Experience will matter in Snowmass

After years of presentations, hearings, revisions and rehearings, it’s hard to imagine life after Base Village for the Snowmass Village Town Council. But indeed the council’s work will turn to the entrance, the Snowmass Center redevelopment and construction management.

Barring a remarkably successful and completely unexpected write-in campaign, Councilman Doug Mercatoris will be Snowmass Village’s next mayor.

Merc is running unopposed for the seat of retiring mayor T. Michael Manchester. He has spent years working on behalf of the town and its residents, both as a restaurateur and town councilman. Merc deserves a chance to lead the town government as mayor.

Vote Mercatoris for mayor.

If Mercatoris is elected mayor, then there will be three open seats on the council. Councilman Arnie Mordkin, finishing up his first term and seeking a second, is the sole incumbent in the race.

Mordkin has in many ways been the development conscience of the current council, which has been criticized for being too friendly with developers and not friendly enough with the citizenry.

Mordkin was the most persistent council critic of the Base Village application. Asked by the Snowmass Sun to name one thing he would have done differently during his last term, Mordkin said he would have fought to make comment on Base Village easier for the public.

His eye for open government is refreshing and, in this valley, unusual. Snowmass would do well with Mordkin on the council for another term.

Vote Mordkin for Town Council.

The only person on the town planning commission to vote against Base Village was John Wilkinson.

Wilkinson had objections with the size, height and exemptions from affordable housing. He’s the only council candidate to publicly support a citizen’s referendum on the project. He was brave enough to oppose a project, despite pressure within town government to support it, and was punished by not being reappointed to the town planning commission.

With the entrance and Snowmass Center coming through the approval pipeline, Snowmass Village needs Wilkinson’s point of view now more than ever.

Vote Wilkinson for Town Council.

The third seat, the one being vacated by Mercatoris, could be filled at the will of the Town Council, although the council has said it will honor the third-place finisher in the council race.

With that in mind, Snowmass Villagers would do well to put their support behind Rick Griffin. While we appreciate the candidacy of Sally Sparhawk, she lacks the political and town government experience the job requires. Griffin, on the other hand, has impressively dedicated himself to Snowmass Village over the years through volunteer service and advocacy. As a member of the town’s financial advisory board, he has an intimate knowledge of how the town government works and what it can afford to do.

If Griffin doesn’t finish first or second, the Town Council should appoint him to fill Merc’s seat.

Vote Griffin for Town Council.