Trustee race, 7 questions on Parachute ballot
Citizen Telegram Editor
PARACHUTE – Voters in Parachute will choose three of five candidates for the board of trustees and decide seven ballot questions in the April 1 municipal election.
Incumbent trustees Mary “Candy” Allbee, Tom Rugaard and John Yadlowski are seeking four-year terms to remain on the board, while Timothy Olk and Mike Warren are the other candidates. Current Mayor Judy Beasley is not seeking re-election and the only candidate for that office is current trustee and former mayor Roy McClung.
Votes will choose three trustees. McClung, who is unopposed, will also serve a four-year term.
Town Administrator Stuart McArthur said letters were sent to the town’s 425 registered electors, explaining the ballot and what the seven ballot questions addressed.
Those seven questions concern portions of the town’s home rule charter:
• Ballot question 1 would change “town administrator” to “town manager.”
• Question 2 would amend procedures for ordinances to require either written ordinances or that they be read in full prior to consideration at a regular or special meeting.
• Question 3 would allow ordinances to take affect 30 days after publication in a legal newspaper, such as The Citizen Telegram, except those approved as emergency ordinances, which take affect immediately.
“Right now, they take affect ten days after second reading and publication,” McArthur said. “But we’re such a small town and we only have a meeting once a month, so two readings really slows down things like land use applications. This would just speed things up.”
• Question 4 would change the number of consecutive four-year terms the mayor and trustees could serve from two consecutive terms to four.
“Again, being a small town, it’s been tough to find enough candidates in past elections,” McArthur said.
• Question 5 clarifies that trustees and the mayor should only deal with town employees and staff through the town administrator.
“They can make informal inquiries, but anything else would be done through me,” McArthur said. “It would clear up things in the personnel handbook, too.”
• Question 6 amends the charter to leave certain budgeting and accounting matters in the annual audit, instead of separating them out, McArthur said.
• Question 7 would delete a requirement that the town publish its bills, expenditures, contracts awarded and rebates allowed in a legal newspaper. Instead, the town would post them on the town website. McArthur estimated the move could save the town thousands of dollars a year. Newly-approved ordinances would still be required to be published in a legal newspaper, he added.
The election is a polling place election, so voters should go to Town Hall, 222 Grand Valley Way, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1, to cast their ballots.
Any additional information regarding Parachute’s municipal election should be sought from Town Clerk Denise Chiaretta by phone at 285-7630, or in person, during regular business hours at Town Hall.
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