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New candidates for Dolores Town Board go uncontested

Candidates for Dolores Town board and mayor spoke at a recent forum at the Dolores Community Center. The three board candidates are uncontested, and the race for mayor is contested. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)
Election is April 5; ballots sent out in the mail

While the Dolores municipal election April 5 is contested for mayor, the three open board seats are uncontested.

On the ballot for mayor are Leigh Reeves and Jerry Whited.

The three candidates who are running for town trustee seats will get the job, and are a mix of new and familiar faces. They introduced themselves and waded into some local issues during a community forum March 7 sponsored by the Dolores Chamber of Commerce.

Ira ‘Todd’ Andrews
Ira “Todd” Andrews

Andrews moved to Dolores with his family in 2020. He is the transportation manager for Four Corners Materials. Andrews wants to serve on the board because “I believe to make a difference in anything, you have to be involved.”

Mar 22, 2022
Dolores mayoral candidates give views and background during forum

Andrews said he was raised to consider different opinions. He said growth is inevitable and there is room for additional businesses in Dolores. He wants to manage growth to keep the small-town atmosphere Dolores residents enjoy.

Improving tourism, especially during winter would help the town, he said. Supporting the chamber of commerce, and running a respectful town board meeting are also important.

“The board has done a lot for the town. I hope we can follow in their footsteps,” he said.

Andrews also said he wanted to improve affordable housing and water line infrastructure and to add pavement to some high traffic roads.

He added it is the responsibility of the board to listen to residents’ wants and needs, and to be transparent to avoid unnecessary turmoil. Input from the elderly population also is needed, Andrews said.

Jeff Sand
Jeff Sand

Sand has lived in Dolores for 10 years. He owns Straight Edge Home Inspection and was a teacher in Cortez for five years.

The importance of community service inspired him to run for the Town Board. Sand said he wants to continue the well-run meetings and progress shown by the current board.

To improve community engagement, Sand suggested the town delegate projects to citizens to help with solutions, which “would create an easier on-ramp for people to be involved and know what is going on.”

On the topic of tourism, catering to families and kids is important. Looking how other towns attract tourists could spur ideas for Dolores.

Sand pointed out the many vacant commercial buildings in town. He said to help fill those spaces and assist local businesses, Dolores should host an economic forum with Region 9 Economic Development, Dolores State Bank and the Small Business Development Center.

Mark Youngquist
Mark Youngquist

Mark Youngquist is the founder and owner of the Dolores River Brewery and has lived in Dolores for 26 years. He previously served on the Town Board, and is “excited to contribute to the forward progress” of the board.

On the issue of tourism, Youngquist said the question is more nuanced: “What kind of tourism do we want?” He did not support a proposal to allow ATVs to drive on local streets, which voters rejected in the 2020 election.

Hiking, biking, fishing, hunting and camping have “flourished in the county and contributes to the health of local businesses in Dolores,” he said.

Bringing a local newspaper back to Dolores also was important, Youngquist said, because it is a foundation for community information and improves communication.

He said a ride-share program or regional bus system between Mancos, Dolores and Cortez also was needed.

As a board member, Youngquist said he planned to monitor the Salter Y logging project to protect the Boggy Draw trail system and ensure the quality of life for residents is not overly impacted by increased truck traffic in town.