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Ignacio sets mayoral poll

By Jordyn Dahl Herald staff writer

IGNACIO – Ignacio will hold a special election June 4 to elect a mayor.

The Town Board unanimously voted to hold an election rather than appoint a mayor, though several members initially wanted to appoint Town Board Trustee Alison DeKay.

DeKay said she would vote to have a special election for “peace of mind.”

Four residents have turned in applications for the vacant position: DeKay, Mayor Pro Tem Stella Cox, former planning commissioner Ken Bray and resident Jody Rosier.

DeKay and Cox were elected to the Town of Board Trustees last April.

Whoever is elected will come into the town’s government after several tumultuous months and will replace Ena Millich, who resigned in February after months of rising tension between herself and town staff members. Millich accused staff members of mishandling elections, going against town hiring practices, violating open-meetings laws, making inappropriate money transfers and mismanaging the town budget.

Town staff countered that Millich’s accusations were unfounded and were damaging the town’s image and negatively affecting their performance.

The former mayor said the town failed to adhere to an open-hiring process. She also called fund transfers suspicious, but Ignacio staff members say were done to avoid budget deficits in the community-development fund.

The town spent the last few months of 2012 building up its fund balance after an accounting error revealed its general fund had $555,000 less in it than it thought.

Capital assets such as pipelines and buildings had been mistakenly recorded as cash revenue in the general fund and put the balance at just more than $1 million. The fund was actually closer to $535,000.

The town has taken some action to make up for the revenue loss, including cutting staff positions and salaries and increasing fees on residents to put $62,000 back into the general fund.

The mayor’s term will last until April 2014.

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