Back to: Obituaries
November 5, 2013
Follow Obituaries

Grand County 2013 Election: Byers Peak Annexation fails; Library mill levy fails; East Grand technology fails

2:11 a.m., Nov. 6 ­— By 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, county clerk staff and volunteers finished tallying up Grand County’s votes. Funding for education measures failed on the state and local levels, while taxes on retail recreational marijuana passed in the state and in the town of Fraser. After a close race, the controversial Byers Peak annexation measures failed by a slim margin, and Grand County libraries weren’t able to secure funding.

Byers Peak annexation

By a slim margin and a tight race, Fraser voters rejected annexation of the controversial Byers Peak development.

Referendums 300 and 301 — which failed by 12 votes and 17 votes respectively — would have added a 295-acre parcel to the town and brought two municipal water storage reservoirs. The town wanted to secure these reservoirs in case demand from senior water rights holders downstream increases.

A “no” vote on the annexation measures means the Byers Peak development will move forward as part of unincorporated Grand County, and Fraser will lose out on property taxes and water benefits, among other things.

The final tally showed 52 percent, or 159 of 306 voters casting a vote against Referendum 300, and 53 percent, or 164 of 311 voters against Referendum 301. For more information on the annexation, see story.

Grand County Library District mill levy

County residents rejected added property taxes to support local libraries.

The measure failed with 55 percent of voters against the proposed mill levy, listed on the ballot as Referred Measure 1A.

The funds would have been used to maintain normal library operations. Libraries may now be forced to cut staff and hours. For more information on the measure, see story.

East Grand Schools technology mill levy

East Grand Schools’ technology budget won’t be getting a boost after voters rejected Referred Measure 3A.

The measure would have created $1.2 million in technology funds over the course of three years through a temporary increase in property taxes. Schools would have used the funds to provide each student with an iPad tablet computer, for staff training and infrastructure improvements in technology. East Grand voters rejected the temporary mill levy increase with 56 percent voting against.

For more information on the measure, see story.

School board winners

Angel DeCicco prevailed in East Grand Schools District 3 with 37 percent of the vote, over Mike Lohman (34 percent) and Matt Friesen (29 percent). District 3 was the most highly contested district, and includes parts of Tabernash and neighborhoods east of Granby and Highway 34.

Mike McGinley won over incumbent Jerry Reed in District #5, which covers the town of Granby, with 54 percent support.

Incumbent Chip Besse was unchallenged for his position in District #4, which covers portions of Winter Park and Fraser east of Highway 40. Also unchallenged was Phyllis Price in District #6, which includes the Grand Lake area. For more on them, see candidates questionnaire.

In West Grand, school board incumbents Susan Ritschard, Brendan Gale, Jessica Smiley and Tim Thomson held heir positions. To read their views, see their questionnaires.

Amendment 66

Colorado voters overwhelmingly rejected the Amendment 66 ballot measure, with 66 percent for and 34 percent against.

The state constitutional amendment would have increased Colorado taxes and provided funding for preschool to high school education. In Grand County, voters shared the state’s disapproval for the amendment, with about 70 percent casting their vote against it. For more information on the proposed state amendment, and the taxes that would have been associated with it, see story.

Marijuana state and local taxes

The county joined other Colorado voters in approving taxes on retail marijuana. The measure received overwhelming support in Grand County, with 64 percent voting in favor.

The retail taxes will fund regulation of Colorado’s newly legalized recreational marijuana industry through a 15 percent excise tax and a 10 percent sales tax. The first $40 million raised from the taxes will go to construction and improvements at public schools.

Fraser proposed an additional tax measure of 5 percent on retail marijuana sales, which passed by 72 percent. Funds raised by the local tax will be used to promote town purposes.

For more: story.

State senate representation

After a 65 percent vote in favor, Grand County will be seeking more senatorial representation within the Colorado legislature.

Referred Measure 1B resulted after county commissioners explored the idea of seceding from the state of Colorado along with several eastern plains counties, including Weld. After much discussion and public comment, commissioners decided they’d seek greater representation in the legislature rather than forming a new state or annexing into Wyoming.

