Get to know issues, candidates at upcoming election forums
A series of back-to-back election forums will be held Monday and Tuesday in Glenwood Springs, while a separate forum will be held Monday in Rifle.
All are designed to give voters more information on the candidates and issues on the Nov. 4 ballot.
The forums are all scheduled for 6-8 p.m., and will be held at the Glenwood Springs City Hall, 101 W. 8th St. in Glenwood Springs, and at the Garfield Re-2 School District Learning Opportunity Center, 839 Whiteriver Ave. in Rifle.
The Glenwood Springs forums will be broadcast live in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale on Cable Channel 12, and rebroadcast over the following weeks. The Rifle forum will be taped and rebroadcast later this week in Rifle on Channel 13, and in Silt and New Castle on the public access channel.
The Education Night Forum on Monday in Glenwood Springs features candidates for the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees and for the Roaring Fork Re-1 School Board.
The forum will be moderated by Garfield County Commissioner Tresi Houpt, who will pose questions from a panel of experts.
The CMC candidates are slated for 6-6:30 p.m. Invited to speak are District 2 (eastern Garfield County) candidates Thomas Q. Boas and John C. Pattillo and District 6 (Eagle County) candidates Chet Gaede and Helen Ginandes Weiss.
Roaring Fork Re-1 School Board candidates are slated for 6:30-8 p.m. The race features nine candidates competing for five open seats.
Candidates invited to attend are District A (Basalt area), Bill Shirley and Michael Bair; District B (Carbondale area), Brad Zeigel and Rio W. Jacober; District C (south Glenwood Springs area), Bruce E. Wampler and Robert L. Arrington; District D (north Glenwood Springs area), Susan Hakanson and Kenneth Melby II; District E (Basalt area), Peter P. Delany.
The Mill Levy Forum on Monday in Rifle will be a presentation by the five members of the Garfield Re-2 School Board explaining the proposed $4 million property tax increase sought by the school district.
School board members will also take questions from the audience.
The tax increase is being sought to offer raises for teachers and staff, full-day every-day kindergarten, before- and after-school programs, resource officers for the middle and high schools, and staffing for the new Coal Ridge High School.
The City and State Night Forum on Tuesday in Glenwood Springs will focus on state and local ballot questions and candidates for Glenwood Springs City Council.
Jim Nelson, a Glenwood Springs writer, historian and accountant, will serve as moderator and ask questions prepared by a panel of experts.
The three state ballot questions are slated for 6-6:40 p.m.
Referendum A, which sets up a $2 billion loan program for water projects, will be debated by Eagle County Commissioner Tom Stone, who favors the measure, and Colorado River Water Conservation District spokesman Chris Treese, who opposes it.
Amendment 32, which freezes residential property tax assessment rates at 8 percent, will be addressed by written statements provided by groups that support and oppose the question.
Amendment 33, which would allow video gambling machines at the state’s five dog and horse racing tracks, will be debated by state Sen. Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs, who favors it, and a spokesperson from Don’t Turn Racetracks Into Casinos, a Denver-based opposition group.
Local ballot questions are slated for 6:40-7 p.m. They include the request for a 2 percent lodging tax in the town of Carbondale, freezing the mill levy for the Colorado River Water Conservation District, and a requirement for the city of Glenwood Springs to use competitive bidding for purchases over $25,000.
Glenwood Springs City Council candidates are slated for 7:05-8 p.m.
They include Ward 1 candidates Rick Davis and Larry Beckwith, Ward 3 write-in candidate Chris McGovern, Ward 4 candidate Bruce Christensen, and At-large candidates Don Gillespie and Joe O’Donnell.
The Education Night and City and State Night Forums are co-sponsored by the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association and State Farm Insurance.
The Mill Levy Forum is hosted by the Western Garfield Education Association.
In Garfield County, the election will be by mail. The last day to register to vote, or for registered voters to change their address, is Monday, Oct. 6.
Ballots will be mailed to all registered voters. They can be returned by mail or delivered to the Garfield County Clerk’s offices in Glenwood Springs or Rifle.
Garfield County Clerk Mildred Alsdorf expects to mail out the ballots by Oct. 15.
Ballots can safely be returned by mail through Oct. 29, and should be delivered to the clerk’s offices after that. To be counted, ballots must be in the clerk’s hands by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 4. Ballots postmarked Nov. 4 that arrive after that date will not be counted.
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