Murray a newcomer to Aspen Fire Protection District board |

Murray a newcomer to Aspen Fire Protection District board

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times
Denis Murray

Stoney Davis and Tom Clapper were re-elected to the Aspen Fire Protection District board of directors on Tuesday. They will join newcomer Denis Murray, who ran third among the 10 men vying for three open seats on the board.

“I don’t really have an expectation. I really just want to contribute,” Murray said. “I’ll be the new person, and I feel good about the opportunity. I look forward to learning the business of the district.”

Voters within the Aspen district were allowed to choose three candidates, although some voted for only one or two candidates in the field. In all, 3,087 votes were cast in the mail-in ballot election, according to a notice posted on the district’s door Wednesday morning.

An estimated 1,200 ballots were returned in the election out of 8,000 that had been mailed to voters in the district. Some ballots were dropped off at the fire station on East Hopkins Avenue instead of being mailed, district administrator Nikki Lapin said.

Davis received 637, or 20.6 percent of the votes cast. Clapper garnered 437, or 14.2 percent of the votes. Murray pulled 386 votes, or 12.5 percent.

The fourth-place finisher was Stefan Reveal, with 326 votes, or 10.6 percent.

Adjusting the percentages based on the number of returned ballots, Davis, 71, a board member for 18 years, received support from more than half of the estimated 1,200 voters. He is a retired businessman.

Clapper, 57, is a former Aspen firefighter. His family has deep roots in the department, and he has served on the board since 2006.

Murray, 54, works for the city of Aspen’s Building Department. Before the election, he said in a prepared statement that he has been involved “with the building code and the fire code” for the past 15 years.

Lapin said the vote-counting process started Tuesday afternoon, though polls didn’t officially close until 7 p.m. Lapin said the tally wasn’t completed until about 12:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Three local residents — Debbie Overeynder, Linda Manning and Lynn Link — served as election judges, verifying ballots and counting votes on Tuesday evening. Manning is Aspen’s new city clerk but was volunteering for the job, not serving in her official capacity.

The board consists of five members who serve four-year terms. Davis, Clapper and Murray will join Jack Simmons and Karl Adam, who were elected in 2012. Elections are held every two years. The board meets on the second Wednesday of each month.

Other candidates in the race were: Chuck Fillion, George Kremer, David Lyons, Mike Haman, Steven Seyffert and Wendle Whiting.

A few remaining ballots cast by overseas voters will be accepted in the coming days, Lapin said. Those votes are not expected to affect the result.

The Aspen fire district covers 87 square miles and includes Aspen, Woody Creek, Aspen Village, Brush Creek, Gerbazdale and other areas of the upper Roaring Fork Valley.

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