Butler wins in Snowmass | AspenTimes.com

Butler wins in Snowmass

Jill Beathard
The Aspen Times

Markley Butler visits with Olivia Dugan and her "auntie" Jen Muraske at an election party Tuesday at Slice in Base Village. Butler won the race for Snowmass Village mayor, according to unofficial results released late Tuesday night.

Councilwoman Markey Butler will be Snowmass Village's next mayor, based on Pitkin County election results as of Wednesday morning.

Butler led the mayoral race with 538 votes, with 1,044 total votes for the office counted. Councilman Jason Haber was in second with 381 votes, and resident Arnold Mordkin earned 125.

"I applaud anyone who runs for office," Butler said earlier in the night before results were clear. "What's far more important is the people have spoken, and we need to listen to the people."

In the race for Snowmass Village Town Council, Bob Sirkus is ahead with 707 votes. Bill Madsen came in second with 636 votes, and Mayor Bill Boineau, who is term-limited from running for the mayor office again, picked up 486. The two candidates with the most votes, Sirkus and Madsen, will fill the two seats opening up by Haber and Councilman Fred Kucker's exits.

Butler's election means that the new council will have to appoint an individual to fill her vacated seat. That means all three of the council candidates could wind up on the board, although Boineau cautioned that the public shouldn't assume that to be the case.

"I'm not sure how the council will decide to do it," Boineau said. "It's unknown at this point."

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Earlier results released around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday only showed 340 of the total Snowmass Village votes cast.

"The voters have spoken," Mordkin said around 9 p.m. "If the numbers hold, except for the mayoral, voters have said they want a clean sweep. I have a great deal of respect for the voters."

Haber, who was elected to the Town Council in 2010, thanked everyone who came to his election watch party at Slopeside Lanes for their support.

"I'm not worked up one way or another about it," he said around 11 p.m.

The council race was significantly more close early on, with all three candidates within 50 votes of one another.

"My tea leaves were telling me it was going to be pretty close," Boineau said around 10 p.m. "And that's because there's three good people (running for council)."

At an election party at Slice in Base Village, resident Tom Yocum named three issues that influenced his vote: the completion of Base Village; the entryway project, including maintaining the ice rink and rodeo facility; and a "little more civility amongst our governmental leaders."

"There's no rocket science to this," Yocum said.

Other residents also named Base Village and better council relationships as primary issues in their decision making.

"Get rid of the dysfunctional council, because they've got issues to deal with that are important to our community," resident Jamie Knowlton said. "This election is going to be important in how we move forward."

Based on the way she has voted on Base Village applications before the council, many residents thought Butler was the mayoral candidate who could most encourage progress on the development.

However, at Haber's watch party, resident Paul Jacobson said he wants to see "new blood" on the board.

"Council has been a little bit contentious, I think everyone would agree," Jacobson said. "I'm optimistic. I think we can find people that will work better together."

jill@snowmasssun.com