Ballots mailed out today for Nov. 7 election

Ballots for the Nov. 7 mail election go out today in Garfield County, as voters prepare to decide on a range of regional and local tax issues and one Colorado Mountain College board seat.

In the lone contested race for the CMC board, Parachute resident Peg Portscheller, a longtime educator and education consultant, squares off against former Rifle mayor and area business owner Randy Winkler for the Director District 3 seat.

The winner will serve a four-year term on the special college district board. Two other CMC board seats are uncontested but still appear on the ballot.

Meanwhile, school board elections in all three Garfield County school districts were canceled as there were no contested races this year.

Voters living in remote parts of Garfield County who are in the De Beque and Eagle County school districts will help decide contested races in those districts.

Two countywide ballot questions deal with different tax measures.

Ballot Issue 1A asks Garfield County voters whether to support museums and cultural heritage by establishing a dedicated property mill levy (0.45 mills). Proceeds would be retained within county government, and used to support the various nonprofit historical societies and museums in the county.

Another countywide tax question is being put forward by CMC in Garfield and each of the other five counties included in the college district.

Ballot Issue 4B asks if the CMC district should be allowed to retain tax revenues that would otherwise be lost in given years due to provisions of Colorado’s Gallagher Amendment.

If voters districtwide approve the measure, the college would be allowed to adjust its mill levy to collect the same amount of money in years when increased residential property valuations statewide require a downward adjustment under Gallagher.

Local tax issues will also be decided in the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District, the Grand River Hospital District and within the town of New Castle.

Carbondale Fire, in Ballot Issue 4C, seeks to extend for three more years a 1.75 mill levy for district operations that was first approved by voters two years ago.

The fire district includes the town of Carbondale, the Missouri Heights and Spring Valley areas and parts of the Colorado 82 corridor north of town, east to the Eagle County line, west to the Thompson Creek area, and the Crystal River Valley south to Marble.

Grand River Hospital, in Ballot Issue 4A, is asking to take on $89.4 million in debt, along with a supporting mill levy, to pay for new care center and hospital expansion. The hospital district includes the municipalities of Rifle, Parachute, Silt and surrounding areas.

And, New Castle voters, in Ballot Issue 2A, will decide whether to impose a 3.5 percent automobile purchase use tax. Proceeds would fund a variety of things, including police equipment and training, recreational facilities, community organizations and tourism marketing.

For voter registration information and eligibility requirements for the Nov. 7 election, visit the Garfield County website Elections page.

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