Bush takes Hagins' spot on board

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Newcomer Richard Bush will replace incumbent Richard "Festus" Hagins on the Hayden Town Board.

Of the four trustee candidates seeking three seats on the board, Bush received the most votes in Tuesday's municipal election. Of the 142 votes cast in the election, Bush received 117, election judge Beth Sundberg said.

Also elected to the Town Board were incumbents Lorraine Johnson with 98 votes and Ken Gibbon with 91 votes. Incumbent Richard "Festus" Hagins received 68 votes, not enough to return to the board, Sundberg said.

Mayor Chuck Grobe, who ran uncontested for his third consecutive term, received 119 votes, Sundberg said.

Bush, who ran mostly on his personal stance of wanting to be more involved with town issues, said he was surprised with outcome.

"The most surprising thing was being the new person and getting the most votes," Bush said. "It was interesting. You never know what people will think or do."

Bush said some people mentioned to him that "they wanted new blood" on the board.

"That doesn't give me much credit, but I'll take it anyway," he said with a laugh. "This will give me a chance to learn more about (town government)."

Gibbon said he thought Bush received so much support because of his work to start a soccer program in town and his recent completion of a cross-country ski trail.

"He built a name for himself that way," Gibbon said. "But it's too bad to see Festus out. He has always put in 110 percent, and his heart is really in the town."

Hagins, who has been a trustee for two terms and mayor for one term, said he had no hard feelings about the loss.

"I am retied now," he said. "I came into this saying if citizens wanted me on, then they should voice their opinions and vote for me. But my time there is over. I wish the best of luck to everybody as they move forward.

"My son will probably be happiest of all, because I will get to spend more time there. Now I can work in the garden and play a lot of golf. I plan on taking it easy and coaching baseball. I also plan to keep track of what's going on, but I'm going to take a break."

Johnson, who received the second most votes for a trustee candidate, said she believed she had the town's backing, particularly from fellow business owners.

"I based my decision on running again from people in the commercial district asking me to stay on board," Johnson said. "Some business owners said, 'You have to run to keep the commercial representation.' But I feel, as an individual board member, that I represent the town as a whole, not just a select few. I would like to thank public for having faith in me and reelecting me to the board."

Gibbon said he was curious about the outcome, particularly because of his firm stance on annexation and growth in town. In a previous interview, he said this election would be a referendum on how Hayden will be developed, and if residents do not want to annex new ground now, to vote for him.

"Woo hoo!" Gibbon said. "I challenged the voters to vote for me on smart managed growth, and that's what this victory was for. This is monumental for Hayden on how we proceed from here."

At the end of this term, Gibbon will have been a trustee for 14 years.

"I'll be done, unless I run for mayor," he said. "Who knows? Four years is a long way away. It's really fun to still be involved after 10 years. It's been like a roller coaster ride."

-- To reach Nick Foster call 871-4204

or e-mail nfoster@steamboatpilot.com

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