Pair of incumbents ousted from Red, White & Blue board of directors, according to unofficial elections results |

Pair of incumbents ousted from Red, White & Blue board of directors, according to unofficial elections results

Incumbent and current board of directors vice-president Richard Rafferty and incumbent James Brook will be replaced by newer candidates if the unofficial results stand

Ryan Spencer/Summit Daily News
Candidates for three open positions on the Red, White & Blue Fire Protection District gathered Tuesday, April 11, at Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge for a candidate forum.
Ryan Spencer/Summit Daily News

Unofficial results have been tallied in an election for three open positions on the Red, White & Blue Fire Protection District board of directors after voting concluded Tuesday, May 2.

Olivia (Liv) Syptak and Philip Gudlewski have been elected to four-year terms on the board in a three-way race, according to the unofficial results. Syptak received 275 votes and Gudlewski received 207 votes to beat incumbent James Brook, who received 86 votes.

Meanwhile, unofficial results indicate Austyn Dineen received 238 votes to beat incumbent Richard Rafferty, who received 40 votes.

At a candidate forum last month, Syptak said she has lived in Summit County for 19 years and has experience working at global mining companies, including managing large-scale information technology projects and multimillion dollar budgets. She has served on the Red, White & Blue board of directors since being appointed in February.

“I think a board really owes it to the people that it serves to truly listen to what its constituents have to say, and in that you learn what their experience is and then you learn… how to support them,” Syptak said at the forum. “I see my role as a board member as a listener and then an asker of questions.”

Gudlewski introduced himself at the forum as a Summit County resident of 10 years who works for the town of Dillon’s water department. He said he worked briefly as an EMT in Davenport, Iowa, and for 4.5 years as a ski patroller at Killington Resort in Vermont.

“My vision for this is for the community to respect the department and the department to have that equal, if not higher, respect for the community,” Gudlewski said at the forum.

Dineen, meanwhile, said she has lived in the community for 18 years and has a first-responder husband who works as a ski patroller at Breckenridge Ski Resort. She has held various communication and public information officer positions in Summit County, including with the Breckenridge Tourism Office, Swift Communications and in joint public information officer positions coordinating communications related to wildfires and the pandemic.

“​​No matter the organization, it’s really imperative that we on our board have a reflective and diverse opinion across all seats,” Dineen said at the forum. “I do think part of any successful board is to ensure that all of those seats are reflecting different portions of our workforce and our community to ensure that we are serving those people appropriately.”

Rafferty, a retired technology director, had served on the board for eight years and currently holds the vice president position. Brook, a retired financial executive, was also an incumbent on the board of directors.

Through May 10, Uniformed Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act mail-in ballots will continue to be received. The canvass board will certify the election on or before May 16. The successful candidates will be sworn in at the May 25 board meeting.

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