Special districts in county will vote May 3 | VailDaily.com

Special districts in county will vote May 3

When do we vote?

• May 3: Special district elections.

• June 28: Primaries to pick candidates for the November election.

• Nov. 8: General election day.

For more information, go to the Eagle County Clerk & Recorder’s office website, http://www.eaglecounty.us/Clerk/Voting_and_Elections/Overview/

EAGLE COUNTY — The old cliche about crooked politics is “vote early and vote often.” There’s nothing crooked about it, but locals have a chance to do a lot of voting this year.

With April’s municipal elections over, attention now turns to special district elections. There are a number of those this year, and several could affect your tax bill.

In addition to board elections, several of the Vail Valley’s special districts are asking for tax increases. Here’s a quick look at the main districts in the valley and what they’re asking for from voters on May 3.

Vail Recreation District

This election will ask voters to select two members to serve four-year terms on the five-member board. Incumbent Bill Suarez is running for re-election. Roland Kjesbo, Stephen Connolly, Brian Rodine and Rodney Johnson are also seeking seats.

Current board member Jeff Wiles is leaving.

This is a polling-place election, with voting in the Grand View Room, atop the Lionshead parking structure.

For more information, go to http://www.vailrec.com/elections.

Eagle River Water & Sanitation District

This district has canceled its election due to having fewer candidates than available seats. Paul Testwuide will again represent Director District 2. George Gregory will represent Director District 4, replacing Debbie Buckley, and Steve Friedman will represent Director District 6. The board will appoint a new representative for Director District 3, most recently held by current Vail Town Council member Kim Langmaid.

Eagle-Vail Metropolitan District

Voters will choose three members of the five-member board. Two will serve four-year terms and one candidate will be elected to a two-year term.

Darlynne Littman, Patti Sills, David Warner and incumbent Chuck Toms are running for the four-year seats.

Carl Luppens, Moses Gonzales and Ruth Borne and Kim Bell Williams are seeking the two-year seat.

This is a mail ballot election. For more information, go to http://www.eaglevail.org and scroll down the home page.

Eagle River Fire Protection District

This district covers the most territory of any of the valley’s special districts, stretching from the top of Tennessee Pass to Wolcott. It does not include Vail.

This district is asking voters for a property tax increase to fund three major projects:

• A new public safety headquarters in Avon that will be shared with the Avon Police Department. That project would begin this year.

• Replacing the fire station in Edwards — a 30-year-old “temporary” structure. Work on that project would start in 2017.

• Creating a fire-training facility near Minturn. The start date remains to be determined.

In all, the tax question would fund roughly $25 million in construction work. According to a fact sheet published by the district, the increase would total $47.31 per year for a home with an assessed value of $500,000.

This is a mail-ballot election. Ballots should be in the mail now and are due by May 3.

The district also has two seats open on its board of directors, but only one candidate.

Cindy Moran will represent the Cordillera area. The second spot, representing Eagle-Vail, has no candidates. That means there won’t be a board election and the board will appoint someone to represent Eagle-Vail.

This is a mail ballot election.

Town of Avon

The town is asking voters for approval to help fund the new public safety building. The question asks for permission to issue certificates of participation to fund $6.5 million of the new building’s cost. Those certificates would be paid from existing town revenue streams.

This is a mail ballot election.

Eagle County Health Service District

The ambulance district for the entire valley is also asking voters for a tax increase, the equivalent of $30 per year on $500,000 of assessed home value. Those backing the proposal said the district has been hit hard by new reimbursement rules in the federal Affordable Care Act, leaving a roughly $1.8 million hole in the annual budget.

The district also has two spots up for election on the board of directors. Incumbents Jeff Kingston and Todd Goulding are seeking re-election. Gypsum resident Pam Schultz is running for a seat on the board.

This is a mail ballot election.

Edwards Metropolitan District

This is a relatively small district, but it includes most of the commercial area. The district is asking for a new sales tax. If approved, that tax would be 1 percent until 2040, and .5 percent thereafter.

That sales tax would create a local match for improvements to U.S. Highway 6 and the Edwards Spur Road, both of which are managed by the Colorado Department of Transportation. District officials say funds would also be used for other street and trail improvements in the area.

The district is also having a board election, with four people seeking three seats. Incumbents William Simmons and Kara Heide are incumbents seeking re-election. John McCaulley and Kelly Malin are also seeking seats on the board.

This is a mail ballot election.

Gypsum Fire Protection District

District officials say were hit hard by the drop in assessed property values that began in about 2010, and have yet to recover. The district is asking voters for a property tax increase that equates to about $84 per year on a home with an assessed value of $300,000.

The district has canceled its board election. Only Bill Baxter is running. The board will then appoint a replacement for Pete Nolan, who is leaving due to term limits.

This is a mail ballot election.

Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District

This is one of the bigger geographic districts in the valley, spanning Edwards to Dotsero.

This year is a board election for the district, and there are several candidates for three four-year terms and one two-year term.

John McCaulley was appointed to a seat in 2015 and is seeking election for the first time. Robert Ladd is running for a second term. The remaining candidates are Chris Williams, Mikayla Curtis, Christopher Pryor, Elizabeth Jones and Michael Woodworth. Candidates for the two year term are Brian Paul Collett and Michael McCormack.

This is a polling-place election. Voters can cast ballots at the Eagle County Health Services Building in Edwards, the Eagle Pool and Ice Rink in Eagle and Gypsum Recreation Center.

Greater Eagle Fire Protection District

That district has cancelled its election due to no contested seats on the board. Jon Asper and Eric Collum will serve four-year terms and Kraige Kinney will serve a two-year term.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, smiller@vaildaily.com or @scottnmiller.

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