From the pages of
Pinedale Roundup
Volume 105, Number 18 - May 1, 2008
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Town Council election ready

by Alecia Warren

Pinedale voters looking for change in their community should hit the election stands on Tuesday, May 6, to vote for two Town Council seats, both for four-year terms.

They can also vote on whether the town should purchase land south of Boyd Skinner Town Park to preserve as open space, though the Town Council recently made an offer to the landowner anyway.

Polls will be open at the Town Hall from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Residents currently unregistered to vote in Pinedale will have to register the day of the election at the County Clerk’s office.

Pinedale Mayor Stephen Smith wrote in an e-mail that he expects a big turnout on Tuesday.

“This election is a pivotal one,” Smith wrote. “With so many growth issues creating pressure for our little town at this time we need wise, prudent and thoughtful leadership to guide our town in the years to come.” Six candidates will appear on the ballots. Their platform issues include planning for growth in Pinedale, protecting local natural resources and improving infrastructure.

Candidates include:

— Gary Heuck and Dave Smith. Conducting a co-campaign, the pair promises to protect the town’s water rights, managing orderly growth in Pinedale and improving Pinedale streets, sidewalks and sewers. Heuck has served on the council for the past six years. Smith was elected to the council last summer, but his election was annulled months later after it was discovered that he wasn’t a registered voter on the day he applied to run.

— Nylla Kunard. After working as County Treasurer for four decades, Kunard knows how local budgeting work. She wants to ensure the town obtains new sewers, roads and affordable housing. Kunard has served on the council for the past five years.

— Janet Bellis. A newcomer to Pinedale, having lived here a year and a half, she hopes to bring improvements to Pinedale like ones she helped bring Boulder, Colo., as a member of local boards there. Beautifying Pine Street, establishing a pedestrian mall and managing growth are at the top of her list.

— Delores Christensen. A proud grandmother who has raised two sons in Pinedale, she wants to create more family oriented events and amenities. She would also work to renovate the dilapidated buildings in town and boost the local economy.

— John Fogerty. After serving on the Pinedale Planning and Zoning Commission since October of 2007, he wants to play a more direct role in preventing overdevelopment and preserving open space in town. He hopes to hold energy developers more accountable for their local operations, and he will push to improve air and water quality. The ballot will also include a non-binding resolution, or formal survey question, on whether Pinedale residents support the town spending taxpayers’ money to purchase the 18 acres south of the Boyd Skinner Town Park.

The town has wavered over buying the land for about a year. Despite agreeing to put the issue on the election ballot early this month, the Town Council agreed on Monday to offer the landowner $1.7 million, making the ballot survey pretty meaningless.

But if the issue matters to you a great deal, there’s no harm in marking that ballot, anyway, and landowner James Bowles has often implied that public opinion matters to his decision on whether to sell the acreage to the town.

“It really deserves to be a park, with the wildlife down there,” Bowles said two weeks ago of the wetlands that include habitat for local birds and game. “I’m willing to wait to hear the voters.”

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