Jacobson responds to calls for resignation | AspenTimes.com

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Jacobson responds to calls for resignation

Snowmass Village Town Councilman Chris Jacobson responded to calls for his resignation Tuesday, the same day that a petition to recall him got underway.

Jacobson faces a charge of felony criminal mischief following a June arrest for allegedly driving under the influence, sparking calls for his resignation and possibly even a recall election. On Tuesday, the town clerk certified a form for a recall petition, meaning that circulators can begin collecting signatures in support of taking Jacobson's council seat back to the voters.

Jim Hooker, who was mayor of Snowmass Village for two terms in the '90s, is the petition's representative. Hooker is mostly homebound right now due to some health issues and said that other members of the community have volunteered to circulate the petition.

"After his performances of what, about a week and a half ago or so, we knew there had to be a change," Hooker said, referring to Jacobson's arrest. "The council is coming in to a period that requires as much strong input as possible of knowledgeable, good people to deal with the pending propositions that are coming from the developers."

Jacobson doesn't think the charges against him have affected his work on the council.

"My ability to separate the potential of the town and the needs of the town and to focus on those has been pretty self-evident," he said. Jacobson was not present at Monday's regular council meeting but has attended all of the board's other sessions since his arrest.

Jacobson said Tuesday that he believes former councilman Fred Kucker is the primary motivator of the recall effort. Kucker would not comment when reached by The Aspen Times on Tuesday.

At Kucker's last meeting as a councilman in October, Jacobson accused him and two other council members of ex parte communications with a developer during a town review process.

Jacobson said he thinks Kucker's involvement is "sour grapes" for what happened in the fall.

Jacobson also called a public request by Mayor Markey Butler that he consider resigning "pure politics," a phrase he said he was borrowing from a comment that current Councilman Bob Sirkus made about Jacobson's actions in October.

"I have to ask myself, what's the purpose for utilizing the public forum to express something that certainly could have been expressed on a personal level or in a private manner?" Jacobson said.

The councilman also shared his thoughts on local media outlets' coverage of the case against him.

"I think it would really be a great service if the local papers would not solely, but in addition to perhaps the personal stories, focus on really the work of the council and the important issues before the town of Snowmass," Jacobson said.

A petition is the first step leading to a recall election, according to the Colorado Constitution. For this petition, the circulators must gather 242 signatures, which is equal to a quarter of the total votes cast for council seats in the most recent election.

Hooker, who has lived in Snowmass since before the town was incorporated, said he doesn't remember another occasion when there was an effort to recall a local elected official.

"People have left for an assortment of reasons, mainly illness or something with the family, that type of thing, but never poor behavior," Hooker said. "Nothing was done that I can recall that reflected so negatively on the council and the work that it does and the work that it's trying to do."

jill@snowmasssun.com