Council member requests S’thorne recount
SILVERTHORNE – Silverthorne Town Council member Howard Hallman requested a recount Wednesday after Tuesday’s special election yielded a nine-vote difference.
The “Yes for Silverthorne” campaign for rezoning to build a grocery store center on the Smith Ranch won by a margin of less than one percent.
Out of 941 voters, nine more residents voted yes than voted no. The uncertified vote total Tuesday night was 475 yes votes versus 466 no votes.
A recount would be mandatory if the vote difference was one half of one percent (0.50 percent), said town clerk Michele Karlin. The vote difference was ninety-five hundredths of one percent (0.95 percent).
Although the recount is not mandatory, according to the law, anyone can ask for a recount. The person requesting the recount must pay for the cost of the recount, Karlin said.
It is unclear at this point what that cost would be. The overall election, with ballots, election judges, the use of the county office and staff cost about $4,000, said Donna Braun, town finance officer.
The cost of a recount would probably be less than the election night cost, said Summit County Clerk Cheri Brunvand.
Hallman would have been one of two council members who voted against the rezoning had the council not chosen to take the issue to Silverthorne voters.
“We’re not trying to harass anyone. There are some potential irregularities that could be large enough in number to change the outcome,” said Jim Shaw, a leader of the Silverthorne Advocates for Votes on Expansion. “The developer says there’s no hurry; he won’t begin construction until spring, so we’re not slowing anyone down.”
Alleged potential irregularities include absentee voters who were not on the updated list of registered voters, Shaw said.
Karlin said there were voters who filed for emergency registration when they realized they were still registered to vote in the county where they used to live.
Emergency registration occurs when a Colorado resident is registered to vote in one county, then moves to another. The voter must swear to election officials they have lived in the county (where they are asking for emergency registration) at least 30 days before the election, under penalty of perjury, Karlin said.
Healing a town divided
With a community so evenly divided, leaders of the successful yes campaign and the no campaign say healing is needed.
Town staff allegedly has been subjected to both sides’ views, to the point of fearing for their jobs for not following town master plans and financial planning, said town manager Kevin Batchelder. Town employees are dedicated to the public service of making Silverthorne a great place to live, he said.
Councilmember Peggy Long said she wants the healing to begin by getting residents involved in the town, such as volunteering or participating in town meetings.
Shaw said the healing for the opponents of the rezoning will begin when the leadership makes it happen. The yes proponents would have asked for a recount with an election that close, Shaw said.
Batchelder said the grocery store center and economic development efforts along Rainbow Drive and near the Silverthorne Pavilion can move forward simultaneously.
Of the 72-acre Smith Ranch, the Shops at Silver Mountain Village are planned on the southeastern, 11-acre corner – the land closest to the Elks Lodge on Highway 9.
Construction crews plan to begin working on the Shops at Silver Mountain Village in March or April, depending on how soon warm weather arrives, said developer Brad Kornfeld.
The grocery store and the first few shops are scheduled to open by Thanksgiving 2004.
Potential Silver Mountain
Although Kornfeld was not ready to disclose a couple tenants who have signed leases, he said there are store sites open.
“We hope people contact us with ideas for retail or service businesses they want to see or run at the Shops at Silver Mountain Village,” said Kornfeld, whose business is listed as Kornfeld Koslowsky Properties in Denver.
Once stores open, the town will receive a projected $600,000-$700,000 annually in sales taxes, Braun said. Sales taxes are more difficult to predict than property taxes, which are not a revenue source in Silverthorne.
Forty-two percent of about 2,200 registered voters turned out to vote. The town had to turn away about 100 people who thought they were registered to vote in the town, but were not on the list of registered voters.
Christine McManus can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229, or email@example.com.
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