Get out and vote |

Get out and vote

Aspen Times Staff Report

It may be off-season, but residents of the upper Roaring Fork Valley and Basalt have some important decisions to make today.

Elections for seats on the Aspen Valley Hospital board of directors and a proposed property tax hike for the Basalt and Rural Fire Protection District will be up for a vote today.

Three seats are up for grabs on the hospital board. All three incumbents – president Meg Haynes, Tom Griffiths and Chuck Torinus – are all seeking re-election. They are being challenged by Ann Mass, John Jellinek, John Sarpa and Elaine Gerson.

Anyone living within the hospital district, which extends to the midvalley, is eligible to vote. The polls will be open today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and are located at the Aspen Fire Station, Snowmass Chapel and Basalt High School.

Residents of the Basalt and Rural Fire Protection District will decide the fate today of a proposed property tax hike and three contested races for seats on the board of directors.

The district wants to increase the mill levy from 3.255 to 4.950 mills. That would raise about $1,695,000 annually in additional revenues for the operating budget.

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The extra money would be used to provide extra services and a savings plan for new equipment. Fire Chief Scott Thompson said he would hire four additional emergency medical technicians or EMT-intermediates to increase high-level, round-the-clock emergency response.

In the board races, three candidates are running for two positions with four-year terms. Incumbents Ed Van Walraven and Jim Stryker are seeking re-election and facing a challenge from Barb Forrest.

Running for a two-year seat are incumbent Hunter Lovins and challenger Robert Woods.

The only polling place for the election is at the new firehouse in El Jebel, 1089 J.W. Drive, on the main road between El Jebel Mobile Home Park and Blue Lake subdivision. Ballots can be cast between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

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