| PostIndependent.com

Glenwood voters being asked to authorize Municipal Operations Center sale in April election

The city is aiming to get the failing Municipal Operations Center off its hands through a ballot in front of the voters right now.

Constructed in 2002, the Municipal Operations Center previously housed the city’s electric, fleet, parks, streets and special works activities team departments.

Over the years, however, the less than 20-year-old facility has deteriorated quickly. So much, in fact, that all five departments have since relocated due to employee safety concerns.

“Numerous attempts and millions of dollars have been spent to try to save that building,” Mayor Jonathan Godes said. “But at some point, you are throwing good money after bad.”

If approved by voters, Ballot Question A would authorize the city to sell or otherwise convey its interest in the 19-acre Municipal Operations Center property and access road along Wulfsohn Road.

Ballots were mailed out this week for the city’s special election set to be held on April 14.

In 2011, city employees noticed the Municipal Operations Center was under settlement distress and engineers were brought in to determine mitigation measures.

Significant and costly grouting operations were completed in 2014, but the building continued to move “even along the sections that were grouted” according to a previous city council staff report.

“It’s unsuitable and unsafe for human occupation of any kind,” Godes said.

Last year, city council unanimously approved purchasing the former McCandless Truck Center located at 2222 Devereux Road for $2 million to house the fleet, streets, and special works activities team departments.

Additionally, the Parks Department has since relocated to a facility on Soccer Field Road and the electric department to offices in West Glenwood.

Public Works Director Matthew Langhorst said the city hardly utilizes the Municipal Operations Center other than for storage.

In the past, RFTA has expressed interest in acquiring the city-owned property.

“RFTA is still interested in purchasing the (Glenwood Springs Municipal Operations Center),” RFTA CEO Dan Blankenship said Thursday. “We are developing a plan to expand our maintenance facility onto the city’s property.”

In September, RFTA provided the city with a non-binding letter of interest that included $1.2 million for the property and $60,000 for the access road leading to it.

RFTA Chief Operating Officer Kurt Ravenschlag said that upon further consideration and subject to a successful closing, RFTA has also proposed up to $200,000 for river walk trail improvements in Glenwood Springs.

However, ahead of any such transactions, voters must authorize the city to sell the property first.

City Clerk Catherine Fletcher said approximately 5,000 ballots had been mailed to Glenwood Springs residents.

Fletcher said ballots would not be accepted in person at city hall as the facility remains closed.

Residents are encouraged to mail their ballots in due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, if needed, residents may drop ballots off in the county’s gray box in front of the courthouse, Fletcher said.

Ballots must be received by 7 p.m. April 14.


Glenwood Springs’ city attorney, Karl Hanlon, announces run for District 8 state Senate seat

Glenwood Springs attorney Karl Hanlon has thrown his hat into the ring. 

Hanlon, a Democrat, will seek the party’s nomination to challenge Republican state Sen. Bob Rankin of Carbondale for the District 8 seat, which represents Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt and Summit counties in the Colorado Legislature.

On Wednesday, former Eagle County commissioner and Carbondale resident Arn Menconi announced that he, too, would be seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the District 8 senate seat.

Hanlon, who grew up on a cattle ranch in Jackson County, graduated from the University of Wyoming and later received his Juris Doctorate from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

In addition to representing the city, Hanlon also represents the town of Silverthorne, the Aspen Fire Protection District and serves as general counsel to the Grand Junction Regional Airport. 

Hanlon and his family currently reside outside Carbondale. 

“I really focus on communities, building their vision of what they want to become,” Hanlon said. “Working on everything from water and infrastructure issues to economic development.”

In 2018, Hanlon ran to represent Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, but ultimately finished second in the Democratic primary to eventual nominee Diane Mitsch Bush. Hanlon said he hoped to build on the successful aspects of that congressional run, in his bid for state senate. 

“Every constituent has a story and that story is important. I think that’s the biggest lesson,” Hanlon said. “Every community is facing challenges.”

When asked if his decision to run was influenced by Rocky Mountain Industrials, Inc.’s controversial plans to drastically expand its mining operation at the Transfer Trail limestone quarry just north of Glenwood Springs, Hanlon replied “absolutely, yes.”

“Communities are going to face those moments and they need representation in the state legislature that understands that moment that they are facing; and is willing to standup for them no matter what,” Hanlon said.

According to Hanlon, issues surrounding water, housing, education, health care and economic transitions would be at the forefront of his campaign. 

