Snowmass Election Q&A: Candidates for mayor, council start campaigns | AspenTimes.com

Snowmass Election Q&A: Candidates for mayor, council start campaigns

Jill Beathard
Snowmass Sun

Fall — time for pumpkins, football, cool weather and of course, elections.

Snowmass Village's municipal election has six candidates in the running — three for mayor and three for two council seats. Starting today, the Snowmass Sun will pose a series of questions to the candidates and publish one set of answers each week until Election Day, which is Nov. 4.

This week's question is "Why are you running for elected office?"

Mayoral candidates

Markey Butler

Occupation: Executive director of HomeCare & Hospice of the Valley

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Residency in Snowmass Village: 25 years, 10 as a full-time resident

Prior civic experience: Six-year member of Snowmass Village Town Council; three-year member of Planning Commission and chairwoman for one year; member and former president, Snowmass Village Rotary; volunteer, Aspen Music Festival and School and Forest Conservancy

Why are you running for elected office? I believe we can, once again, bring hope, peace and the goal of healthy compromise back to Town Council. We must seek solutions that focus on the "greater good" of our community. And I know that I am the only candidate at this time, with enough future foresight, along with a depth of knowledge of our past, who also has the necessary compassion to respect all viewpoints. I have the dedication and ability to listen to all the voices in our town. With these skills, I plan to lead our community in a positive direction, focusing on a tomorrow that we can all be a proud part of. Because, at the end of the day, we all love this town, these beautiful mountains, this close and thoughtful community, and we all deserve a voice.

Over the past few years, serving on our Town Council has been challenging for everyone. The community is aware of controversy — split votes on town manager issues — the continuous disrespectful comments made against community members who have come to Town Council chambers to voice their needs, only to be belittled and demoralized. Many of you, our community members, have left the council chambers with little desire to ever participate again, believing your voice was simply not heard. I will uphold the values of respect, dignity and honesty within the council chambers that our community deserves. I have come to be known as the "voice of reason" on the council, for my keen abilities to facilitate as well as listen; I listen.

I am committed to continue to serve this community that I love. I have no agenda, just the desire to serve my town. And as I look into the future of our community, I see the need to have my honest and open experience at the executive level during this pivotal time.

Jason Haber

Occupation: Grants and community programs director, Community Office for Resource Efficiency

Residency in Snowmass Village: 9 years

Prior civic experience: Snowmass Village Town Council, 2010 to present; town's economic resources director, 2005 to 2009; member, Ruedi Water and Power Authority Board and Northwest Colorado Council of Governments; former board member of Aspen TREE, Snowmass Discovery and CORE; volunteer coach, Aspen Junior Hockey (2013-2014 Peter Whitmore Coach of the Year Award Winner)

Why are you running for elected office? In the coming months our Town Council will face several decisions that will define our community for the next generation and beyond. I'm running for mayor because I can provide the level-headed and collaborative leadership that Snowmass Village needs to move toward a future rooted in a transparent and responsive public process, a strategic and sustainable approach to economic growth and a firm commitment to environmental stewardship. I'm running because I'm optimistic about the future of our village, and I believe that I offer the best combination of experience and perspective to represent the public's best interest as we move forward.

Arnold Mordkin

Occupation: Lawyer

Residency in Snowmass Village: Since 1995

Prior civic experience: Chief deputy district attorney, 9th Judicial District, 2008 to 2013; Snowmass Village Town Council, 2000 to 2010; Planning Commission, 1998 to 2000; former president, Crestwood Condo Association

Why are you running for elected office? I'm running for the office of mayor because I know I can do it better.

This spring, the dissension, bickering and stalemate on council boiled to a head. There were rumblings in the community about recalling the entire Town Council. I began to wonder why the mayor's office or another councilperson was not providing the necessary leadership and ingenuity to solve the problem and get on with doing the People's business in a more expeditious and collegial manner. I began to attend council meetings again, and soon saw for myself.

I knew then and know now that I can do it better.

Council candidates

Bill Boineau

Occupation: Property manager, Pines Homeowners Association; computer technician; snowplower, Divide subdivision; bartender; Taster's Pizza helper

Residency in Snowmass Village: 34 years

Prior civic experience: Snowmass Village mayor, 2008 to present; vice chairman, Planning Commission, 2007 to 2008; member, Planning Commission, 2006 to 2008; Roaring Fork Transportation Authority alternate board member, 2002 to 2006; mayor pro tem, Town Council, 2002 to 2006; Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District board president, 2004 to present; Snowmass Fire board member, 2000 to 2004; Planning Commission, 2000 to 2002; Town Council, 1994 to 1998; Liquor Licensing Authority, 1991 to 1994; Cemetery Committee, "a real long time"; former organizer, Snowmass Village community picnic; trails and stream restoration volunteer; player, "Hits and Misses" Little Red Schoolhouse fundraiser

Why are you running for elected office? After my last time returning to Snowmass Village from Southern California, I decided I needed to be more involved in our local government and community. I continued my involvement with the fire department and then became involved with our local boards and council. I have many years experience working with multiple people and organizations in finding the best options for difficult issues with the best outcomes. I respect all of the people who work for the town and support their ability to do the best job possible for this community. I believe our employees are the best individuals to have working for the town. Many people on the street tell me how proud they are to be a part of such a caring and hard-working community. When you read that the town has had to tighten our belt, it is really those employees who have generally been the ones to do all the major work to cut cost and raise efficiencies where possible. I am running for a seat on Town Council to continue in my goal of directing and molding this town into a sustainable/successful community and world-class resort.

Bill Madsen

Occupation: Owner, Motion Marketing LLC; director of operations, NASTAR

Residency in Snowmass Village: 15 years; born and raised in Aspen

Prior civic experience: Board of directors, Colorado High School Ski League

Why are you running for office? I want to be closely involved with my community and the future of our village. I have a passion for Snowmass Village, and I feel that I can represent a cross-section of our residents. My father was a Pitkin County commissioner, and I always thought I would get involved with the political process at some point in time. A number of people encouraged me to seek public office, and I feel like the timing is right. I have been raising kids, coaching ski racing and coaching hockey for the past 15 years, and I now have only one child at home and I am no longer coaching, so I would like to direct my attention toward serving my community. I believe I can bring a pragmatic approach to governance and help move Snowmass Village forward.

Bob Sirkus

Occupation: Retired; former vice president and CFO of Chase Instruments Corp., a manufacturing company

Residency in Snowmass Village: 15 years, seven as a full-time resident

Prior civic experience: Planning Commission, 2008 to present; Part-Time Residents Advisory Board

Why are you running for elected office? In my six years as a Snowmass Planning Commissioner, I have studied the town's land-use code and comprehensive plan and have listened to the people of Snowmass talk about how these documents affect their lives and livelihoods. In my role as commission chairman for the past two-plus years, I have attended many meetings and made site visits to homes and businesses to listen, observe and find solutions that work. I will bring reason, integrity and an open mind to the discussion of the issues facing the town. As a member of the Town Council, I would be honored to continue to listen and build consensus on the broad range of town issues, doing my best to represent the residents and families of Snowmass.