Despite the early hour, an estimated 150 voters attended the Club 20 debate Saturday morning between House District 54 candidates Matt Soper and Thea Chase, an independent candidate from Palisade.
They led off a series of debates that continued throughout the day and featured two other Republican candidates from Delta County -- Mike Mason, House District 61, and Olen Lund, Senate District 5.
An unprecedented number of area residents addressed Delta City Council on the issue of marijuana, input that was welcomed by council members who said they wished citizens were equally outspoken on a broader range of topics.
The issue of marijuana came to the forefront of the Sept. 4 meeting, where council members considered four marijuana questions for the November ballot.
After facing off Rep. Scott Tipton the night before at the Club 20 debates in Grand Junction, Democrat congressional candidate Diane Mitsch Bush was in Hotchkiss Sunday, Sept. 9, for another debate. This one, organized by Crawford Area Indivisible, turned into a town meeting.
Delta City Council has approved two ballot questions for the November election but will likely be adding more before the cutoff date in early September.
At their Aug. 21 meeting, council members approved the wording for two questions concerning the sale of city property.
During the municipal election in April, the issue of marijuana sales in the City of Delta frequently cropped up. Most questions were prompted by two ballot measures concerning the taxation of retail marijuana and retail marijuana products -- if in the future those sales were allowed. Both measures passed by about a 60-40 margin.
Performance evaluations of Colorado appellate and trial court judges standing for retention in the 2018 general election are available online at www.ojpe.org.
Secretary of state Wayne Williams announced Monday that five initiative petitions were turned in by the 3 p.m. deadline:
Initiative 97, setback requirement for oil and gas development,
The City of Delta has notified the Delta County clerk and recorder of its intention to participate in the coordinated election to take place in November.
The decision was made July 24, during the council's last scheduled meeting prior to the deadline for notifying the clerk.
In November, the Town of Hotchkiss will ask voters for permission to sell the town shop at 222 W. Bridge Street.
The town's public works department has not only outgrown the 6,236-square-foot facility, but it can be tricky moving trucks and heavy equipment in and out of the garage and onto the town's busiest thoroughfare.
The stage is set for the November election -- Republican Mike Lane will face Democrat Dick Gilmore for District 1 Delta County commissioner. That seat is currently held by Doug Atchley, who is term limited.
On Tuesday, the final day to vote in Colorado's primary election, the secretary of state reports that 3,161 Republican and 1,272 Democratic ballots had been returned in Delta County.
With only one contested local primary race in Delta County, between Mike Lane and Teresa Nelson for Delta County Commissioner, District 1, the interest in this year's election stems from this being the first year independent voters could participate in the primary.
On the Republican ticket Mike Lane defeated Teresa Nelson. Lane received 2,917 votes, or 63.04%, to Nelson's 1,710 votes.
Lane will face Democrat Dick Gilmore in November. Gilmore received 1,931 votes and was unopposed on the Democratic ticket.
In other county offices:
The polling center in the Delta County Courthouse will be open Saturday, June 23, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for voters who wish to vote in person. The polling center will also be open Election Day (Tuesday, June 26) from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Ballots for the primary election are being mailed this week and for the first time, will be sent to unaffiliated voters as well as voters registered as Republican and Democrat. Voters may vote and return only one of the ballots.
Bruce Mixter, Doug Speedie and Tammy Smith were elected to the Delta County Memorial Hospital board of directors during the special district election on May 8. A total of five candidates were on the ballot.
Dick Gilmore is declaring his candidacy for the District 1 county commissioner position. Gilmore is a Democrat. His campaign slogan is "The Sensible Choice."
Mike Mason, candidate for House District 61, is touting limited government, competition in education, lower taxes and fewer regulations in his quest for office.
Mason is one of three Delta County Republicans running for election in November.
Colorado voters approved Proposition 108 in 2016, which allows unaffiliated voters (sometimes referred to as "independent" voters) to now participate in Colorado primary elections.
This year, all active unaffiliated voters will receive the primary election ballots for both the Democratic and Republican parties in the mail.
Republican Olen Lund, a lifetime resident of the North Fork Valley and a former county commissioner, is challenging Democrat Kerry Donovan in Senate District 5.
Lund is one of three Delta County residents seeking state office in November. Matt Soper is a candidate in House District 54; Mike Mason is the GOP candidate for House District 61.
Ballots for the Delta County Memorial Hospital board election are due by 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 8.
