In probably one of the shortest terms for a local leader in the Ute Pass, Green Mountain Falls resident Katharine Guthrie has received the nod as a new member of the GMF Board of Trustees.
She was appointed by a 5-1 vote last week and was immediately sworn into office and started assuming her duties.
Guthrie, who previously played a key role in an economic sustainability committee formed about five years ago, will serve out the term of former trustee Don Ellis until early April. Due to the forthcoming election, she will only attend three official meetings.
Regardless, Guthrie stated that she didn’t have any problems with the short term and would be available to attend every meeting for the remainder of this period. Ellis recently announced his resignation due to health reasons.
Guthrie stressed her strong leadership involvement with the town’s economic sustainability effort. She believes this work has helped the town in garnering support for a slight mill levy increase, establishing more cohesive fees and in pursuing grants.
The only other candidate who filed a letter of interest for this spot was Richard Lackmond. But because Lackmond had filed a candidate petition for the trustee position in the April election, several board leaders expressed a desire to give the temporary spot to Guthrie to avoid any conflicts or perceptions of favoritism.
Lackmond is a well-known civic figure who previously served as mayor and as a trustee member.
The only trustee who objected was Dave Cook. “I would lean towards experience myself,” said Cook.
He also made the argument that a candidate in the April election should possibly get the nod for the temporary spot.
But there is no guarantee that any of the current candidates will get voted into office this April.
In probably the most competitive trustee races in recent memory, seven candidates are vying for three positions. In addition, two candidates are running for mayor. “We have come a long way in our community,” announced Mayor Lorrie Worthey, in citing the strong interest in running for elected positions in Green Mountain Falls. She noted that in previous years, the town rarely had competitive elections.
That’s not the case anymore.
Last week, town officials, through a chance drawing, finalized the ballot and the order of the names in how they will appear on the voting document. The final list includes trustee candidates Barbara Gardiner, Richard Lackmond, Erin Kowal, Cameron Thorne, Tyler Stevens, David Pearlman and Dick Bratton. The mayoral candidates include Jane Newberry and Lorrie Worthey.
The election will be run by El Paso County and it will consist of a mail-ballot format, but will feature a polling center at the Green Mountain Falls Town Hall. Ballots will be mailed to registered voters, starting Feb. 19.
In other GMF news, town leaders have decided to pursue hiring a designated clerk/treasurer and to also try to get some part-time help for administrative assistant Renee Price. No deadline was established for trying to select a clerk/treasurer.