On Tuesday, November 5, unofficial election results were posted with 4,725 total ballots cast (a 44.29 percent voter turnout) submitted in Las Animas County in comparison to 4,711 total votes in 2017.
One issue that was reported on Wednesday is that the county had stated they could not find one of the ballots. According to Las Animas County Chief Deputy Clerk Joseph Mestas it was actually a bar code error.
“The missing ballot was actually a tracking error,” said Mestas, “that happened when one of the judges scanned the bar code and the serial number was one digit off. We got it figured out and resolved so that’s no longer an issue.”
The evening’s results revealed incumbent Mayor Phil Rico to have been elected to serve a third term as Trinidad Mayor.
“As we move forward I will continue to work diligently for the betterment of Trinidad,” said Rico, “and to work closely with the newly elected and current city council members, county commissioners, citizens and other groups in Trinidad. There is a lot to do and together I believe that we will continue on the positive path we are on. ”
For Trinidad City Council, numbers showed Erin Ogletree, Aaron Williams, and Franklin Shew as elected to fill the three empty seats.
“I’m very grateful this community made it possible for me to serve on City Council,” said Erin Ogletree. “I look forward to following through on all those conversations we had about our collective concerns and working to make Trinidad the best and brightest community in southern Colorado.”
The Chronicle-News reached out to Robert Shew and Aaron Williams but neither responded before press time.
At Trinidad School District No. 1, three seats were left to be filled and numbers revealed Ed Romero, James Sanchez, and Karen Montera as who would be filling the spots.
The Chronicle-News attempted to reach out to them for follow-up but did not get a response in time to be included in this article.
Along with the new school board members, many in the community and individuals from TSD1 expressed their excitement that 4B was passed, meaning, according to Superintendent Dr. Bonnie Aaron, the students of Trinidad have much to look forward to in the future.
Ballot issue 6A regarding tax increase to help support Trinidad Ambulance District was voted down, 3,316 to 1,155. TAD Administrative Director Dan Moynihan stated while there’s a possibility for issues down the line, this won’t change the level of services currently being provided by the district.
“Unfortunately, the ballot question made it sound as though we were going to immediately double the amount of tax we collect. What we were looking for was the ability to bring the dollar amount back to the 2010 levels, should it be necessary. What we were trying to avoid was having to go through the same ordeal as the County,” Moynihan said. “They asked for tax increases and were also denied. It wasn’t until services were cut, the Courthouse was closed two days a week and employees were furloughed, that the voters understood the necessity of the increase. I don’t foresee any immediate changes to the way we are operating. Should there come a time where services need to be reduced, we will notify the public of such changes.”