3 cruise to Hayden Town Council seats; fourth spot less clear | SteamboatToday.com

3 cruise to Hayden Town Council seats; fourth spot less clear

Pam Gann

— Despite four of five races for the Hayden Town Council being contested, it looks as if there will be little turnover after Election Day.

Lifelong resident Dallas Robinson and council members Jim Haskins and Tim Redmond cruised to victories Tuesday night, and outgoing Mayor Lorraine Johnson appears to have narrowly held on to her spot on the council. However, council member Tom Rogalski and challenger Pam Gann remained within striking distance, particularly depending on the outcome of provisional ballots.

Robinson, Haskins and Redmond will join Chuck Grobe, who ran unopposed for mayor, Richard “Festus” Hagins and Bill Hayden on the Town Council. Whichever remaining candidate receives the highest number of votes will serve two years to complete the term vacated by Trace Musgrave, who was elected in 2008.

Robinson, the top vote getter with 422 votes, said he would be grateful for the opportunity to be a member of the Town Council. He hopes to be able to provide direction for the new town manger — council members are scheduled to discuss at Thursday’s meeting the contract of the candidate to whom they offered the position — and encourage smart and responsible growth in Hayden.

“I’ve been concerned for a number of years that our growth here has been too rapid and we jumped on the bandwagon of what everybody assumed was a boom in the area,” he said.

Haskins, who has spent 12 years on the Town Council in two stints, said Robinson was passionate about Hayden and would provide a new perspective to the council.

Haskins, the area wildlife manager for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, said the biggest issue facing Hayden was getting the budget and finances back in order, especially making the water and sewer funds self-supporting. He said it also would be important to encourage development at Yampa Val­ley Regional Air­­port when the economy recovers.

Haskins received 399 votes.

“I think we need to be ready to go out of the blocks when the opportunity presents itself to develop that resource at the airport,” Haskins said. “From a tax revenue standpoint, that’s really where our opportunity in this town exists. It’s out there.”

Redmond, a plumbing and heating mechanical contractor, was appointed in February 2009 to fill the seat vacated by Musgrave. He was the third highest vote getter, with 376 votes. Redmond said being elected would be like a nice pat on the back.

“You try to go out and do what’s best for the town, the people of the town,” he said. “This was a chance for the people of Hayden to say, ‘We like what you’re doing’ or, ‘It’s time to go home and somebody else to take the reins.’ Now I feel like it’s time to roll up my shirtsleeves and take care of the work of the town.”

He said the most immediate work included getting the new town manager up to speed and getting Hayden on good financial footing.

Instead of the usual four Town Council seats up for election every two years, there were five this year.

Hayden’s charter requires that any vacated seat filled by appointment or special election come up for vote during the next regular election. The seat will be up for election again in November 2012, restoring the four-year term.

Johnson received 236 votes, Rogalski got 218, and Gann secured 215.

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