The 2012 special district elections take place on Tuesday, May 8, and in Grand County that means five special districts will be holding elections out of a total of about 53 special districts in the county.
About 90 percent of special districts in the county canceled elections for not having contested board positions or not having a separate ballot question this year.
Among those districts that canceled their elections are Kremmling Memorial Hospital District, the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District and the Tabernash Meadows Water and Sanitation District.
But two fire districts, a recreation district and two water and sanitation districts are having an election on Tuesday, two by mail-ballot only and three by way of polling places.
Two of the special district elections are taking place in Grand Lake, two in the Granby area and one in the Fraser area.
All special district elections are held on the second Tuesday in May in even-numbered years.
Grand Lake area
The Grand Lake Fire Protection District: The district's two board seats are uncontested at Grand Lake Fire, with Fred Schroeder filling the seat of Dave Bashover who is not running for another term. Incumbent Chris Ruske, who was appointed mid-term when Larry Malouff resigned, ran uncontested.
There is, however, a ballot question about whether to eliminate board-member term limits. At present, board positions at Grand Lake Fire are limited to two four-year terms, which is the default per state statute, according to Grand Lake Fire Chief Mike Long.
"All other fire districts (in Grand County) have eliminated term limits," Long said. "A lot of fire districts have trouble attracting people to serve on those boards. When we find dedicated community members who are willing to serve as board members, we don't want to force them away due to term limits."
Without voter approval of eliminating term limits, three district board members will lose opportunities to run again in 2014, he said. Grand Lake Fire has a five-person board of directors.
Grand Lake's election is a polling place election only, which means voters who are not registered with the county as permanent mail-in voters, which in the district amounts to about 800 voters, must visit the polling place at the Grand Lake Fire Station in Grand Lake on election day in order to vote. The polling place will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Grand Lake Metropolitan Recreation District: There are no ballot questions in the district's 2012 election, but three people are running for two four-year board seats. Incumbent Donnie Summers is running for another term, and George Coolin and Bill Cottrell are challenging. One candidate will fill the seat of former board member John Gould, who was term-limited so could not run again.
The election is a polling place election, which takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Grand Lake Fire Station (also the polling place of the Grand Lake Fire election) in Grand Lake on Tuesday, May 8.
According to election official Kathy Lewis, as many as 1,010 mail-in ballots were mailed to voters who are registered mail-in voters. There are 2,496 registered voters in the district.
Grand Fire Protection District No. 1: Otherwise known as "Granby Fire," this district does not have a separate ballot question this year but does have a contested board members election. Four candidates are running for two board of directors positions, both which are four-year terms. The incumbents are Jeffrey Crane and Mark Krieg, and challengers are Gary Nordloh and Clifford Wood
The 2012 Granby Fire election is a polling-place election, meaning those voters who are not registered with the county as permanent mail-in voters must visit the fire station in Granby in order to vote. The polling place will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8.
According to election official Schelly Olson, as many as 1,421 ballots were sent out to registered mail-in voters out of 3,500 names on the registered voter list in Grand County, plus more who are listed as out-of-county property owners.
SilverCreek Water and Sanitation District: The Granby-area water and sanitation district has five individuals running for four seats on its board of directors. Of those running for the four-year term are Rick Jernigan, David Joe Bailey, Tom Sifers and Wayde Walker. Incumbent James Henry Pedersen is running unopposed for the board's two-year term seat.
The district's election is mail-ballot only. Mail ballots can be dropped off at the district office at 336 Spruce Drive in the Innsbruck Subdivision on Friday, Monday and Tuesday (May 4, 7 and 8). The district office number is 970-887-2850.
Winter Park Ranch Water and Sanitation District: Three people are running for two four-year seats on the district board. Incumbents are Jon Westerlund and Jim Cordell, and challenger is John Althoff. The district's election is mail-ballot only. Mail ballots can be dropped off at the district office at 601 Park Place in Fraser on Friday, Monday and Tuesday (May 4, 7 and 8). The district office number is 970-726-8691.