Carbondale Mayor Bernot moving, steps down

Stacey Bernot

Carbondale Mayor Stacey Bernot announced her resignation at the board of trustees meeting Wednesday.

The mayor said her family had a housing opportunity in Redstone that they couldn’t pass up. Because the mayor is required to live within town limits, she had to make the decision to “unequivocally” choose her family over the position.

Carbondale’s municipal code requires that if the mayor’s position is vacated within six months of a general election, the mayor pro tem becomes acting mayor until a replacement mayor can be voted in at the general election.

If the mayor’s seat is vacated more than six months before a general election, a special election is triggered, and the town would have 90 days to hold the special election.

Bernot said May 11 will be her last meeting of the board of trustees – just barely less than six months before the November 8 general election.

With the newest three trustees taking part in their first full meeting Wednesday, the board was also tasked with selected their new mayor pro tem – who will now serve as acting mayor after Bernot leaves and until her replacement is elected.

The board unanimously voted for Dan Richardson to be the mayor pro tem.

The town will also have to find a replacement for the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority board, which Bernot chaired as Carbondale’s representative.

Bernot was elected in 2014 to her second term as Carbondale mayor, which would have been her last because of term limits. She served as a trustee for six years before seeking her first mayoral term in 2010.

Bernot, 38, is a fifth-generation Carbondalian who was raised by Paul and Celia Nieslanik after both her parents died when she was young, her father in the 1981 Mid-Continent coal mine explosion, and her mother and sister in a 1986 car accident. She told PI Editor Randy Essex earlier this month that longtime Carbondale families are “an endangered species” because of rising housing costs, and she wasn’t sure her children could afford to live in town if they wanted to.