MEEKER I The Meeker Town Board election on April 5 is rapidly approaching.
The deadline for candidates to file their petitions to run is Jan. 25. Candidates must be at least 18 years old by April 5, have been a resident of the town for at least the 12 months prior to the election and be a registered elector for at least 30 days prior.
Nomination petitions, which must have at least 10 valid town elector signatures, can be picked up at Meeker Town Hall on Market Street and must be returned by 5 p.m. on Jan. 25.
The town board of trustees and the mayor serve as Meeker’s legislative body. They set policy, determine the town priorities and direction, adopt resolutions and ordinances and adopt the town’s budget, all in accordance with state statutes and existing ordinances.
The councils of both towns consist of six members, each serving four-year terms, and a mayor, serving a two-year term.
Trustees are limited to two consecutive terms. Mayors are limited to three terms. In both towns, three of the six members and the mayor are up for election every other year.
Meeker Mayor Regas Halandras initially served two terms as a trustee, from 2006 to 2014, and is now completing his first term as mayor. He is expected to run for re-election. The trustees whose terms expire this year are John Strate, Travis Day and Bryce Ducey.
Strate is term-limited and Ducey reports that he is not going to run for re-election at this time, so there are two open seats. Day has filed his petition for re-election.
Day was appointed in February 2015 to fill the vacancy left when Katelin Cook resigned her seat.
Ducey told the Herald Times he has “very much enjoyed serving the town for his one term, but with a brand new baby and another youngster at home, and active business demands, I can’t continue to do the job the justice it deserves.”
The holdover Meeker trustees are Danny Conrado, Scott Creecy and Rodney Gerloff.
In the budget for 2016, the Meeker board voted to increase the minimal stipends received by council members. Newly elected trustee stipends will go from the current $50 per month to $300. The mayor’s stipend will go from the current $70 to $500 per month.
Meeker Town Clerk Lisa Cook said these member stipends are set by each municipal board and vary considerably across the state, typically increasing with the size of the given town.
There can also be write-in candidates.
At the meeting last week, the Meeker board voted to conform the town to a change in state law requiring the deadline for write-in candidates be advanced to 63 days before the election, which is Feb. 1 this year. Previously, this deadline was only 20 days prior to the election.
Lisa Cook explained that the Colorado State Legislature was compelled to make this change in order to accommodate an earlier deadline (Feb. 19) for mailing ballots to overseas military voters if there are indeed enough candidates for an election to be held.