Sen. Rankin, who was appointed to the seat last year, replaced retiring Sen. Randy Baumgardner. Prior to that appointment, Rankin served as House District 57’s representative, which covers Garfield, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties. 

“If you look at Senator Rankin’s votes, there are a lot of them that are simply out of step with what this district both needs and wants and how it should be represented,” Hanlon said. 

Hanlon said he looked forward to speaking with voters on the campaign trail in the weeks and months to come ahead of the election. 

“The top priority for my campaign right now is to go out, talk to people and find out what their top priorities are,” Hanlon said. “We as a state need to focus on rural Colorado more.”

On the Republican side, Breckenridge-area resident Debra Irvine is challenging Rankin for their party’s nomination for Senate District 8.


Garfield County feels the Bern – but more residents voted for Trump

Garfield County Democratic Party primary voters favored Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for president, as did most of Colorado.

In Garfield County, 37 percent of Democratic primary voters picked Sanders, on par with his statewide average of 36 percent.

Former vice president Joe Biden was the second choice, with 22 percent of the county picking him as the favorite, and billionaire Michael Bloomberg was third with nearly 21 percent of the vote.

Bloomberg fared better in Pitkin County, where he won the plurality of votes with nearly 30 percent of Democratic primary votes cast.

A total of 6,241 residents in Garfield cast a Democratic ballot, according to uncertified results of the Tuesday election. 6,331 cast a vote on the Republican ticket, with President Donald Trump taking nearly 94 percent of the total.

Sanders’ success means he will likely gain 20 of Colorado’s 67 pledged Democratic Party delegates.

According to the Associated Press, Biden and Bloomberg each have 9 delegates, but Bloomberg has already dropped out of the primary race.

The state has 13 more unpledged delegates who could also vote at the national convention in July.

This was the first presidential primary where Colorado has voted on Super Tuesday, with 13 other states.

Thousands of ballots mailed in Garfield County for Super Tuesday

Before entering the ballot counting room in the Garfield County Courthouse, individuals must write their name, the date and the time they entered in red ink.

Not blue, not black – red.

“We don’t use any blue or black because those are traditionally what the voters are told to use,” Jean Alberico, Garfield County clerk and recorder, said. “You won’t find any blue or black pens here so nobody can accuse the judges of marking ballots.”

It’s one of several measures put into place to protect the integrity of each ballot that makes its way through the door. 

On Feb. 10, nearly 32,000 ballots were mailed out to Garfield County voters as part of Colorado’s presidential primary Tuesday.

According to Alberico, approximately 9,000 went to Republicans, just over 8,000 to Democrats and a little over 13,000 to unaffiliated voters. 

The last number was of particular interest to Western Colorado Independent Voters co-founder and lead organizer Randy Fricke. 

In 2016, voters approved Proposition 107 and 108, which restored presidential primaries in Colorado and allowed unaffiliated voters to participate in them. 

“Our goal is to move to a totally open nonpartisan primary in Colorado and nationwide,” Fricke said. “Independents are going to have a really significant voice and role in all of these elections. It’s a big year.”

If an unaffiliated voter did not list any party preference at the time of registration, they receive both a Republican and Democrat presidential primary ballot in the mail.

“Some of the unaffiliated voters, when they filled out their paperwork, made a preference,” Alberico said. 

According to Alberico, quite a few unaffiliated voters who received both a Republican and Democrat presidential primary ballot made the mistake of filling out both and mailing them back. 

“We have gotten well over 100 ballots returned where the voter voted [on] both ballots,” Alberico said. “We didn’t count either one of those ballots.” 

In addition to allowing unaffiliated voters the ability to vote during primary season, it was also the first time in two decades that Colorado voters participated in a presidential primary.      

Colorado had 67 delegates up for grabs on Super Tuesday.  

Garfield County Democrats Chair John Krousouloudis said he had not heard any complaints about Colorado participating in a presidential primary on Super Tuesday. 

“A lot of the states want to take part early so they’re relevant in the election process,” Krousouloudis said. “If your primary is later in the cycle, by then a lot of decisions are made, a lot of people have dropped out. So, being early in the process, I think, is good overall.”

A representative from Garfield County Republicans was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

Lois Wilmoth was born and raised in Glenwood Springs and has served as an election judge in Garfield County for 12 years. She said she enjoyed the process, even with the changes. 

“It’s completely different than when I started,” Wilmoth said. “I certainly could never be a politician myself so this gives me a chance to be involved in the political process.”