Eight additional ballots were either "cured" or received prior to the April 13 deadline. Elections supervisor Rene Loy Maas says three votes were cast in the Delta municipal election, two in Orchard City and three in Paonia.
At the conclusion of his final meeting as a member of the Delta City Council, Bill Raley said it's time for the younger residents of the city to step into leadership roles. Those two young leaders are apparently city council candidates Nathan Clay and Kevin Carlson.
Delta County Memorial Hospital is hosting a meet-and-greet for hospital board candidates Monday, April 16. The public is invited to attend this event in the Grand Mesa Oncology Center from 5 to 6 p.m., prior to the regular board meeting.
On Tuesday, April 3, most municipalities in Delta County conducted elections. Delta, Orchard City, Hotchkiss, Paonia and Crawford voters selected new members of their town councils, as well as the fate of tax questions. Cedaredge cancels its town election because there were only enough candidates to fill its open board seats.
The following are unofficial results, as of 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 3:
Polling centers at the Delta County Courthouse in Delta and at the North Fork Annex, 196 W. Hotchkiss Avenue, Hotchkiss, will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day April 3. In addition, 24-hour drop boxes are available at both locations, as well as the Cedaredge Library at SW 6th Avenue in Cedaredge.
Marijuana has been a hot topic in Delta's municipal election, but during individual interviews, candidates have expressed their views on several other topics.
The City of Delta recently completed a parks, trails and open space master plan.
Crawford voters will decide if retail marijuana sales will be taxed, even though such activity is not currently allowed in town. The question was placed on the ballot by the town council.
This April, Paonia voters will decide on the fate of a ballot measure to increase the local sales taxes.
Referred Measure 2G calls for increasing town taxes from the current two percent to three percent, which would bring in "up to $150,000 annually" in the first fiscal year.
The two marijuana questions on the City of Delta's municipal ballot are creating confusion, as predicted by several council members.
Although it is not legal to sell retail marijuana or to conduct a commercial grow operation in city limits, the city is asking voters to approve taxation on both those possibilities.
Teresa Nelson, a 17-year resident of Delta County, has announced her candidacy for Delta County Commissioner, District 1. She is a Republican.
Elections for special districts throughout Delta County are scheduled for May 8. But only one -- Delta County Memorial Hospital -- has a sufficient number of candidates to trigger an election.
Four candidates -- all female -- are poised to fill the four vacant seats on the Hotchkiss Town Council. The top three vote-getters will serve four-year terms; the fourth position is a two-year term.
In addition to electing three members to the board of trustees, Orchard City voters will consider three different tax questions on this year's municipal election ballot.
All were referred to the ballot by the Orchard City Board of Trustees.
A candidate forum held March 1 provided an opportunity for voters to learn more about Delta City Council candidates Nathan Clay, Kevin Carlson and Jay Stooksberry.
The forum was hosted by the Delta Area Chamber of Commerce and moderated by Darnell Place-Wise, the chamber's executive director, and Pat Sunderland of the DCI.
Thomas Wills and Larry Wilkening are running for mayor of Hotchkiss, seeking to fill the seat that's being vacated by Wendell Koontz, who is term limited.
Since moving to Hotchkiss in 1990, Wills has been an active member of the community.
Crawford voters will be selecting four town council members and deciding one tax question involving marijuana sales tax in this year's municipal election. Ballots went out this week, and must be returned by Tuesday, April 3.
KVNF Public Radio will air individual interviews of the candidates for Paonia Town Council from 6-7 p.m. Friday, March 23, during the Wildcard Show.
Orchard City voters will be filling three seats on the board of trustees in this municipal election. The election will be conducted by mail. Ballots will be mailed by mid-March and must be returned by Tuesday, April 3.
Registered voters in Paonia will have 10 candidates to choose from in the April 3 town board election, and will be allowed to vote for no more than four candidates. The DCI has reached out to all 10 candidates to learn about what they see as the most important issues the town faces in the coming two to four years, and to learn a little bit about the candidates themselves.
Delta County Memorial Hospital is seeking nominations for three directors to serve four-year terms on the hospital board. A self-nomination form must be filed with attorney Aaron Clay, the designated election official,or the county clerk by Friday, March 2.
On Monday, a community forum on the "Effects of Marijuana on Our Community" drew a sparse crowd, but the topic of marijuana still figures largely in the upcoming municipal election.
