10 apply for 5 trustee seats

Voters to also decide on lodging tax and mill levy continuance

By John Gardner
The Surveyor

Ten Berthoud residents are running for five open seats in the Town of Berthoud Board of Trustees election.

Berthoud Town Clerk Alisa Darrow certified 10 trustee applications that were returned to her office as of 5 p.m. Jan. 25. Only one, Pete Cowdin, is running for the position of mayor. Cowdin is the husband of former town clerk, Mary Cowdin, who retired at the end of last year. Pete Cowdin will replace outgoing mayor David Gregg who chose to not seek re-election after serving 12 years on the board.

The remaining candidates include former trustees Jeff Hindman and Dick Shepard, along with William Karspeck, Kevin Pischke, Patrick Dillon, Brian Young, Kelly Dunkelberger, Lorna Greene and Brian Laak. Hindman and Shepard have both served on the board of trustees before: Hindman for 10 years, two of which he was mayor pro tem from 2000-2002; while Shepard served for six years from 2008 until April 2014. Both Hindman and Shepard ran for election in 2014 but were not elected.

The nine are vying for four remaining seats of outgoing trustees Jan Dowker, Suzie White, Paul Alaback and Michael Henning. Henning’s seat is currently filled by interim Trustee Dick Shepard, who was appointed to the board in November.

With Cowdin running unopposed for mayor, he’s essentially already won the position. He’ll still appear on the ballot as the only option for mayor.

With the remaining nine candidates vying for four open seats, the four candidates receiving the highest number of votes will be elected to the board.

Candidates are running for a four-year term for three seats. However, the seat currently held by Shepard will only be a two-year term to fill the remaining time of Henning’s term. The candidate elected to the board with the fewest votes will fill the remainder of Henning’s term.

The April 5 election will take place at Town Hall. But nearly 700 residents have already requested mail-in ballots, according to Darrow. Absentee ballots will be mailed out in mid-March, Darrow said.

Newly elected trustees will be sworn in at the trustee’s April 12 meeting.

Each elected trustee is paid $75 for each regular board meeting, special board meeting, or board study session which they attend. In addition, the mayor is also compensated $115 per month.

Along with selecting new trustees, voters will also be asked to keep the current mill levy passed by voters in 2006 at 3 mills on taxable properties within town limits. The revenues through the mill levy would continue to pay for law enforcement services provided by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office. The current mill levy is set to expire at the end of this year.

The second issue facing voters will be to adopt a 3 percent lodging tax on short-term rentals, such as hotel rooms, with the revenues going into the town’s general fund.

 

Editor’s note: This story has been edited to correct the print edition’s headline that stated there were 9 applicants.