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Valley Elections: Hotchkiss Has Six Candidates for Four Seats

February 15th, 2016

Filed under Community, Featured, Hotchkiss, News

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Valley Elections:  Hotchkiss Has Six Candidates for Four Seats  

By Thomas Wills         

In all upcoming Valley municipal elections, to be conducted mostly by mail-in ballot, in order to qualify to vote you must have been a resident of the specific town at least 22 days before the election. Beside that you need to be registered to vote, hopefully well before the 22 days, but due to changes in the law, voters can now register right up to election day. This according to Hotchkiss Town Clerk Marlene Searle, and the County Clerk’s office, which will be coordinating the municipal elections.  Mail-in ballots will be going out a couple weeks prior to the April 5 election.

There are four Hotchkiss Town Council-Trustee seats up for grabs in the April 5th mail-in municipal election. As of January 19th the Hotchkiss Town Clerk’s office reports that eight candidate petitions for four Trustee seats on the Town Council have been taken out and six had been returned as of the January 25 deadline. Two petitioners did not return them.

The six candidates that have presented completed petitions are John Marta, Patrick Webb,  Jim Roberts, Larry Jakubiak, Ralph Sandmann and Mary Hockenbery.

John Marta is a Hotchkiss native, retired from the mining industry, who has been an active volunteer with the Hotchkiss Senior Citizens Center and was a former member of the North Fork Mosquito Abatement District board.

Jim Roberts, current incumbent, and longtime resident, is also retired from truck driving and mining. He volunteered for many years with the Hotchkiss Fire Department.  He and wife Barbara live on Poplar Street in Willow Heights.

Larry Jakubiak is an appointed incumbent, former mayor,and has spent almost 20 years on the council beginning in 1992. He formerly ownedthe North Fork Valley  restaurant and is co-founder of Man Reach, provides service to rural gay men. Jakubiak has the historical distinction of being one of the very first openly gay mayors of small rural communities in Colorado.

Ralph Sandmann is a creative woodworker and furniture maker.

Patrick Webb, a semi-retired dealer in antiques and collectible rugs, lives with his wife Thesa Kallinikos, a teacher, on Duke Hill.

Mary Hockenbery, owner of the Church of Art at First and Main, has been very active with the Chamber of Commerce and the Town. She is a professional photographer as well as gallery owner and  was 2013 Chamber Citizen of the Year and has served on both the Chamber board and as a member and chair of the Hotchkiss Planning Commission. She is also current president of the Hotchkiss Fine Arts Association. She iives with her husband, Touffic Hadad, on Poplar Street in Willow Heights.

The new  and returning trustees will join Mayor Wendell Koontz (two years to go and then term limited in 2018), Tom Wills (this reporter – middle of four year term), and Lindee Cantrell (middle of four year term and then term limited in 2018).

Hotchkiss will also be asking voters if they want to approve having commercial cannabis related businesses in town and if so would an additional excise tax be appropriate?

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