Bloomberg campaign stops in Glenwood Springs

Republican or Democrat, Michael Bloomberg is still Michael Bloomberg.

That’s what the former New York mayor’s campaign surrogate and partner Diana Taylor told an audience Monday in Glenwood Springs.

“He believes in healthcare for everybody at an affordable rate, he believes in combating climate change, he believes in education, he believes in all the things that I think everybody wants for themselves and their families,” Taylor said at a campaign stop in Glenwood Springs.

“The Republican Party has gone way to the right, and (Bloomberg’s) values are now more affiliated with the Democrats than they are with the Republicans. But he has not changed his values one iota,” she said.

The Garfield County Democratic Party has asked every presidential campaign to come to the county, but only Bloomberg’s campaign responded according to county chair John Krousouloudis.

Taylor, a banking industry executive and former New York superintendent of banking, who is also Bloomberg’s romantic partner of 20 years, recently stepped into the role of campaign surrogate. Monday’s informal stop at Morgridge Commons was one of several events on the Western Slope.

Many of the 50 people in the audience had already made up their minds for Bloomberg.

“As soon as I saw that he was in the race, I thought, ‘this guy’s built a business empire, he’s run New York City, I think he’s going to be really effective,’” said Eagle County resident Claire Noble, who as already mailed in her primary ballot.

“Running New York City for 12 years really, really, really impressed me,” said Chris Coyle of Carbondale.

Open questions

A frequent criticism of Bloomberg’s political record is his support of stop and frisk, and his comments defending them.

“The way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the walls and frisk them,” Bloomberg said at a 2015 Aspen event, according to recently resurfaced audio from former Aspen Times journalist Karl Herchenroeder.

Bloomberg has apologized for the policy multiple times since announcing his campaign in November.

“Because I didn’t fully understand the unintentional pain it caused young black and brown kids and their families, I should have acted sooner and I should have stopped it, and I didn’t, and I apologize for that,” Bloomberg said at a Saturday campaign stop in Virginia, ABC News reported.

Taylor, responding to a question about the wisdom of apologizing for stop and frisk, defended the reasoning behind heavy policing of minority areas.

“New York City, and a lot of other cities, had a huge problem, and that was, the kids were dying in the street,” Taylor said.

“If you look at black and brown boys and young men, (guns are) the highest cause of death,” Taylor said.

Bloomberg looked at the fastest way to solve the problem, and decided that if you get guns off the street, they can’t shoot each other, according to Taylor.

“The fastest way to do that was through stop and frisk,” she said, adding that Bloomberg also addressed education and community issues, founding what eventually became President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper program.

Getting to the White House

Bloomberg has been running a campaign against Trump while the other Democrats are focused on the early primary states, according to Taylor.

“Michael is everything (President Donald) Trump wants to be,” Taylor said.

But to get the nomination, Bloomberg will have to win big in the March 3 primary extravaganza known as Super Tuesday.

Bloomberg’s self-funded campaign has 10 times the number of people on the ground in Colorado as other campaigns, according to one staffer.

Colorado is one of 15 Super Tuesday states where candidates seek a big win March 3.

One attendee said he appreciated the event, but that he would still support Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar in the primary.

“It didn’t change my mind. I think Mike Bloomberg is a fair enough candidate, but I worry about two rich guys from New York City fighting in the battle for the presidency,” said Nick Kelly.


Colorado voters — including independents — set to help decide ‘Super Tuesday’ outcome March 3

Colorado voters — regardless of political stripe, or lack thereof — potentially have a big say in this year’s presidential primaries, as the state officially joins the “Super Tuesday” lineup March 3.

County clerks around the state are mailing ballots to qualified voters this week. Garfield County Clerk Jean Alberico is mailing out 32,289 ballots for the Democratic and Republican primaries to be decided that day.

But the voting isn’t just limited to Republican or Democratic party affiliates.

Colorado voters in 2016 overwhelmingly supported Proposition 107, by a margin of 64%, to bring the presidential primary back to Colorado for the first time since 2000. Previously, the presidential primaries in Colorado took place in late June, when the nominations had often all-but-been decided.

Also in 2016, state voters approved Proposition 108, opening the state’s primary elections for all political offices, not just president, to unaffiliated voters for the first time in history. 

Anyone who was registered with the Republican or Democratic party as of Feb. 3 should receive their respective party’s ballot in the mail ahead of the presidential primary vote. 

