SNOWMASS VILLAGE - In what might be the closest Town Council race in Snowmass Village's history, provisional ballots counted over the next few days will determine which of three candidates will be the town's newest elected official.
Snowmass Villagers were voting for mayor and two council members, determined by which two individual candidates won the most votes. As of late Tuesday night, 1,093 votes had been counted for Mayor Bill Boineau, who was running unopposed for his third and final term in the position, and 669 votes were cast re-electing Councilwoman Markey Butler.
But the preliminary results Tuesday showed Butler's fellow council candidates remained within a few votes of one another for the second seat: Five-hundred and three votes had been counted for Chris Jacobson, 499 for Darryl Grob and 471 for Stan Stokes. Sixty-four provisional ballots still have to be approved and tallied, which could take a few days.
"I don't think that I guessed that it would be that close of a race," said Grob, a former Aspen Fire chief. "I do hope that I get a chance to serve."
Jacobson, an entrepreneur and vice chairman of the town Environmental Advisory Board, said Tuesday he felt incomplete.
"There are several groupings in the community," he said. "I do think it'll be a critical element of the council's makeup when the decision is made."
Jacobson expected Butler to pull ahead and for the remaining votes to be split between the other three, but not to wind up quite so close.
"It's so close, clearly the community would be happy with any of us," Jacobson said.
Stokes, owner of Mighty Mouse property management company, said he didn't feel like he was a shoe-in for the role but didn't expect to wind up waiting on the results.
"I'm totally surprised," he said. "I guess they've got some ballots to count."
Mayor Boineau said after talking to people on Election Day that he did expect the race to be close.
Butler said she was honored to be re-elected and looked forward to working with the current council and whoever wins the remaining seat.
"There's a lot of work to do," she said.
Also on the ballot for Snowmass Village residents were an advisory question on paper and plastic bags and a mill levy increase that would support the Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District.
Question 2A, which asked if the town should create some kind of policy on the distribution and use of bags, failed by a margin of 75 votes. Six-hundred and fifty-five voted for it, and 730 voted against.
Voters approved the mill levy increase, which will raise district taxes by three mills over the next two years. Seven-hundred and sixty-two voted for the increase and 608 against. The district proposed the increase in order to mitigate a loss of funds caused by property devaluations and has said the hike will be used to maintain its current budget, not expand it.