Western Eagle County Metro Rec District voters elect incumbent McCormack, newcomer Pohl | VailDaily.com

Western Eagle County Metro Rec District voters elect incumbent McCormack, newcomer Pohl

WESTERN EAGLE COUNTY — When five candidates materialized for two open seats on the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District Board of Directors, the contested election seemed ripe for high turnout.

That didn't happen Tuesday, May 8. Only 144 votes were cast in the election for the district, which encompasses a large swath of the county from Edwards west to Dotsero and north to the county boundary.

While turnout was sparse, newly elected board members Mike McCormack and Thomas "Tom" Pohl are excited to take their respective oaths of office and start work.

For McCormack, that means a return to the WECMRD board. He was elected to a two-year term in 2016.

"My kids have going through WECMRD programs, and I am still very invested in the facilities," McCormack said. "It's now time to take the next great step forward."

McCormack credited past rec district leaders with steering the organization through some tough financial times resulting from the Great Recession.

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"It's important to look at where we came from when we look toward where we are going," he said. "My pet project is sweeping upgrades across the district."

In particular, McCormack believes renovations are due at the Eagle Pool & Ice Rink, the oldest of WECMRD's three major facilities.

"We need to make that facility more multigenerational, like the Gypsum Recreation Center is," McCormack said.

He noted when WECMRD takes on upgrade projects, it will also do a comprehensive outreach to include other government entities, community groups and patrons.

"We need to have a far-reaching discussion about what we want," he said.

Beyond the facilities issue, McCormack said WECMRD's big challenges include expanding programs for adults and seniors and expanding program availability for all county residents.

New vision

Pohl, of Gypsum, is new to the WECMRD board, but not new to community service. He is a former member of the Gypsum Recreation Committee and a current member of the Cotton Ranch board.

"I think WECMRD is a huge asset for the community. My family has certainly participated in its programs," Pohl said.

"I see WECMRD as an organization that has a lot of potential on the horizon," Pohl continued. "They already do so much to bring people in."

From scholarship programs that allow low-income children to participate in recreation programs to expansion plans at various district facilities, Pohl said he believes the district is on the right track. He wants to see WECMRD increase its opportunities for middle school and high school youth and to partner with other government entities to expand the local trail network.

"I am very thankful for the support I have had. I am very excited for this opportunity to serve," Pohl said.

WECMRD election results

• Michael McCormack — 82 votes

• Thomas Pohl —71 votes

• Tammy J. Conway — 43 votes

• Jennifer Collins — 32 votes

• John McCaullley —29 votes

• Todd Serwatt — withdrawn