2 Blue River incumbents win reelection, join 1 new member on board of trustees
Despite coronavirus pandemic, turnout up 12% from 2018
BLUE RIVER — Blue River voters on Tuesday selected incumbent trustees Joel Dixon and Mark Fossett along with newcomer Kelly Finley to fill the three open trustee positions on the town’s six-person board.
Of the 182 total ballots cast, Fossett received the most votes (142), followed by Dixon’s 126 and Finley’s 81. Candidates Martie Semmer and Tim West received 68 and 57 votes, respectively.
Dixon, Fossett and Finley will be virtually sworn in for their four-year terms April 21, when incumbent Blue River mayor Toby Babich also will take the oath. Running unopposed, Babich received 150 votes.
Finley, a seven-year resident of Blue River and two-decade public educator, was the founding member and current chair of the town of Blue River Citizen Advisory Committee.
“I am ready to represent our town and citizens as well as lend a female voice to the once all-male town council,” Finley said in a text message moments after learning of her election late Tuesday.
Babich, who is the owner of Breckenridge Resort Managers and has lived in Blue River for a dozen years, has served as mayor since 2017. Ahead of running unopposed for reelection, Babich pointed to the town’s recent initiatives urging the Colorado Department of Transportation to take immediate measures to improve safety on the Colorado Highway 9 corridor. Babich also pointed to the town’s recent and ongoing work to expand the town’s trail network, partially via the acquisition of strategic parcels of land and easements as well as the desire to research and develop a comprehensive master plan for the town’s next 30 years.
“Our community has flourished over the past four years, and we have many community-based efforts in front of us that will require the focus of a collaborative group of community servants to continue down our path of achievement,” Babich wrote in an email Tuesday night.
Fossett won reelection to the board after serving as a trustee for the previous two years. The two-decade Summit County resident, who’s previously served as a member of the town’s planning and zoning commission, has said his top priority is to continue to building relationships with not only Blue River residents but also with various entities such as Breckenridge and the county, as Fossett said for many years Blue River was known for not wanting to participate with its municipal neighbors on many issues.
Looking ahead, Fossett has said he’d like to use what he says are improved inter-municipal relationships to buy land available for trails and open space projects as well as improve safety along the Highway 9 corridor that runs through town.
A quarter-century resident of Blue River, Dixon won reelection to continue four years as a trustee. Dixon’s top priorities include “always” respecting landowners’ rights when representing residents and property owners, continuing to make an effort to acquire open space, improving the town’s trail network and “thoroughly” analyzing all future municipal projects through the town’s capital improvement plan while ensuring Blue River’s resources are properly spent for the benefit of townspeople.
In his election campaign, Dixon touted his efforts thus far as a trustee to bring a full-time police force and a maintenance staff to the town while, like Fossett, speaking to the importance of what they say is the town’s improved relationship with neighboring municipalities.
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