The communities of Delta and Orchard City are both asking voters to consider taxation of retail marijuana and marijuana products, although the sale of marijuana is not legal in either community.
The Town of Cedaredge has cancelled the municipal election scheduled for April 3 and declared Raymond Hanson, Patricia Michael and Catherine Brown (a write-in candidate) elected to four-year terms.
That leaves one seat vacant on the town board.
The Town of Cedaredge board of trustees held a special meeting on Feb. 1 to pass an emergency ordinance to bring the town's municipal code "into conformity with amended deadlines contained in the Colorado Municipal Election Code of 1965." Interim town administrator Greg Brinck discovered the code discrepancy while reviewing what action to recommend to trustees regarding the upcoming April municipal election.
Mike Lane, a Delta County native, announces his candidacy for the District 1 seat on the Board of County Commissioners, representing the Republican Party.
He is seeking the seat currently held by Doug Atchley, who is term limited.
In Cedaredge, only incumbents Raymond Hanson and Patricia Michael returned nominating petitions for the municipal election. That will leave two seats vacant unless write-in candidates declare their interest prior to 4 p.m. Jan. 29.
Three candidates have declared interest in the two city council seats to be filled in the April election. Kevin Carlson and Jay Stooksberry are seeking the at-large seat currently held by Ed Sisson, who is term limited.
According to town clerks, all three North Fork towns received a sufficient number of petitions to participate in the April 3 municipal election.
The Town of Hotchkiss received two petitions for mayor and four petitions for trustee.
As of Tuesday morning, the number of municipal election petitions taken out by citizens is enough to cover the number of vacancies being created by term expirations, but in Crawford and Paonia, the number of petitions returned falls far short of the expiring terms.
Crawford town clerk Cally Gallegos reports that, as of Tuesday morning, eight petitions have been picked up at Town Hall.
State Representative Yeulin Willett announced he will not seek re-election to House District 54, but will serve out his term, ending in January 2019. Concurrently, Matt Soper announced his candidacy to run
The first meeting of 2018 of the Orchard City Board of Trustees was held on Jan. 3. All trustees, town administrator Melissa Oelke and town attorney Jeff Hurd were present.
With four seats up for election on the Crawford town council, candidates have begun circulating petitions to be placed on the ballot. According to town clerk Cally Gallegos, as of Tuesday, Jan. 9, eight petitions have been picked up.
If wanting to serve your community is on your list of accomplishments for the new year, there are many opportunities to do so. In the North Fork area, voters will elect 12 trustees and one mayor to serve on municipal boards in the April 3 general election.
Voters in Orchard City will elect three trustees in the municipal election to be held Tuesday, April 3. The election will be conducted by mail.
Four of the six seats on the Cedaredge Board of Trustees will be filled in the April election. The terms of Al Smith, Patti Michael and Ray Hanson are ending; the fourth is currently vacant.
At the municipal election scheduled for April 3, Delta voters will fill two council seats and be asked to consider taxation on the sale of marijuana, even though sales are currently prohibited.
A petition is being circulated that asks Delta City Council to reconsider a 2013 ordinance prohibiting retail marijuana stores, marijuana cultivation facilities, retail marijuana products manufacturing and marijuana testing facilities within the City of Delta.
The only voters in Delta County casting ballots in today's election were residents of the Delta County Ambulance District and the Town of Crawford. Both districts were seeking increases in their mill levy.
Election Day is Nov. 7. Ballots have been mailed to electors residing in the Town of Crawford and within the boundaries of the Delta County Ambulance District. Ballots can be returned by mail, or as Election Day approaches, at the county courthouse, North Fork Annex in Hotchkiss or Crawford Town Hall.
Rene Loy Maas, elections supervisor for Delta County, reports that 26 percent of the ballots of the 13,728 ballots mailed to voters in the Delta County Ambulance District has been received. In Crawford, 30 percent of the 285 ballots have been returned.
Delta County Joint School District #50 will save an estimated $14,000 by cancelling the school board election scheduled for November.
Three school board seats were to be filled, but just three candidates filed petitions for those seats.
The Town of Crawford and the Delta County Ambulance District will again ask voters to approve a mill levy increase after seeing those measures narrowly defeated in the 2016 general election.
Those two issues will be the only local questions on the November 2017 ballot.
