New Craig City Council decided | SteamboatToday.com

New Craig City Council decided

Riley only new member as incumbents remain

Collin Smith

Upon hearing that she won her first-ever bid for public office, Craig City Councilor-elect Jennifer Riley’s voice was calm, but the tears in her eyes betrayed her excitement.

“I feel like it’s going to be a fun challenge,” she said of her impending four-year council term. “I’m ready to help everyone do a great job.”

She and three other candidates gathered Tuesday night at the Moffat County Courthouse to hear the results of the 2009 Craig city election, which was held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Centennial Mall.

Riley tied with Gene Bilodeau, who has served on the council since being appointed in February 2008 to fill a vacancy created by Rod Compton’s resignation, for the most total votes among council candidates.

Both received 497 votes each, or 21 percent.

Incumbent candidate Terry Carwile garnered the next highest vote total in the council race, 484 votes, or 20.5 percent.

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“I am deeply gratified that the community has expressed its confidence by electing me to a second four-year term on City Council,” Carwile said. “I look forward to helping our community grow in an orderly fashion, maintain a stable financial position and address the challenges that will undoubtedly present themselves as we advance into the future.”

Incumbent Byron Willems received the fourth highest vote total for City Council – with 429 votes, or 18.1 percent – which entitles him to a two-year term.

Because of Compton’s decision to vacate his seat in early 2008, the Craig City Charter required the council to appoint someone to fill his seat until the next municipal election.

Whoever was elected to Compton’s seat Tuesday can only serve the remainder of his term, which ends in 2011.

“I would just like to thank everyone who took time to trust me with their vote again,” Willems said. “I would like to congratulate my fellow councilmen for being re-elected. It is nice to see some serious interest in our City Council, and a special welcome to Jennifer Riley. In closing, I would also like to thank Joe Bird and Francisco Reina for their attempt. We always need more citizen involvement.”

Hopefuls Joe Bird, 355 votes, and Francisco Reina, 105 votes, did not collect enough votes to earn council seats, but congratulated each of the winners with a handshake and pats on the back.

“It has been an awesome opportunity getting to know even more of the great people of Craig,” Bird said. The people residents have chosen “will represent (the city) well. : I fully support them, and I will continue in any way I can to help make Craig prosperous and something the citizens are even more proud of.”

Reina said it was OK that he did not win, but he felt bad for his supporters.

“I ran because a lot of people asked me to do it,” he said. “I am happy, though.”

Mayor Don Jones, whose 574 votes were more than anyone else on the ballot, ran unopposed and was elected to his third consecutive term.

Overall, 640 people voted Tuesday, out of 5,635 registered voters. That equaled an 11.4 percent turnout.

Officials elected Tuesday will be sworn into office April 14.

Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or cesmith@craigdailypress.com.