Loschke locks up another term | PostIndependent.com

Loschke locks up another term

Parachute voters re-elected Mayor John Loschke over challenger Judi Hayward 91-62 in a contentious race that brought out a high number of voters Tuesday.

Voters also re-elected incumbent Trustees Billie Sue Koch with 123 votes, Robert “Toby” LeBorgne with 125 votes and John Yadloski with 121 votes. The three ran unopposed.

“I’m very thankful to the voters that they recognized the job we’ve done. I want to stress we – the trustees and the town administration,” Loschke said after the vote count.

“The voters have a comfort with the job we’re doing and the direction we’re going. This election has been about people throwing stuff at me, conflicts of interest. The voters recognize that we as a town leadership group have done the job we need to do and have been looking out for the best interest of the community,” he added.

Hayward was clearly disappointed in the election results.

“Well, I guess the voters have spoken,” she said. “I felt we were open for a change but maybe the team of the council and mayor is too strong.”

She also said she’d continue to press some issues she brought out during the campaign.

“I’m not done talking about some ideas I feel are still important, like wanting to make sure the council knows about conflicts of interest. I do know in small town there are always conflicts of interest.”

Hayward has said council members should step down in matters where there is even a suggestion they may have a conflict.

“I had a number of people say to me if I became mayor they would be interested in running for the council. They’re just not interested now because there is so much negativism on the council,” she said.

The conflict of interest issue arose over the Town Board’s decision to grant an easement to the school district to build water and sewer lines for the new high school across ball fields and rodeo grounds.

Members of the Grand Valley Parks and Recreation Association and the Parachute/Battlement Mesa Parks and Recreation District accused the town of pushing a decision on the utility lines without finding an alternative.

Hayward took issue with Loschke’s membership on the school board, and accused him of conflict of interest. Loschke was a former school board member, and his employer, Gary Dean, owns developable land that would benefit from the new water and sewer lines.

Loschke said Dean offered to pay half the cost of the lines, and questioned why the conflict of interest issue came up during the campaign – months after the decision was made.

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