Out of the hospital

An old editor once told me about reporting the news: “If you put people in the hospital, you better take them out.” Well, we thrust you into the issues surrounding the Nov. 2 election, so we’re gonna get you out with a rundown of the results.

Locally, the most contentious election was that for the Durango School District 9-R School Board (now there’s a sentence we never thought we’d have to write).

The 9-R election, however, reflected a national trend where school boards have seemingly become the center stage for culture wars on topics like how to teach children about race and whether schools should implement COVID-19 protocols.

Though school board elections are supposed to be nonpartisan, three conservative candidates – Donna Gulec, Dean Hill and Kristina Paslay – banded together as a three-piece ticket, vowing to challenge things like mask mandates and critical race theory (which is not taught in 9-R schools).

These newcomer candidates, however, were handily beaten in this election by what was seen as their “progressive” counterparts.

In District A, 9-R incumbent Erika Brown received 8,407 votes to Paslay’s 3,346. A third candidate, Catherine Mewmaw, ran in this district and received 1,137 votes.

In District C, Rick Petersen, also a newcomer, beat Hill 8,681-4,105. And in District E, 9-R incumbent Andrea Parmenter beat Gulec by a vote of 8,961 to 3,870.

Now, can we make school boards boring again?

Also, all three statewide ballot measures failed. 

• Prop 120 would have reduced property taxes for multi-unit housing and hotels, but not for single-family homes. And, the reduction in taxes would have  hit to schools and fire districts.

• Prop 119 would have raised marijuana tax sales to fund out-of-school programs. However, opponents argued it would undercut already underfunded public school districts to fund private companies with little oversight.

• Amendment 78 would have created a new process for how the state would spend some federal funds.

La Plata County had 42% voter turnout, high for an off-year election. “I’m very happy voters turned up,” said La Plata County Clerk Tiffany Lee.

Good job, you did it.

Top Stories

Playing in Durango
06/20/2024
Playing in Durango
By Missy Votel

PlayFest brings cutting-edge works to local audiences 
 

Read More
An inconvenient truth
06/06/2024
An inconvenient truth
By Allen Best / Big Pivots

Despite Biden’s “war on coal,” coal has been digging its own grave

Read More
Taking the long way
06/06/2024
Taking the long way
By Missy Votel

Fedarko talks new book, getting out of his comfort zone

Read More
Winds of change
05/30/2024
Winds of change
By Allen Best / Big Pivots

Tri-State is trying to reinvent itself, but time is ticking
 

Read More
Read All in Top Stories

The Pole

Heigh ho, Silver
06/20/2024

The City of Durango’s park rangers have a new toy, er, tool in the rangering arsenal: a spiffed-up razer ATV.

Ramping up
06/13/2024

Collaboration is all the rage – from music to fashion. And beer is no exception. Just in time to slake your summer thirst, Star Liquors is offering Skaterade, a skateboard-themed American lager made in collab with Telluride Brewing and The Boarding Haus.

Written in stone
06/06/2024

In the scorching heat of June in 1977, atop a butte in Chaco Canyon, researcher and educator Anna Sofaer made a discovery that would unravel the astronomy of ancient America. Sofaer, who at the time was a volunteer recording rock art at a site known as Fajada Butte, noted three seemingly innocent stone slabs leaning against a cliff.

Fasten all loose objects
05/30/2024

There will be a new voice at the helm of Animas River Days this weekend. Durangoan Chad Hare will be taking the mic from longtime master of ceremonies John Brennan, who MC-ed the event since time immemorial, or at least 1983.

“I’ve heard I have some big shoes to fill,” said Hare. “I am just kind of jumping in head first, eyes close. That’s my M.O.”

(For the record, the Telegraph does not condone jumping into the river, or any body of water, head first. And always wear your PFD.)

Read All Stories in the Pole