Byars steps down from Carbondale board seat
Carbondale trustee and former mayoral candidate Katrina Byars, who became representative of the struggles associated with the town’s high cost of living and tight housing market when she couldn’t find a permanent place to live last year, has resigned pending a move to Glenwood Springs later this month.
“I have experienced some significant changes and circumstances for myself and family and need to leave Carbondale,” Byars announced at the Tuesday town Board of Trustees meeting. “I’ve really put my heart and soul into making my life work here. It’s just not in the cards for myself and kids now.”
Byars is in the last year of her four-year trustee term and was a candidate in the three-way race for mayor last November that was won by Dan Richardson.
Byars said the June 27 town board meeting will be her last.
Byars told the Post Independent on Wednesday that her two teenage children have moved to Glenwood Springs to be with their dad. She will be making the move to Glenwood later this month.
“It’s just the way things unfolded for us,” she said. “I hung on in Carbondale for as long as I could, but it was really challenging and it just makes sense to relocate.”
Byars had been working as the manager at the Dandelion Market food co-op while studying environmental law through Vermont Law School. She was laid off in April amid the co-op’s financial uncertainty that has it, too, looking for a new home.
Meanwhile, Byars plans to finish her studies and apply for a job in the environmental law and social justice field.
“The more I’ve learned about the issues facing Garfield County and western Colorado, the more I feel responsible to be a part of some progressive change, especially with oil and gas issues,” said Byars, who had served as Carbondale’s local government designee helping to advise the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission on issues of local concern.
“I want to thank you all for working with me, and I love what we have achieved and feel like this town is an amazing model … and I will continue to do what I can to support this community,” Byars said in her statement to her fellow trustees.
Mayor Dan Richardson said the town board will likely decide at its June 27 meeting whether to appoint someone to fill out the remainder of Byars’ terms or hold a special election.
Richardson said his personal preference would be to accept applications and appoint a replacement trustee by August to serve until the April 2018 town election. Five Carbondale trustee seats will be up for re-election at that time.