Lack of candidates means no elections for three downvalley fire districts |

Lack of candidates means no elections for three downvalley fire districts

With no more candidates than open seats, the boards of three fire districts serving New Castle, Silt, Rifle, Parachute and Battlement Mesa have canceled their May 4 elections.

Burning Mountains Fire Protection District had three open seats and two candidates. The district serves New Castle and Silt.

Incumbents Bob Thower, board president, and John Stewart, board secretary, will be automatically re-elected as they are the only candidates running. Standing board members are Mike Watts and Jennifer Abernathy.

To fill the third open seat, the board will seek letters of interest from district residents and then make an appointment.

The Rifle Fire Protection District has three open board seats and three candidates.

Incumbent board members Kevin Costanzo and Lee Martens will be automatically appointed to new terms, as will new candidate Rex Rhule.

He will fill the seat being vacated by Bob Wiig.

Seats held by J.B. VanTeylingen and Pete Firmin will be up for election in 2006.

The Grand Valley Fire Protection District, serving Parachute and Battlement Mesa, also has three open seats and three candidates.

Incumbent appointee Lynn Shore will be appointed to a full, four-year term, as will new board members Charles Haberman and Kevin Whelan. They will fill seats being vacated by Ted Anderson and Michelle Foster.

The district’s other two board members are James Nicola and James Landrum, whose terms run through May 2006.

” Freelance writer Nick Martin contributed to this report.

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