While the word "election" tends to get most people thinking about the upcoming presidential election in November, residents of several nearby cities and towns had elections of their own this month.
Citizens in Green Mountain Falls, Woodland Park and Monument headed to the ballot box April 5 to choose local leaders and decide on taxes and other issues. Here's a roundup of what went down:
• Green Mountain Falls: Controversy was big in this small Ute Pass town, where incumbent Mayor Lorrie Worthey lost her seat to Jane Newberry, a former member of the town's Board of Trustees, 148-125. Incumbent Mayor Pro Tem Tyler Stevens and newcomers David Pearlman and Cameron Thorne took three open seats on the town's board. Incumbent trustee Barbara Gardiner was not reelected.
The election was largely a victory for a slate of candidates calling themselves "Smoother Roads Ahead for GMF." The slate included Newberry, Thorne, Pearlman and trustee candidate Erin Kowal. The group has said they want to repair roads among other priorities.
Newberry and Worthey ran against each other previously in 2014, when Worthey won her second mayoral term.
• Woodland Park: Neil Levy was elected mayor, beating challengers Mike Maddux and Noel Sawyer. Levy received 978 votes to Maddux's 325 and Sawyer's 825. Levy has been serving as mayor since being appointed in 2014, after David Turley resigned because he was facing legal troubles.
Voters also picked three members for the City Council: Val Carr, Paul Saunier and Carrol Harvey. Saunier edged a fourth candidate, Bill Loftin, by 52 votes.
Finally, voters approved Ballot Issue 1, increasing Woodland Park's city sales tax by nearly $2.3 million in the first year but reducing property taxes. The money will go to Woodland Park School District RE-2 for education needs and to pay off debt.
• Monument: Voters in the town north of Colorado Springs selected four candidates for the Board of Trustees out of a pool of eight: newcomers Greg Coopman, Don Wilson and Shea Medlicot, and incumbent Jeffrey Bornstein. The four were running together as the "Accountability Slate."
The election showed a lack of support for incumbents Becki Tooley and John Howe. The slate was critical of the board's decision to settle with Colonial Management Group for $350,000, the Gazette reports, greatly depleting the town's reserve funds. Colonial had wanted to open a methadone clinic in Monument and had won initial approval. Many residents were upset at the prospect of having a business that attracts recovering drug addicts in their small town, and they asked the trustees to stop it. The trustees were able to settle with Colonial, which agreed not to build a clinic in the town, but many felt the cost of the settlement was exorbitant.