Dillon likely to hold special election to find new town council member

Dillon Town Council is looking to appoint a new board member, but a deadlocked vote is bringing up the possibility of holding a special election sometime before Sept. 13.
Mark Fox/Summit Daily News archive

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct a quote misattributed to council member Tony Scalise.

Dillon Town Council could not reach majority consensus in its search for a new member to replace Steven Milroy.

The council split its six votes in half between two finalists: Mark Cribbet and Kevin Stout.

Since it could not select a candidate, Town Council plans to announce a date for a special election at its next meeting on June 21. The election could be held on a Tuesday between July 26 and Sep. 13.

Candidates would need to go through normal election procedures to get their name on the ballot. That means submitting a petition with at least 25 signatures and meeting candidate requirements. The requirements include the following: the candidate must be at least 18 years of age, must be a resident of Dillon for 12 consecutive months preceding the date of the election, must be a registered voter, and cannot have been convicted of embezzlement, bribery, perjury, solicitation of bribery or subornation of perjury.

The council indicated it would hold a special election with some hesitation, however, since the thought of a time-consuming election within months of another did not sit well with some members.

“My priority is to avoid a special election because I think that would take a long time, and we’d be down a council member until then,” Mayor Carolyn Skowyra said.

“We’re not going the route of the voters at this point,” council member Kyle Hendricks said. “We’re looking for an appointment.”

Scalise said bringing it to the voters didn’t make sense, but councilor Dana Christensen clarified that this was the procedure they came up with.

The council still has the option of picking Cribbet or Stout — or another candidate — at its June 21 meeting with a modified voting procedure. But with that being its last opportunity to announce a special election and the uncertainty of breaking the deadlock, the council determined Tuesday a special election would be the best route. 

On Tuesday, the council narrowed a stable of five candidates down to Stout and Cribbet. Carolyn Tiller Thiel, Benedict Raitano and John Woods rounded out the list of possibly appointees. All five can again submit their names for September’s expected special election.

The five candidates went through two rounds of voting. Although the council had compliments for each candidate, Cribbet and Stout received two votes each, moving them on to a second runoff round.

The council split its votes evenly between the two candidates in the second round and decided it could not work its way out of the deadlock.

Cribbet’s name may sound similar to some, as he ran in April’s council elections.

“I was the first loser,” he told council with a smile Tuesday.

After losing his race, Cribbet volunteered to serve on the Dillon Planning and Zoning Commission. He’s a practicing lawyer who believes his trade knowledge could benefit the town and council.

In his letter of intent to council, neighbors have approached him and encouraged him to run, he wrote. They cited a need for neighborhood diversity on the council, since the areas beyond the town core are not represented.

Potential candidate Stout repeated his ability “to get things done” to the council. He identified three key topics in his letter of intent to council: the Dillon town core, Uptown 240 and town park. In addition, he said the council could improve its communication and engagement with the community.

Milroy stepped down from the council in May following April’s elections. Personal matters required him and his family to closer to the Denver area, he said.

Per the town’s charter, the council has 60 days from Milroy’s resignation on May 3 to appoint a replacement. The deadline for doing so would be June 21. Since it determined that unlikely, the council will likely announce at its next meeting a date for a special election to be held on a Tuesday before Sep. 13 at the latest.

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