Eagle seeks applicants for 4 open council seats | VailDaily.com

Eagle seeks applicants for 4 open council seats

With Aug. 23 petition deadline looming, the town has only confirmed three candidates thus far

From left to right: Eagle Town Council members Matt Solomon, Geoff Grimmer, Mikel “Pappy” Kerst, Eagle Mayor Scott Turnipseed and Town Council members David Gaboury and Janet Bartnik listen to staff comment during a council meeting last month.
Kelli Duncan/kduncan@vaildaily.com

The deadline to submit petitions to run for the four open Eagle Town Council seats this November is fast approaching with just three candidates confirmed to be on the ballot thus far.

Two of the three Eagle Town Council members whose seats are up for reelection have submitted petitions to run again – Geoff Grimmer and Janet Bartnik. Town Council member David Gaboury has yet to file with less than two weeks until the Aug. 23 deadline.

The town has received a petition from just one newcomer thus far — Jamie Woodworth Foral — but Eagle Town Manager Brandy Reitter said she is hoping more people will step up to run before the petition window closes.

“It’s good to have diverse perspectives on the Town Council,” Reitter said. “… I think it would be exciting for community members to take some of those ideas that they have had in their day-to-day lives and see them happen at a higher level.”

A fourth seat was added to the ballot unexpectedly after Town Council member Matt Solomon stepped down from his post rather than finishing out his term, a decision that he said he took to ensure that Eagle voters would fill his seat rather than it being filled by appointment next year.

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Anyone interested in running for the Town Council must get a petition from the Eagle Town Hall building, located at 200 Broadway St., and return it by Monday, Aug. 23, with at least 10 valid signatures.

Qualifying signatures can come from any person who is registered to vote in the town of Eagle, she said. Reitter recommended that candidates get five to 10 more signatures than needed just in case some signatures are disqualified in the town’s petition review process.

To be eligible to run, candidates must also be registered voters in the town of Eagle and must have lived in town for at least 12 consecutive months come November.

On the ballot this fall will be one seat to serve a four-year term and three seats to serve two-year terms, Reitter said. Candidates are asked to indicate on their petitions whether they would like to serve for four or two years.

Grimmer has filed to serve a four-year term while Bartnik and newcomer Woodworth Foral have signed on for two years.

If the town does not receive any further petitions, the race will be uncontested this fall, and the new Town Council will be forced to appoint someone to fill the fourth seat.

“Uncontested elections are fine, but it’s always good as a voter to have options,” Reitter said.

Eagle’s current Town Council members are an easygoing bunch who get along well together, Reitter said. She encouraged anyone who is interested in making a change in their community to consider running.

“I know it’s a time commitment, but it’s as much as you want to make of it, right?” she said. “At a minimum, we have two meetings a month and a work session … it’s not as big of a time commitment as you would think it is.”

If there was ever a time to step up and make your voice heard, now is a pretty good one, Reitter said.

“I think it’s one of those moments where, you know, it’s a moment of significant impact in a positive way,” she said. “We’re really lucky to have the stuff that we have going on because we’re a small town and a lot of small towns wish they had some of the things that we have going on.”

From the East Eagle Sub Area Plan to the town’s sustainability goals to the Grand Avenue corridor, new Town Council members will be taking on local government at a time when they are sure to have a lasting impact.

Any questions about running in the fall election can be directed to town clerk Jenny Rakow at jenny.rakow@townofeagle.org or 970-328-9623.

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