Now is the time to step up
By Aimee Eaton
The vacant seat on the Mt. Crested Butte Town Council remains empty this week, after no names were submitted to the town for consideration to fill the position during the initial 30-day search period.
To avoid the need and cost of a special election, the town will now follow state statute and extend its search another 30 days, to close on November 20.
Prior councilman Bill Thompson left his seat on the council in September to pursue an opportunity in Denver. The town has been advertising the seat since then to no avail.
According to Mt. Crested Butte town clerk Jill Lindros, this is the first time she has experienced the call for a councilman going unanswered. Lindros has been with the town since 2011.
“No one volunteered or showed interest in the position when all it required was turning in some paperwork or coming before the council,” said Lindros. “I don’t see how having a special election where a petition and signatures are required to get on the ballot would make the position more enticing than just turning in some paperwork and being appointed to the council.”
Lindros said the statute normally followed by the town would have required a special election after the initial 30-day search—a situation that would cost a considerable amount of time and money with unclear results. However, by following the state statute, Mt. Crested Butte can extend the time where individuals can be appointed to council by another 30 days. If no one is appointed by the end of the second 30-day period—which will end on November 20—the timing is such that an election will fall under the umbrella of the regularly scheduled April municipal election.
“If no one turns in paperwork by Nov. 20, the seat will go unserved until the regular election in April,” said Lindros.
In other words, if no one volunteers to fill the seat, it will remain empty for almost six months.
“Now is the time for all those people who have an opinion to have their opinion heard and join the council,” said Mt. Crested Butte mayor Todd Barnes.
Should the seat remain empty after November 20, individuals interested in running in the April election can pick up paperwork beginning in January. At that time there will be four seats open: one two-year position and three four-year positions.