Applicants set for Eagle County commissioner position
Ryan Summerlin May 14, 2013
• May 29: Party vacancy committee will review applications and develop interview questions. Eagle County Building 6:30 p.m.
• June 5: Applicant interviews. Eagle County Building, 6:30 p.m.
• June 12: Applicant interviews. Basalt Town Hall, 6:30 p.m.
• June 19: Final interviews, if necessary. Eagle County Building, 6:30 p.m.
All meetings are open to the public, but public input — including interview questions for the applicants — will be accepted by email or regular mail only.
EAGLE COUNTY — Local Democratic Party officials will pick one of six candidates to replace Eagle County Commissioner Jon Stavney, who is resigning this summer to take the town manager’s job in the town of Eagle.
The applicants to replace Stavney are:
• Donald “Jerry” McMahan, of Avon.
• Yuri Kostick, of Eagle.
• Adam Palmer, of Eagle.
• Kathy Chandler-Henry, of Eagle.
• Rohn Robbins, of Edwards.
• Paul Witt, of Eagle.
Pat Hammon, the chairwoman of the vacancy committee, said she’s impressed by the breadth of experience in this pool of applicants.
“I’m impressed that so many people put themselves out there,” she said.
Hammon said the vacancy committee wants the process of selecting a new commissioner to be as open as possible — all committee meetings will be open to the public — but members also don’t want the interview process to turn into campaigning. That’s why public comment is being limited to written questions submitted by either email or traditional mail.
Still, Hammon said, she and other committee members welcome both comments and possible interview questions from people interested in the process.
Here’s a look at each applicant, based on a combination of previous interviews and application information.
Profession: Retired certified public accountant, founder of McMahan and Associates CPA. The company has provided audit and accounting professional services to towns including Aspen, Frisco and Vail, as well as counties including Gunnison, Lake and Eagle.
Qualifications: McMahan’s application cites experience including service on the Colorado Lottery Commission, the Bravo music festival and being a chaplain at Vail Valley Medical Center.
Profession: Eagle County home energy adviser and manager; mayor of Eagle since April 2012.
Qualifications: Kostick’s application cites his experience during the town of Eagle’s years-long controversy over the proposed Eagle River Station development, which he did not support. The project was eventually approved by town voters, and Kostick said he’s gained valuable experience trying to repair relationships in a town that was closely divided on the issue.
Kostick has also worked in both the public and private sectors and once owned a business with 25 employees.
Profession: Attorney. After years of running his own practice in the valley, Robbins is currently a special counsel with Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg, a law firm with offices in Boulder and Vail.
Qualifications: Picking from a long list, Robbins writes a weekly column for the Vail Daily and is the host of a weekly radio program on KZYR. He’s a founder and current board chairman of the Vail Valley Charitable Fund and the Vail Symposium. Robbins has also provided pro bono legal services to Eagle Valley Senior Life.
Profession: Researcher and facilitator. Chandler-Henry and her husband also own an electrical contracting business.
Qualifications: Chandler-Henry has worked for Colorado Mountain College and has spent several years compiling and analyzing economic information for the Economic Council of Eagle County. She has served on several local party committees and was a member of the 2006 Eagle County committee that investigated the possibility of moving Eagle County into “home rule” — a different form of county government that features five commissioners.
Profession: Owner of Witt Communications, a public relations and strategic communications firm.
Qualifications: Witt served on the Eagle Town Board and has worked on communications projects with local agencies, including the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District. He is also a board member for the Vail Valley Charitable Fund and is a member of the Vail Valley Partnership’s Economic Development Leadership Committee. Witt has also been a youth sports coach and substitute teacher.
Profession: Eagle County environmental policy planner.
Qualifications: Palmer is a board member of the Holy Cross Energy Board of Directors. He is a former member of the Eagle County Planning Commission and the former executive director of the Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability. He is also the co-founder of the local Hardscrabble Trails Coalition and developed the “Commuter of the Year” program while serving on the county’s ECO Trails board.
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.