RIDGWAY – Town Clerk Pam Kraft confirmed earlier this week that four candidates are seeking three vacant Ridgway Town Council seats and that current Mayor Pat Willits is seeking re-election in the upcoming April 6 municipal election.
Incumbent candidates Rick Weaver and John Clark are both seeking reelection while candidates Richard Durnan and Tim Patterson are each running for one of the three vacant seats. Willits is running uncontested for the mayor’s seat.
The nomination period for those seeking vacant council seats closed on March 8.
Councilmember Debra Hynes decided not to seek reelection but thanked members of Town Council and town staff at the March 10 meeting for her “experience” on council, saying she plans to remain involved in the town government, but as a member of the public rather than a councilmember.
Voters in Ridgway will also be asked on April 6 to allocate 100 percent of the tax revenues received from the Lodging Occupation Tax toward tourism promotion and economic development. Currently, 50 percent of the collected LOT funds are allocated toward the mitigation of the effects of tourism and growth.
Town Council approved the ballot question last February, which reads, “Shall the town council of the Town of Ridgway be permitted to adopt an ordinance to amend section 3-3 of the Ridgway Municipal Code so as to allocate 100 percent of tax revenues generated from the lodging occupation tax toward tourism promotion and economic development, in substitution of the current allocation of 50 percent toward tourism promotion and 50 percent toward the mitigation of effects of tourism and growth as approved by the voters in 2002.”
The town collects on average a $24,000 annually in lodging taxes, and currently directs half of that to the Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce for the purposes of promoting tourism in Ridgway.
Jeff Hunt Hired as New Deputy Marshal Town Manager Greg Clifton introduced Jeff Hunt as Ridgway’s new deputy marshal at its meeting on March 10.
Hunt, a three-and-a-half year resident of Ridgway, was selected from a pool of five candidates for the part-time position.
“He is a resident of Ridgway and while he somewhat of a new recruit out of the academy, he interviewed so well,” Clifton told members of the Ridgway Town Council. He said a consortium of councilmembers, town staff, both Marshal’s departments and the Ridgway Schools Superintendent were involved in the selection process. “While he is somewhat new, he is quickly acquiring experience.”
“I look forward to serving the community and working with all of you,” Hunt said.
Final Reading of Signage Regulations Approved
With little discussion, the Ridgway Town Council unanimously approved at its March 10 meeting the final reading of Ordinance 2-2010, which amends the town’s temporary signage regulations by increasing the allowable temporary signage area from 10 to 16 square feet in the commercial industrial zoning district as well as allowing portable tent-style signs outside any buildings and window flyers without a sign permit.
The approval was recommended by the Temporary Signage Task Force, after several months of dialogue between Town Council, town staff and business owners who wished to have the town’s signage regulations ease.
The tent-board/sandwich-board style signs are allowed without a permit during business hours, but if a sign is placed on town right-of-way, the business owner must receive council approval for a revocable permit for the sign.
Town Attorney John Kappa questioned a small portion of the approved ordinance language that states, “The revocable permit may be revoked by the Town at any time for any reasonable reason.”
Kappa allowed that the term “reasonable reason” might sound arbitrary, but said that after researching it, he found that language had been in the town’s code for a “long time,” and decided it was sufficient.