Snowmass Village Town Council picture murky |

Snowmass Village Town Council picture murky

Steve Benson

It’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating: Nothing about Snowmass Village politics is easy these days. The election may be complete, but the Snowmass Village Town Council is not. Fourteen-year Town Councilman Doug Mercatoris was elected mayor, meaning his council seat is vacant and a final council member is needed. Newcomers John Wilkinson and Sally Sparhawk were elected by voters to occupy the other two open seats on council. Now that Mercatoris’ seat has opened, the council had the option to accept the third-place finisher in the council race, which was incumbent Arnie Mordkin. His four-year term ends Nov. 15. But they have opted instead to open the race up to the community via an application process. “According to municipal code, they could just appoint someone,” said Rhonda Coxon, Snowmass Village clerk. “But council likes to give everyone who has shown interest a chance to apply.” Mercatoris said that option is the most advantageous for everyone concerned. “[We want] whoever will do the best job for the community,” he said. “You really can’t determine that until you have all the information in front of you.” Mordkin said he was disappointed by the election results, but will apply for the open seat. While he came in in third place behind Wilkinson and Sparhawk, the race was close. Wilkinson garnered 546 votes, Sparhawk 536 and Mordkin 478. The final candidate, Rick Griffin, received 424 votes. Mordkin said he’s still the best man for the job.”I’ve been on council for years – I know the system, I know what it’s about and I have a lot to offer,” he said. The fact Mordkin finished third was somewhat of a shock, as he was arguably the most balanced councilman throughout the Base Village review process and continuously expressed his desire to fairly represent all residents.Mercatoris also felt Mordkin was an asset to the council and the community. “I think Arnie was an effective Town Council person,” he said. “I think he cares and I’m glad I got to work with him.”The community owes him a debt of thanks for his service the last four years.” Griffin said he may apply for the seat, but needs some time to consider and discuss his options with his wife. “I want to be supportive of this council going forward, and I’m trying to get a sense of who else is applying and what works best for council,” he said. “I’m trying to sort through it mentally and emotionally – I don’t want to create a brouhaha, I really want a smooth transition here. “I think the voters were right, it is time for a change, and I’m trying to figure out how I fit in those changes.” Griffin said he will probably make a decision soon. The council will begin interviewing applicants later this month, with a final decision scheduled for the Dec. 13 council meeting. Steve Benson’s e-mail address is

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