Carbondale to appoint new trustee
An open seat on the Carbondale Town Council has drawn six applicants, following former Trustee Katrina Byars’ departure. The board will appoint an applicant rather than send it to voters.
That will make three board members appointed and four elected. The term for this seat, however, will run only until next year’s April election. The board will begin interviewing applicants Aug. 8.
Colette Armstrong, who grew up in Carbondale, is a web and graphic designer and technical writer with experience in a range of fields.
Though change in Carbondale is often seen as negative, Armstrong points to the positives of an increasingly diverse community, the integration of the Latino and Anglo communities, the promotion of the creative industries and environmental preservation.
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On environmental sustainability, she wrote, “It’s vital the community take on these challenges, crafting solutions with input and ideas from local businesses and residents.”
Her work experience includes forensic engineering companies, energy consulting firms, internet marketing, organic gardening and landscape. Armstrong said her work history has given her experience in building and infrastructure maintenance, developments, energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Armstrong writes, “It becomes frustrating to imagine a Carbondale where living here is only accessible to those above a certain income level.”
“As a Trustee, I would seek collaboration with skilled and knowledgeable members of our community to devise solutions for the myriad of issues Carbondale residents and business owners face,” she wrote.
Hank van Berlo
Hank van Berlo said he has 37 years of experience in Carbondale in a range of roles: as a parent, a business owner, a volunteer and a public servant.
He wrote that he hopes to “contribute age-tempered wisdom and work for the remainder of this term to cultivate more diverse representation in Carbondale decision making.”
“Carbondale’s mission statement is how I try to live my life here,” he wrote in a letter to trustees. “I want to be part of a team that obviously works well together due to the mutual respect you afford each other.”
He described himself as “a good listener, a taskmaster, a problem solver, a critical thinker, and a consensus builder. I am friendly, pragmatic, honest, confident, and flexible.”
Jade Wimberley writes that she is a naturopathic doctor and co-owner of Lux Wellness Center whose professional practice has shown her the importance of community.
“As a naturopathic doctor, a member of the business community, a woman raised by a single mother, and a nature lover, I am thoroughly excited at the prospect of becoming a Carbondale trustee, as my mission aligns so perfectly with Carbondale’s goals and objectives,” she wrote in her application.
She counts among the town’s assets diversity, openness toward innovation and people interested in the well-being of their neighbors.
She says the town is also “committed to moving forward as a community; forward thinking in regards to housing, transportation and taking care of the less fortunate.”
“I am a forward thinker, a solid listener, a seasoned and successful small business owner, and a citizen of the world,” Wimberley wrote.
“Our community is fabulous, but like many towns and cities around the world, Carbondale must accept change and growth.” She goes on, writing that “positive growth means we cannot be bystanders and complain about the process, but, instead, roll up our sleeves and participate.”
Julia Farwell is a 20-year resident of Carbondale. The chair of Carbondale’s environmental board, she was also recently hired as the Aspen environmental health department’s waste reduction specialist intern.
Farwell says she wants to keep Carbondale fun and funky and to “further sustainability efforts, further protect our local ecosystems, assist marginalized groups in having their voices heard and support our vibrant arts scene.”
She has earned her bachelor’s degree in anthropology, emphasizing Latin American culture, and is proficient in Spanish. Farwell is now working toward a bachelor’s degree in sustainability at Colorado Mountain College. She is a member of the Valley Resource Management Group.
“I am passionate about keeping Carbondale funky and a place that is inclusive of all socioeconomic levels and believe there is still much work to do to make it a place that is affordable for working class folks to live here,” Farwell wrote to the board.
Farwell said she is an avid community volunteer, having given her time to the environmental board, Mt. Sopris Historical Society, Carbondale Arts, Thunder River Theater and WindWalkers.
Luis Yllanes and his family have lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for eight years and in Carbondale for the last two. He is the director of exhibitions, registration and installation at the Aspen Art Museum. His work history also includes the Miami Art Museum and Florida International University.
“I feel I can be a voice that can reach out to those in our community who may not feel as though they have a say in how our town operates,” he wrote.
“I have been able to volunteer my time to causes and organizations that are important to me whether that has been tutoring for English in Action, coaching youth sports or supporting our local radio station, KDNK.”
Working for a valley nonprofit himself, Yllanes says he recognizes the importance of nonprofit organizations to the community.
Yllanes also wants to emphasize the community’s youth, saying that it is vital to nourish the atmosphere in which children “feel free to express themselves,” such as in theater, sports and art programs.
Niki Delson retired to Carbondale eight years ago after a long career as a clinical social worker. During most of that time she specialized in cases of interpersonal violence, offering therapy to victims, family and offenders. She still works in private practice, offering forensic training and consultation.
“As a child I was taught the value of contribution, and wherever I have lived or worked I engaged with and created community,” she wrote. “I have the skills and commitment to further the Town’s objectives.”
As a member of the Clean Energy Solar Collective and owner of an “electricity neutral home,” Delson says she is “inspired by Carbondale’s dedication to clean energy.”
A retiree herself, Delson is focused on the challenges of the growing and aging population. “Healthy communities prepare for the needs of their people. If offered a position on the board I will be a strong voice for this group.”
She has also served Carbondale’s Bike, Pedestrian and Trails Commission. “I thrive by contributing to others. Serving as a Trustee would be an opportunity to contribute at a new level,” she wrote.
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