Oak Creek During their discussion considering Ryan Adrian or Brett Mason to fill the vacant District 7 seat, South Routt School Board members said they couldn’t go wrong.
“It’s pretty amazing we have two qualified people,” School Board President Tim Corrigan said.
“They both are qualified and look like they’ll be a good fit for the board,” member John McCollum said.
“I can’t choose,” board member Joel Harris said.
But the School Board had to make a choice.
After board members interviewed Adrian and Mason and had a short discussion, the School Board voted, 6-1, Thursday night to appoint Mason. The vacancy was created when longtime board member Rodney Wilson stepped down because he took a job in Grand Junction.
Mason, the parking and security manager at Steamboat Ski Area, is a 1984 graduate of Soroco High School. His family moved to Oak Creek in 1976. He started work with the ski area as a seasonal employee in 1983 as a junior in high school and took over the department in 1988, overseeing staff and managing budgets.
Mason’s two children and two stepchildren graduated from the high school.
Adrian, a deputy with the Routt County Sheriff’s Office for the past 5 1/2 years, has lived in the county on and off since 1998 and permanently since 2004. Previously, Adrian was a law enforcement ranger with the National Park Service at Yellowstone National Park. He has three children, one in the district, and another on the way. Adrian told the district that his home is for sale but that his family has no immediate plans to leave Oak Creek.
Both said they previously have been involved with the schools through their children. Harris cast the only dissenting vote. But right after the vote, Harris asked, “How could you go wrong with either? You can’t.”
Mason was then sworn in and participated for the rest of the meeting.
“I want to thank you for stepping up and doing this,” Corrigan said. “Sometimes, it’s a thankless job, but for many of us, there’s trepidation, and you don’t want to leave. I can say for myself, the work I’ve done here is some of the most important work I’ve done in my life.”
Adrian said he wasn’t disappointed about not being chosen.
“Brett has been around a long time,” said Adrian, who knows Mason through activities their children have participated in together. “I think the thing that killed me is my house is on the market. We will leave Oak Creek eventually. I didn’t want to keep that a secret. I almost think Brett’s a better decision based on stability.”
After the meeting, Mason said his first experience as a member of the School Board was entertaining.
“It was borderline overwhelming, but there are a lot of issues,” he said. “It was something I was interested in, and I’m happy my credentials were enough to get me selected to the board.”
In other action
The Routt County School Board:
■ Unanimously approved setting a goal of becoming “Accredited with Distinction” from the state within three years. Superintendent Scott Mader said it’s a feat that only 10 percent of the state’s school districts have achieved.
■ Unanimously approved a resolution to ask voters in November to consider a mill levy override to generate an estimated $349,317. If approved, the override will cost $17 per $100,000 of residential property value, $61 per $100,000 of commercial property value and $31 per $50,000 of agricultural property value. During a previous discussion, the board appointed resident Russ Garrity to lead a committee to promote the override. Garrity worked on committees to promote the last bond issue that paid for the new geothermal and wood pellet heating system and the Steamboat Springs half-cent sales tax for education.
Mader said he would present ballot language for the School Board’s consideration at the August meeting. It’s due to Routt and Rio Blanco counties — the district has a few students who live across the county line — in September.