By ROB GEBHART
Daily Press writer
Wendy Petersen was elected Dinosaur's new mayor Tuesday and the margin of victory didn't come down to the flip of a coin.
Dinosaur's last mayoral election ended in a tie. Richard Blakley was re-elected after drawing a higher number than his opponent.
Petersen replaces Blakley as the town's mayor, winning the election 87-26 over Benjamin Graham.
Blakley, who left office because of term limits, ran for a seat on the Town Council, but lost.
There were three four-year term seats and two two-year term seats open on the Dinosaur Town Council. Hank McKay (95 votes), Hondo Blakley (79 votes) and Chrystal Aumiller (58 votes) took the four-year seats. Richard Blakley finished fourth with 43 votes.
Nola Dixon and former mayor Clint Morrill ran unopposed for the two-year seats.
As mayor, Petersen said she would focus on economic development issues and water improvement projects.
"We need attainable goals so that everybody is working toward the same benefit," Petersen said.
Petersen said she'd like to see the town develop a program to help small businesses start up. Petersen would like to copy a model used in Grand Junction.
In Grand Junction, the city provided a building to house resources small-business owners could use to get started, including information on helpful state contacts and guidance with paperwork.
Petersen said she thought Dinosaur might be able to set aside some property for the city to do something similar, but on a smaller scale.
As a town councilor, Petersen has overseen Dinosaur's ongoing sewer improvement project from the early engineering stages. As mayor, she said she'd like to see the project through to the end.
Dinosaur's sewer lines are made of concrete and metal and have rusted over time. Roots have broken through the lines, causing additional problems in the sewer.
Late last fall, the town began upgrading those lines to PVC pipe. The $750,000 project has been divided into two phases, and the first phase, which was funded by a grant from the state Department of Local Affairs, is nearly complete, Petersen said.
Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.