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Two new faces join the Board of Town Trustees

Locations: News Published

It was a boisterous and buzzing evening at The Pour House as candidates, supporters and curious denizens wandered in on election night, April 5. In previous years, John Foulkrod would have shushed the crowd before announcing the news, hand-delivered from Town Hall. This year, the results arrived via text messages to numerous cell phones within the establishment.

Incumbent Erica Sparhawk read the tally to The Sopris Sun. Characteristically humble, she informed us that she herself brought in the most votes (990). Next was Chris Hassig (730), followed by Colin Laird (684).

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The pool proposition passed with a clear majority, 77.8%. This allows the town to move forward with assuming $8 million in debt to replace the John M. Fleet Pool with a new aquatics facility, funded primarily through an existing recreation sales and use tax.

“I’m incredibly humbled by the amount of support [I received] and super grateful to folks,” said Sparhawk, born and raised in Carbondale. “The impressive showcase of candidates shows that our community wants solutions, and I hope the other candidates stay engaged.” First appointed in 2017 then elected in 2018, she looks forward to building upon her experience to keep up the momentum on various initiatives the board is working on.

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“I’m feeling good,” said Hassig, also born and raised in Carbondale. The highlight of his campaign, he continued, was canvassing. “I learned a lot, and heard a lot of opinions on the ground.” Carbondale’s citizenry in general, he found, is concerned about the rate of development.

“I’m honored,” said Laird, director of The Third Street Center, Carbondale’s nonprofit hub. “I was hopeful that I could come in third, and that’s exactly what happened,” he laughed. “I look forward to beginning, and working with this great group of people.” Among his top priorities is taking action to improve affordable housing. 

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Earlier in the evening, mayor elect Ben Bohmfalk — who ran unopposed — gave details about the seat he will be vacating to step into his new role. With about two years left, the term may be filled by appointment. The town now has 60 days to receive applications from interested persons, which may look different than the election’s pool of candidates. The Board of Town Trustees will then choose who fills the seat.

And the board won’t necessarily appoint the person with the fourth most votes, stated Bohmfalk. It’s an opportunity to look strategically and select a person whose expertise could fill a gap in the board’s makeup. In this election, incumbent Luis Yllanes received the fourth highest number of votes (569).

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The three new trustees will be sworn in during the regular meeting on April 26.

Tags: #Aquatics Facility #Ben Bohmfalk #Board of Town Trustees #Carbondale #Chris Hassig #Colin Laird #election #Erica Sparhawk
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