Trustee Patch Bernot to seek Carbondale mayor’s seat
CARBONDALE, Colorado – Carbondale Trustee Stacey Patch Bernot has formally announced her intentions to run for the open mayor’s seat in the April 6 town election.
An announcement from fellow Trustee Ed Cortez to also seek the mayor’s seat is expected soon as well.
“After much reflection, I have decided not to run to retain my seat of trustee … I feel that my energy, knowledge and experience would be better suited in a bid for mayor,” Bernot wrote in an e-mail informing her fellow board members on Thursday.
“I have spent the last few months talking to my family, friends and members of the community,” she wrote. “With the support of my family, I have decided to run for mayor this spring.”
Carbondale voters will go to the polls on April 6 to decide on a new mayor and to fill three trustee seats on the town board.
Michael Hassig, Carbondale’s mayor for the past eight years, is up against term limits and cannot run again, leaving the race wide open.
Cortez said Friday that he plans to make a formal announcement next week, but chose not to offer a statement at this time.
Bernot and Cortez have both served as trustees for six years. However, while Bernot’s trustee term is up, Cortez’s is not, meaning he can run for mayor without risking his seat on the board.
Bernot said she weighed that fact in her decision.
“I don’t have that safety net,” she said. “But I feel I have the experience to be mayor, after serving as mayor pro tem for two years.”
The mayor pro tem runs the town council meetings in the mayor’s absence.
“Mainly, I just feel like there’s a need for some consistency on the board,” Bernot said. “I bring an institutional knowledge, not just on board matters, but from having grown up in Carbondale.”
Bernot is a fifth-generation Carbondale native who graduated from Roaring Fork High School and has remained in town. She and her husband, Mike, have two school-aged children.
“There are lots of things before the board right now that I’d like to see finished,” she said, referring mainly to the various development applications that are going through the review process.
“I tend to wear different hats, and work from different perspectives,” Bernot added. “One of the best educations for me these past six years has been listening and working with people toward a common ground and developing good policy.”
In addition to Bernot’s seat, trustee seats now held by Frosty Merriott and John Foulkrod are also up for re-election. All are for four-year terms. Merriott and Foulkrod have both indicated they intend to run for re-election.
Tuesday is the first official day to request and begin circulating a nominating petition to run for either mayor or one of the trustee seats. Candidates have until 5 p.m., March 5 to collect the required number of signatures from registered town voters and turn in their petitions.
Town Clerk Cathy Derby said that a few people have stopped in to inquire about running in the election, although she couldn’t offer names until they actually request petitions.
March 7 is the last day for voters to establish Carbondale town residency to be eligible to vote in the April 6 election, March 8 is the last day to register to vote in time for the election, and April 2 is the last day to submit an application for an absentee ballot.
Absentee ballots are currently available from the Town Clerk’s Office. For more information, call 963-2733.
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