Mordkin eyes Snowmass mayoral bid | AspenTimes.com
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Mordkin eyes Snowmass mayoral bid

Madeleine OsbergerSnowmass Village correspondentAspen, CO Colorado
Arnie Mordkin
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SNOWMASS VILLAGE Its probably too early to start printing pamphlets or kissing babies, but at least one local is looking ahead to Novembers Town Council election and eyeing the job of mayor.I have made no bones about it. I am running for mayor, said Snowmass Village Town Councilman Arnie Mordkin. As his opening campaign salvo, Mordkin said, if elected, I want to abolish the office of mayor.Instead, he would like to follow a model thats used by cities such as Glenwood Springs and Newport Beach, Calif., where the mayor is a rotating job that shifts annually among council members. One reason, he said, is because it removes the burden for candidates to have to run every two years. And, Mordkin said, The mayor is always running for re-election, the mayor wants to be everybodys friend. Then you dont get leadership. You get friendship.Owe it to communityOne of Mordkins colleagues on the town council, John Wilkinson, also likes the idea of a rotating position. I think it would be good for each one of us to be mayor, he said. Wilkinson agrees that there are many pitfalls to the mayor having to run for re-election every two years.But is he interested in the job?Ask me in August, Wilkinson said. Frankly, its too early to decide. Alluding to the personal sacrifices candidates make, Wilkinson said, If I were to quit today, Id have a round of applause from the people I live with.First elected in 2004, Wilkinson will complete his term in office this fall, as will Mordkin and Sally Sparhawk, according to Town Clerk Rhonda Coxon.Though he previously had said this term would be his last, Mayor Douglas Merc Mercatoris appears to have had a change of heart. This is his second term as mayor; prior to that Mercatoris was mayor pro-tem for six years.I think before I make the final decision, I need to see whos running and whos saying what. I owe that to the community, to question the people who will be running for mayor.And unlike Mordkin and Wilkinson, Mercatoris doesnt believe Snowmass Village should have a rotating mayoral position. Its important for the community to have one figurehead, he said.Changing to a rotating system, Mercatoris noted, would require a public vote to alter the towns charter. Mountain Village near Telluride uses a system similar, though not identical, to what Mordkin has proposed. According to David Felicelli, who served for eight years on the Mountain Village council (including a stint as mayor), citizens vote for council members and then at their first meeting, the elected officials choose who will serve as mayor for two years.The minus is the public doesnt really get to pick their mayor. The plus is the mayor really has to work with the council, Felicelli said.Leadership not mediationArnie Mordkin, a trial attorney by profession, has served on council for six full years, having been elected twice (in 2000 and 2006) and appointed to fulfill a two-year term in 2004 a seat left open because of Mercatoris move to the mayors chair. In 2004, Mordkin finished third in the voting to Wilkinson and newcomer Sally Sparhawk. Two years later, he won election in his own right, along with Reed Lewis.Never one to mince words, Mordkin offered some other reasons why he should be the next mayor: I think council needs leadership. It does not need mediation. Leadership presents an opportunity to synthesize and clarify the picture instead of always being in the middle.Mordkin said hes already had a customer at Snowmass Photos & Books, his mall business, ask if hes going to run for mayor in the fall.The election is Nov. 4; turnout is expected to be high as its a presidential year.Mercatoris ran unopposed in both 2004 and 2006.mosberger@snowmasssun.com


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