Council will consider all alternatives
by Mark Reaman
After 11 years serving as Crested Butte town attorney, John Belkin submitted his letter of resignation to the Town Council last week. The resignation took effect May 17. His performance review with the town council was held the same week.
“John served the town well for more than a decade,” noted Crested Butte mayor Glenn Michel. “We wish him the best of luck in the future.”
“I enjoyed the last 11 years representing the town very, very much,” said Belkin. “We accomplished a lot, to be sure. The community has been a joy and the town a pleasure to represent.”
Belkin was hired in 2006 while he was with the Aspen firm Garfield & Hecht. He left that firm to open his own practice in Crested Butte and work as the town attorney. He recently rejoined Garfield & Hecht.
“I will be splitting my time between Aspen and Crested Butte, depending upon the week and what I have going on in Aspen and here in Crested Butte,” Belkin explained. “Many thanks to Crested Butte and the wonderful people who make up the community.”
Michel said the council has retained the services of Barbara Green of the firm Sullivan Green Seavy, which has offices in Boulder and Denver. Green has acted as a special counsel to the town of Crested Butte on several matters for many years.
The firm’s website makes it clear that representing government entities across Colorado is one of its specialties. “Because we combine deep hands-on experience with a substantive understanding of legislative and administrative law and policy, we can guide governing bodies to formulate effective policies, and identify strategies that close the gap that often occurs between policy goals and the implementation of those goals,” the firm’s website states.
According to the website, Green herself has served as a town manager for Oak Creek and Yampa, Colo. and was assistant town manager for Steamboat Springs. She is town attorney for Silver Plume.
The council has not met since receiving Belkin’s letter but will take the necessary procedural actions to begin looking for a permanent replacement. Michel said the council is open to all options, including hiring an “in-house” attorney.
“I have spoken with people in other Colorado communities and some towns, like Telluride, have an in-house lawyer working exclusively for them while other towns use out-of-house attorneys,” the mayor said. “I think we will seek Request for Proposals [RFPs] and ask qualified attorneys to submit a proposal that would work for them and see what comes back.”
The council’s next scheduled meeting is June 5.