Snowmass fires planner mistakenly ID’d in article
Snowmass Village senior planner Carolyn Poissant was fired late last week by town officials for statements she made to a reporter that she believed were anonymous.
In the Oct. 7 edition of The Aspen Times, Poissant’s comments included an allegation that “back-room” negotiations were being employed by Intrawest and the Aspen Skiing Co. – the developers of Base Village – and the town.
She recanted that statement the following day in the Snowmass Sun, saying, “I never meant to imply that there was anything illegal going on. It’s just the community is not being listened to. Anybody has the right to say that.”
But by the time that statement was published, she was already on unpaid administrative leave. And late last week, the two sides officially parted ways.
“Carolyn is no longer employed by the town,” said Town Manager Mike Segrest, adding that he was limited on the amount of information he could publicly share.
Poissant, contacted at her parents’ house in Michigan, was characteristically outspoken.
“I was terminated because of the quote about the back-room deals, [even though] I basically rescinded it the next day in the Snowmass Sun.” She thought it ironic to be terminated “not even for insubordination but for a statement.”
Poissant won’t receive a golden parachute from the town, either, despite her request for six months worth of pay.
“They’re not giving me any severance, nothing,” she said. “It’s like [Segrest] stuck out his tongue and said, `So sue us.'”
Poissant said she’s not sure of her next move, but it may be directed toward The Aspen Times, which in its Oct. 7 edition mistakenly revealed her identity by saying the comments were made by a town planner. The story also employed the pronoun “she” to identify the source. Poissant was the only female planner in the department.
Jenna Weatherred, publisher of The Aspen Times, again apologized for the error.
“We are so sorry this has happened. I really respect what she did and think she stood up for something she believed in. I’m disappointed Snowmass has decided this is what they need to do.”
It’s not known if or when Poissant’s old job will be filled.
“We haven’t decided yet,” said Segrest. “We need to evaluate our work program, things we have on our plate and our work schedule. We may opt for contractual work in the interim.”
[Madeleine Osberger’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org]
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