Press "Enter" to skip to content

No trends in local elections this year

Brief by Central Staff

Local Politics – December 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

In this fall’s elections, Central Colorado voters did not follow any discernible trend. Citizens retained incumbents and tossed them out, and likewise some tax increases were approved while others were rejected. This was an “off-year” election which involved school boards, city councils, mayors, and tax measures.

(Note that under Colorado law, a municipality with less than 2,000 residents is a town with a board of trustees, and town elections are in the spring. Cities like Leadville and Salida have more than 2,000 residents, and vote in the fall.)

Park County held true to its anti-tax reputation by defeating two measures. Ballot issue 1A, which would have increased the sales tax to improve roads and their maintenance, went down 2,455-1604. Issue 3A, which would have funded improved security in the Platte Canyon school district — site of the 2006 shooting of student Emily Keyes by an intruder who took hostages — was voted down 1,652-667.

Custer County does not have a welcoming reputation when it comes to tax increases, but two passed there this year. A five-mill increase for roads was defeated in 2002 and 2005, but was approved this time 692-553. A two-percent lodging tax, to be used for tourist marketing, passed on its first try, 823-415. Both incumbents, Marti Frick and Bill McAllee, were re-elected to the school board.

Gunnison voters turned down a “de-brucing” proposal for the recreation district by 1,555 to 1,496. It would have allowed the district to keep excess tax revenue.

Leadville returned incumbent Mayor Bud Elliott to office by a 345-275 margin over Gloria Pacheco, and kept incumbents Stephanie Olsen, John Wells, and Megan Coffin on the school board.

Salida ousted incumbent mayor Danny Knight as Chuck Rose got 1,048 votes to Knight’s 690. In the only contested city council race, Scott Damman beat John Bayuk 246-171. Bayuk was not an incumbent, but had served on the council from 1988 to 2003.

And Frémont County voted for a tax increase, with the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District inclusion of the eastern part of the county, along with some of El Paso County, passing 4,680 to 4,274.