Spring ballots for local elections getting closer to being finalized
Ballots for this spring’s local elections look a little more certain, and not all that different than previously reported, following the passage of two key deadlines earlier this week.
Candidates running for governing boards in Carbondale, New Castle, Silt and Parachute had until Tuesday to remove themselves from the ballot. And residents who failed last week to throw their hat into the ring the conventional way had until Monday to file paperwork stating their intention of running as a write-in candidate.
None of the four municipalities received affidavits for write-in candidates, and as of Tuesday afternoon none of the candidates had withdrawn, according to clerks in each municipality.
That means the ballots for the April 5 local spring elections are essentially set, with the exception of Parachute, where the town is holding both a regular election and a recall election.
Regular election candidates Pam Jarrett and Fred Anderson both completed the necessary outstanding paperwork within the allowable time frame. They will each be running for one of four seats up for election, along with incumbents Juanita Williams, who serves as mayor pro-tem, and trustees John Loschke and Travis Sproles.
No write-in candidates submitted paperwork, and as of Tuesday afternoon, none of the five candidates asked to have his or her name withdrawn, said Denise Chiaretta, town clerk.
Chiaretta, who moved to a part-time position last month, said she did not expect any changes to the lineup of candidates for the regularly scheduled election in Parachute.
However, the recall election is less certain. Potential opponents have until Feb. 19 to submit the paperwork necessary to run against the board members facing the recall. Those include Mayor Roy McClung and Trustees Tim Olk and Tom Rugaard.
The recall was in response to the board’s repeal last year of the marijuana ban in town. Jarrett, who is running in the regular election, led the recall effort and a petition effort that will put the marijuana issue before Parachute voters in November. She and others have maintained since last summer that town residents should be allowed to vote on the marijuana issue.
In response, board members have countered that every issue cannot be decided on by a vote of the town’s people. They also point to the fact that there was zero public comment at the meeting where a majority of trustees voted to repeal the ban.
The issue drew large crowds, consisting of both opponents and supporters, at town meetings following the decision. Several marijuana businesses have opened, and Town Manager Stuart McArthur has said the industry is an economic Band-Aid that is vital for the town to move forward with other economic development plans.
Chiaretta said Tuesday that she had not received any petitions for candidates hoping to run in the recall election. With 16 more days before the deadline, though, the lack of completed petitions does not translate to an absence of interested candidates.
Judith Hayward, a Parachute resident and former town councilor, stated last Thursday that she intends on running against McClung for mayor. In Parachute, the mayor is a separately elected position.
Hayward, who spoke at a meeting on economic development in town, said she has no plans of putting forth any negativity in her bid for the position.
It is unclear if any other residents intend on challenging the other two board members in the recall.
Elsewhere in Garfield County, the spring elections appear to be set.
Eight people are running for three open seats on the board of trustees in Carbondale, which is the only one of the four municipalities with questions on its ballot. The first question is for a carbon tax that would charge residents and businesses extra for using electricity and natural gas, and the second question would increase property taxes by up to three mills to fund town capital projects.
There are five candidates running for three positions on New Castle’s town council and Silt has four candidates running for three positions on its board of trustees.
Residents of legal voting age can register to vote at govotecolorado.com/.
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Former Carbondale trustee Katrina Byars said she wants to bring a voice of environmental sustainability to the commission, and believes her opponent has served long enough.