Carbondale voters like Whalen, charter

Lynn BurtonGlenwood Post Independent

With turnout light in Carbondale’s special election Tuesday, Mark Whalen was elected to the town’s board of trustees, and a home rule charter was approved.Whalen garnered 369 votes, followed by Ed Cortez with 307 votes, and Patrick Griffin with 36.The home rule charter was approved 534 to 133, and will go into effect in July.Only 22 percent of Carbondale’s 2,727 registered voters turned out to cast ballots.Whalen is a Crystal River Marketplace supporter.Cortez and Griffin opposed the 252,000-square-foot shopping center, which residents have petitioned to have placed on the ballot later this year.Whalen, a former trustee who lost his seat in last year’s election, fills the vacancy created when David Rippe resigned last February. Whalen’s seat will be up for election next April.The home rule charter will open the door for Carbondale to impose an accommodation tax on lodging if it chooses to go in that direction. The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, and the Economic Development Committee, have discussed an accommodations tax, much like Glenwood’s, for promoting the town to tourists.The home rule charter will also allow Carbondale to condemn property outside the town limits. Other provisions include:-The trustees can remove any board member who has three unexcused absences.-There will be an instant run-off mechanism in mayoral races with three or more candidates.

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