In addition, unaffiliated voters should receive two ballots, one Democratic and one Republican, but only one of which can be cast, according to the rules for independent voters to participate.

The Colorado ballots include 17 Democrats who are vying for the party’s nomination and six Republicans, including President Donald Trump. However, some candidates have dropped out since the ballots were printed.

Garfield County Democratic Party Chairman John Krousouloudis said he welcomes the independent vote to the process.

“I think it’s a good thing, because for various people, while they might lean Democrat or Republican, they’re registered unaffiliated,” Krousouloudis said. “It’s a good way to see for sure which candidate is preferred across a wider population.

“Garfield County is very diverse politically — a little microcosm of the country — so personally I’m interested to see which way it comes out.”  

At the same time, he said there has been some education for voters to distinguish between the presidential primary and the state primaries on June 30. That’s where nominations for U.S. Senate and the 3rd Congressional District will ultimately be decided.

Beyond the March 3 presidential primary, Krousouloudis said the local party is focused on the countywide caucuses March 7 and the party assembly in April, where nominations for county and state offices will take place.

Independent voters will also have their chance to weigh in on that process, as well, as they did in the 2018 mid-term elections. 

Randy Fricke, co-founder and lead organizer for the Western Colorado Independent Voters, notes that independent voters represent 36% of the registered voters in Colorado. Nationally, that number is 46% of the registered voters.

“I see the role of independent voters in Colorado and the nation as deal-breakers or candidate makers,” Fricke said. “If you look at the ‘blue wave’ in the 2018 elections, there were a lot of independent voters electing Democrats.

“The ranks of the independent voters continue to grow nationally, as many Americans are fed up with the status quo of the Democratic Party and Republican Party.”

According to a news release from Garfield County election officials, if an unaffiliated voter returns more than one ballot, those votes will not be counted.

In addition to opening the primaries to unaffiliated voters, young voters who are now 17, but will be 18 by the general election in November, can vote in the presidential primary if they have registered.

Anyone currently registered with a third party, such as the Libertarian or Green parties, will not receive a ballot and cannot participate in the presidential primary as no third parties are participating in the primary, according to election officials.

All ballots must be received by 7 p.m. March 3 to be counted. Feb. 24 is the last day ballots can be mailed to voters. 

After that date, voters must appear in person at a voting center to obtain a ballot.

 Ballot drop-off sites are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Rifle.

Voter Service and Polling Centers are available in Glenwood Springs and Rifle starting Feb. 24, as well as on Saturday, Feb. 29, for in-person early voting. 

Polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Super Tuesday across Colorado. 

Information on all voting locations and times is available online at garfield-county.com/clerk-recorder/elections. Voter registration information is also available online at govotecolorado.gov.


New Castle, Silt elections headed for cancellation; Carbondale’s still on

New Castle and Silt will likely cancel their municipal elections this April due to a lack of candidates running for council and trustee seats.

And, had it not been for a tobacco tax question already on its ballot, the town of Carbondale would have canceled its election altogether, too.

The smaller towns in Garfield County hold their elections in April of every other even year, while Glenwood Springs and Rifle city elections are every other odd year — Glenwood in April and Rifle in September.

Carbondale proceeds

According to Carbondale Town Clerk Cathy Derby, three incumbent trustees filed to run for three open seats on the town’s Board of Trustees. Those candidates include current trustees Ben Bohmfalk, Lani Kitching and Marty Silverstein.

“I think we accomplished a lot in the first four years, but there is still more we can do,” Silverstein said.

Silverstein commended the board for its handling of controversial issues such as adopting stricter tobacco regulations.

Carbondale’s April ballot will ask residents whether they support the implementation of a $4 tax per pack of cigarettes sold, along with a 40% tax on all other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

The filing deadline for turning in nominating petitions with the necessary 25 signatures was Jan. 27.

According to Derby, no official write-in candidates had come forward by Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline, either.

Trustees serve four-year terms and earn $900 a month, according to Carbondale’s Municipal Code.

New Castle

Grady Hazelton and fellow New Castle Councilors Crystal Mariscal and Graham Riddile are the only candidates running for three town council seats up for election, according to Town Clerk Melody Harrison.

With no other questions on the town’s ballot, Harrison will ask the council at its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday to cancel the election.

Candidates had until Jan. 27 to turn in nominating petitions with the necessary 15 verified signatures; only Hazelton, Mariscal and Riddile did so.

