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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Vail Community Action Board

The Vail Community Action Board (VCAB) was an organization that served the Vail community from 2006 to 2014.

Vail CARES
In 2006, the Vail School District received a grant from the Department of Education Safe School/ Healthy Students.  The purpose of the grant was explained at their first community meeting, August 9, 2006:

Vail CARES -  A Safe Schools Healthy Students Project 
The mission of the Vail CARES Safe Schools / Healthy Students (SS/HS) project is to create system change resulting in the comprehensive and integrated delivery of programs and services:

   1) to prevent violence and drug abuse
   2) to promote the healthy development of children and families and
   3) to strengthen community partnership
   4) to provide comprehensive mental health and after school services to the Vail community.

The grant funded a position in the Vail School District to meet these goals and initiatives were undertaken.

Vail Vision

After the grant funding ended, the group still felt that more was needed for the Vail Community.  In
2010, several key leaders from the Vail area were brought together to answer these questions:

   1) Where or What is Vail?
   2) What values does Vail desire to hold and preserve?
   3) What is Vail's vision for the future? 

The group published their results as the 2010 Vail Vision.

The Key Values were:

VAIL, AZ - PRESERVING OUR HISTORY, NATURE, AND COMMUNITY

Conservation is Paramount
We Honor our Rural Heritage
We are an Engaged Community
We are a Solid Community
We are Dynamic

Eight regions were identified as being part of Vail:
Wilmot / Kolb
Houghton Corridor
Rincon Valley
Central Vail
New Tucson
Corona
Marsh Station
83 Empire

Voice for Vail

To preserve and protect the goal of the 2010 Vail Vision document, VCAB began a long process of research into various governance models.  Meetings were held with other municipalities, community councils, and the Arizona League of Cities.  From these meetings, VCAB determined that there were five potential paths:

   1)  Create a Town of Vail
   2)  Create a Community Council but remain unincorporated
   3)  Create an Improvement District to preserve key elements in Vail
   4)  Annex Vail into the City of Tucson
   5)  Do Nothing

Advantages and Disadvantages of each of these were developed.  On April 11,2011, these were presented to the Vail community at the "Voice for Vail Town Hall".  An overwhelming majority of attendees believed that incorporation was the best way to preserve and protect Vail's values.

Incorporate Vail

At this point VCAB was not an independent tax exempt agency.  It was still under the tax exemption of the Vail School District and the original grant.  While efforts had been underway to obtain tax exempt status, the process was long, expensive, and complicated.

Therefore, a splinter organization formed separate from the Vail Community Action Board.  With VCAB's blessing, several members of the Vail for Voice committee left VCAB and started an organization with the sole purpose of incorporating Vail.  This group identified a boundary, developed a feasibility plan, met with various agencies, and then led to Proposition 403- Vail Incorporation held on November 5, 2013.  The measure did not pass.

Final Days

After Proposition 403 failed, the Vail Community Action Board still had a charge.  The original Voice for Vail document was still a goal worth pursuing.  However, the loss also created a loss of wind in VCAB's sails.

   1)  Members left VCAB because ultimately they wanted incorporation
   2)  Other groups began to form in the Vail area splintering VCAB's voice
   3)  After thousands of hours and thousands of dollars raised, many VCAB members were simply worn out.

Ultimately, VCAB realized that it is very difficult for a volunteer organization to represent Vail.  Because they aren't elected to represent Vail, there is no accountability to the Vail residents.  Grant opportunities are limited because it is a volunteer organization. Because it was operated through fundraising of a small percentage of Vail residents, there was not enough money to adequately fund the organization.

On April 24, 2014, the VCAB Executive Committee decided it was time for VCAB to end.  All funds were divided up to organizations in the Vail community and they ceased to function.

On a side note.  As a member of VCAB, and president during its last year, I am very grateful to everyone who spent many hours and sacrificed so much for the Vail Community.  Perhaps in the future, another organization will arise and accomplish what VCAB could not do.  This website is dedicated to laying the groundwork. - David Hook

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