Several valley towns will vote this spring
March 17, 2014
This story has been corrected.
EAGLE COUNTY — Election season starts early this year. Before we vote for a governor, a senator and county commissioners in November, there are spring elections that may have a bigger effect on life in the valley.
The spring elections include voting in Minturn, Eagle and Gypsum, all in April. May brings special district elections. Most are for candidates to serve on boards, but there's also a handful of tax and spending questions to answer.
Here's a look at the towns and districts asking for our votes this spring:
Election date and place: April 8 at Minturn Town Hall.
Issue: Town Council election.
Who's running? Mayor "Hawkeye" Flaherty is being challenged by resident Frank Lorenti. There are also four candidates for four council seats: Incumbents Shelley Bellm and Earle Bidez are seeking another term, former council member Matt Scherr would like to return to the board and newcomer Jason "Ozzie" Osborne has returned his paperwork. Candidates with the top three amounts of votes will be elected to four-year terms; the person finishing fourth will serve a two-year term.
What you need to know: Minturn no longer has a "permanent" mail ballot sent to registered voters.
Election date and place: April 1 at Red Cliff Town Hall.
Issue: Town Council election and a marijuana ballot question.
Who's running? While four seats are available, only incumbents Anuschka Bales and Tom Henderson submitted paperwork to run. The town council will seek applications after the election to fill the remaining two seats by appointment.
Town voters will also be asked if the town should ban medical marijuana facilities. Those facilities are now allowed, but there are none in town. Voters will probably be asked in November if they want to ban retail marijuana operations.
Election date and place: April 8 at Gypsum Town Hall.
Issue: Town Council election.
Is it too late to run? No, but the deadline to return paperwork is Wednesday.
Who's running? As of Thursday, Chris Estes, Tim McMichael and newcomer Marisa Sato are the only people to have returned their paperwork. Mayor Steve Carver is expected to run again.
Election date and place: April 1 at Eagle Town Hall, although early voting is available until March 28.
Issue: Town board election, as well as a question asking voters if the current "lodging occupation tax," now dedicated for open space, can also be used to build and maintain "soft path" trails and facilities such as restrooms and parking areas.
Who's running? There are three seats available, and none of the incumbents — Scott Turnipseed, Scot Webster and Mikel Kerst — are running. Current candidates are Stephen Richards, Paul Witt, Kraige Kinney, Gladdie Funke, Andy Jessen, Luis Benitez and Doug Seabury.
Vail Recreation District
Election date and place: May 6 at Vail Town Hall.
Who can vote? A resident or property owner in the district, which includes both Vail and a few areas close to, but not in the town's boundaries.
Issue: Board election.
Who's running? Voters will pick three members of the five-member board. No incumbents are running. Candidates this year are Kevin Foley, Constance Miller, Kim Newbury, Robert Oppenheimer, Brian Rodine, Tom Saalfeld and Penny Turilli.
Eagle River Water and Sanitation District
Election date and place: May 6 and by mail ballot. Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters — residents and property owners — between April 14 and 21.
Issues: There's a board election and a pair of tax questions.
On the board, members represent districts but are elected by everyone in the district as a whole. Candidates are:
District 1: Rick Sackbauer (incumbent) and Kaye Ferry.
District 2: Sounia Nejad Chaney, Paul Testwuide and John Rediker.
District 3: No candidates. A member will be appointed by the board after the election.
District 5: Matt Scherr and Tom Allender.
District 7: Ellen Eaton, Bill Simmons and Tommy King.
On the tax-and-spending side, the district is asking for a property-tax increase in order to issue a "general obligation" bond to pay for wastewater system improvements. The other question asks voters to exempt the district from some of the revenue limits imposed by the Colorado Constitution's Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR, amendment.
Other special districts
Here's a quick rundown of elections scheduled in other special districts this spring:
The following special districts are holding elections May 6. The information was provided by Robertson & Marchetti, a local accounting and management company that administers elections for many local special districts.
• Beaver Creek Metropolitan District directors, debt and multiple fiscal year financial obligation mail ballot election.
• Crown Mountain Park and Recreation District (El Jebel) directors polling place election at Eagle County Community Building, 20 Eagle County Drive, Suite F El Jebel.
• Lake Creek Metropolitan District mail ballot directors election (uncontested) and tax increase election.
• Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District directors election. This is a mail ballot election.