Tax issues voted down, school board members chosen

RBC I Tuesday was a bad day for those backing any kind of tax increase as Amendment 66 at the state level and Ballot Issue 3A in Meeker failed to carry a majority of voters. In addition, the Meeker and Rangely school districts picked their new school board members for four-year terms.
Rio Blanco County Clerk and Recorder Nancy R. Amick said Tuesday, before the election voting was complete, that this election had the best turnout in more than 20 years.
Amendment 66, which would have meant an increased income tax and which would have revamped the method with which the state funds its schools, went down to a nearly 2-1 failure statewide and roughly a 5-1 defeat in Rio Blanco County.
Meeker voters, meanwhile, turned down a property tax increase to bring in more funds to Meeker School District RE-1 by a vote of 642 in favor and 705 against.
Also in Meeker, voters selected four persons to the Meeker School District Board of Trustees. Seven candidates ran for four seats in that election and the top four vote-getters were: Bud Ridings with 856 votes, incumbent Bill deVergie was returned to office with 743 votes, Dan J. Chinn won election with 719 votes and Todd Shults won the final seat with 668 votes.
Those candidates who came up short were: Kristen Eskelson with 572 votes, George Henderson with 412 votes and Carly Thompson with 346 votes.
In Rangely, five candidates ran for two open seats. Winning vote-getters were Samuel Tolley with 531 votes and Annette Webber with 344 votes.
Those who failed to garner enough votes for the board seats were: Nathaniel Polley with 231 votes, Owen C. Robertson with 129 votes and Amelia K. Swenson with 92 votes.
In statewide issues, Amendment 66, Rio Blanco County voters cast 332 votes in favor and 1,790 against. Statewide, the issue was voted down by roughly a 2-1 margin.
Proposition AA, which passed statewide to impose marijuana sales taxes, was approved by Rio Blanco County voters by a 1,222-861 margin.
There were 4,398 registered voters in the county for the election, Amick said. In the Meeker district,1,360 voters cast ballots for a 53.04 percent turnout; in the Rangely district, 778 voters cast their ballots for a turnout of 42.51 percent. Overall, there were 2,141 ballots cast in Rio Blanco County for an overall turnout of 48.68 percent.