Trustees cancel Yampa election | SteamboatToday.com

Trustees cancel Yampa election

Susan Cunningham

Yampa will not have an election this year, marking the first time in at least the past 15 years that the town has had to cancel its municipal election.

Yampa Town Board trustees decided Wednesday to cancel the election because only four people were running for six seats and there were no additional questions on the ballot.

Town Clerk Janet Ray should make the cancellation official today.

In the past, the town has held elections under similar circumstances, Ray said, but those elections happened because the town did not have the power to cancel them.

A few years ago, the Town Board passed ordinances giving it the latitude to make that decision, she said. Since then, there always have been enough people running or a ballot question. Until this year.

Three town trustees whose terms end this year turned in petitions to stay in their positions: Bruce Pitts, Michael Ross and Paul Zywicki. Mayor Tom Estes, whose term also expires, signed up as a write-in candidate for mayor after the March 5 deadline for petitions.

Recommended Stories For You

Two vacant trustee seats remain. Trustee Dick Rudeen is not up for election this cycle.

Elections are staggered to try to prevent most of the positions opening in one election, Ray said. This year, six out of seven spots opened because of previous vacancies.

Trustees serve overlapping four-year terms, the mayor serves a two-year term, and vacancies are filled by appointment, Ray said. Appointed trustees serve until the next election.

Trustees Bruce Pitts and Michael Ross, who both will serve another term, were appointments. Trustee Bill Northrop, also an appointment, is leaving and will not be returning. Trustee Jody Vetter’s term is up, and he is not seeking re-election.

Finding people to serve on a town board in a small town is challenging, she said.

“I think it is something we will continue to deal with,” Ray said. “It’s a position that takes a lot of time, and people (are) certainly very busy, and a lot of people work out of town. … I think it’s going to be an ongoing concern.”

Based on who is running, the board could start with four trustees and a mayor. To have a meeting, at least four board members must attend.

“The bottom line is, if you do not have all of your trustees and you cannot have a quorum, they cannot do the business of the town,” Ray said.

The town is starting the process of trying to fill the vacancies by asking people to write letters of interest, making sure they are qualified and appointing them, Ray said.

— To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com