Mayor’s seat only contest in Carbondale board race
CARBONDALE, Colorado – Two current Carbondale trustees will square off to fill the town mayor’s seat being vacated by Michael Hassig, in what looks to be the only contest in the April 6 municipal election.
Trustees Stacey Patch Bernot and Ed Cortez were the only candidates to turn in nomination petitions to run for mayor by the March 5 deadline.
And, only three candidates turned in petitions to run for the three open trustee seats that are up for election, including incumbents John Foulkrod and Frosty Merriott and newcomer Elizabeth Murphy.
Prospective write-in candidates do still have until 5 p.m. March 16 to file an affidavit of intent to be eligible. Any random write-ins without a supporting affidavit will not be counted, town clerk Cathy Derby said.
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If no write-in candidates emerge, it means Foulkrod and Merriott will be automatically re-elected to respective four-year terms, along with Murphy.
Murphy is the executive director of the Greensprouts Foundation, a local nonprofit organization that raises money to incorporate environmental and energy efficient practices and educational programs in local schools.
Foulkrod, a longtime Carbondale resident and building contractor, has been on the town board for six years during his most recent tenure. He also served on the town board for several years in the 1980s and early ’90s, including a stint as mayor.
Merriott, a Carbondale-based accountant and former town planning and zoning commissioner, has been on the town board for two years.
Meanwhile, Hassig will be stepping down after eight years in office due to term limits.
That leaves Bernot, who owns a local landscaping business with her husband, Mike, and Cortez, a solar and renewable energy systems contractor, to vie for the mayor’s seat. Both have served six years on the town board.
Cortez, whose trustee term is not up, would not lose his current board seat if he loses the mayor’s race.
However, Bernot’s is the third trustee seat up in the April election and would be off the board if she loses her mayoral bid.
That would leave it up to the new board to appoint someone to fill the vacancy left by Cortez, or schedule a special election. It’s also conceivable that Bernot could be considered for appointment back onto the board.
KDNK community radio and the Sopris Sun newspaper are teaming up to organize a candidates forum later this month, inviting the mayoral and trustee candidates to answer questions on town issues.
Monday was also the last day to register to vote in the April 6 election. April 2 is the last day to request an absentee ballot for the election.
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Bridges High School graduates took part in a special ritual for their ceremony, each placing a rock in the center of the ring as their names and a few words were read.