While county voters showed strong support for the action, they face an uphill battle in receiving the increased senatorial representation. In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all state legislature districts had to have equal populations, based on the principle of “one person one vote.” Still, commissioners argued that equal representation for counties could be issued through grassroots campaigns and lobbying efforts.

For more information on the measure, see story.

Fraser taxes

The town of Fraser had three tax questions on the ballot, of which only one passed.

Referred Measures 2A and 2B would have raised property taxes for the purpose of operations, maintenance and other expenses related to Fraser’s public water and sewer systems. Both failed by 53 and 54 percent, respectively.

Fraser also proposed a 5 percent tax on recreational marijuana sales, which passed by a whopping 72 percent. The new tax will be in addition to state taxes passed under Proposition AA, which voters approved to help fund regulation of the newly legalized recreational marijuana industry in Colorado.

Blue Valley Metropolitan District tax

A tax measure for road improvements in Blue Valley Acres Unit No. 2 failed by 53 percent.

The measure only applies to a small community south of Kremmling, near the Summit County line. A total of 76 residents cast their vote. It would have increased property taxes by up to 5 mills from 2014 to 2018.

10:40 p.m., Nov. 5 — The Byers Peak annexation questions in Fraser are now becoming a toss-up, with 50.53% for Referendum 300 and 50.17% against Referendum 301. The county has now counted 4,328 ballots.

9:00 p.m., Nov. 5 — With 3,429 ballots now tallied, Grand County election results aren’t showing much change. Support for the library district tax mill levy increase is lagging, with 56 percent of voters against Measure 1A. Around 65 percent of voters favor a measure that would ask Colorado for one senator per county, Measure 1B. Fraser voters are in favor of a town tax on retail marijuana sales, which would be in addition to the taxes Colorado voters just passed under Proposition AA. Fraser voters are also supporting Byers Peak annexation, with 56 percent in favor of Referendum 300 and 55 percent in favor of Referendum 301. Voters continue to reject East Grand Schools technology mill levy, with 58 percent against Measure 3A.

8:20 p.m., Nov. 5 ­— Colorado voters have rejected Amendment 66, which would have raised taxes for schools, and approved Proposition AA, which will create sales taxes for recreational retail marijuana. Preliminary election results show Grand County voters feel the same -- 72 percent have rejected Amendment 66 and 64 percent have supported Proposition AA so far.

7:40 p.m, Nov. 5 ­— In school board elections, East Grand Schools’ most highly contested district 3, preliminary results show Angel DeCicco with about 38 percent of the votes, ahead of Mike Lohman (35 percent) and Matt Friesen (28 percent). In East Grand’s District 5, Mike McGinely is ahead of incumbent Jerry Reed at 53 percent. West Grand School District preliminary results show Susan Ritschard with 21 percent, Brendan Gale with 20 percent, Jessica Smiley with 18 percent, Tim Thomson with 16 percent, Travis Hoesli with 12 percent and Jon Ewert with 12 percent.

Only 2,621 votes have been counted and there are plenty more to go. Keep watching our Facebook feed or check www.skyhidailynews.com for updates.

7:15 p.m., Nov. 5 — Preliminary unofficial results from the Grand County election are in. Referred Measure 1A, which would raise property taxes for libraries, has 43 percent for and 57 percent against. Grand County’s question about seeking more senatorial representation for states (instead of pursuing secession), Referred Measure 1B, has 65 percent for and 35 percent against. The Byers Peak annexation questions are passing so far with Fraser voters, with about 58 percent for Referendum 300 and 56 percent for Referendum 301. East Grand School’s technology mill levy, Referred Measure 3A, is at 42 percent for and 58 percent against.

With state measures, only 28 percent of Grand County residents have voted in favor of Amendment 66, which would raise taxes for preschool to high school education in Colorado. About 64 percent of county voters are in favor of Proposition AA so far, which would tax recreational retail marijuana sales to help the state fund regulation of the new industry. Voters are also showing support for an additional tax on retail marijuana sold in Fraser, Referred Measure 2C, which has so far received 66 percent in favor.


Explore Related Articles

The Sky-Hi News Updated Nov 6, 2013 10:00AM Published Nov 9, 2013 11:38PM Copyright 2013 The Sky-Hi News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.