Just three candidates have expressed interest in the three school board seats to be filled in the November election. Unless another candidate steps forward between now and the deadline of Sept. 1, the election may be cancelled.
Delta County treasurer Lisa Tafoya said she is planning to make an official announcement of her bid for re-election at the Delta County Republican Party Central Committee meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 5.
The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Surface Creek Baptist Church located at the intersection of 2200 Road and Highway 92 at Austin.
Delta County Elections Department has replaced its aging voting equipment with the new Colorado uniformed voting system Dominion.
Delta County's voting system, like most of Colorado's, was over 10 years old and was near the end of its useful life.
The Delta County elections department reports a very problem-free election cycle concerning issues with voter fraud.
Rene Loy, chief deputy for elections in the county clerk's office, told the DCI,
On Monday, Colorado cast its nine Electoral College votes for Democrat Hillary Clinton, ending days of drama that included four court hearings, two appeals and the replacement of one faithless elector.
"Nearly three million Coloradans -- more Coloradans than ever before in state history -- cast their ballots this fall.
Voters in the Delta County Ambulance District voted down a proposed mill levy increase DCAD officials said is critical to maintaining coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
The final tally was 5,388 for; 6,163 against, a difference of 775 votes.
It was nearly midnight before election officials in Delta County finished tallying ballots cast in the Nov. 8 election.
Voter turnout started out strong and ended even stronger, with 143 residents registering to vote on Election Day.
Just before midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 8, the final tally for the ballots cast in this year's election reached 17,490 in Delta County, 79% of registered voters. With this remarkable turnout, voters selected Don Suppes and Mark Roeber to serve as county commissioners in local races, and turned down tax increases in Crawford and for the Delta County Ambulance District.
Nationally, Donald Trump was elected president over Hillary Clinton. Colorado went to Clinton and re-elected Sen. Michael Bennett. Republican Scott Tipton won re-election as U.S. Representative from the 3rd Distrct over challenger Gail Schwartz.
The voting is over and the counting has begun across the country as the focus is on electing a new president. Early returns show Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton locked in a very close contest and it will be long into the night before the outcome will be known.
Closer to home, as of 8 p.m., the Delta County races are fairly well settled but the votes from satellite polling sites have not been tallied. The voter turnout countywide has been very strong, with 62.5 percent casting ballots so far.
Voters may notice their ballots look a little different this year -- a light green removable stub has been added. Stubs are used mainly to ensure that voters receive the correct ballot, and do not need to be returned.
The Libertarian Party of Delta County, as an affiliate group of the Libertarian Party of Colorado and the national organization, is presenting the following stances and endorsements of the various ballot measures that Coloradans will vote on this year.
Ballots for the November election were mailed Monday, the Delta County clerk and recorder's office reports. Ballots can be returned by mail or placed in the 24-hour drop box at the North Fork Annex in Hotchkiss or in front of the Delta County Courthouse in Delta.
Three candidates are hoping to bring an end to the Republican-dominated Delta County Board of County Commissioners. Two are Democrats who call themselves men of ideas; the third is an independent candidate who says he's frustrated by the "status quo."
Millie Hamner and Robert Schutt faced off last Tuesday in a candidate forum hosted by the League of Women Voters and the Surface Creek Republican Women.
Hamner currently serves as state representative in District 61 -- the eastern portion of Delta County. Robert Schutt is the Republican challenger.
The Delta County Libertarian Party held its first ever town hall meet and greet Saturday at CB's Tavern in Delta.
Featured events at the occasion were a live presentation via Skype by Lily Tang-Williams, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, and a discussion of party positions and issues led by Liam Harrell of Grand Junction, deputy director to the Colorado campaign of Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.
The Delta County Ambulance District has steadily been depleting its reserves, even though run volume is increasing. Kirby Clock, ambulance district manager, says the reason is straightforward: Delta County has an increasing number of patients who are on Medicare and Medicaid, which pays a fixed amount for services.
Delta County commissioner candidate Jere Lowe is getting a little tired of having to replace his campaign signs. Lowe, a Democrat, is a first-time candidate for the District 3 seat on the Delta County Board of County Commissioners. He is running against incumbent Republican candidate Mark Roeber.
Marking the 50th anniversary of Colorado's merit selection for judges, judicial performance evaluations of 108 Colorado appellate and trial court judges standing for retention in the 2016 general election are available online at www.ojpe.org.
