Letter: Eagle will draw on Adam and Andy’s strength
Relationships in small towns mean your neighbor may be your co-worker; you’re always sure to run into someone you know on the trail or at the post office; and a fellow councilmember may be one of your dearest friends. The town of Eagle suffered the tragic loss of two of its leaders on Feb. 1. Mayor Pro Tem Andy Jessen and Councilmember Adam Palmer died in an avalanche near Silverton in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.
As the waves of grief have swept across the valley, councilmembers have leaned on each other for stability and the council committed to continuing to carry on the mission, vision and values of the town. We will draw on Andy and Adam’s strength, wisdom and courage for the town they loved. As we try to recover from the shock of losing two friends, neighbors, coworkers and leaders, we are committed to ensuring the continued governance of Eagle.
Andy and Adam’s dedication to our community ran deep. Jessen, well known for his thoughtful leadership as a small business owner at Bonfire Brewing, served on Town Council since 2017. He was typically the last to speak and had the ability to shift perspectives for the greater good with his philosophical ideas for Eagle. He used his time wisely on the council to make an impactful and positive difference, which Eagle will reap the benefits of for decades. He had a larger vision for the town — one that is coming to fruition, starting with the Bonfire Music Festival and most recently the Highway 6 corridor redevelopment.
Palmer was the sustainability director for Eagle County. He was elected to the council in April 2020, had a strong understanding of how government best works to serve its residents, as an advocate for government by the people and for the people. He always brought humor and humility to council discussions. He was known to have a wry smile on his face, providing comments that could turn the discussion; he created an atmosphere where people could stop, listen and reflect with his quiet, kind demeanor but insightful comments.
Both men never settled for mediocrity. As we navigate a path forward, keeping the core values of strength, hope and resilience at the forefront, we are intent on continuing to create community for the people of Eagle.
Please keep leaning on each other, reach out to friends, seek counseling and healthy means of support to guide you through the grief. The Eagle Town council will do the same.
Scott Turnipseed, Mikel “Pappy” Kerst, Matt Solomon, Ellen Bodenhemier, David Gaboury
Eagle Town Council