By Annie Lindgren
Wellington Voters will be receiving their ballots in the mail soon, as preparations are made for the April 7th Election. Here is what you need to know about changes made to this year’s voting process, the significance of this election, and how to find out more about the six candidates competing for the open seats.
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The Town of Wellington’s Municipal Election is scheduled for Tuesday, April 7th, for an election to fill three open seats on the Town’s Board of Trustees. Ballots will be mailed to residents within city limits who are eligible to vote, delivered as early as March 16th, and you can either return your ballot by mail, or you can drop it off at Town Hall. Note, that the ballot drop off location is different than the general election drop off at the Library. Your ballots must be delivered (by hand or post office) to Town Hall to be counted. Also, make sure to mark a vote for three of the six candidates, as the top three candidates with the most votes will get the open seats.
There were several candidate forums held during the last week of February, and early March, allowing folks to meet the candidates and hear what they plan to do for Wellington. If you missed the 2020 Candidate Forum, hosted by The Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce on February 26th, you can find a video recording of the candidates, and their discussions about important issues impacting Wellington and Larimer County, at the Chamber’s Facebook Page and website, https://www.wellingtoncoloradochamber.net.
The six candidates all earned their spot on the ballot through petitions or being eligible for re-election, and for meeting the residency requirements. A drawing was held to determine the order in which the names were placed on the ballots. Each candidate was asked to submit a biography and photo, to be posted on the town webpage. You can learn more about the candidates by visiting http://www.wellingtoncolorado.gov/452/Meet-Your-Candidates.
John Evans is running for re-election, after having served as Town Trustee since April of 2018 and wanting to continue working on important projects he is involved with.
Jon Gaiter is running for Trustee, to better serve his community, where he owns a business and has his family.
Rebekka Kinney is running for trustee, in a community that she is heavily involved in serving, and sharing her talents with.
Ashley Macdonald is running for trustee, after having served a four-year term from 2014-2018, to continue her passion for serving this community.
Joseph McDaniel is running for trustee to give back to the community that he grew up in and has watched grow and change throughout the course of his lifetime.
Daniel Sattler is running for re-election, to continue progress after having served as a trustee for the past four years and serving as the current Mayor Pro Tem.
Trustees are elected by the public for 4-year terms, and there are seven seats on the Board of Trustees, six trustees and a Mayor. This odd number is intentional to prevent ties in votes. The Board of Trustees manages the town budget, oversees the administration of the town, and proposes, passes, and ratifies laws and ordinances. The Mayor leads the board but holds the same voting powers as the rest of the Trustees.
Trustee meetings are held twice a month, on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday, at 6:30 pm at the Leeper Center (3800 Wilson Ave., Wellington, CO). These meetings are live broadcast on the Town of Wellington Facebook page, for public viewing, made available to watch at your convenience. The trustees are responsible for overseeing the important decisions that are made in and around the Town of Wellington and serve to represent the voice of the citizens. If you have an issue that you would like to bring to the Trustee’s attention, you can do so during the first 10 minutes of every trustee meeting, during an agenda item when the Mayor asks for public comment, or by reaching out to the Trustees via contact information listed on the Town of Wellington website. Minutes, agendas, and information on the current board can be found at http://www.wellingtoncolorado.gov/161/Board-of-Trustees.
A common theme heard from the Trustees at the candidate forum, is a collective need for more community engagement. A Trustee’s role is to represent the voice of the people, but without people engaging in what is happening with local government, it is left up to only those in the room, to decide what happens on behalf of all the 10,000 plus people who call Wellington home. Please consider getting more involved in your local government, by being aware of the important things that are happening, and by casting your vote on this election day.
Make sure your ballot is completed with your three votes, and at Town Hall (3735 Cleveland Ave.), by April 7th at 7 pm. Ballots can be turned in, in-person between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, or place your ballot in the mail by April 3rd (Po Box 127), to assure it arrives in time. The drop off location is different than the general election voting box, so do NOT drop it off at the library. To find out more information on the voting process, and the candidates, please visit the Town of Wellington Website, or call 970-568-3381. Also, see the accompanying candidate survey responses published at http://northfortynews.com/an-introduction-to-the-candidates-for-wellington-town-trustee/