Economic development, the health of rural hospitals and relationships with public lands partners highlighted a conversation with Gail Schwartz, Democratic candidate for the 3rd Congressional District.
Community and business leaders were invited to share their thoughts with Schwartz at a meeting hosted by the Delta Area Chamber of Commerce.
Coloradans in November could be deciding whether to allow local governments to ban oil-and-gas development, triple the taxes on a pack of cigarettes and require county clerks to send unaffiliated voters ballots for Republican and Democratic candidates during the primary election.
Mark Eckhart, independent candidate for Delta County commissioner district #2 has successfully petitioned onto the Nov. 8 ballot with a total of 326 valid signatures. The minimum requirement of 238 signatures was exceeded and the campaign will now move forward.
Aug. 8 is the deadline for backers of proposed ballot initiatives to turn in petition signatures to try to get on the November ballot.
To get on the ballot, proponents need to submit 98,492 valid voter signatures -- 5 percent of the total votes cast for all candidates for Colorado secretary of state in the last general election.
In Delta County, voter turnout topped just 34 percent for the June 28 primary election. In the only local contest, Republican commissioner candidate Mark Roeber edged out Roger Bentley 1,809 to 1,627.
Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) announced the results of the 2016 board of directors election at the annual meeting of members June 16. A total of 5,026 votes were cast.
The Colorado secretary of state says votes are "trickling" in for the June 28 primary, with turnout for Democrats reported at 14.76 percent, and turnout for Republicans reported at 15.24 percent.
Ballots for the June 28 primary election have been mailed to registered Democrat and Republican voters in Delta County. Unaffiliated voters may participate by affiliating with one of the major parties any time prior to Election Day.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams is advising all voters who want to participate in the June 28 primary election to check their voter registration status and to be aware of certain deadlines.
"We want to make sure that everyone who wants to vote in the primary election is able to do so," Williams said.
The demise of two presidential primary bills late in the 2016 session didn't signal the end but the beginning of a statewide debate about the future look of Colorado elections, according to a group of Senate Republicans who have formed a working group to keep the dialogue going between sessions.
The Colorado Elections Study Group already has announced its first meeting, to be held Saturday, June 11, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the capitol's old Supreme Court chambers.
Jean Ceriani and David Lane have been elected to four-year terms on the board of directors of Delta County Memorial Hospital. Tallies for the May 3 election were: Jean Ceriani, 2,691 votes; Curtis McCrackin, 1,903 votes; and David Lane, 2,739 votes.
All through his first term as Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) director Olen Lund has used his experience, knowledge and contacts to further develop hydro, micro-hydro, coal bed methane, solar and other local natural resources for local electricity generation within our service area.
Olen and his wife, Debbie have been married for 29 years and have three children who graduated from Paonia High School (as did Olen in 1978).
Six candidates will compete for a seat on Delta-Montrose Electric Association's (DMEA) nine-member board this spring. The District 3, District 4, and the South Region positions are up for election. The official candidates are as follows:
Delta County businessman Mark Eckhart last week officially announced his run as an unaffiliated candidate for Delta County Commissioner, District 2.
Eckhart was elected to the DMEA board of directors in 2014, after a previous stint on the board. He is the owner of Long Haul Folding Kayaks located on Ward Creek Road west of Cedaredge.
It's official. Wanda Gofforth won the mayoral race over Gill Saunders by a single vote. "It was a little close," said Gofforth, who claimed a 69-68 win.
Ken Volgamore has been elected to a four-year term as Orchard City mayor in the April 5 municipal elections.
Volgamore has served half of a four-year term as trustee he was elected to in 2014.
In an extremely close race for Cedaredge mayor in the April 5 municipal elections, former two-term trustee Gene Welch outpaced term-limited trustee Ray Hanson by a slim margin of 18 votes out of 530 cast to win a four-year term as mayor.
Welch got 274 votes or 51.7 percent to Hanson's 256 votes or 48.3 percent, according to unofficial results from the county elections department.
Two municipal elections in the North Fork area remain undecided while Delta County election officials await signature verifications on a handful of ballots.
As of Tuesday, some signature cures had been received, but final results were still in limbo, said Delta County election supervisor Rene Loy-Maas.
Even though the Town of Orchard City at present has no plans nor expressed interest for entering the telecommunications business, the town's voters have given their government permission to do so virtually without restriction so long as any such venture in the future is done "without charge to members of the public."
