Fire, metro district board elections May 8 |

Fire, metro district board elections May 8

Three special taxing districts in Garfield County, including the Carbondale and Rifle fire protection districts and the Battlement Mesa Metropolitan District, will elect new board members in contested races on Tuesday, May 8.

Several other districts, including the Grand River Hospital District and fire districts serving the rural Glenwood Springs area, New Castle, Silt and Parachute, have canceled their elections due to a lack of board contests.

In the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District, incumbent board members Lou Eller and Robert Emerson are running for re-election to two open seats.

A third candidate, Kathy Wright Ortiz, is also seeking election to the five-member board.

Eller has been on the fire district board of directors for 12 years. He has been associated with the fire department for 20 years as a volunteer firefighter.

Emerson, a local attorney and former legal counsel for the fire district, has been on the board for two years.

Ortiz is not directly associated with the fire district, but has assisted the fire department over the years through her Carbondale-based food catering business, Big Mama’s Catering.

The Carbondale district provides ambulance, EMT and fire protection services in a large area extending from Marble to Spring Valley, and east to the Eagle County line.

The election will be by mail ballots, which have already gone out to active registered voters in the fire district. Ballots are due at the Carbondale fire district office, 300 Meadowood Drive, by 7 p.m. on May 8.

Meanwhile, four candidates are seeking three open seats on the Rifle Fire Protection District Board of Directors. They include incumbents Yvonne Long, Rex Rhule and John Sandquist. Former fire board member Lee Martens is also seeking to return to the board after a two-year hiatus.

Long and Sandquist are each seeking a second, four-year term on the board, while Rhule is running for a third term.

Martens was previously on the Rifle Fire board for four years, before he lost his seat in the 2010 election.

The Rifle district serves the Rifle city limits and the surrounding rural area. The election will be a polling place election on May 8. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. that day at the Rifle Fire District office, 1850 Railroad Ave.

The most active of this spring’s special district elections is in the Battlement Mesa Metropolitan District, where six candidates, including one incumbent, are running for two open seats on the five-member board.

The metro district provides water and sewer services to residents in the unincorporated Battlement Mesa community, located south of the town of Parachute.

Seeking re-election to another four-year term after six years on the board is Lynn Shore. The seat previously held by Fred Inman, who cannot run again due to term limits, is also up for election.

Other candidates seeking election to the metro district board are former board members Bill Nelson and Bill Wilde, along with newcomers Bob Arrington, Leeray Smith and Jason Fletcher.

The metro district website [] includes biographies on the candidates.

The Battlement Mesa election will be by mail ballot. A total of 1,674 ballots were mailed out on April 18, according to district director Steve Rippy.

Ballots are due back to the district office, 401 Arroyo Drive in Battlement Mesa, by 7 p.m. on May 8. Anyone who believes they are eligible to vote in the election and did not receive a ballot can contact the metro district office at 285-9050.

The Glenwood Springs Rural, Burning Mountains and Grand Valley fire districts, as well as the Grand River Hospital District, have all canceled their elections for this year due to the fact that there are no contested races.

In the Glenwood district, which covers the areas immediately outside the city of Glenwood Springs, Gordon Daniels will be automatically appointed to one of the three open seats on the five-member board. He replaces Paul Morelli, who is leaving the board due to term limits.

That leaves two additional seats unfilled. According to Glenwood Springs Fire Department administrative assistant Erin Williams, the district will seek candidates to fill those seats. For more information about the openings, call 384-6480.

The Burning Mountains district had just enough candidates to fill its three open seats. Karen Maddalone-Cochran and Megan Richards will be automatically re-elected to the board, along with new member Bucky Moser.

Grand Valley Fire District had two candidates for three seats. Keith Lammey and Kevin Whelan will return to the board, and the district will seek someone to fill the open seat.

The Grand River Hospital District had six candidates for six seats on the seven-member board, and thus canceled its election as well. Returning to the board will be Kip Costanzo, Marcia Kent, Ed Weiss, Sharon Raggio and Cindy George. New to the board will be Tami Sours.

Longtime board member and current board president Sam Potter is stepping down after 13 years on the board, due to term limits.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User