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.
In Hotchkiss, terms for trustees Lindee Cantrell, Tom Wills, Mary Hockenbery and Pat Medina will expire in April. In addition, the four-year term of Mayor Wendell Koontz also ends in April. Koontz has served as mayor of Hotchkiss since 2010.
In Paonia, the terms for four trustees, including mayor pro tempore David Bradford, will expire. Seats held by trustees Suzanne Watson, Chelsea Bookout and Berry Pennell are also ending. Paonia voters will also decide on a proposed one-percent sales tax increase.
In Crawford, trustee seats held by Jeff Peed, Chriss Watters, Chris Johnson and mayor pro tempore Mike Tiedeman are ending. Chriss Watters announced at the December council meeting he did not intend to seek reelection. Crawford voters may also be asked to consider a ballot question regarding marijuana sales. In December the town council was informed of an effort to bring this issue to the ballot by citizen petition. Crawford's regular January meeting is scheduled for tonight (Jan. 3) at 7 p.m.
Elections can't be held without qualified candidates. Candidates must have lived within their respective town limits for at least 12 months preceding the election date, and be registered to vote. Election petitions will be available at town halls beginning Jan. 3, and must be completed and returned by Jan. 22. All petition signers must be registered to vote within the respective municipality.
Paonia town clerk Corinne Ferguson recommends that candidates return petitions earlier than the Jan. 22 deadline, and obtain more than the required number of signatures. Ferguson explains that signatures can't be verified or their information doesn't match the public record, there may not be enough time to remedy objections before the deadline to submit ballot content to Delta County.
For those who want to serve at another capacity, Delta County recently posted its list of openings on all area boards and commissions. Appointments are made by the Board of County Commissioners each January 31.
In the North Fork area, the county is seeking the following:
Delta County Housing Authority, a two-year term representing the Town of Paonia;
Youth Shooting Sports Advisory Committee, a three-year term representing the North Fork area;
Crawford Area Planning Committee, a three-year term to review planning proposals and provide recommendations to the Delta County Planning Commission;
Upper North Fork Area Planning Committee, a two-year term to review planning proposals in the area and make recommendations to the Delta County Planning Commission;
Delta County Airport Advisory Board, three, three-year terms for users of the Blake Field Airport, North Fork Airport, and one at-large capacity position;
The Hotchkiss, Crawford and Paonia cemetery boards all have one opening for a representative to serve a six-year term;
Community Services Block Grant Advisory Committee, two-year terms for one private-sector, one at-large private sector, and one at-large/low-income individual representative to review the county's annual Community Services Block Grant application, mid-year and year-end reports; and
One four-year position on the Western Regional Emergency Medical & Trauma Advisory Council.
Letters of interest should be submitted to the Board of County Commissioners on or before Jan. 12. Mail letters to 501 Palmer Street, Suite 227, Delta, 81416, Attention: Robbie LeValley; or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please specify which board or commission you are interested in and your qualifications, if required. Visit Deltacounty.com for more information.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.