The city council race in Delta failed to generate much interest among voters. Of the city's 5,323 registered voters, 1,046 returned ballots -- a turnout of 19.65 percent that fell well below other municipalities in Delta County.
Businessman Bob Michael, who has served on the town planning commission as both a member and as chair, won his first four-year term on the Cedaredge Town Board in the April 5 election.
Cedaredge trustee Dayton Myers has won a second four-year term.
Incumbent town trustee Craig Fuller was the high vote getter among the four candidates for Orchard City Town Board, getting 592 votes out of a total 2,056 cast for trustee candidates in the April 5 municipal election, according to unofficial election results.
Tuesday, May 3, is Election Day for special districts of all types, but in Delta County only the hospital has more candidates than seats to be filled on its board of directors. Elections for the North Fork Pool, Park and Recreation District, the county's five fire districts and its two mosquito control districts have been cancelled.
Assuming there were no ties or needed recounts, election results are in and each of the three North Fork municipal governments will swear in their newly elected leaders at their next regularly scheduled meeting.
Crawford will hold a swearing-in ceremony for four new trustees and a new mayor tonight at 7 p.m. at Crawford Town Hall.
The ballots have been tallied, and the following are the results of the voting in each of the county's municipalities, according to the Delta County Clerks Office:
Hotchkiss voters turned down ballot measures that would have authorized retail or medical marijuana facilities in the community. The medical marijuana measure was rejected with 156 against and 133 in favor; the retail marijuana measure was defeated with 161 against and 129 in favor. A third measure, adding a 2 percent sales tax to marijuana sales, was a moot issue since neither measure authorizing sales was passed.
Cedaredge area businessman Mark Eckhart has filed the necessary paperwork with the Colorado secretary of state's office and is listed as an unaffiliated candidate for county commissioner in the Delta County District 2 race.
The board of education of Delta County Joint School District #50 is urging Hotchkiss voters to say no to the three marijuana questions on the municipal ballot.
"The board of education desires to make its position on the matter clear," states a resolution adopted unanimously March 17.
If you waited until the last minute to mail your election ballot, there's still hope. In the North Fork area there are two locations where ballots may be dropped off by no later than 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 5.
Missives mailed to voters by two political adversaries and Paonia town board candidates have left many voters wondering what information is true and what isn't, and have further divided the two candidates, who have sparred for several months.
It began when trustee candidate Bill Brunner sent a political mailing to registered voters, criticizing the board and town management on five points:
At a forum last week in Hotchkiss that was open to all candidates, four Republicans seeking their party's nomination to run in the November general election responded to questions from the public.
Participating in the forum hosted by the Delta County Republican Women were District 2 candidates Nancy Hovde and Don Suppes, and District 3 candidates, incumbent Mark Roeber and Roger Bentley.
The Delta County Republican Party Assembly on Saturday set the stage for a primary election in the District 3 county commissioner race.
Also, there is now a Democrat, Jere Lowe of Paonia, in the District 3 race.
Candidates for Delta County commissioner attending the open forum in Hotchkiss last week found themselves in broad agreement on several issues raised by the audience.
For example, responding to a question on concealed carry and the Second Amendment, all the candidates said they would oppose any attempts to curtail Second Amendment rights.
Despite its nine trustee candidates and one mayoral candidate, the March 10 Paonia candidate forum ran smoothly and provided the public with candidates' views on a variety of topics.
Moderated by Gretchen Nicholoff with the Delta County League of Women Voters, candidates responded to questions ranging from the need for a town manager to support of the arts, budgets, and the future of the North Fork Airport.
In a question and answer session moderated by outgoing mayor Carolyn "Susie" Steckel, years of tension between the sitting council and two of the candidates present was dredged to the surface at the March 9 Crawford candidate forum.
Steckel and candidates Jay Ziegler and Carl Page have a history of inhospitable discourse over events that have been reported by local media in recent years.
At the March 11 Hotchkiss forum, council candidates fielded questions ranging from how to attract business in a time of declining revenues to whether they support creating infrastructure for bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Marijuana, streets and sidewalks, affordable housing and how to bring new revenues to town were among the top issues.
Orchard City's new town board will not take up its official position until a special meeting scheduled for April 20.
According to Town Administrator Melissa Oelke, there is a 10-day gap between the April 5 election and the April 15 official determination (canvass) of the election results.
