Business keeping him out of town
Three-year Crested Butte Town Council veteran David Owen has resigned his seat from the board. Owen sent his letter of resignation to the town on Monday, October 27.
“Unanticipated family matters in another state force this drastic step,” Owen wrote to his fellow councilmembers and town staff. “I am engaged in intense, stressful, nonstop out-of-town work, and I find that I do not have sufficient time to focus on the issues of the Town Council. I shall be detained with this task for an indefinite period of time and look forward to seeing you on my trips home.”
The resignation letter makes the move effective as of October 27.
Owen said he wouldn’t be back in Crested Butte until December 18 and would leave again in early January. “How long I will be gone is unknown. It could be up until May 2016 in the worst case,” he explained. “It’s irresponsible to miss three months out of my 12 remaining, and that’s the minimum. I find that I do not have time to focus on Council issues.”
Mayor Aaron Huckstep said the council would discuss officially how to handle replacing Owen at the next Town Council meeting on Monday, November 3.
“On behalf of the entire Town Council and town staff, I want to thank David for his three years of service on the council,” Huckstep said. “While David and I may not have always agreed with each other, I valued his perspectives and input. I am sure this was not an easy decision for him to make, given how seriously he takes his obligations as a member of council. I wish him luck as he turns his attention to the matters at hand with his family business.
“Council hopes to appoint a new council member in an expeditious timeframe,” continued Huckstep. “The procedure for appointment should be largely similar, if not identical, to the process used in 2009. We will hear more about the specific details of the procedure at the regular Town Council meeting on November 3.”
Town attorney John Belkin said it would be up to the council to appoint someone to fill the remainder of Owen’s term, which runs through next fall. He said the town charter calls for the council to appoint someone to fill the vacant seat within 30 days, so the council has basically until the end of November to make the appointment.
Owen said while it was a lot of work, being on council was a labor of love. “It was worthwhile work,” he said. “It was emotionally taxing, good, bad and ugly, but I actually enjoyed my service and it was satisfying work.”
As for a highlight of his term in office, Owen said that making the Gunnison Valley Rural Housing Authority a “real” housing authority and “hiring Karl Fulmer, who has been outstanding” would probably top the list.
The council will outline a replacement process next Monday. Those interested in sitting on the council for a year in place of Owen should send a letter of interest to Crested Butte human resources director Lois Rozman at the town hall.
Owen’s final piece of advice to whoever is interested in filling his seat and gets appointed: “Lead from your heart, but don’t forget your brain.”