Is this what we want modeled for our children?

We have candidates who accuse our board, the Vail School District Foundation (a separate 501 C-3), and the Vail Chamber of working against them. Falsely claiming those organizations are conspiring against them. These candidates create division and discord at every turn and are trying to drive a wedge between all of us.
I feel this behavior is the antithesis of what we want in a governing board member.

It has been a great honor to serve this wonderful community! This is my home. A place I truly love!

I’m taking a stand against anger, name-calling, and division. I’m taking a stand against the “us versus them” mindset. I’m asking our community to stand up against this division!

Please join me in sending a message to the Board Candidates. We don’t condone anger, hostility, conspiracy theories, spreading misinformation through fake Facebook profiles, and attacks.

This is our community. We are raising our families here, we work here, and our children go to school here. We will not allow anyone to destroy one of the most successful and highly rated school districts in Arizona.

I’m voting for board members who Are respectful and trustworthy. Care about our community and Take responsibility for their actions. People who will put our children first! Anderson and Ed Buster.

Debbie King
Governing Board Member

Dear Editor,

When someone claims they haven’t seen police attack someone so, therefore, police brutality does not exist, I don’t think they understand how privileged that perspective is. Just because something hasn’t happened to you or around you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t occur. And when I say privileged I want to clarify what I mean. Some people hear the word privileged and assume it correlates to every part of their life. If you tell someone they have white privilege they will most likely come back with an opposing stance about how their life has been hard not understanding what white privilege is.

You can still be poor and have privilege. The definition of the word privilege is, “A right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed by a particular person or a restricted group of people beyond the advantages of most.” That definition refers to more of a rich privilege but the one I am talking about is, “the unearned and mostly unacknowledged societal advantage that a restricted group of people has over another group.”

Now that we got that out of the way let’s talk about the topic at hand ACAB. “ACAB” is the acronym used for people who are opposed by the police standing for “All cops are bastards.” The phrase is about the system itself and how it is corrupt.

“The victims of police brutality in the United States are disproportionately black or Hispanic,” ( There have been multiple cases of police brutality throughout history: some of the recent most known are Rodney King, Amadou Diallo, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony Robinson, Paterson Brown, and many more.
“The killing of Amadou Diallo in February 1999 when New York cops fired 41 bullets at him created a huge furor in the city with daily protests outside police headquarters,” says

Police brutality in general is where police use significant physical and psychological harm to victims. This can include money, guns, or a power complex, sometimes all three. Many believe if we take a meaningful effort into proving police, and how the system works, it could improve the system and help abolish the problem. However, this will take a long time, as it is a deeply rooted system throughout history upon history.

Part of helping out with stopping this from continuing is getting the word out there and understanding that, just because you’ve had a privileged perspective, doesn’t mean others have.

Sean Colbert

Dear Editor,

Vote for Vail

Many have heard the phrase “Vote your values”. It’s short, catchy and helps voters reflect on their potential representation.

As much as I’ve asked myself each election “Am I voting my values?” I’ve experienced a shift in recent years. In local elections, it’s become less about my personal values compared to the good of the community.

For example, pretend our community needed to elect a dog catcher, which after the recent influx of dumped border collies might not be a bad thing, but I digress. Should I elect a dog catcher that feels as I do politically, or should I elect one with experience helping animals make it to shelters safely? What if County Gardener was a position? Should I vote for one who takes a hardline stance on weeds without compromise, or for one who collaborates with local horticulturalists?

Let’s elect those that prioritize our community rather than their position.

Two legitimate positions up for election are on our school board. As a teacher and mother, I recognize how much our schools support our community (consider our recent diaper drive), and how much our community supports our schools (I am continually grateful for the override). Whoever is elected won’t just impact the staff and students of our schools, but they will impact Vail overall.

Therefore, this election isn’t just about who do I like, or who is like me. Instead it’s about the legacy of community building that some of our candidates have literally built over the years. For example, Jen Anderson was on the founding committee of Vail Resources, our local food bank. Ed Buster was on the planning committee of our first public library, a wonderful hub for literacy and community events.

I have known some candidates longer. And other candidates also share my values. But the “values” that once lead me to vote based on the letter next to a name, or the opinions hey held, have become less important when it comes to giving a Vote for Vail.

Our community needs people who can help build both in and out of our district. And our community needs people who will build up instead of divide.

Those are the reasons why I think people should consider the community and on Election Day. Instead of asking “Did I vote my values”, I hope they ask “Did I vote for Vail?”

Thank you,

Shannon Jelle

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