Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Berthoud Trustee Lonnie Stevens resigns

By: Dan Karpiel | The Surveyor | May 26, 2022 | Local News

At Tuesday night’s regular meeting of the Berthoud Board of Trustees, the board made two appointments to fill vacancies on the Berthoud Planning Commission, listened to a presentation on public transportation options, and, in the final portion of the meeting, Trustee Lonnie Stevens announced his resignation from the Board.

During the Trustee reports portion of the meeting, Trustee Stevens, elected to the board in a regular election in April 2020, read from a prepared statement. Stevens announced he was moving his residency to Longmont “for family and personal reasons,” making him ineligible to continue serving as an elected official in Berthoud. Stevens became emotional while reading his letter, in which he thanked the current and former board members, town staff and the citizens of the town. Stevens explained that while he might be moving out of town, he will continue to “shop, work and play” in Berthoud and expressed his deep devotion to the community and its residents.

According to information provided by Town Clerk Christian Samora, the Berthoud Municipal Code authorizes the current, now six-member, Board of Trustees to make an appointment to fill out the remainder of Stevens’ term, which runs through April 2024. The other option the board has would be to fill the vacancy would be to order an election for the open seat. According to Samora, “If the vacancy is not filled by appointment or by ordering an election within sixty days, the Board would then be obligated to order an election to fill the vacancy.”

By precedent, the board has the option to follow or ignore at their prerogative, an open seat has historically been filled by the highest vote-getter from the previous election who did not win a seat on the board. In the most recent election, held last month, the next highest vote-getter was Berthoud resident Ellyn Rush, who received 787 votes, a higher total than fellow runners-up Ryan Berry (674) and Alex Johnson (698).

Residents once again addressed the board concerning the proposed bike park at the Richardson Park development. Those who spoke stated that the bike park was a nice amenity, one that will provide benefit to the town, but also expressed concerns about parking, traffic, noise, and the potential for increased crime. Town Administrator Chris Kirk informed the group that he and town staff will be presenting an updated plan for the Richard Park bike track project at the June 14 meeting.

The board voted unanimously to appoint Berthoud residents Melissa Feldbush, formerly the Executive Director of the Berthoud Area Chamber of Commerce, and Jon Van Benthem, to three-year terms on the influential Berthoud Planning Commission.

The board heard a presentation from Kelly Leadbetter, who joined the meeting via Zoom due to COVID fears. Leadbetter provided the board with an update on the regional transit assessment, focusing primarily on the Berthoud Area Transit (BATS) and Rural Alternatives for Transit (RAFT). While the board took no action on the items presented, Mayor Will Karspeck did endorse the idea of going “fare-free” for a period of time, a suggestion Leadbetter floated during her presentation, as a way to increase ridership. Leadbetter also stated that ridership levels, not just locally but nationwide, have to return to 2019 levels and suggested increased marketing and educational initiatives to inform the public of transportation options.

The next meeting of the Berthoud Board of Trustees will take place on June 14.




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