Slam dunk for Alaback

By Rudy Hemmann

The Surveyor

It was a foregone conclusion the trustee seat left vacant when Trustee William Karspeck moved up to become Mayor Karspeck would be filled by the individual named in a series of phone calls less than a week after the municipal election held April 3, 2018.

However, there was some drama before the final vote was taken by the five seated trustees. The drama began during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Stu Boyd was the first to speak, and in his comments he stated, “I applaud and fully support your decision to fi ll the vacant seat on the town board through the application process. I believe that is how a vacancy should be filled and I expected you to do that … I think if the town had expected that the person who finished in fourth place would automatically move to a board seat, then the ballot probably would have said, and perhaps should have said, ‘We will be electing four with the fourth person to fi ll the seat of either Mr. Karspeck or Mr. Hindman’ … I believe you used the correct process, and I wish whomever you select, you haven’t selected yet, correct (?), I wish whomever you select the very best. In closing, Boyd urged the trustees and the town to put the “election behind us,” and that“Berthoud is a rapidly growing community with many challenges. I expect you, as the representatives of our town, to make decisions that will positively affect the community.”

Regarding the fourth board seat Boyd thought should have been on the ballot, Town Clerk Christian Samora ruled, and correctly so, that technically the fourth vacancy did not officially exist until Karspeck had been sworn as mayor, and therefore could not be offered on the ballot.

Bill Gilmore stated he hoped the board would “do the right thing,” as the board members took an oath to do. Gilmore feared the board would take a different tack and select someone who did not bother to run for trustee, had spent no time campaigning, nor garnered even one vote, “…but will follow your lead sir,” he said while staring directly at Hindman, He also noted the person the board majority would be seating “is my neighbor; he’s a nice guy,” but made no effort during the election. Gilmore went on to state Kevin Pishke was the fourth-place receiver of votes and he had campaigned to get them. “There are many of us in town who think this decision has already been made and that the interview process is an exercise in futility to make the citizens feel good,” stated Gilmore.

During her turn at the podium Nikki Edwards called for the removal of Hindman as mayor pro tempore and that either Trustee Maureen Dower or Trustee Pete Tomassi be named to the position instead. She questioned the ethics of “some board members over the past two weeks.”

The board held public interviews of six town residents who showed interest in, and applied for, the trustee vacancy, there were: Paul Alaback, Paul Frekey, Daniel Jones, Kevin Pischke, Heidi Short and Adam Stephen. After two ballots Paul Alabeck was selected to fi ll the vacant trustee seat. The vote count in the first round was three votes for Alaback (Hindman, Laak and Hardy), one vote for Daniel Jones (Dower), and two votes for Kevin Pischke (Karspeck and Tomassi).

In the second round there were four votes for Alaback (Hindman, Laak, Dower and Hardy), and two votes for Pischke (Tomassi and Karspeck). Following the selection of Alaback, Tomassi stated, “I disagree with the decision of the board I think that four people made a decision that was contrary to the community, who voted for Kevin Pischke, and now the community gets to decide what they are going to do with that.”

The trustees used a similar process to interview five town residents to fill three vacant planning commission seats. Those who were appointed are: Jeff Butler, Kelsey Byron and Jan Dowker. The voting was five votes for Butler, six votes for Bryon and five votes for Dowker The trustees approved an ordinance amending the rules regarding membership on the town planning commission. The new ordinance was approved unanimously.

Tags: , , , , , , ,