Deck of cards deals Fraser its new trustee |

Deck of cards deals Fraser its new trustee

Reid Armstrong
Sky-Hi News
Fraser, CO Colorado
Vesta Shapiro draws from a deck of cards to determine who will be the new Fraser town trustee.

In a scene straight out of the Old West, the Fraser Board of Trustees chose its newest board member Wednesday night from a cut of a deck of cards.

Former member David Pratt, who previously owned the Crooked Creek Saloon, resigned his post Oct. 15 after selling his house and moving to Granby.

“Until we annex Granby, we’re going to have to choose a new board member,” joked Mayor Fran Cook, who added that, with Pratt gone, the board could now reduce its budget line item for “Whoppers” candy by $10,000.

Pratt had served on the town board since 2005. In that time, he was known for bringing “good humor and good judgment” to meetings, said Fraser Town Manager Jeff Durbin: “He served this community well.”

The Mayor asked all three people who ran in the recent election and lost whether they would still be interested in serving.

Of those, Philip Naill and Vesta Shapiro both came to the board meeting to show their interest.

Through a silent ballot, the six board members voted on which person to appoint to the vacant seat. The result was 3-3.

So the board turned to Colorado statute, which states that in any tie election, the winner should be determined through a game of chance.

Fortunately, town staff happened to have a deck of cards on hand.

“This has happened before,” Durbin said. Once, cards were used to determine in a tie vote who would serve a two-year term and who would serve a four-year term, he said, and cards have also been drawn to determine order on the ballot.

Town clerk Lu Berger shuffled the deck with the skill of a Vegas dealer, the rules were determined – Aces high and high card wins – and the candidates drew their lot.

Naill drew a six of clubs and Shapiro drew a seven of clubs.

Fortunately, there was no whisky involved and the loser didn’t decide to whip out his six shooter in revenge.

Shapiro was sworn in on the spot and will serve until the next election in April 2012

The town board has a long-standing tradition of giving outgoing board members a watercolor of town hall.

“We changed things up a little this time,” Durbin said.

Pratt received a photograph of the Whoppers factory.

– Reid Armstrong can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610 or

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