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Snowmass Village Town Council poised for historic female majority

Snowmass Council Squirm.JPG
Kaya Williams
/
Aspen Public Radio
Snowmass Village Town Council candidates chat before a "Squirm Night" forum in council chambers at Snowmass Village Town Hall on Oct. 12. There are three newcomers — Matt Dubé, from left, Britta Gustafson and Susan Marolt — and one incumbent, Tom Goode.

Snowmass Village Town Council will have two newcomers and a returning mayor in the mix after Tuesday’s election.

First-time council candidates Britta Gustafson and Susan Marolt were the top vote-getters Tuesday for two open seats on the council, beating candidate Matt Dube and incumbent Tom Goode.

Mayor Bill Madsen was reelected to a second term as mayor, winning the race against challenger Reed Lewis.

The winners join Councilwoman Alyssa Shenk and Councilman Tom Fridstein in the chambers.

With Gustafson and Marolt on board, the council is poised for a female majority for the first time in Snowmass Village history.

“I can’t resist the feeling that that is an exciting new frontier for us,” she said.

“Women have been the minority on council always, historically, so this will be a first," Gustafson said.

Town council candidates speak at a forum in council chambers at Snowmass Village Town Hall against a brown wood background.
Kaya Williams
/
Aspen Public Radio
Snowmass Village Town Council candidate Britta Gustafson chats before a "Squirm Night" forum in council chambers at Snowmass Village Town Hall on Oct. 12.

Marolt said she’s also excited by the prospect, as is Madsen.

“I think it’s unprecedented and probably time, and I’m really looking forward to it,” Madsen said.

Gustafson and Marolt said they thought this race was a toss-up that could have any two of the runners elected to the council.

Gustafson credited her fellow candidates for thoughtful dialogue and their desire to do what’s best for the community of Snowmass Village.

“I think really at the heart of it, we may have different ideas but we all believe in Snowmass so much that we want to do what’s best for this place and community,” she said.

She thinks voters might have chosen her if they were looking for more representation from the workforce on the local council.

“I think there’s a big portion of our community that doesn’t feel represented that I think I was able to strike a chord with,” Gustafson said.

Gustafson and Marolt and their fellow candidates all spoke of preserving what makes Snowmass Village special in their campaigns.

Town council candidates speak at a forum in council chambers at Snowmass Village Town Hall against a brown wood background.
Kaya Williams
/
Aspen Public Radio
Snowmass Village Town Council candidate Susan Marolt chats before a "Squirm Night" forum in council chambers at Snowmass Village Town Hall on Oct. 12.

Marolt thinks that is what clicked with the community.

“I think maybe what resonated with people is just wanting to preserve what we have in our village and really wanting to try to focus on making sure that we’re not letting go of the character and community and all of the amenities that we have here,” Marolt said.

Town Council candidates speak at a forum in council chambers at Snowmass Village Town Hall.
Kaya Williams
/
Aspen Public Radio
Snowmass Village mayoral candidates Bill Madsen and Reed Lewis chat before a "Squirm Night" forum in council chambers at Snowmass Village Town Hall on Oct. 12.

In the mayoral race, Madsen won reelection Tuesday night with about 60% of the vote, beating challenger Reed Lewis.

Madsen wasn’t banking on the results, but he was optimistic about his chances.

“I wasn't expecting it, but I was hopeful,” Madsen said. “You never know with local elections, but it’s good to see that the people of Snowmass Village came out in support.”

Lewis was congratulatory to Madsen, and appreciative toward all the candidates who ran for positions in Snowmass Village this year.

“What really was touching was just how civil everyone (was),” Lewis said. “It was really just a testament to the great people that live and work and play in Snowmass Village.”

Kaya Williams is the Edlis Neeson Arts and Culture Reporter at Aspen Public Radio, covering the vibrant creative and cultural scene in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. She studied journalism and history at Boston University, where she also worked for WBUR, WGBH, The Boston Globe and her beloved college newspaper, The Daily Free Press. Williams joins the team after a stint at The Aspen Times, where she reported on Snowmass Village, education, mental health, food, the ski industry, arts and culture and other general assignment stories.