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Clapper Wins Commissioner’s Race, Butler New Snowmass Mayor

Nov 5, 2014

Credit Marci Krivonen

The only contested Pitkin County race turned out to be a win for Democrat Patti Clapper. Clapper will return to the Board of County Commissioners for another four years. She earned more votes than incumbent Rob Ittner. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen has results on that race and the Town of Snowmass Village election.

Patti Clapper served on the elected board for more than a decade and was term-limited before she was allowed to run again....this election.

The outcome of the Pitkin County Commissioner race was tough to predict. No polls were conducted and the endorsements from Aspen’s two newspapers were even...one for each candidate.

Clapper ran her campaign around funding for health and human service organizations and growth management. In an interview last month she said growth was one area where she and her opponent differed.

"I think when it comes to growth and development, I have a 12 year track record of being pretty consistent about managed growth. I believe there’s appropriate growth in appropriate places. I think we need to keep our eye on the rural parcels that are sitting out there and are ripe for development in Pitkin County."

Ittner touted his business savvy and smart county spending in his campaign...but it wasn’t enough to claim victory. The Aspen restaurant owner is a registered republican but chose to run unaffiliated. Still, Clapper pointed to his Republican party affiliation as a way to grab more votes.

Clapper will be sworn in in January.

The other Upper Valley election that garnered lots of attention was in Snowmass Village. There, three candidates were running for mayor and another three ran for two town council seats.

The electorate chose Markey Butler for mayor. Butler, who runs HomeCare and Hospice of the Valley, moves from a council seat to the mayor’s post.

She says it’s an honor to serve her community and she’d like to go back to the core values of honesty, respect, dignity and trust.

“I ran on a campaign of hearing our community voices and talking to the individual voice, and I think the community has heard that and wants to come back to the basics,” she said.

Aspen Public Radio asked Butler about Base Village, one of the biggest issues facing Snowmass. We asked how she sees Town Council tackling that in the coming months. Here’s Butler’s reply.

“As many of us know, the vote on October 6th was extremely important and it was controversial, it came down to a 3-2 vote. I was very focused on not a political win for me as mayor, but more focused on what’s best for the interest of our communities, for economic vitality and for the growth of employee opportunities.”

Butler was one of the “yes” votes on an application from the Base Village developer to extend vesting rights...and move the long-stalled project forward. Leading up to the election, Markey rejected allegations of having “ex parte” communications about the application.

On council, voters chose a fresh set of leaders. Bob Sirkus and Bill Madsen earned the most votes over Bill Boineau who currently serves as mayor. Sirkus serves on the Town’s planning commission. And, Bill Madsen is new to politics. He’s the director of operations for the NASTAR ski racing program.