by Carol Dunn
LA VETA- La Veta Town government will be losing many years of valuable experience after three people have departed this month.
Trustee Dawn Blanken resigned on Tuesday, July 12. She had been a Trustee on the Town Board for four years and had about a year left of her elected term. Blanken filed a motion with the Court to dismiss the lawsuit that was lodged against her as a Trustee in 2010 by James and Marion Jean Keffeler, Kelly Popejoy and James McAnally as part of a recall effort. Judge Leslie Jean Gerbracht ruled on July 19 to dismiss the case as moot, and Blanken will comment on her resignation in the next issue of the World Journal.
Blanken was well known for her thorough research of issues that came before the Board and as a tireless defender of the Town’s regulations and ordinances. After the lawsuit was filed against her, she received a great deal of support from members of the community in the form of “Letters to the Editor” in local newspapers.
Nancy Culbreath has been La Veta Town Clerk for eleven years, serving with and advising four different mayors. Her last day with La Veta was Wednesday, July 20. Culbreath handled the Town’s business efficiently and with a no-nonsense approach, taking her mandates from the Board’s decisions during its bi-weekly meetings. It was Culbreath that the Board often turned to when unsure of legal requirements, protocol and clarification on how things had been handled by previous Boards. She told the World Journal, “I appreciate all the people in the community. But it’s time to move on.” Culbreath, in her capacity as Town Clerk, had also been named as a defendant in the above-mentioned recall lawsuit.
CJ Smith has been Deputy Clerk for 25 years, with the first eight of those part-time. Her last day with La Veta will be July 29. Smith has indepth knowledge of the water/sewer billing process and the history of La Veta’s water story. Besides the billings, she has done the bookkeeping, managed accounts receivable and payable, and payroll. She worked with six mayors and a variety of personalities on the Boards during those years. Smith said she will be staying in the area, adding, “This is my home.”
Without a doubt, these three will be difficult to replace, and Town government is sure to be facing some challenging times ahead as it brings in and trains new personnel and moves forward.
Gary M. Vezzani was elected Walsenburg’s mayor in Tuesday’s special mayoral election/recall vote. Preliminary results announced Tuesday night show that both Nick Vigil in Ward