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Dolores Town Board appoints two new board members

The Dolores Town Board appointed two new board members Monday. (Courtesy photo)
Candidates submit letters, introduce themselves and field questions from trustees

On Monday, the Dolores Board of Trustees voted to appoint two new members to fill board vacancies. They chose from three candidates.

Chris Holkestad and Kalin Grigg had the two highest vote tallies and were appointed to the board positions, which have a term until April 2024.

Former board members Jeff Sand and Todd Andrews resigned because they moved outside town. There were elected to the board in April.

Holkestad, Grigg and Jerry Whited applied for the appointment. Before the board vote, they submitted letters, introduced themselves and answered questions from board members.

Kalin Grigg
Kalin Grigg

Grigg has resided in Dolores since 2005. As chair of the Dolores Parks Committee for the past few years, he led the effort for a new playground and has worked with trustees and town staff.

His background includes creating a civic engagement project at Fort Lewis College that supported needs of local communities. He was appointed by Colorado Gov. Roy Romer to a committee that organized town projects.

“Community service gets in your blood,” he said.

Grigg supports access to open spaces and public lands, and said the lack of affordable housing is a critical issue for the town.

“I believe in the direction the town is going and want to continue to be a part of it,” Grigg said.

Chris Holkestad
Chris Holkestad

Holkestad has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in business administration. He has lived in Dolores for six years and works for Osprey Packs. He has been a foster parent, and has served on the Southwest Open School board.

Taking an active role in the community has always been important, he said. Issues he’s interested in are assisting businesses relied on by locals, affordable housing, smart growth, conserving water in drought, supporting renewable energy and growing the tourism base in part by marketing the bike trails, hiking and camping in the area. The number of empty buildings in town is problematic, Holkestad said, and solutions should be discussed to get tenants in them.

Growth is starting to move down the Dolores River Valley, and Dolores needs to be prepared to grow smartly and sustainably while keeping the small-town feel, he said.

Jerry Whited
Jerry Whited

Whited has lived in Dolores for 12 years and is the EMS captain for the Ute Mountain Ute Fire Department and the EMS Chief for the Dove Creek Ambulance District. He served on the Dolores Planning and Zoning board for one year.

“I am an avid researcher and have no fear of tough challenges,” he said in his letter.

He proposed to help the town with new ideas and to look for ways to increase communication and information to residents.

He has served as a volunteer firefighter and has run a softball tournament in town for the past seven years.

“I love this town and want to have a voice and help the community,” he said.

The board agreed to choose the appointments by public ballot, rather than by the more cumbersome motion process.

Holkestad and Kalin each received four votes, and Whited received two votes.

The vote results, according to Town Clerk Tammy Neely, were:

Trustee Val Truelsen voted for Whited and Grigg; Trustee Mark Youngquist voted for Grigg and Holkestad; Trustee Andy Lewis voted for Grigg and Holkestad; and Trustee Shirley Wheeler voted for Holkestad and Whited.

The new board members were sworn into office, and joined the board.