With Base Village again poised to shape the future of Snowmass Village, four residents vying for two open council seats on the Nov. 6 ballot last week discussed the project, the economy and why they are running.
Councilwoman Markey Butler is seeking re-election, and Councilman John Wilkinson is vacating his seat because of term limits. Besides Butler, who was elected in 2008, Stan Stokes, Darryl Grob and Chris Jacobson turned in candidate affidavits by the Aug. 24 deadline. Mayor Bill Boineau is running unopposed.
For Grob, 66, it will be his second bid for office after the retired Aspen fire chief finished third in June’s primary election for Pitkin County commissioner.
“With all of the activity happening with the [new] Westin and Related, I think the next several years offer tremendous potential, and I’d like to participate in that,” Grob said. “There’s a certain vitality on the horizon, and I believe it’s something our community wants and needs.”
Related Colorado has closed on its purchase of the Base Village project, which a consortium of European banks had held in foreclosure amid the recession. It will soon start the process with the town to renew approvals for 1 million square feet of commercial and residential development.
Stokes, a 30-year village resident, said he, too, wants to help the town in a critical time. With his kids out of college, “it’s time to give back,” said Stokes, 51, who owns Mighty Mouse Management, a property management company. “This community’s been good for me.”
Given the economic downturn, the town should continue to focus on working within its budget, he said.
“Our hands are tied a little bit, and we ought to make do with what we have,” Stokes said.
Butler, who has also chaired the town’s planning commission, said she is running again because she enjoys the job and is a believer in service above self.
“Serving the community has always been my passion,” said Butler, 64, who is the executive director of HomeCare and Hospice of the Valley.
She said her first council term was a rich learning experience. The successful candidates will be those who know the town’s land-use code and construction management plan, real estate development and financing, and strategic planning, Butler predicted.
Jacobson, vice chairman of Snowmass Village’s environmental advisory board (EAB), described himself as an entrepreneur with extensive experience in small-business ownership and management, and more than 20 years in construction services.
“I’ve enjoyed the process of the EAB and learning about government,” he said. “There seems to be lot of opportunities and decisions to be made at the town level as we emerge from the recession.”
Jacobson said he is running on a “sustainable Snowmass” platform that focuses on “the intersection between environmental resources and community development.”
Oct. 9 is the deadline to register for the election.