Applications open until April 28 to fill vacant Carbondale town board seat

There could be nearly as much interest in a pending appointment to the Carbondale Board of Trustees as there was in last week’s election to fill three other seats.

Current Trustee Ben Bohmfalk was unopposed in his bid for mayor in the April 5 election and will take that seat when the new board members are sworn in April 26.

One of the first orders of business for the new board — including reelected Trustee Erica Sparhawk and newcomers Chris Hassig and Colin Laird — will be to appoint someone to serve out the remaining two years of Bohmfalk’s trustee term.

Most of the remaining five candidates who missed the cut in the trustee election indicated to the Post Independent this week that they are at least considering applying for the vacancy.

That includes incumbent Trustee Luis Yllanes, who was the fourth-highest vote-getter in the election tally.

Candidates Colin Quinn, a climate activist and member of the town’s Environmental Board, and Jess Robison, who serves on the Pitkin County Telecommunications Board and owns a local construction business, also said they may apply.

Candidate Zane Kessler indicated he would likely throw his support to Yllanes if he does in fact apply. And former trustee Frosty Merriott, who also ran in last week’s election, indicated that he is not likely to apply.

After that, the process is wide open for any other qualified town elector to apply for the vacancy, and there’s no guarantee the appointment would go to one of the former candidates.

As of Tuesday, no applications had yet been received.

Town Manager Lauren Gister reported at the regular Tuesday town board meeting that the application process has been posted on the town website and Facebook page, with a deadline of noon April 28 to apply.

In addition to gathering 25 signatures from registered Carbondale voters, applicants must be a U.S. citizen and a registered voter within Carbondale town limits themselves; be 18 years of age or older; and must have lived in the town for at least one year. Town of Carbondale employees are not eligible to apply.

The board expects to invite applicants for interviews at the regular May 10 Board of Trustees meeting, and an appointment could be made that night.

The board has until its May 24 meeting to make a decision, or it’s possible, the decision could be sent to voters in a special election.

Gister said the application information has also been translated to Spanish, and provided to local media outlets.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.