Carbondale ballot attracts 10 candidates |

Carbondale ballot attracts 10 candidates

John Stroud
Carbondale correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE ” Ten candidates, including one incumbent trustee, will be seeking four open seats on the Carbondale Town Council in the April 1 municipal election.

Two additional candidates threw their hats into the ring on Friday ” Robert Comey and Pam Zentmyer. They join incumbent Trustee Ed Cortez, along with Frosty Merriott, John Hoffmann, Barry Maggert, Don Vandevander, Sean Keery, Brent Moss and Patricia Forshee-Warman on the ballot for the spring election.

A pair of prospective candidates who had indicated early intentions to run ” Rico Torres and Bruce Gray ” decided not to run, or did not turn in nominating petitions by the 5 p.m. Friday deadline, Town Clerk Cathy Derby said.

“The more people we have running, the better chance we have for a more diverse council,” Cortez said in an earlier interview with The Valley Journal.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done,” Cortez said of his desire to spend another four-year term on the board, adding that affordable housing, the local economy and water issues top his list of concerns.

Merriott and Maggert have both run for Town Council before, Maggert having just narrowly missed being elected two years ago.

A local Libertarian Party leader and former candidate for state office, as well as a political columnist for The Valley Journal, Maggert said he hopes to offer alternative viewpoints about back-to-basics government than the other candidates are likely to offer.

“Someone called me and said that there were a bunch of crazies running, and I said, ‘Well, I’m a crazy myself,'” he said when asked of his intentions to try it again.

Keery and Moss both recently sat in as a guest trustees, a program the town board re-instituted earlier this year to allow citizens to experience the board process firsthand. Each decided it was something they wanted to try for real.

“I’m just starting to get my feet wet politically,” said Moss, who added that running for a seat on the council is something that he had been considering for a while.

Hoffmann, a local blacksmith as well as the chairman of the Carbondale Trails Committee, announced his candidacy in a letter to the editor recently. He said he felt that he was “capable and compelled,” and that he feels privileged to live in a community that has such a well-run and educated electorate.

Four council seats ” representing a majority of the seven-member council ” are to be decided at the April 1 election.

Cortez is the only incumbent seeking re-election. Trustee Alice Laird decided not to seek a second term, and Trustee Russ Criswell is up against term limits after two four-year terms.

The fourth seat became open when former trustee Scott Chaplin stepped down at the beginning of the year. The board at the time decided to keep the seat open until the election.

The top three candidates in the election will be elected to four-year terms, while the fourth-highest vote-getter will be elected to a two-year term.

The Valley Journal and the Carbondale Chamber will sponsor a candidates forum on Wednesday, March 12, from 6 to 9 p.m., at Carbondale Town Hall.