Incumbents ousted from Fire Board |

Incumbents ousted from Fire Board

— The few Hayden residents who voted in Tuesday’s West Routt Fire Board election resoundingly ousted incumbents Chuck Grobe, Charlie Epp and Richard “Festus” Hagins.

Ross Fralick, Susan DeBowes, Bob Preator and Ed Hockin were elected to the West Routt Fire Protection District board.

Of 174 votes cast, Fralick received 106, DeBowes received 115, Preator received 140 and Hockin received 144. Incumbents Chuck Grobe, Charlie Epp, and Richard Hagins received 46, 43 and 62, respectively.

Results of the election may be attributable to the elimination of Bryan Rickman’s paid fire chief position earlier this year, new board members Preator and Hockin said.

“Hopefully, we can resolve the situation and get it behind us,” Hockin said.

The results may indicate that voters want to see the board move in a new direction, Preator said.

“It sounds like we need to resolve the personnel issue regarding Bryan Rickman. I hope I do a good job. I’m ready to dive in there and see what I can do, see what’s happening,” he added.

Fralick said he’s excited to serve the community, but does not have any immediate plans as a new board member. DeBowes was not available for comment.

Epp, a 20-year veteran volunteer fireman for the district, had no comment on the election results. Neither did Hagins. Grobe was not available for comment.

The 174 people who voted represented 11.6 percent of the approximately 1,500 registered voters in the fire district, poll facilitator Carolyn Sundberg said.

“This is as many voters as we ever have, really, but we were all expecting a lot more because there seemed to be so much interest this past winter,” she said.

“A lot of people complain about how things are run in the community, but they don’t vote when it’s time. I’m sure lots of people forget –I’ve done that, too. But this year, I am trying to be more aware and be a better citizen,” said Hayden resident Cydne Bell, who voted in the election.

“It’s always important to vote. It gives you the right to complain,” fellow voter Ronald Wilson agreed.

— To reach Bonnie Nadzam, call 871-4207 or e-mail

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