Grand Lake Rec District voters elect Summers, Gould; about one in 12 cast ballots |

Grand Lake Rec District voters elect Summers, Gould; about one in 12 cast ballots

By Tonya Bina

Sky-Hi Daily News

About one in 12 eligible voters elected one incumbent and one challenger in the Grand Lake Metropolitan Recreation District election on Tuesday; meanwhile 2,111 voters passed on the opportunity.

With 113 votes, Grand Lake’s Don Summers is joining the recreation district board, according to initial election results released Tuesday night. Voters also re-elected district board president John Gould, with 110 votes.

Summers will fill the seat of former board member Tom Jenkins, who declined to seek re-election.

Candidates Kevin Leppke, Jeff Hauck and Joe Nesvara secured 81, 59 and 18 votes respectively.

“I’m happy about the way it went,” said the vote-victor Summers, reached at his home after the election. “Obviously, I wouldn’t run if I didn’t want to get elected. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Gould was also at home.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to continue the progress made,” he said, “and working with the board and community to move the district in the direction of fiscal responsibility and to introduce as many self-sustaining programs as possible.”

Although the winners were pleased with the outcome, election turnout was underwhelming.

“I’m surprised how many people don’t exercise their right to vote,” commented election judge Kelly Shockey at about 3 p.m., with voter 91 in the booth out of an electorate of 2,300 .

Two years ago the district election attracted some 700 voters, with mail-in and walk-in voters split evenly.

Election official Kathy Lewis said the previous election’s much higher turnout may have been due to a significant bond issue on the ballot.

This year, a total of 189 voters cast ballots, with 46 of them mail-in votes.

Summers speculated the low voter numbers may have been due to the time of year.

Even so, the new board member hopes the upcoming term will serve to “get people more interested in their recreation district,” he said.

“We can work together to do the best we can for our community,” he said.

Gould shared in Summers’ aspiration to work together.

The first order of business on his list, he said, is “getting the board to work as one unit and agree on the goals of the district, and we need to do everything we can as a board to give staff the tools to meet those goals.”

The district board has the discretion to re-appoint Gould as president or select another board member to take on the roll.

Regardless, Gould said he plans to be “passionate about trails” in his upcoming term, as well as to continue down the course of forest mitigation on district lands.

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

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