Additionally, no write-in candidates filed affidavits of intent by the Jan. 31 deadline.

“I think we have a really good team and have a lot of things going on in New Castle that we’re excited about,” Hazelton, who currently serves as mayor pro tem, said. “I think Graham and Crystal, both, are great young minds that add to the team, for sure.”

Residents do not elect the town’s mayor pro tem. Instead, the council selects one of its already elected members to serve in that capacity.

The mayor pro tem conducts council meetings and signs documents in the event of the mayor’s absence.

New Castle town councilors serve four-year terms and earn $370 per month.


The town of Silt will also cancel its April election after only four candidates filed to run for five trustee seats up for election.

According to Town Clerk Sheila McIntyre, current board members Justin Brintnall, Kyle Knott and Sam Walls turned in their nominating petitions by the Jan. 27 filing deadline.

Additionally, Trustee Andreia Poston filed an affidavit as an official write-in candidate.

Subsequently, all four candidates will be appointed to the board at either the Feb. 24 or March 9 board meetings, McIntyre said.

According to McIntyre, the town will advertise to fill the remaining vacant seat at a later date.

Silt trustees earn $400 a month and serve four-year terms.


Democrat announces challenge to Martin’s Garfield County Commission seat

Former Carbondale trustee Katrina Byars announced Saturday that she will run for the Garfield County Board of Commissioners, challenging current Chairman John Martin for his District 2 seat.

Byars, 40, said she is running to focus on environmental sustainability, protecting natural resources and “healing the political divisions that have kept people from working together.”

 “I want to run for Garfield County commissioner to bring the county together, so that we can put aside our differences and collaborate on solutions for the future,” Byars said.

As a native to Garfield County and now a resident of Glenwood Springs, Byars has a close connection to many communities and the surrounding environment.

Byars went to school in Garfield County, and received her degree in sustainability studies from Colorado Mountain College. She recently completed her master’s degree in legal studies at the Sturm College of Law at Denver University.

She also founded Sustainable Planning and Development, a nonprofit that is about to launch a sustainability journal.

Byars served most of one term on the Carbondale Board of Trustees, resigning in 2017 to move to Glenwood Springs after struggling to find housing in Carbondale. She also ran for Carbondale mayor in 2016.

Byars has worked on several projects with the county, including the Garfield County clean energy plan, but said she thinks it’s time for new voices leading the county.

“While I personally respect the service of our sitting Garfield County commissioners, I don’t feel that they always represent the range of diverse opinions and people in this county. I think I could do that better,” she said.

Announcing her candidacy at the Garfield County Democrats’ Martin Luther King Day dinner, Byars said she was unaffiliated until a few months ago.

Byars believes the slowness to change is due in part to the longevity of Martin’s tenure.

“When a leadership role is held by a single person for decades, it can be difficult for things to change. My opponent, who I have a great deal of respect for, has been serving for almost a quarter of a century and it’s time for a changing of the guards,” Byars said.

More than half of Garfield County’s current budget comes from property taxes from the oil and gas industry, a reality that Byars recognizes.

“The appropriate level of oil and gas extraction in Garfield County or anywhere is one that protects human health and water quality, while providing the resource. I don’t think that is what has happened up to this point,”

One area Byars would like to focus on is protecting waterways, and restoring any streams that have been contaminated.

“I have friends and family in Rifle that don’t drink out of their tap because they don’t trust their tap water,” she said.

Starting with the county party assembly process this spring, Garfield County Democrats and Republicans will each formally nominate candidates to run for both the District 2 commissioner seat and the District 3 seat currently held by incumbent Republican Mike Samson of Rifle.


Should Glenwood Springs have runoff elections for city council? Question could head to voters

A candidate does not need 50% of the vote to be elected to Glenwood Springs City Council.

Instead, the city’s charter states that the candidate who receives the most votes wins – no majority necessary.

But Glenwood Springs voters could be asked as part of this April’s special election whether or not those rules should change.

Specifically, should a runoff occur if a candidate does not receive over half the vote?

According to Mayor Jonathan Godes, no recent council race fueled the discussion. Instead, the topic has lingered among previous mayors and city councilors for quite some time.

“If we, as city council, want to put this on the ballot in April now is the time to make that decision,” Godes said.

While city council decides whether or not to put the question on the ballot, the voters would get the final say in the matter.

“It’s a charter amendment,” Godes said. “It has to go to a vote of the people.”

