Ballots have been mailed in Silt recall |

Ballots have been mailed in Silt recall

Pete Fowler
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

SILT ” About 988 ballots are circulating through the mail in Silt to determine who voters want to be mayor and serve on the Town Board of Trustees.

Silt Mayor Dave Moore faces a recall election. If voters decide to recall him, a majority vote is required, and then a second ballot question decides his replacement. Rick Aluise is the only candidate for mayor.

The recall committee says Moore violated the home rule charter when he became involved in an employee issue that should have been the town administrator’s responsibility. The committee also took issue with Moore giving a 35-minute PowerPoint presentation against a Stillwater Ranch developer’s application, then presiding as mayor over the meeting to decide on the project.

Moore has said that a presentation in favor of the project was also made by then-town administrator Rick Aluise. To become a mayoral candidate, he needed to submit 25 signatures from registered town voters.

The recall committee also said Moore didn’t recuse himself from an issue facing the town board about an apartment building that Moore had an interest in as a landowner. The committee also cited Moore’s construction of a fence on someone else’s property without proper permitting, blocking a road with dirt during a construction project and violating open meeting laws by e-mailing with other town trustees.

In response, Moore admitted “procedural” mistakes but denied any major wrong-doing and defends his work as mayor since he was elected in 2006.

Five candidates are competing for four seats on the Town Board of Trustees. Incumbents Joe Sos and Bobby Hays are seeking re-election. Peggy Tibbetts, Sonny Fernandez and Nicky Leigh also hope to win the seats.

Silt voters must decide if they want to impose a 2.5 percent lodging tax. Another ballot question asks if voters want the town administrator to take over some responsibilities of the town board, mainly giving the administrator authority to hire town staff positions that are currently appointed by the board.

Town clerk Sheila McIntyre said of 988 ballots mailed out, about 353 were returned by Wednesday morning. Ballots must be in the town’s hands by 7 p.m. on April 1. They can be dropped off at Town Hall until that time.

Following is some brief background information about the candidates.

Incumbent Mayor Dave Moore, 67, lived in Silt for about 33 years. He was born in Maryland and attended Western State College in Gunnison. Moore has been in construction for 49 years, owns Moore Construction, and works as a small developer.

He said his financial experience, sense of the community, negotiation skills, experience as mayor and experience handling government contracts makes him the well-qualified candidate. Moore said the town trustees and staff haven’t been able to work together as a team, and he hopes to get beyond that and restore people’s confidence in the Town Hall. Moore believes Silt “will lead the parade in affordable housing.” In his spare time, Moore has created cost estimating software for contractors and has nearly finished writing a book on the history of the Christian Church and how it’s veered from the original intent of the gospel. He also enjoys traveling, fishing and hunting.

Rick Aluise, 52, grew up in Colorado Springs and has lived in Silt for about six years. He owns Silt Discount Liquors and operates Aluise Planning Consultants, LLC. The consulting company helps guide developers through municipal planning processes.

Aluise served as the Silt town administrator for almost six years, and also as town clerk for Wellington for about five years, where he served for a short time on the town council to fill an empty seat. He said he’s running because numerous people in town asked him to and so voters would have another option if Moore is recalled. He also said he’s doing it for public service, and is well qualified because he has experience both from city staff and town council perspectives. Aluise wants to form a coalition with other municipalities and Garfield County to lobby the legislature to return more oil and gas tax dollars back to the communities. He plays acoustic guitar and enjoys outdoor activities.

Joe Sos, an incumbent town trustee, is 83 years old. Born near Charleston, West Virginia, he’s lived in Silt for 25 years and lived in Glenwood before that. Sos is retired after about 27 years of coal mining. The main reason he’s running for town trustee is to represent the people of the town and ensure rapid growth and development doesn’t get out of hand. Sos enjoys bowling and loves to fish. He’s a member of the Masons and the Shriners of North America.

Bobby Hays, an incumbent town trustee, is 49 years old. He’s lived in Silt since 2001 and in the area since 1981. Hays was born in Deming, New Mexico and raised on farms in Luna County, New Mexico. Hays has a BA in business administration from Colorado Mountain College and Regis University. He works at the Glenwood Springs Community Center and previously worked as a technician for consulting and engineering companies. He also operates a private service to help people with tax refunds. Hays said he’s enjoyed his time as town trustee and wants to help Silt grow properly and make sure infrastructure such as roadways and traffic capacity keep pace with the growth. He doesn’t want to see residential areas become too condensed, and he’d like to keep the characteristics and culture of the western U.S. in Silt. He enjoys sightseeing, driving and kicking back and relaxing. Hays was arrested in August on a felony stalking charge for allegedly following a woman home after a softball game in August and blocking her driveway. Hays said the accusations are bogus and have nothing to do with his service as trustee.

Peggy Tibbetts, 54, lived in Silt for about 12 years. She grew up in Wisconsin. Tibbetts is an author and editor who’s written a mystery for kids and an adult political thriller novel called “Rumors of War.” She edited a newsletter for for about five years. Tibbetts attended the University of Wisconsin and studied English. She’s married to Tod Tibbetts, Trustee and Mayor Pro Tem, who is chairing the recall committee against Dave Moore. Peggy Tibbetts conducted a citizen’s petition last year to make River Park an off-leash dog park. During the process, she says, she wrote the ordinance and heard various concerns from over 100 residents. She said a lot of people want more commercial development in Silt and for the town to be less of a bedroom community. She enjoys outdoor activities like skiing, hiking, biking, camping and walking dogs.

Sonny Fernandez, 69, lived in Silt since 1992. He was born in Antlers and raised on a Silt Mesa ranch. He’s a retired Navy sonar technician who served for 23 years, including efforts in anti-submarine warfare during the cold war. He got an associates degree in business from the Prince George Community College in Maryland, has worked for a Department of Defense contractor on submarines, and also worked for Wal-Mart. Fernandez wants to see the town benefit economically and get more stable businesses in town to attract people and make Silt less of a bedroom community. He enjoys gardening and landscaping, and likes to help out his neighbors, who he said call him “the mayor of Third Street.”

Nicky Leigh, 61, lived in Silt for about five years. Before that, she lived between Carbondale and Redstone for over 20 years. She was born in London, England, and moved to New York, N.Y. at the age of four. She obtained a BA in psychology from Antioch College in Ohio. Leigh works as an accounting assistant and does bookkeeping for the Gallegos Corporation. She said she’s running because friends asked her to and she decided she could provide another good voice for the community. One issue that interests Leigh is trying to balance sustainability and environmental consciousness with the town’s growth. She enjoys playing on the computer, reading and being outdoors.

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