Low-profile races in off-year vote
More than two-thirds of county's registered voters sit out 2009 election
Aside from the issue of term limits, there was not much on this year’s ballot for most Mesa County residents to get excited about.
Being an off-year election, this Nov. 3 lacked the hype of last year’s presidential election, and some offices up for grabs struggled to field candidates. The low-key ballot attracted 34.7 percent of the 79,467 registered voters in Mesa County, or 27,547 voters.
School District 51 managed to put on a race in District E, but had no challengers in District’s C and D. Unofficial results show Greg Mikolai won with 54 percent of the vote. Rose Femia Pugliese received 46 percent of the vote.
The smaller school district’s of De Beque and Plateau Valley were hard-pressed to field school board candidates.
De Beque School District 49’s lack of candidates led it to cancel its election.
“We had three seats vacant and only two people running for the three seats, so we are going to have to go through the process of appointing someone to the board,” De Beque Superintendent Marty Lucas said.
Anyone interested in being appointed has until Friday to submit a letter of interest and an appointment could be made by Nov. 19, he said.
Each school board candidate in Plateau Valley School District 50 ran unopposed this year. The candidates were Michael R. Harvey, Dawn Maurine Currier, Kay Orton and Judith Skrbina.
District 50 residents also were asked to eliminate term limits for the board. The voters rejected that and chose to retain term limits by a vote of 58 percent to 41 percent.
“With people running unopposed, I think the term-limit thing is kind of crucial for us,” Plateau Valley Superintendent Greg Randall said. “The last 10, 12 years everyone has run unopposed. It would be kind of be nice if people who wanted to stay on the board could stay on if they wanted.”
Tax for new Rifle nursing home rejected
By a 2,164-1,498 count, voters turned down a tax proposal by the Grand River Hospital District to build a new nursing home in Rifle.
The district, which covers western Garfield County and a small part of Mesa County, sought authorization to increase debt by $34 million with a bond repayment cost not to exceed $85 million. The measure would have increased taxes next year by $25 for a $250,000 home.
It would have paid for an 80,000-square-foot facility with 63 private rooms, to be built at the site of the old Clagett Hospital.
The district said the current facility, E. Dene Moore Care Center, is deteriorating and not up to current building codes, and is in need of constant and expensive repairs.
The district was seeking a mill levy increase for the first time since its creation in 1961.
It said the new facility, besides creating construction work, would have resulted in 20 permanent jobs.
Delta County School Board
In the Delta County Board of Education’s two races, Chad S. Campbell garnered 66 percent of the vote, defeating Betsy Marston, 34 percent, in District 5.
In District 4, Tammy M. Smith won with 55 percent of the vote, compared to 45 percent for Brian Cambria.
Garfield County School Board
In the Garfield School District Re-2 board of directors race, Lee Krauth edged Elyse Hutchinson, and Brad Moss was re-elected. Hutchinson, who was appointed earlier this year to fill a vacancy on the board, lost to Krauth, 1,091 to 1,080. Moss was running unopposed as a write-in candidate and received 131 votes.
Voters overwhelmingly rejected a proposed recreation fee increase by the Consolidated Metro District in Battlement Mesa, defeating it by a 668 to 288 vote. The measure would have raised the annual $205 recreation fee to as much as $240 next year, and permitted increases of no more than 5 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less, for the next seven years. The district runs the Activity Center and provides water and sewer services in Battlement Mesa.
A measure to eliminate term limits for the Mesa Water and Sanitation District was rejected by a vote of 52 percent to 41 percent.
A Silt Water Conservancy District tax measure was defeated, 1,010 to 823. The district attempted to lift Tax Payer’s Bill of Rights constraints so it could have collected and spent all revenues generated by its current property tax mill levy.