They’re raring to run in Carbondale
Carbondale’s board of trustees and mayoral race has attracted a big slate of candidates.
A total of 11 candidates are running for three trustees seats in the April 2 election, and there’s also a three-way race for mayor.
“I’m not sure we’ve ever had 11 people run for trustees,” said town clerk Suzanne Cerise.
On the mayoral front, incumbent Randy Vanderhurst is challenged by Michael Hassig and Erik Mazur.
Hassig, an architect who has served as the town’s Planning and Zoning commission chairman for five years, said he received about 20 phone calls from people urging him to run.
One theme that ran through the phone calls was the way Hassig handled public hearings during the past two years, including the controversial Crystal River Marketplace.
“People felt I’d done a fairly good job managing public debate on some pretty contentious issues,” Hassig said. “People also told me I’m a good listener.”
Hassig said many of the issues Carbondale faces have to do with growth and land use. “I’ve spent a lot of time as a volunteer and professional, dealing with those questions. I offer my candidacy in that context.”
Hassig said his candidacy shouldn’t be taken as a reflection on how Vanderhurst has performed his mayoral duties. “The last thing this race should be is explicit criticism of Randy. … I generally agree with him,” Hassig said.
In a brief interview, Vanderhurst said it’s going to be “interesting” for Carbondale to have a three-way race for mayor, and have 11 candidates for the board of trustees.
“There are a lot more issues besides the current Mountain Folks zone amendments,” Vanderhurst said, referring to proposed zoning changes that would expand the town’s development review process.
“I think I’ve done a good job for the town, and I’ve got a lot of experience in that position,” Vanderhurst said of his service as mayor.
Candidate Erik Mazur was not available for comment.
In the board of trustees race, incumbents Fred Williams, Mark Whalen and Krista Paradise are joined by candidates Steve Horn, David Rippe, Maureen Miles, Barry Maggert, Christopher Kelsey, Frosty Merriott, Scott Chaplin and Russell Hedman.
Rippe is a former trustee. Merriott and Chaplin serve on the Planning and Zoning Commission.
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