Riddile, Hazelton, Metzger take New Castle seats
New Castle voters ushered in a pair of longtime locals while ousting two incumbent trustees, in balloting that concluded Tuesday for three open seats on the town board.
Graham Riddile and Grady Hazelton, who both grew up in New Castle, will join Mary Metzger, the only incumbent to be reelected to the board.
Incumbents Merle Means and Patrick Stuckey came up short in the vote count.
According to unofficial election results released by Town Clerk Melody Harrison, Riddile was the top voter-getter with 435 votes. Hazelton came in second with 380 votes and Metzger was reelected with 312 votes.
Stuckey and Means rounded out the balloting with 280 and 265 votes, respectively, according to the unofficial results.
“I thought we had really good candidates this election, and I’m pleased that we will have some new people on council,” Metzger, who has served six years on the town board of trustees, said.
“I didn’t do much campaigning, but I think I have a good record and have done a lot, and people know that,” she said.
Hazelton and Riddile both said their longevity in the community probably played a big part in their receiving the most votes.
“I know a lot of people, and that’s big,” Hazelton said. “I think all five of us had good intentions, and there was no bickering.
“New Castle has some irons in the fire with the potential land purchase, and there have been a lot of questions about that,” Hazelton said of a possible land buy that the town is weighing.
Riddile, 27, joins his father, Art Riddile, on the New Castle board.
“That will be pretty cool, I’m looking forward to working with him and disagreeing with him on occasion,” the younger Riddile said. “New Castle was really in a win-win with a lot of good people running.
“A lot of it comes down to keeping New Castle as a desirable place to live, and I hope I can be up to that task,” Riddile said.
Stuckey, who also has served six years on the town board, two as an appointed member and the last four after winning election in 2012, said he was disappointed in the outcome of the election.
“It’s just the way the numbers fall,” he said. “I wish those who did get elected all the luck in the world and hope the best for the great town of New Castle.”
Stuckey, who has also represented the town on the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority board, said he will have to step back and weigh his options for remaining involved in local issues in some way.
“A lot of the disappointment comes in the fact that there are a number of things I was a part of that I wish I could continue on in some way.”
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The city of Rifle plans to allocate grant funding for improvements to Railroad Avenue and Third Street.