Dillon Town Council special election canceled after candidate drops out of race
John Woods shall be sworn in as Dillon Town Council’s newest member at an upcoming meeting on Sept. 20.
The special election scheduled for Sept. 13 has been canceled after Woods’ lone competitor, Kevin Stout, withdrew from the race. Woods said Tuesday he was excited and thrilled to have the opportunity to serve the town.
Council unanimously approved a resolution to cancel the special election and determine Woods the de facto candidate. He will serve until the next regular election on April 2, 2024.
“I think John will be a great addition,” council member Dana Christiansen said.
Stout withdrew his candidacy as of Sept. 4, according to a staff summary. Summit Daily News called Stout to get an explanation about his withdrawal, but he did not immediately return the media request before publication.
If the swearing-in ceremony goes as expected, Woods will assume the seat, which was vacated by Steve Milroy in May.
Filling Milroy’s seat hasn’t been simple for the town. Town Council initially attempted to appoint a member on its own without an election but ran into a deadlock when it couldn’t put a majority of its support behind one of five candidates. Stout and another candidate garnered equal support among councilors, and so the council needed to send the matter to the voters.
Considering the cost of the special election, council members expressed a desire to avoid one. The cost to prepare the Sept. 13 election was $5,000. The town will see $700 returned to its budget because of the cancellation since it will not need to pay for any election judges, a staff summary stated.
Council approved the special election at its meeting on June 21. By the July 18 deadline, only Woods and Stout had completed an application.
Woods became a Dillon resident in 2020 but said he always wanted to be the local guy in a mountain town. The lake, the town’s amphitheater and the town’s potential lured him to Dillon, in particular, among all of Summit County’s mountain towns.
Much of his career was spent working with live music, giving him a quick connection to the town and its amphitheater. Working at the amphitheater connected him to the town and got him thinking about ways to improve it. Those ideas led him to apply as a candidate, he said previously.
Improving the town’s core and returning its “luster” was one of Woods’ main concerns during his campaign. As part of that goal, he said he wants to draw more tourists and their wallets to Dillon’s downtown. With Interstate 70 bringing thousands of travelers past Dillon each day, he said he wants to encourage the town and its businesses to pull them off the highway and into town.
Woods has voiced opposition to short-term rental caps, citing a desire to not dictate what homeowners can and cannot do with their property. That said, he’s also recognized the need to take a proactive approach to the countywide housing shortage.
Woods has served as a board member for the Corinthian Hill Metro District in Dillon since the start of the summer.
He retired from his career in marketing and sales six years ago, but he said he’s always looking to take on new endeavors and described the role of council member as “one more challenge.”
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