Myriad of small boards seeking candidates for spring elections

Applications due February 29

Civic duty is calling. Various special districts throughout the Gunnison Valley are gearing up for board elections to be held in May and are looking for a few good candidates.




Potential candidates for the boards have until Friday, February 29 to file a self-nomination and acceptance form with the individual districts. Candidates must be electors within the districts.
The Mt. Crested Butte Water and Sanitation District board has three seats available. The board is responsible for overseeing water and sewer services in Mt. Crested Butte and in the Washington Gulch area.
Current board members Bill Cavanaugh, Chuck McGinnis and David Eleeson have all indicated they plan to run again in the upcoming election, according to office manager Nettie Gruber.
For the Skyland Metropolitan District and the East River Regional Sanitation District—two entities that share a board of directors—incumbents Dan Murphy, Woody Sherwood and Gary Garland are up for re-election. Sherwood is seeking re-election, while Murphy and Garland are still undecided, according to manager Frank Alfone. The districts are responsible for water and sewer services, roads, upkeep of open space, infrastructure installation and upkeep in the Skyland area located south of Crested Butte.
In the Crested Butte South Metropolitan District, manager Jack Dietrich says incumbents Bill Crittendon, Carl Jones and Jeff Hanggi are all running again for the three available seats on the district’s board of directors. The district is responsible for water and sewer services in the Crested Butte South development.
Dietrich notes the three candidates are all eligible, since Crested Butte South residents voted in May 2002 to eliminate term limits for the district’s board.
At the Crested Butte Fire Protection District, three seats are up in the election. The fire district oversees the implementation of fire safety and emergency medical services north of Round Mountain.
The seats on its board are currently held by Kent Cowherd, Hank Smith, and Paul Hird. Cowherd has indicated to the district he does not plan to run again, according to district manager Mike Miller. Miller says Hird has submitted a self-nomination form, as has Crested Butte resident Sean Riley. Smith has not indicated either way if he will join the race, Miller adds. Riley is a long-time member of the EMS program and area paramedic.
Miller says there is still plenty of time to turn in applications for the essential public board. “Emergency services are a key component of any community,” Miller says. “A lot of the time special district boards are a good way to get into political life and get a sense of what it’s like to serve on a public board.”
As for the Met Rec board, all five board seats are up for election. The Met Rec maintains the television and FM radio translator system, which provides service to residents using an antenna. The District also provides grants for recreation and arts programming.
Board member Steve Bathje is term-limited and cannot run again, while board member Rogene McKiernan has indicated she plans to run again. The other three board members have not yet indicated their intent to run, according to business director Lori Patin. No other applications have been received at this time.
In all of the districts, which are bound to state law, elections do not take place if there are not enough candidates to fill the available seats or if there are just enough candidates to fill the slots. Without enough candidates, boards of directors can be appointed. If races do exist, the elections will be held on Tuesday, May 6. If no races exist and no one files an affidavit stating the intent to run as a write-in candidate, election officials can cancel the elections.
The process of the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association, which is accepting nominations to fill three seats on the organization’s board of directors, is slightly different from other special districts. The seats to be filled include those sectors specifically designated for representatives from a nonprofit organization south of Round Mountain, a restaurant south of Round Mountain, and a lodging company in Mt. Crested Butte.
Nomination forms will be emailed to all members of the Gunnison Country Chamber of Commerce and Crested Butte-Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce on February 15. Nominations must be submitted by February 28. The person being nominated and the person submitting the nomination both must be Chamber members in good standing.
After the nominations are tallied, the Tourism Association’s Election Committee will develop a ballot, which will be emailed to Chamber members on March 14. Chamber members without email will receive a ballot in the mail. Voting closes on March 27 at 5 p.m.
Wanda Bearth and Sarah Sanders are planning to run again, according to election committee chair Stephen Pierotti. Glo Cunningham, who holds the nonprofit organization seat, is term-limited and cannot run again. If you don’t have email and want to nominate or vote, contact Pierotti at (970) 641-7992.
For information for any of the elections, contact the respective districts. 

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