Local ballot looms in ’09 | SteamboatToday.com

Local ballot looms in ’09

City council, school elections up next

Melinda Dudley

— The last of the McCain/Palin and Yes on 2A and 2B signs still stand in the snow in Steamboat Springs as remnants of Tuesday’s election, when Colorado became a newly minted blue state.

But now that the 2008 election season has ground to a halt, Routt County voters have only 358 days to go until the Nov. 3, 2009, election – ripe with less-partisan but, undoubtedly, not less-heated contests for Steamboat Springs City Council and school districts across the county.

And at least two tax issues appear at this early juncture to be candidates for next year’s ballot.

After a measure to fund a Downtown Business Improvement District failed by only six votes in November 2007, proponents spoke of bringing the matter before voters again. Yampa Valley Housing Authority administrators also are strongly considering a ballot issue next year to provide a permanent funding source for the group’s affordable housing efforts.

But even 12 months out, the economy already is a factor in considerations of next year’s ballot.

There are concerns that voters in the business improvement district still would not give the property tax increase a green light on its second go-round, Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett said.

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“With the economy the way it is, we don’t know if we’re going to be able to swing that,” Barnett said.

The November 2009 ballot also will include any special district questions, local referenda and matters referred to voters by the state Legislature, Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland said.

Steamboat Springs City Council

On the Steamboat Springs City Council, the seats occupied by Loui Antonucci, Steve Ivancie, Cari Hermacinski and Walter Magill will be up for election in 2009.

Ivancie represents District 1, including West Steamboat and much of Old Town. Antonucci represents District 2, which includes the mountain area, and Magill represents District 3, including south Steamboat. Hermacinski hold’s the city council’s at-large seat.

Hermacinski and Magill were elected to two-year terms in 2007. The November 2009 election is poised to be a test for City Council, the makeup of which changed dramatically when three incumbents were defeated in the last election – ushering in Hermacinski and Magill, along with Scott Myller and Jon Quinn, whose terms last until 2011.

The next Town Board elections in other Routt County municipalities are in April 2010.

Steamboat Springs School Board

On the Steamboat Springs School Board, the seats occupied by Denise Connelly and John DeVincentis will be up for election in 2009.

Vice President Connelly, a former teacher, was elected to the board in 2005. She represents District 3. DeVincentis also was elected in 2005, after retiring as principal of Strawberry Park Elementary School. He represents District 1.

An attempt to recall DeVincentis in 2007 fell 154 signatures short. The recall effort began in the spring of 2007, after the public release of e-mails DeVincentis wrote about a former Steamboat Springs School District superintendent in 2004-05, while still principal at Strawberry Park.

South Routt School Board

On the South Routt School Board, the seats occupied by John McCollum, Regina Hange, William Smith and Joel Harris will be up for election in 2009.

Treasurer Hange, representing District 2, and member Smith, representing District 3, were elected to the board in 2005. Harris was appointed to the board in April 2007 and was elected to retain that seat later that year. McCollum was appointed to the board in May.

Harris represents District 5, and McCollum represents District 1.

Hayden School Board

On the Hayden School Board, the seats occupied by Brian Hoza, Kurt Frentress, Patty Bruchez and Vance Fulton will be up for election in 2009.

Board President Hoza, representing District E, and Bruchez, representing District A, each have served on the board since 2001. Vice President Frentress, representing District C, has been on the board since 1995. Fulton, from District B, was appointed to the board in 2007.

– To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203 or e-mail mdudley@steamboatpilot.com