Facing recall, Snowmass councilman misses four meetings
September 28, 2015
Facing recall in less than a month, Snowmass Village Town Councilman Chris Jacobson has missed the past four consecutive council meetings.
Jacobson told his fellow council members as well as some town staff members near the end of August that he was going on a vacation and would return Sept. 15. That vacation started after Jacobson missed the Aug. 24 council meeting.
The council has been meeting every week to accelerate the review of an application to amend the current entitlements for Base Village. A special meeting scheduled for Sept. 14 was moved to Sept. 15 because other council members had planned absences, as well, but Jacobson was still not present.
Town Manager Clint Kinney said Jacobson might not have been back yet in time for the meeting.
"I'm not sure where Chris was," Kinney said in an email. "His email letting us know he was going on vacation let us know he would miss the meeting on the 14th. While he was on vacation, the council changed the meeting date from the 14th to the 15th, but I am not sure if he was back."
Mayor Markey Butler said she had been under the impression that Jacobson would be at the Sept. 15 meeting and that she hadn't heard otherwise from the councilman.
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Jacobson did not respond to emails or a voicemail left by The Aspen Times. His home phone number has been disconnected.
Town code says that a council member is deemed deficient in his or her duties after missing two consecutive regularly scheduled meetings. Jacobson has missed only one regular meeting; the others have been special meetings called to continue the Base Village public hearing.
But, as Butler noted, the council's review of that application is "one of the most important decisions our community will make."
Both Kinney and Butler said they assume Jacobson will be back at council Monday as they haven't heard otherwise. The elected officials could be voting that day on whether to approve the preliminary plan, the second phase of the town's land-use review process, of the Base Village application.
"It doesn't make me feel uncomfortable," Butler said when asked how she felt about Jacobson voting on an application after missing much of the discussion on it. "I'm going to assume … he's done his homework."
Either way, the council will continue to move forward with the review, she said. She hopes the council will take a vote on the application next week, although she said that largely depends on whether the elected officials and Related can come to an agreement about how the developer should fulfill its community-purpose obligation.
An effort to recall Jacobson launched this summer after he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving June 26. He also faces charges for damage he allegedly caused to the Pitkin County Jail during his arrest.
"By his actions since then, (he's) shown how appropriate the recall is," said Jim Hooker, a former Snowmass mayor and a member of the recall petition committee.
The recall election is Oct. 13. Mail-in ballots will be sent out next week.