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. Completed nominating petitions will need to be returned before the end of January, a shorter deadline than in past years due to changes in state election laws.
An official announcement of dates for picking up and returning petitions will be issued by town hall.
It has been a two-year process of town board resignations, appointments, and a cancelled election that has led to Orchard City having four trustees serving terms the public has not cast a vote for.
Even so, three of those trustees stood for election last April -- an election that was cancelled because there were three candidates seeking three open town board seats.
And since that April 2014 cancelled election, another trustee resignation took place. One person expressed interest in that opening and was appointed by the board.
The situation will lead to a possibly interesting election season at the upcoming municipal election in April. At that time, not only will the mayor's seat be open as Don Suppes will be term limited, but four trustee seats will also be up for the citizens' choice -- a total five of seven seats up for grabs.
The current composition of the town board has come about as follows:
In the 2010 election, trustees Jan Gage, Gale Doudy and Jerry Brunemeier were elected.
Two years later at the 2012 trustee election, Suppes, Boyd and Thomas were re-elected to four-year terms, and Craig Fuller was elected to a four-year term. Matt Soper was elected to a two-year term to fill Jerry Brunemeir's resignation. Soper served only a short time before a life situation forced his resignation and he was replaced by Ken Volgamore's appointment.
The cancelled 2014 municipal election brought Volgamore, Bob Eckels, and Jan Gage into terms that were uncontested by any other candidates. Marsha Thomas, then in the second year of her second four-year term, resigned for health reasons and was replaced by Beverly Moore.
Jan Gage's resignation created another opening to which Toni Chatto has been appointed. So in 2016, as things stand now, there will be four trustee seats open as well as the mayor's seat.
Suppes and Boyd will be term limited in 2016. Fuller's four-year term will be up, and Moore and Chatto's seats will be up for election also.
Volgamore and Eckels serve terms which will continue through 2018. Should either of them resign due to being elected mayor or for some other reason, another appointment will be made to fill the final two years of the term.
During a preliminary hearing in Delta District Court on Tuesday, Jan. 15, Judge Steven Schultz found probable cause for second degree murder charges against Heather Jones.
Jones previously faced three counts in the shooting of Ryan Redifer in Paonia on Jan. 12, 2018 -- assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree and violation of a protection order.