A ballot box sits Tuesday in the Craig Fire/Rescue station, 419 Yampa Ave., as election judges Kirstie McPherson, left, Peggy Hough and Linda Riley, right, wait for voters. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today.

Photo by Bridget Manley

A ballot box sits Tuesday in the Craig Fire/Rescue station, 419 Yampa Ave., as election judges Kirstie McPherson, left, Peggy Hough and Linda Riley, right, wait for voters. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today.

Incumbents retain fire board seats

Incumbents, one newcomer running for 2 open seats



Byron Willems


Alan Webber


Talia Johnson, Candidate for the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board

Results ...

Results from Tuesday’s Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board election:

• Alan Webber (incumbent) — 77 votes

• Byron Willems (incumbent) — 73 votes

• Talia Johnson — 19 votes

Total voter turnout: 86

Note: Participants could vote for up to two candidates.

Two incumbents sealed another term on the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board during an election Tuesday.

Byron Willems, the board’s president, received 73 votes in the fire board election, and board member Alan Webber garnered 77 votes.

Talia Johnson, who moved to Craig with her family in August, also put in a bid for one of the two four-year seats open on the board.

She received 19 votes.

Johnson hails from Rush, a town east of Colorado Springs, where she served on the Tri-County Fire Protection District Board for about three and a half years. She also served as a volunteer firefighter for five years on the Tri-County Fire Department, she said.

She was undaunted by Tuesday’s defeat.

“Look for me in future elections because I’m not going to give up,” she said.

The election results extend the tenure of two longtime board members.

Willems, owner of Craig Fire & Safety Inc., served his first term in the late 1990s or early 2000s while he was still an active firefighter with Craig Fire/Rescue, he said.

He stepped off the board for a time before returning in 2006 when he was appointed to fill an uncompleted term.

Webber, a planning supervisor at Tri-State Generation & Transmission, was appointed to the board in October 2005, where he served temporary stints as its president and treasurer, he said.

“I’m glad to see that Byron and I both were re-elected because I think this board has done a lot,” he said. “The five guys that we’ve got on there right now have really accomplished a lot in the last couple of years, and we’ve got more to accomplish.

“Hopefully, this means that the public supports what we’re doing and the direction that we’re taking this fire district.”

Willems said the same.

“I guess you have to look at (the election results) as a show of support,” he said.

A total of 86 people turned out for the election, in which participants could vote for one or two candidates, said Ashley Ellis, the fire district’s designated election official.

Turnout for the fire board elections, which take place every two years, is usually comparatively small. About 80 people voted in the election four years ago, Ellis said.

The scarce showing Tuesday was “disappointing,” Webber said.

Willems agreed.

“That’s very disappointing when we hear such people in the community that aren’t happy, but then they don’t get out and vote,” he said.

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Cole White 4 years, 11 months ago

So roughly 160 people exercised their right to vote during this special district election? And the vast majority for the existing board members? Wow!!! From the way people commented online you would have though that there would be 1000 people coming out to vote against the encumbents........Looks like not that many people were upset with the fire district building a new training station.


Doug Slaight 4 years, 11 months ago

highway1340, The paper say's only 86 total voters. Pretty sad. Don't know how many voters in the Fire District but it has to be way over 5,000. Lot's of bitching on the forum about wanting change . Looks like it was all talk. Congat's to Byron and Allen.


lonelyone 4 years, 11 months ago

I didn't even know when the election was. Had I known, I'd have been down to vote. I had read a while back that the election was coming up, but didn't mark the date down and since the paper didn't seem to do much on-line advertising of this election, I'm sure many people missed it for that very reason. I'm not saying it's the papers fault for the low turn out, but for some strange reason this election always skates by under the radar and very few show up for it. I would guess too that many of those that voted were Craig firemen!??


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