Decision day in town elections
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – It’s election day in four of the county’s towns – Eagle, Gypsum, Red Cliff and Minturn. Here’s a look at what voters in those towns will decide.
Eagle County’s smallest town has the most complex municipal election this spring. Voters will pick a new mayor – outgoing mayor Ramon Montoya can’t run again because of term limits – and may replace as many as five of the six town trustees.
Only board member Valerie Blevins isn’t up for election – her term will expire in 2014 – and the only incumbent board member, Anuschka Bales, was appointed just a month ago.
Town Clerk Barb Smith said that the town usually has three board seats up for election every two years. This year’s unusual number of board seats is due to a combination of term limits and board members declining to run for another term.
To get the election schedule back into balance, Smith said three of the five board members will be elected to four-year terms, with the other two members serving for two years. The new mayor will be elected to a four-year term.
Here’s who’s running:
Mayor: Scott Burgess, 44, vs. Tom Henderson, 64. Both are former Town Board members.
Town Board: Candidates are Bales, former board member Heather Stolz, Jake Spears, Jaclyn Parks, Chris Keran, Kelli Holtz and Chad Holtz.
Incumbent Mayor Ed Woodland is seeking a second term. He’s being challenged by incumbent board member Yuri Kostick.
There are seven candidates for three seats on the board: Jeremy D. Cossette, John A. King, Joe Knable, Anne McKibbin, Skylar Mitchell, Brandi Resa and Max Schmidt. Former candidate Lonnie Leto withdrew from the race when he announced he was moving out of Eagle to a place outside town up Brush Creek. None of the candidates is an incumbent.
The Woodland-Kostick race, as well as competition for Town Board seats, could be an early harbinger of the May 22 special election on Eagle River Station.
Kostick, Resa, King and Schmidt all say they’re opposed to the project; the other candidates either support it or did not return questionnaires asking for an opinion.
Gypsum is holding its first municipal election since 2008, since the town over the past 15 years or so has often only had as many candidates as Town Council seats available. This year, four candidates are challenging three incumbents running for re-election.
The incumbents are Tom Edwards, Gary Lebo and Kyle Hall.
The challengers are Beric Christiansen, Ross Graves, Jim Kinser and Stanley McElderry.
There are yard signs in town that support Christiansen, Graves and Kinser as candidates who will be focused on economic development, although all the candidates said they favored bringing jobs to town in a recent candidate survey.
Minturn only has as many candidates as Town Council seats available, and all of those seats are being sought by incumbents, so that part of the election is essentially a done deal. Barring a last-minute wave of write-ins, incumbent Mayor Hawkeye Flaherty and council members George Brodin, John Rosenfeld and Jerry Bumgarner will serve another term.
The only reason the town is holding an election is to ask voters a pair of questions on the town charter, asking about the posting location of town notices and how to publish town ordinances.
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