Voters defeat two tax issues |

Voters defeat two tax issues

BRECKENRIDGE – More than half of Summit County’s 15,766 active voters took to the polls Tuesday to put most incumbents back in office, defeat two tax proposals and approve an initiative that will ban golf course development on the Frisco Peninsula Recreation Area.

Results in some of the closer races, however, could change as election judges count provisional ballots. Those ballots are given to voters at their polling locations when their names don’t appear in the voter registration books. Voters fill out affidavits and cast ballots. Election officials must verify the information provided in each affidavit before those votes can be tabulated.

In Summit County, 56 voters cast provisional ballots. In Eagle County, more than 400 voters cast provisional ballots. Election officials have 12 days to verify and count the ballots. Party chairs in Summit County will be asked to assist in the process, said Elections Administrator Vicky Stecklein.

Locally, Frisco voters voted 722 to 371 to approve a question that prohibits the town from planning, designing or building a golf course on its land on the peninsula.

Voters – many of whom were hit hard by fire district and school mill levy increases last fall – cast 4,242 ballots against Referred Measure 5A which would have put in place a .05 percent sales tax increase to fund Summit Housing Authority operations. An additional 3,622 voters cast votes in favor of the proposal.

They also voted 4,120 to 3,505 to defeat a .25 percent mill levy increase that would enable the Colorado River Water Conservation District to raise funds to secure water rights and develop more water facilities.

Mesa County voters were crucial to the success of that measure, as they were most affected by water shortages this summer. But voters defeated it by a margin of 52 percent to 43 percent. Throughout the 15-county district, voters defeated the measure 66,946 to 53,745.

“We were very concerned when we first proposed it if the economic conditions were favorable to putting it on the ballot,” said Peter Roessmann, education specialist for the district. “It’s disappointing. It was a bold move, a brave move, to come up with some solutions. To do nothing wouldn’t have been acceptable.”

Roessmann said voters reluctant to raise taxes were likely to be blamed for its failure.

Local politics

In the local political arena, Summit County voters cast 4,739 ballots to retain Independent Party county commissioner Gary Lindstrom. An additional 2,820 cast their votes for Justin McCarthy, a Green Party nominee.

Carl Miller took back his House Representative seat by a vote of 9,821 to 9,495. Summit County gave 4,099 to Miller and 3,680 to Heather Lemon. Eagle County voters cast 5,353 ballots in favor of Lemon, Republican challenger for state representative for District 56. They cast an additional 3,799 for incumbent Carl Miller. Lake County voters cast 1,923 votes for their hometown native and 462 for Lemon.

Sen. Joan Fitz-Gerald secured a second term in State Senate District 16 with the help of Summit County voters who cast 4,495 votes for her and 3,429 for challenger Web Sill. Districtwide, she garnered 25,900 votes compared to Sill’s 23,638 votes.

Unopposed candidates were all voted back into office. They included Republican County Clerk and Recorder Cheri Brunvand, who garnered 6,451 votes; Republican County Treasurer Larry Gilliland who received 6,253 votes; Democratic County Assessor Denise Steiskal with 5,944 votes and Republican Sheriff Joe Morales, with 6,616.

Republican Joanne Richardson received 5,839 votes to give her the county coroner’s seat. Last-minute write-in candidate Tim Schlough received 172 votes.

At the state level, Summit County voters helped put Republican Gov. Bill Owens back in office. He secured 4,372 votes in Summit County to Democrat Rollie Heath’s 3,224. Statewide, Owens received 815,367 votes to Heath’s 434,181.

Voters here also opted to put Republican Donetta Davidson back in her Secretary of State office, by a vote of 3,908 to Democrat Anthony Martinez’s 3,303.

Republican State Treasurer Mike Coffman retains his seat as well, aided by 3,760 votes from Summit County voters. An additional 3,266 votes were cast for Democrat Terry Phillips.

Democrat Attorney General Ken Salazar garnered 58.6 percent of the Summit County votes, with 4,645 cast for him compared to 2,540 cast for Republican Marti Allbright.

How Summit Voted

(* Victor)

U.S. Senate

Tom Strickland 4,425

* Wayne Allard 3,394

U.S. Representative

* Mark Udall 4,721

Sandy Hume 2,990


* Bill Owens 4,372

Rollie Heath 3,224

State Sen. District 16

* Joan Fitz-Gerald 4,495

Web Sill 3,429

State Rep. District 56

* Carl Miller 4,099

Heather Lemon 3,680

County Commissioner

Justin McCarthy 2,820

* Gary Lindstrom 4,739

Referendum 5a

(sales tax for housing)

Yes 3,622

* No 4,242

River District

(mill levy for water storage)

Yes 3,505

* No 4,120

Residents return home after repair of gas leak

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