Rotary hosts West Grand School Board candidates’ forum in Kremmling |

Rotary hosts West Grand School Board candidates’ forum in Kremmling

Reid Armstrong
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, Colorado

The Rotary Club of Kremmling will host a candidate forum at 7 p.m. tonight, Oct. 7, in the Extension Hall on the Fairgrounds in Kremmling, 210 11th St.

Rich Rosene will moderate the forum.

Candidates will have the opportunity to introduce themselves and discuss their platforms followed by an informal question-and-answer period with the audience and moderator.

West Grand School District voters will choose among seven candidates for five school board positions in the Nov. 3 general election. The election will mark a significant turnover in the current school board.

Gary Bumgarner, Teri Tanton and Dave Jones have reached their term limits, leaving three positions open. Additionally, two positions were recently filled by appointment, and those appointees must now stand for election.

Five people are running for four school board seats with four-year terms and two people are running for one school board seat with a two-year term.

Brendan Gale, Susan Ritschard, Audrey Gasvoda, Tim Thomson and Christina Whitmer are contending for the four-year seats. David Skinner and Brett Davidson are vying for the two-year seat.

Board president Larry Banman has two years remaining before he reaches his limit. Dean Billington is two years into his first term.

The upcoming ballot initiative is likely to be a hot topic at tonight’s forum. West Grand voters must decide whether to approve a $419,000 tax override for the district, which could increase residential property tax bills by an average of $20-$35 per year, depending on the assessed value of the home.

The school district is requesting the override to replace funds lost to declining student enrollment. The district has lost approximately 50 students during the past decade, or $500,000 in tax revenue, according to a fact sheet released by the school board.

If the initiative is successful, the board states that it will use the funding to maintain smaller class sizes, provide more educational opportunities, maintain the facilities and keep pace with technological advances.