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La Veta hires new deputy marshal

by Carol Dunn
LA VETA- At its meeting on September 4, the La Veta town board set aside two matters for future meeting(s). The committee reviewing the proposed skid steer purchase needs more time and one member suggested the board might even want to wait until there is a budget item approved for the purchase.
The highly contentious matter of removing an old cottonwood tree on Poplar Street to address a drainage problem was also delayed.
Trustee Ken Sajdak, liaison to the Tree board, reported that 50-60 town residents attended the committee meeting where the problem and mitigation were discussed. Sajdak said it was his understanding that a scientific evaluation was going to determine the health of the tree and that a resolution could be decided after that. “That has been done as far as I understand,” he said. “I’d like to see that whatever plan we come up with does not involve the removal of the tree.”
Trustee Dale Davis said the committee is waiting for additional information on the drainage on Poplar Street. Trustee Nancy Dick inquired how soon the issue can be resolved, and Davis replied, “The Streets & Alleys committee needs to get together and get their heads together, and that hasn’t happened yet.” Sajdak said the tree being cored seemed to be the issue, and he thought a vote would have been taken at this evening’s meeting. Trustee Dave Molyneaux complained that he has spent a lot of time on this issue and is tired of it. From the audience, Rena Kaplowitz voiced her feeling that the tree is irreplaceable and said, “Those trees are like our elders.” She added, “There are intelligent people on that side of the table and on this side. We can come to conclusions that will forward this issue.” The committee then set a meeting for September 6 at 8 am at town hall to discuss the issue further.
The board voted to hire Tracy Bonham as Deputy Marshal at a salary of $27,000 per year.
Sajdak abstained from voting because, he explained, he was not involved at all in reviewing the applications or in the interview so did not feel he had grounds to vote in favor of the hiring or not. Trustee Bill Stark said the Marshal was included in the interview process and Bonham “did well on the psychological testing.”
Marshal Youngers said Bonham’s start date will be September 10. Bonham did not request relocation expenses, but Stark moved to provide up to $500 if needed, and the Board approved.
Town Clerk Laurie Erwin was appointed as 2013 budget officer. Erwin said she would have a first draft of the budget to the board by the October 2 board meeting.
Erwin reported that the school has requested that Main Street be closed for the homecoming parade on September 21.
Approval from CDOT has already been granted. The La Veta fire department will be on hand for the fiery lighting of the “LV” during the homecoming football game.