Jill Beathard

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November 27, 2012
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A new face joins Town Council

SNOWMASS VILLAGE - The election of Snowmass Village's newest council member became official two weeks after Election Day with the release of final results late the evening of Nov. 20.

Chris Jacobson held on to his slim lead over fellow candidate Darryl Grob, winning a seat on Town Council by 14 votes.

"I felt very good," Jacobson said of receiving the news. "I was excited to get the opportunity to serve on the council. ... I was glad to see that the vote held."

Mayor Bill Boineau and Councilwoman Markey Butler easily gained re-election, but with 64 provisional ballots from Snowmass Village still to be reviewed, it was unclear from preliminary results whether Jacobson would hold his lead of four votes for the second open council seat.

The remaining ballots had to be reviewed for eligibility, and then those that were valid were cast. The final tally was 691 votes for Butler; 534 for Jacobson; 520 for Grob; and 499 for Stan Stokes.

Jacobson said he was pleased to get the vote, even though he might not be as well-known in the community as his fellow candidates. This was Jacobson's first bid for public office.

"I felt good about that level of support from the community," he said.

Jacobson, an entrepreneur who has been serving as vice president of the Environmental Advisory Board, ran on a platform envisioning a "sustainable Snowmass," viable both environmentally and economically in the long term.

"I think we'll be looking at that idea of sustainability first and foremost in terms of the economy," Jacobson said. For him that includes looking at the effectiveness of the town's marketing board, increasing emphasis on small businesses, and expanding tourism outside of winter.

Jacobson said he still needs to learn more about the town's role in the commercial sector, but that government and businesses have to cooperate. In places of natural beauty, it's important to have growth that's "in accord with what you're trying to preserve as a town," he said.

Economic viability relates to climate change for Jacobson. "How do we diversify our economic base?" he said. "So we don't find ourselves as kind of a lost town if the snow starts to move."

Jacobson is younger than some of his peers on council and also newer to the town. "I've heard that positive reinforcement on the campaign trail - people saying, 'We need some new ideas,'" he said. "I do think it's helpful to have a range of ages across the council."

Jacobson is most looking forward to understanding more about how the town operates.

"I'm (also) excited to join the conversation," he said.

Grob, who also ran for Pitkin County commissioner but didn't advance past the primary, said he wouldn't be asking for a recount.

"I have a high level of confidence in the committee that evaluated the material," he said. "It was what it was."

When asked if he would seek some other way to serve the community, he said, "Well, let's see how the smoke clears."

"This is my home and home for my daughter and wife," he added. "We'll simply have to wait and see how the opportunities present themselves."

He said there might be opportunities for him to give back with the town or in other ways.

Stokes, owner of property management company Mighty Mouse, said he might be interested in serving the community in another capacity as well. He volunteered on the Chapel board years ago when that was first getting started. A resident of Snowmass Village for 30 years, he said in a candidate forum in October that one of his reasons for running was a desire to give back to the community.

"I'm not committing to anything right now," he said.

Jacobson, Butler and Boineau will be sworn in for their new terms during the Dec. 3 council meeting.


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The Aspen Times Updated Nov 27, 2012 06:18PM Published Nov 27, 2012 06:16PM Copyright 2012 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.