Polls close in Nederland mayoral, trustee and ballot issue election

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the number of people elected to the Nederland Board of Trustees.

Nederland Trustee Julian Taylor will be the town’s next mayor, but his time in the role will be short-lived as he prepares to move to Massachusetts for a job.

“I will be mayor for no more than three or four months because I am moving to the east coast,” he said. “I will be promoting a special election. I think the people should be responsible for choosing the next mayor.”

Town Clerk Miranda Fisher said when Taylor resigns as mayor, the board of trustees has 60 days to decide if it wants to hold a special election. The board could also decide to appoint someone to replace him.

If the board decides to hold a special election, the date will have to be set 91 days from when the trustees make the decision to allow for enough time for circulation of nomination petitions. Town staff would also recommend that the election falls on the first Tuesday of the month, Fisher wrote in an email.

Taylor’s new role as mayor also creates a vacancy on the board of trustees. Fisher said Taylor is is recommending that the board fill that seat through appointment, but the board could also choose to hold a special election for that seat as well.

“Depending on when Julian resigns, an election for the two seats could coincide,” she said.

Taylor, 64, received 293 votes as of 9 p.m. Tuesday night. He has been a member of Nederland’s Board of Trustees for the past two years. He will replace Mayor Kristopher Larsen, who did not run for re-election.

Trustee candidates Karen Blakemore, Tom Mahowald and Tania Corvalan were elected to the three seats available on the board. Blakemore received the highest total with 285 votes; while Mahowald was second with 235; and incumbent Corvalan was third with 228.

Candidate David Sites received 166 votes, while candidate Riley McAllister had the fewest votes with 142.

Blakemore was previously elected to fill a vacancy created by the sudden resignation of James Rawsthorne, who stepped down in October 2019, after issuing a letter harshly critical of his fellow trustees. She ran again in 2020 but lost by one vote, she said.

“I would like the board to get together and come up with focus areas for the next two years,” Blakemore said.

She added that she wants the board to focus on updating its comprehensive plan, and its intergovernmental agreement with Boulder County. She would also like to see it meet transportation and housing needs as well as improve wildfire resilience.

Although his campaign was not successful this election, McAllister, 28, said he plans to run again in the future.

“I think the only way you can change where you live is to get involved,” he said. “It was a joy running with everybody. I am glad there were multiple people who stepped up to the plate.”

David Sites, 68, said he was unsure if he will run again.

Nederland ballot Issue 2A, which asked voter permission to continue collecting the same tax that is already being collected, passed with 370 yes votes. This measure will support continued operation of the Nederland Community Center. The tax collected is 0.42 of sales tax, not property tax. Much of this revenue comes from Nederland’s out-of-town visitors, relieving the burden on residents.

As of Tuesday night, 32 people had voted against the measure.

The ballots will be certified on April 15 by the town clerk.

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