The Paonia Chamber of Commerce is hosting a municipal election forum at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 10, at Paonia Town Hall, 214 Grand Avenue. The forum will consist of an hour-long, moderator-led question and answer session.
The mayoral contest in Orchard City for this year's municipal election has incumbent trustee Ken Volgamore going up against former trustee Jan Gage.
Gage is a former trustee who also served as mayor pro-tem.
The contest for mayor in Cedaredge, like the mayor's race in Orchard City, finds an incumbent trustee running against a former trustee for the position. Both candidates have extensive town board experience and are well-known and well-liked by townspeople.
There will be three new faces on the Delta City Council after this year's municipal election wraps up April 5. Current council members Mary Cooper and Robert Jurca are term-limited; Ray Penick has declined to seek re-election.
Six Hotchkiss residents, including two incumbents, are vying for four seats, three for four-year terms and a fourth for a two-year term, on Hotchkiss Town Council. In the order they will appear on the ballot, candidates are Ralph Sandmann II, Mary Hockenbery, Patrick Webb, Larry Jakubiak, John Marta and James Roberts.
Precinct caucuses will be held Tuesday, March 1, at 7 p.m. Participation is open to registered voters who have been a resident of the precinct for 30 days, and who have been affiliated with the party holding the caucus at least two months before the caucus.
Alex Beinstein doesn't have the financial resources of U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, so he's counting on face-to-face contact with Republicans, media and citizens in the 3rd Congressional District. It's his hope to garner enough delegate votes to force a primary race in his effort to unseat Tipton.
Delta County Republican Women will hold a forum for county commissioner candidates from District #2 and #3 Tuesday, March 15, at Memorial Hall in Hotchkiss.
Crawford voters have six candidates from whom to choose to fill the two seats open on their town council in this year's election. The following are brief profiles of the council candidates.
Crawford is looking to fill two council seats for four-year terms and elect a new mayor in the April 5 municipal election. For those wanting to know more about the candidates and where they stand on specific issues, a candidate forum will be held beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, in the Town Hall Community Room.
Precinct caucuses will be held Tuesday, March 1, at 7 p.m. Locations for both the Republican and Democratic parties can be found below. A map of precinct boundaries is located at www.deltacounty.com.
Four KVNF volunteer DJs were recently put on hiatus through the end of the municipal election cycle due to a Federal Communications Rule law.
The regulation, titled "Facilities for candidates for public office," states, in part, that if a licensee permits a legally qualified candidate for public office an appearance on the station, equal opportunities shall be afforded to all other candidates for that office, provided "that such licensee shall have no power of censorship over the material broadcast..."
Two candidates for District 3 county commissioner announced their intentions at the monthly meeting of the Delta County Republican Party Central Committee on Feb. 2.
Incumbent Mark Roeber, a rancher and businessman, will seek re-election to a second term.
District 3 County Commissioner Mark Roeber has told the DCI he is filing the required paperwork and announcing his intention to run for a second term as county commissioner.
There will be mayoral races in both Cedaredge and Orchard City in the April 5 municipal elections.
At the Jan. 25 deadline, in Cedaredge there are two candidates.
All three North Fork municipalities received enough petitions for councils and board of trustees to hold elections in April.
In Hotchkiss, council seats currently held by Larry Jakubiak, Dustyn Foster, James Roberts and mayor pro tem Carrie Wingfield are up for election.
As of the weekend, Orchard City reported eight people running for its five open positions for elective office in the April 5 municipal election, and Cedaredge had reported four people circulating nominating petitions for the five open seats there.
Cedaredge Town Clerk Patricia Luna advises citizens that the Cedaredge regular municipal election will be on April 5. The mayor's seat and three trustees' seats are open this election.
At the monthly meeting of the Republican Central Committee, Nancy Hovde announced she is a candidate for Delta County Commissioner in District 2. The seat is currently held by her husband Bruce, who is term-limited.
Delta City Council member Ray Penick said this week he will not be seeking another term in office, bringing to three the number of vacant seats to be filled in the upcoming municipal election.
The other two seats are held by Mary Cooper and Robert Jurca, both of whom are term limited.
Citizens in Hotchkiss and Paonia could see cannabis back on the ballot in 2016.
In Hotchkiss, Mary Hockenbery is spearheading a petition to place a question on the ballot that would allow "limited retail recreational/medical marijuana" sales and manufacturing within town limits.
