Carbondale to see uncontested race for mayor, 8-way contest for 3 trustee seats

Eight candidates, including two incumbent trustees, have declared for the Carbondale Board of Trustees election in April, but the mayor’s seat will be uncontested.

Following current Carbondale Mayor Dan Richardson’s decision not to seek another term, six-year Trustee Ben Bohmfalk has stepped up to run for mayor.

No other candidates declared for the mayor’s seat by the Monday 5 p.m. deadline to make the ballot, Town Clerk Cathy Derby said. So, unless a write-in candidate emerges by the declaration deadline of Jan. 31, Bohmfalk will become the new mayor this spring.

Meanwhile, eight candidates submitted nominating petitions to run for the three trustee seats up for election on April 5.

One incumbent, Heather Henry, decided not to run again, but incumbent trustees Luis Yllanes and Erica Sparhawk will be seeking second four-year terms on the town board.

Yllanes recently became the executive director for the 5 Point Film Festival, and Sparhawk is deputy director for the Carbondale-based nonprofit Clean Energy Economy for the Region.

Also turning in petitions for trustee seats by the Monday deadline were:

  • Jessica Robison, director of operations and project manager for the construction management company Concept One Group;
  • Zane Kessler, director of government relations for the Colorado River District;
  • Chris Hassig, Carbondale native, local artist and son of former Carbondale mayor Michael Hassig;
  • Colin Quinn, a climate activist and member of the town’s Environmental Board;
  • Colin Laird, executive director at the Third Street Center; and,
  • Frosty Merriott, a former two-term town trustee, environmental activist and local accountant.

Trustee seats will go to the top three vote-getters in the April 5 election, which also will see a ballot question to be decided by town voters on whether to take on debt to fund a new municipal pool at the current site.

Bohmfalk works as technology facilitator for the Roaring Fork School and was a high school government and social studies teacher for several years. His decision to run for mayor will leave a two-year vacancy for his trustee seat.

That position will be appointed after the new town board is seated in April, Derby said.

A notice regarding the ballot question is to go out to all registered Carbondale voters on Feb. 22, and ballots should be sent out the week of March 14, she said.

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

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