Walbridge ballot issue passes 305-77

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Of 990 ballots mailed to active voters, 397 were returned for the April 3 municipal election. Running unopposed, Mayor Mandi Etheridge and trustees Katelin Cook, Andy Thomson and John Strate (a write-in candidate) will continue to hold their positions on the board. Voters also gave their approval to the ballot issue, which transfers ownership of the Walbridge Wing from the town of Meeker to Pioneers Medical Center.
The board of trustees officially welcomed new town administrator Scott Meszaros at the April 3 regular board meeting. Meszaros started work April 2. Sharon Day will continue on staff until April 30.
Tom Kilduff, Joe Dungan and Mike Gould from the local VFW post gave a presentation to the trustees regarding the proposed veterans memorial, and seeking financial contributions to support the installation of the proposed bronze sculpture in front of the county courthouse.
“We settled on a veteran from this war,” Dungan said. “These veterans have given more in the way of sacrifice than any veterans in the last 60 years.”
Dungan enumerated the changing roles of women in the recent combat, the length of combat endured by the enlisted, as well as the need to honor all our local veterans.
“We have a veteran up in the cemetery who fought in the Mexican War and in the Civil War. We have a lot of veterans in the valley.”
The goal date for the unveiling of the statue is Memorial Day 2013.
The board of trustees approved a $2,500 donation toward the memorial. Donation cans will be available around town.
Ken Coffin from the forest service gave a quarterly update to the board.
“We’re moving along quite nicely with the Capitol Christmas Tree project,” Coffin said. “I want to encourage the town, I think there’s a real opportunity to put yourselves on the map. There’s a lot of things here that I think if people were aware, they would make this a destination spot.”
In other business, the board approved a special events liquor license for the District Lions Club Convention April 27-28 to be held at the Fairfield Center. Tom Allen, representing the Lions Club, explained that the district is an opportunity for the local Lions Club to “take their turn” and host the District 6 convention.
“We’re expecting 200-250 people in town. It’s kind of a win-win situation,” Allen said.
The board also authorized a four-day per week, 10-hours per day employee schedule for the summer months and continued a discussion from last month about setting a policy for bid preferences for local businesses.