Field to fill open Breckenridge Town Council seat reaches double-digits as deadline passes |

Field to fill open Breckenridge Town Council seat reaches double-digits as deadline passes

Residents fill council chambers in Breckenridge for the annual State of the Town address in May 2017. Breckenridge Town Council is expected to appoint a replacement for Elisabeth Lawrence, who left her position with the town to become a Summit County commissioner, in March.
Eli Pace /

10 Letters received

The town clerk received letters of interest from the following people interested in filling an open seat on Breckenridge Town Council before last Thursday’s deadline.

• Katy Andrews

• Mindy Brewer

• Jonathan Enns

• Steve Gerard

• Leigh Girvin

• Jessica Morse

• Kelly Owens

• Beth Steele

• Hal Vatcher

• Emily Wahl

From retired professionals long-established in the community to millennials still trying to carve out homes in Breckenridge, 10 people are interested in filling the open Breckenridge Town Council seat.

Former Councilwoman Elisabeth Lawrence had expressed her great confidence in the town’s potential pool of talented individuals to replace her on council after she resigned last month to become a Summit County commissioner.

With the deadline to submit letters of interest passing late last week, the field that emerged contains 10 candidates with a host of different experiences.

How wide is the field? Well, a handful of real estate and property management pros have applied for the job alongside a retired judge of 32 years, former executive director of a nonprofit, longtime corporate executive in information technologies, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and more.

The candidates are Katy Andrews, Mindy Brewer, Jonathan Enns, Steve Gerard, Leigh Girvin, Jessica Morse, Kelly Owens, Beth Steele, Hal Vatcher and Emily Wahl.

Expressed in their letters of interest, many of the job applicants talk about their families, outdoor hobbies and backgrounds as they say they would like to tackle pervasive issues, like the high cost of living, housing crisis, responsible development goals and Breckenridge’s environmental initiatives.

Some admittedly live in deed-restricted, workforce-housing units. One applicant revealed her desire to be “a voice for the young adult community.” At the same time, others pointed to how closely they have followed council’s work in the past and their familiarity with the governmental process.

In their calls for applicants, the town had said it wanted a demonstrated history of community involvement. The applicants also had to be residents of Breckenridge for at least one year, but there were few requirements outside that.

And the ensuing response brought out 10 people who’ve served on a wide variety of boards, taskforces and community groups, as detailed in their letters of interest, a couple of which read more like résumés.

Collectively, the 10 letters certainly paint a long history of volunteerism among the candidates, including coaching local youth sports teams, work with groups dedicated to preserving local history and much more. In fact, multiple candidates either have been on or are currently serving the town’s planning commission, which has been a springboard onto Breckenridge Town Council before.

The six currently serving council members, including the mayor, are expected to narrow the list of potential replacements down to a set of finalists on Tuesday. On March 12, the finalists will be given a chance to address town council during the council meeting that night. Council members will then pose questions of the candidates before voting on a replacement.

“I think the 10 people that have put their names in for the council position are just incredibly talented, experienced people, and we’re really very fortunate to have the kind of problem we’re going to have picking a person to sit on council with us,” Mayor Eric Mamula said of the depth of candidates.

The deadline to submit letters of interest was Thursday.

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