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Raitano back on council

Lu Snyder

DILLON – Former council member and 2002 mayoral candidate Ben Raitano was appointed to Dillon’s vacant council seat Tuesday.

“I’m glad (the council) appointed me,” Raitano said Tuesday evening.

Only three candidates ran for the four council positions in April’s election – incumbents Mike Smith and Jim Dover, and write-in candidate Lorin Gardner.

Three people expressed interest in the vacancy after the election – Raitano, Chris Orchard and Billy Perkins. Raitano and Orchard were mayoral candidates who ran against now-Mayor Barbara Davis. Perkins said he became interested when he saw the lack of candidates for council and the meager election turnout.

Though town officials had three interested parties by their April 16 meeting, they chose to advertise for additional letters of interest, with the intent of interviewing all candidates prior to Tuesday’s meeting.

“A few people had expressed interest but never came in to apply,” Davis said Tuesday.

The council interviewed Orchard, Perkins and Raitano before their regular meeting Tuesday and opened the meeting with nominations – Raitano received the only nominations.

Davis said she believes Raitano was selected for “his experience, his depth of knowledge, his willingness to continue to be involved in committees and boards … and his vision.”

Raitano has been appointed to serve a two-year term. He has served eight years on the council, and four years on the town board (before it became the council), he said.

Perkins said he was a little disappointed with the council’s decision, but not surprised, considering Raitano’s experience with the council. He added he plans to attend as many meetings as he can, with the hope of becoming involved with a citizens committee. Perkins said there is a possibility he will run for council member in the 2004 election.

The Summit Daily News was not able to reach Orchard for comment.

Lu Snyder can be reached at 970-668-3998 x203 or lsnyder@summitdaily.com


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