For the April 7 mail-in municipal election, Dolores voters will decide two key issues – retail marijuana sales and OHV use in town – plus vote in a mayor and three Town Board members.
Mayor Chad Wheelus is seeking a second term. He is being challenged by Gerald “Jerry” Whited. Mayor terms are for two years.
Three seats are open on the Town Board. Terms are up for Duvall “Val” Truelsen, Robert “Cody” Folsom, and James Biard.
Five candidates are vying for the three board positions. Truelsen is seeking re-election. Folsom is seeking election to a full term. He has been serving as a board member after being appointed in November 2018 to fill a vacancy.
The other Town Board candidates are Andy Lewis, Sheila Wheeler, and Kirk Swope. Elected candidates will serve four-year terms.
Two issues, long-debated for many years will be decided by voters – whether to allow retail marijuana sales and whether off-highway vehicles, such as ATV’s, should be allowed to travel town streets.
This year, the Town Board opted to let the residents decide the issues at the ballot box.
Concerning retail marijuana sales, voters will have six questions. Four questions ask whether stores and different types of marijuana sales, testing and production should be allowed. Two questions will be whether there should be additional taxes on retail marijuana sales and cultivation.
The “yes” or “no” retail marijuana ballot questions titles are: Medical and Retail Marijuana Stores Question; Medical and Retail Marijuana Product Manufacturing Facilities Question; Medical and Retail Marijuana Testing Manufacturing Facilities Question; and Medical and Retail Marijuana Cultivation Facilities Question.
Two retail marijuana tax questions will be on the ballot. One question will ask whether each marijuana sale should be subject to an occupation tax (a transaction fee) of no more than $5. Another will ask whether there should be a 5% excise tax on the sale of unprocessed cultivated retail marijuana to a retail store.
Specifically, the “yes” or “no” marijuana tax questions titles are:
Medical and Retail Marijuana and Medical and Retail Marijuana Municipal Special Occupation Tax Question.Municipal Excise Tax on the First Sale or Transfer of Retail Marijuana by a Retail Marijuana Cultivation Facility Question.The two marijuana tax questions are moot if voters reject marijuana operations altogether.
The other issue voters will decide on is whether OHV’s should be allowed to travel on designated streets in Dolores.
The ballot question is: Shall off-highway vehicles (OHVs) be permitted on designated public streets and routes within the Town of Dolores pursuant to resolution or ordinances to be adopted by the Town of Dolores Board of Trustees?
Ballots will be mailed March 16. They can be returned via the mail, but must arrive at the clerks office by April 7 to be counted. Ballots can also be dropped off at the Town Hall ballot box up to 7 p.m. Election Day.
The town plans to hold a public forum with a moderator at the Dolores Community Center on the topics of retail marijuana sales and OHV use on town streets. Information will be presented on both topics, and there will be opportunities for public comment.
A forum date will be announced soon.