In April's municipal election at Orchard City, there will be four trustee seats up for election -- three with four-year terms and one with a two-year term -- along with the mayoral seat.
Orchard City town clerk Melissa Oelke announced at the trustees' Dec. 9 meeting that candidate petition packets for the upcoming April elections will be available right after the first of the year.
Citizens interested in running for election in 2016 take note: Changes have been made in the timeline for submitting petitions.
Petitions for individuals seeking a seat on the Paonia board of trustees or Hotchkiss and Crawford councils can be picked up at respective town offices on Jan. 5, and must be completed and submitted to the respective town hall no later than Jan. 25.
There's a new twist on municipal elections in 2016. To allow enough time for ballots to be delivered to voters overseas, the timeline for ballot preparation has been moved up.
Orchard City's two-term mayor, Don Suppes, has announced as a candidate for District 2 county commissioner.
Suppes served as an Orchard City town trustee two and a half years before winning election as the town's mayor in 2008. His current term as mayor will end in April next year. The upcoming election for commissioner will be held Nov. 1, 2016.
Cedaredge voters casting ballots in the Nov. 3 election expressed strong hope for improved Internet service, but little desire for higher taxes.
The county elections department reported there were 671 votes cast on the town's healthy living lifestyles tax proposal.
Jill Jurca and Pete Blair will be sworn in as school board members at the board's Nov. 19 meeting. In the Nov. 3 election, Jurca earned 62 percent of the votes in a contest with Genevieve Novinger.
As election time rolls around there is a reminder about the importance of voting. Delta High School senior Cidney Fisk stresses this importance, especially in the youth.
Turnout was fair, with 38.5% voting in this off-year election where Delta County voters has only one race -- for the school board -- and a question related to municipalities participating in a high-speed Internet project.
Jill Jurca won the race for Delta County School board for District Two over Genevieve Novinger. Jurca tallied nearly 62 percent (3,972) of the vote while Novinger received 38 percent (2,454).
Delta County election officials advise voters it's getting late to return your ballots by mail. To ensure your votes count, drop off your ballots at either the Delta County Courthouse at 501 Palmer Street in Delta or the North Fork Annex at 196 W. Hotchkiss Avenue in Hotchkiss.
Cedaredge voters are facing a tax increase question on the November ballot that was mailed last week.
If they approve it, the proposed Healthy Living lifestyles tax would increase sales and use taxes from 2 percent to 2.5 percent, a 25 percent increase in the sales and use tax on things that everyone from retirees to working families use every day including vehicles, building materials and food.
The North Fork Water Conservancy District is asking voters to approve a change in the use of the district's mill levy to allow it to access state funds for needed repair and maintenance projects, and to leverage grants.
Ballot question 4A of the Nov. 3 coordinated election seeks to "de-bruce" funding restrictions created by the state's Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR).
I would like to endorse Jill Jurca for the open seat in District 2 to serve on the school board in Delta. Jill is a graduate of Delta High School and is currently involved with DHS as the mother of two very smart young ladies.
The board of directors of the Fire Mountain Canal and Reservoir Company urge voters in the North Fork Conservancy District to vote "yes" on Ballot Question 4A. We believe the proposal to allow the conservancy district to accept grant money and manage tax revenues more productively, with no increase in tax assessments, will be beneficial to the entire geographic area.
County election officials report that ballots should begin arriving in voters' mailboxes this week. In the coordinated election, two school board seats will be filled (see related story) and there is one statewide measure: Proposition BB, which asks voters to decide if around $66 million in excess marijuana revenue should go back to taxpayers, or should be used for projects such as school construction.
The League of Women Voters reminds us that voter registration is the key to ensuring that all Americans can engage in our political process. Don't forget, if you have moved or changed your name since the last time you registered to vote, you will likely need to update your voter registration information at www.govotecolorado.com.
Residents of the North Fork Water Conservancy District will have a ballot question to consider in this fall's election. To help understand the issue, the district issued the following:
There is just one contested race on the ballot this year, to determine who will fill the Director District 2 school board seat being vacated by Kathy Svenson.
All registered voters within the school district can cast ballots in this race, even though the director district is centered in the City of Delta.
The county elections department conducted a public test of voting equipment last week to help ensure voters that their votes are being counted completely and correctly.
Although the upcoming coordinated election will be conducted via mail ballot, there are still voting booth terminals and other electronic ballot counting equipment that must be tested and certified in proper working order before any voting takes place.
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