UGRWCD board seeking fresh new faces to lead into future

Deadline for applicants this Friday

The Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District board elections are coming up next month, and there are three members whose terms are expiring: Bob Drexel, Diane Lothamer, and Ken Spann. Spann has informed the board of his intent to re-apply for his seat, but according to UGRWCD manager Frank Kugel, as of last week no other interested applicants have come forward. Drexel and Lothamer are retiring from the board.



UGRWCD board members are appointed by Colorado Division 4 Water Court judge Steven Patrick and serve four-year terms. Board appointments will be made during the annual UGRWCD meeting on June 23, but the deadline for applicants is this Friday, May 23. Applicants for Drexel’s and Lothamer’s seats must reside in the city of Gunnison, and applicants for Spann’s seat must reside in the Taylor River Basin
The UGRWCD is a local water conservation group dedicated to developing local conservation and storage projects, and is an advocate for recreational water uses, water quality and flood control.
Spann is a longtime rancher who represents UGRWCD Division 4, the Taylor River Basin. According to the UGRWCD, Spann is a member of the Colorado Bar, and is involved with the Gunnison County Stockgrowers Association and several other water-related committees, such as the Gunnison Basin Roundtable Committee. Spann has served on the UGRWCD board since 2001.
Drexel has served on the board since 1996. According to the district, Drexel is a retired school teacher and former Gunnison water commissioner. Drexel was board president between 2003 and 2007.
Lothamer has served on the board for 14 years. A local public accountant in Gunnison, Lothamer has also been serving as the board’s treasurer. Both Lothamer and Drexel represent UGRWCD Division 8, the city of Gunnison.
During the meeting Drexel and Lothamer thanked the board and praised the hard work of other board members and the UGRWCD staff. Drexel said, “I really appreciate you allowing me to serve with you. I think this is an excellent board… You’ve come together with a broad range of interests and knowledge, you work well together and you’ve shown that by doing good things for our constituents.”
Board member Dennis Steckel thanked the retiring board members for their hard work. He attributed many of board’s qualities to Drexel’s time as president.
UGRWCD manager Frank Kugel said, as of last week, he had not heard of any applicants sending in letters of interest for a board position.
Lastly, UGRWCD attorney John McClow informed the retiring board members that, according to a UGRWCD bylaw he had just re-checked, board members cannot vacate their seat until a successor is appointed. Drexel laughed, and said he had never heard of that bylaw.
Letters of interest should be sent to The Honorable Steven J. Patrick, Water Judge, Montrose County Justice Center, 1200 N. Grand Ave., B in A, Montrose, CO 81401. For more information, call the UGRWCD in Gunnison at 641-6065.

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