Parachute's one-term mayor, Roy McClung, is calling it quits as of Dec. 30, citing economic difficulties and the need to leave town to go back to school in order to broaden his job prospects.
The town is to hold elections in April 2010, and town officials were not certain whether there would be a vacancy on the board of trustees until then or the board will appoint someone to replace the outgoing Mayor in the meantime.
Town Manager Bob Knight said on Wednesday that mayor pro-tem Judy Beasley is in line to step into the mayor's job temporarily and thereby vacate her own post, if an appointment is not made.
Prior to McClung's announcement, the town had planned for three trustee positions and the mayor's post to be up for election next year.
In a letter of resignation to the town (see letter on page 26), McClung proudly enumerated a list of accomplishments from the last four years and his own sense of adventurous excitement at having been part of the process.
But, he added, "The economy has taken a toll on my family and we have found it necessary to make some drastic changes."
He said he and his wife, Carol, plan to go back to college "to pursue degrees that we have wanted for so long."
In his case, McClung said he plans to add an engineering degree to the degree in animal sciences that he already has, noting, "there's not a lot of work out there in the animal sciences.
"We'd like to move back to Parachute" once they have finished their studies, McClung continued, "but that certainly depends on a whole lot of things."
McClung has most recently been purchasing manager for a construction firm working in the Piceance Basin, and he and his wife owned a day care center that closed earlier this year when the economy slowed down, he said.
Knight said that the mayor's job will be up for election in April, along with three or perhaps four trustees' positions, depending on how the board handles filling McClung's vacancy. The positions known to be up for election are now filled by Travis Sproles, Candy Albee and Theresa Hatzenbeller.
McClung said he has been serving on town boards since 2001, including a stint on the planning commission and one as a trustee before being elected mayor.