Winter Park’s mayor pro-tem resigns, elections scheduled
January 10, 2010
Winter Park Mayor Pro-Tem Rusty Thompson resigned from office last Tuesday night, effective immediately. He told his fellow council members that he has just embarked on a new career path that will prevent him from dedicating the necessary time to the town and his constituents.
Thompson recently accepted a position as the comptroller at C Lazy U Ranch in Granby.
He has served on council since 2007 and was named mayor pro-tem in 2008.
Council named Chris Seemann, who has served since 2001, to succeed Thompson.
The Town of Winter Park is seeking to fill the empty seat by appointment as quickly as possible.
The appointment will last through the April 6 election.
“This is a good opportunity to get involved and see if its something you want to pursue,” said Town Clerk Cat Petersen.
To serve in this office, you must be a U.S. citizen, qualified to vote in Winter Park and must have resided in the town for at least one year. Anyone interested in the position should send a letter of interest and resume before Friday, Jan. 15, Cat Petersen at P.O. Box 3327, 50 Vasquez Road, Winter Park, CO 80482-3327 or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The town was already scheduled to hold municipal elections for four positions in April. Seats held by council members Jimmy Lahrman, Vince Turner, Mike Periolat and Katie Riemenschneider are set to expire April.
With Thompson’s resignation, five positions will now be open for election in April.
Three positions are four-year terms and two are two-year terms. The three candidates to receive the most votes will serve four year terms. The candidates who receive the fourth and fifth highest votes will serve two-year terms.
Anyone wishing to run for office should pick up a packet from the town clerk starting Feb. 15.
Petersen will explain what is expected of a town council member and provide instructions for filling out the necessary paperwork to appear on the ballot.
“We ask a lot of our council people,” Petersen said. “It’s a lot of time investment and personal involvement in the community. It’s not just something where they can come to the meetings and that’s it,” she said.
Petersen encourages potential candidates to attend a few council meeting before running for office.
Council members earn $200 per meeting they attend. The mayor earns $400.
Petersen said involvement in the town’s democratic process has been low in recent years. The past two elections have been canceled for lack of challengers, and there are currently only 88 registered voters in town.
Winter Park residents wishing to vote must register in person with the town. Registering with the county does not qualify voters to participate in the Town of Winter Park election.
Anyone who voted in the most recent municipal election is still registered. A list of those registered voters is available on the Grand County website and is also posted at the post office and town hall.
Petersen also recently sent out a written letter to all voters whose names were recently purged from the registry.
To register, you must be 18, have lived within town limits for at least 31 days before the election and can’t claim anywhere else as your primary place of residency. March 8 is the last day to register.
The election will be held April 6, which is during spring break, so the town is encouraging voters to fill out absentee ballots.