Local elections are on the horizon for the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Montezuma County and Colorado.
On Oct. 11, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe will elect a tribal chairman and three council members.
On Nov. 5, there is a coordinated Montezuma County election. Local and state ballot questions will be decided, and school board members elected in Cortez, Mancos and Dolores.
On the Ute Mountain tribe, seven candidates are running for chairman. Incumbent Harold Cuthair is running for a second three-year term. Challengers include Quinton Jacket, Manuel Heart, DeAnne House, Emeline Casey, Davis Wing and Kenneth Bancroft.
On the Tribal Council, three seats are up for election – two in Towaoc and one in White Mesa. Council members Elaine Cantsee of White Mesa, and Prisllena Nightstarr are seeking re-election. Council member Colleen Cuthair-Root’s term also is up.
Nine candidates are running for two Tribal Council seats in Towaoc. They are Lyndreth Wall, Mara Weeks, Archie House Jr., Prisllena Nightstarr, Patapony Root Sr., Angelita Berry, Brendon Adams, Leland Collins Sr. and Darwin Whiteman Jr. The top two vote-getters will each serve a three-year term.
Candidates for the White Mesa Tribal Council position are Malcolm Lehi, Suzette Morris and incumbent Elaine Cantsee.
On Oct. 11, polling centers are open 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Community Center in Towaoc and in the White Mesa Recreation Center.
“Be very careful who you choose in this election,” outgoing Tribal Councilwoman Colleen Cuthair said during a community meeting in Towaoc. “We need better cooperation between government leaders in order to move forward.”
Montezuma County ballotMontezuma County will vote on local and state questions. A sample ballot is available on the county election website.
With ballot issue 4A, Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1 is seeking a property tax increase to raise teachers’ salaries.
With ballot issue 6A, the Cortez Fire Protection District is asking voter permission to offset revenue losses from changes to the percentage of actual assessed property valuations by increasing its operating mill levy beginning in 2021.
The Mancos Re-6 and Dolores Re-4A school districts have contested board elections. The Montezuma-Cortez school board also has an election, but incumbents won’t face challengers. Incumbents Tammy Hooten from District E, Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk from District D, Lance McDaniel from District A and Sherri Wright from District C will retain their seats.
Kara Suckla, currently representing District G, does not plan to seek reelection, and no candidate has announced plans to run for her seat.
In Mancos, three seats are open. The terms for directors Pamela A. Coppinger and Timothy J. Hunter are up, and both seeking reelection. The third open seat was held by former Treasurer Ed Whritner, who resigned to take a job with the district.
Candidates for the three open seats include Hunter, Coppinger, Nick Manning, Tressa J. Jukes, Bridgett Jabour, Katie Cahill-Volpe, Adam F. Priestley and Gina Love.
Community members will be able to meet the candidates at a forum at 6 p.m. Oct. 7 at the new Mancos school cafeteria.
In Dolores, six candidates will run for three open seats on the Re-4A Board of Education in November.
Terms are up for board members Deanna Truelsen and Vangi McCoy. The third seat is held by Treasurer Lenetta Shull, who was appointed to serve out a board vacancy, and she is running to retain her seat.
The candidates running are Shull, Joe “Spark” Reed, Phil Kasper, Clay Tallmadge, Maegan Crowley and Alex Prime.
A community forum will be 6-8 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Dolores Community Center, 400 Riverside Ave.
Colorado ballot questionsVoters will determine the fate of two state questions on the ballot.
Proposition CC asks voters to allow the state to keep all the tax revenue it collects after June 2019 that the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights would otherwise send back to residents as refunds.
TABOR limits the amount of revenue the state can collect to inflation plus population growth. When the state’s collection of taxes exceeds the TABOR limit, the state returns the surplus to residents. Individuals can receive money back from the state or pay less in taxes.
Proposition DD asks voters for state taxes to be increased by $29 million annually to fund state water projects and to pay for the regulation of sports betting through licensed casinos by authorizing a tax on sports betting.
Ballots for the mail-in election will be sent out Oct. 11, said Kim Percell, Montezuma County Clerk and Recorder. Just under 16,000 ballots will be sent out.
The ballots can be mailed in or dropped off at ballot boxes at the County Clerk and Recorders office, Dolores Town Hall, Mancos Town Hall and at the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Council headquarters in Towaoc.
Mail-in ballots must mailed at least a week before election day in order reach the Clerk’s Office by Election Day, Nov. 5.
There are 17,047 active registered voters in Montezuma County.