According to a city council staff report, a city election typically carries with it a price tag of between $12,000 to $15,000.

Additionally, in nearby municipalities like Aspen, residents elect four city councilors and a mayor, which can lead to runoffs.

Aspen residents vote for two city council candidates from the entire field.

The top two candidates then take office “provided that the candidate receives 45% plus one vote, or more, of the votes cast for the office” according to the city’s charter.

If not enough candidates receive over 45% of the vote, then a runoff ensues.

Councilor Tony Hershey, who previously served on Aspen’s City Council, said he opposed the idea of a runoff election in Glenwood Springs.

“I think the concern is if there are like 12 people running and one person wins with 20% of the vote, is that really the will of the people?” Hershey said. “We are lucky to have two or three candidates in any one race. Sometimes people run unopposed.”

In the April 2019 elections, eight candidates ran for four council seats in Glenwood Springs. Two of those races were uncontested as councilors Paula Stepp and Steve Davis ran unopposed.

In 2015, seven candidates ran for four city council seats in Glenwood Springs. In that election, councilors Todd Leahy and Michael Gamba ran unopposed for the Ward 3 and Ward 4 seats respectively.

Additionally, that election’s closest contest was that of former councilor Kathryn Trauger defeating her two opponents with over 60% of the vote.

Aspen residents, unlike Glenwood Springs voters, also directly elect their mayor.

In Glenwood Springs, a city with nearly 10,000 residents, seven city councilors decide who serves as mayor.

“I think a direct election of the mayor by voters would increase their participation in the city’s affairs,” Councilor Rick Voorhees said.

Voorhees also believed a runoff between the top two candidates in ward and at-large races, should a candidate not receive over 50% of the vote, would “produce more interest and more accountability.”

“An additional round might force the candidates to base their platforms on hard facts and research, not simply what they believe the public wants to hear,” Voorhees said.

Council, likely in the coming weeks, will decide whether or not to put the runoff question before voters this April.


Final election tally confirms area school board, Garfield County outcomes

Final ballot counts last week in the Nov. 5 odd-year election confirmed results in western Garfield County school board races and ballot measures.

Election results were to be given a final review by the county canvassing board on Wednesday before being certified as official.

The unofficial final results released Nov. 14 confirmed Tom Slappey and Kirk Wilson as the victors in the two contested races for seats on the Garfield Re-2 School Board.

Slappey carried the Director District A race over Seth McMillen by a 60% margin, while Wilson won the Director District B race over Chris Miller with 53% of the vote.

Uncontested for two other seats on the Rifle, Silt and New Castle-area school board were Katie Mackley and Meriya Stickler.

In the three-way race for two open seats on the District 16 (Parachute-Battlement Mesa) School Board, Lynn Shore and Britany Van Teylingen were the confirmed winners of the election, with 36% and 29.8% of the vote, respectively, to Diana Lawrence’s 29.1%.

Also confirmed was the positive outcome of District 16’s Ballot Question 4A, by a margin of 64% to 36% margin. The measure allows the school district to provide advanced services, including telecommunications and cable television, within the district, without raising additional taxes to do so.

Two ballot questions before New Castle town voters — Issue 2B (tobacco tax) and Issue 2C (property tax reauthorization) — also both passed, earning yes votes from 67% and 59% of the town electorate, respectively.

And, the Garfield County Library District mill levy (Issue 6A) increase, was approved countywide with 53% of the vote. The anticipated $4 million in new annual revenue generated by the 1.5 mill levy is to go toward restoring and expanding hours and services within the six-branch library system that stretches from Parachute to Carbondale.

West Garfield County election final results

Garfield Re-2 School Board Director A

Tom Slappey — 2,384 (60%)

Seth McMillen — 1,582 (40%)

Garfield Re-2 School Board Director B

Kirk Wilson — 2,080 (53%)

Chris Miller — 1,857 (47%)

District 16 School Board

Lynn Shore — 663 (36%)

Britany Van Teylingen — 548 (29.8%)

Diana Lawrence — 536 (29.1%)

Write-in 1 — 89 (5%)

Write-in 2 — 4 (0.2%)

Garfield Library District mill levy

Yes — 7,444 (53%)

No — 6,603 (47%)

New Castle tobacco tax

Yes — 794 (67%)

No — 397 (33%)

New Castle property tax renewal

Yes — 698 (59%)

No — 488 (41%)

School District 16 telecommunications

Yes — 863 (64%)

No — 483 (36%)