Eagle County Democrats looking for commissioner

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

BASALT – Eagle County Democrats in the Roaring Fork Valley can’t apply to fill an opening on the Board of County Commissioners, but they are being urged to participate in the selection process.

The Democrats have set up a 15-member committee to interview candidates and ultimately decide who replaces Jon Stavney, who will relinquish his seat July 1. Stavney won re-election in November, but he has resigned because he was hired as town manager of Eagle. He won election as a Democrat, so the party gets to choose his successor.

The party is taking applications through May 5 for District 2, which includes all of central Eagle County, east of Eagle and including the Wolcott and Edwards areas. The applicants will be interviewed June 5 in Eagle and June 12 in El Jebel. Those interviews will be held in public. Members of the public won’t be able to ask questions, but they are urged to contact the vacancy committee in advance with any issues they want to raise.

“We’re trying to be as transparent as possible and make sure the process is as open as possible,” said Kim Wille, vice chair of the Eagle County Democrats and a member of the vacancy committee. Missouri Heights resident Harvie Branscomb is also a member of the committee.

Residents can submit the questions they want the committee to ask candidates at

Wille said the appointment is important to the Basalt and El Jebel areas of Eagle County even though they aren’t in District 2. Voting is open rather than limited to residents of a district. In addition, the commissioners represent all county residents even though they are selected from a geographical area, Wille noted.

“They are our commissioners. They come over here. They make decisions for over here, too. All decisions affect all people equally,” she said.

The Roaring Fork Valley portion of Eagle County has a higher concentration of Democrats than Eagle County as a whole. The Roaring Fork Valley provided the winning margin of victory for Eagle County Commissioner Jill Ryan in November. Stavney also had widespread support in the Roaring Fork Valley, but his margin of victory was wider.

The Democrats’ selection committee wants to appoint the new District 2 commissioner between June 12 and 19. The term begins July 1.