Finalists for open Breckenridge Town Council seat selected; appointment expected March 12 |

Finalists for open Breckenridge Town Council seat selected; appointment expected March 12

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 /

Five finalists remain for the open seat on Breckenridge Town Council. They are Emily Wahl, Hal Vatcher, Kelly Owens, Leigh Girvin and Steve Gerard.

The position came open when former Councilwoman Elisabeth Lawrence left to become a Summit County commissioner last month. After a call for applicants, 10 people applied for the job.

The six remaining council members, including Mayor Eric Mamula, voted on the candidates Tuesday night to narrow the field down to the finalists.

On March 12, each will get the opportunity to address council during a public forum and answer some questions prepared by council before council is expected to vote on a replacement.

The appointee will continue on council for one year, which sets up an interesting scenario for the April 2020 election with four town council seats and the mayor’s job all on the ballot.

The candidate for town council who receives the fourth-most votes in 2020 will serve out the remainder of Lawrence’s term, which expires in 2022, while the three highest vote-getters will win full terms.

Also, council agreed to make Councilwoman Erin Gigliello mayor pro tem, a role that steps in when the mayor’s absent, as Lawrence has previously been mayor pro tem.

On Tuesday, Lawrence returned before council as the elected body congratulated her on the commissioner’s appointment and honored her for her service to the town. During the remarks, there were a couple of long hugs and plenty of kind words exchanged among Lawrence, council and town staff.

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