Ponders member decrease, but decides to stick with seven
[ By Kendra Walker ]
The Mt. Crested Butte town council has agreed to let voters decide on this November ballot whether to remove term limits to councilmembers moving forward. The council also discussed another ballot question that would decrease the number of councilmembers from seven to five, but the council ultimately decided to leave the town charter as is with seven councilors.
During their August 17 meeting, the council finalized a ballot question stating that terms of office shall be four years and there will be no term limits. The idea of removing term limits is to encourage more qualified people to run for council or reelection. “So someone that’s been term limited in the past could come on and we could have an election,” said town clerk Tiffany O’Connell. If approved by voters, no term limits would be effective for the town’s April 2022 election.
The council hopes that eliminating term limits will encourage past or current members to run for election when they otherwise would not be able to.
“It takes a while to onboard and really learn the tempo of this stuff,” said councilmember Roman Kolodziej. “Lauren [Koelliker], if you wanted to keep being on council and you couldn’t that would be a big loss for council.”
Regarding number of councilors, the council reviewed how many valley-wide committees each member was on and realized that it would be difficult to narrow that all down to five people.
Koelliker was still in favor of decreasing the count to five. “In a good democracy you have choice. It’s a walk-on team [here] which is pretty sad and I think that we’re a very small community,” she said. “Giving some choices and having some competition would be really positive.”
“Every one of you brings up stuff that sways me,” said councilmember Steve Morris. “There’s diversity of thought and experience that comes with seven.”
For now, the seven-member council number will remain and the council will let voters decide whether or not to remove term limits on November 2.