Grand Lake Rec District election draws five candidates for two seats |

Grand Lake Rec District election draws five candidates for two seats

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News

The Grand Lake Metropolitan Recreation District election is May 6, when five candidates will run for two positions on the board.

Board member Tom Jenkins has decided not to run for another term, and board President Ron Gould is up for re-election.

“Well, basically there’s a lot of unfinished work and continued improvements to be made,” Gould said as one of his reasons to run again.

Remaining projects facing the recreation district from a $3.99 million bond issue approved by citizens in the 2006 election are a clubhouse restoration (depending on results from engineering studies), a new roof on the cart barn, continued tree management and clean-up (roughly 95 percent of the tree mitigation project is complete), and the implementation of multi-use recreation trails as well as improved cart paths on the golf course.

The recreation district runs the Grand Lake Golf Course as well as recreation programs.

The election will take place at the Grand Lake Firehouse. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

A district resident since 1977, Gould has served on the board six years, with two years as president. His goals for another term are to get “bond projects all completed and done to the citizens’ satisfaction, on or under budget, to have a trail system that gives access to the national forest and a multi-use trail system, including a beginner trail for seniors and advanced hiking and biking trails. To have the general recreation programs continue to do well and hopefully expand those, but any program introduced must be a break-even program… and to improve our intergovernmental agreements,” he said.

Gould, a printer by trade, and his wife Heidi have two daughters, Chelsea, 23 and Courtney, 17.

For the challenges that face incoming board members, Gould said one of the biggest issues is “working with the new board to build a team from the board down, to get rid of the divisiveness and past actions of the board, to get past that and lead by example. The board certainly needs to raise the bar and expectations,” he said.

Also running to fill the district’s open seats are Jeff Hauk, Don Summers, Kevin Leppke and Joseph Nesvara.

Once the seats are filled, a president will be appointed by the board.

Hauk, an electrician who’s lived in the district 12 years with his wife Adriane and two daughters, Alex, 19, and Maddi, 13, says he is running to support recreational activities provided by the district and to expand what is available.

“I understand the golf course is a big part of the recreation district and it should be able to support those other programs for the kids,” he said.

The recreation district and its offering of programs like rafting was a reason to move his family to the area more than a decade ago, he said, but since that time he has seen recreation programs dwindle, such as the loss of the youth theater program last year.

“I’d like to see the golf course do well, and see other programs for kids do well, so both go hand-in-hand,” he said.

Another candidate Joseph Nesvara, who has a 4-year-old son, Jack, also wants to see the golf course succeed in order to “spur a ton of programs the whole community can enjoy.” His hope is to find a balance between the golf course and recreation programs.

Nesvara says one priority is to get a general manager on board who can manage, and “get away from the micro-management I see over there; it’s not productive,” he said. “It’s time for me to get involved. For a long time I’ve sat on the sidelines and complained. No more complaining, it’s time to do something.”

Kevin Leppke, an 11-year resident of the district who endorses Gould, says he is running to not only support the golf side of the operation, but to do what he can for the youth in the area.

“Anything we can do to help the kids up here is great,” he said. Leppke has been involved with the Independence Sports Club as well as the Grand Lake Trail Groomers Association and has volunteered for district events in the past. For now, his platform is not specific.

“I’d like to get more involved before I say what’s needed,” he said.

Another longtime resident, Don Summers, is running primarily to “give back” to his community. Summers has lived in Grand County 30 years, with 11 years residing in the district with wife Laura. He has two grown boys and owns a masonry and tile subcontracting company, and calls himself an “avid golfer.”

He says he hopes to get the golf course back to “getting a lot of green fees coming in,” since the recreation district depends on golf course income for its general recreation. “I’m willing to devote my time and give back to the community a little for what it’s given to me,” he said. “It’s a wonderful place to live, a community that’s nice and tight-knit, and I think we should keep it that way where everyone works together.

“I’m here to learn, do the best job I can with no pretenses and no issues,” he said.

Grand Lake resident Kathy Lewis is the election official for the Grand Lake Metropolitan Recreation District election. Those who need applications for absentee ballots and/or early voting should contact Lewis at 627-8580, 627-8872, or contact the district office at 627-8328.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail

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