Simone, Wilkin, Rhoda and Schwikrath tabbed for Re-8 board

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By Ben Wiebesiek

    FORT LUPTON — Two members of city council will take places on the Weld Re-8 Schools Board of Education following the Nov. 5 general election.
    Shannon Rhoda and Kevin Schwickrath, who both represent Ward 1 in city council, won in separate districts for the school board.


    Rhoda collected 52.12 percent of the vote for Re-8 District F, defeating Frank Alvarado (31.63 percent) and Gilberto Cardenas, Jr. (16.25 percent).
    Schwickrath’s successfully ran for re-election to his council seat while also competing for Re-8 District G. No opponent emerged for the Ward 1 seat, and Schwickrath took 54.1 percent of the vote for school board against Janelle Perez.
    Schwickrath sees his two seats as an asset for creating collaboration in Fort Lupton.
    “I think the biggest thing I think I can do to contribute is to make sure we get the entire community involved in the process. It’s not going to be just the school board that can fix things. It’s not just the teachers and the administration. It’s going to require everybody,” Schwickrath said. “We’ve also just had a meeting recently between city council and some of the school administration including the principals. So the process has already begun.”
    In District E, Mike Simone received 56.18 percent against Vicki Montoya.
    Simone also has a background in public office as the former mayor of Firestone.
    Simone, speaking during a candidate forum in October, said he sees in Weld Re-8 a district staff with caring teachers and supported by a caring community.
    “I dealt with the St. Vrain (Valley) school district when I was mayor,” Simone said. “When I moved to the Tri-Towns, those schools were in a very similar situation to what you have here. They had at least five schools out of the forty schools in the St. Vrain school district on academic probation. Three of them were in the Tri-Towns and we only had four schools. And as the mayor, I thought it was my duty to get involved.”
    Suz Ann Crumb, an unopposed incumbent, will serve another term in District D.
    Gary Montoya was also running unopposed for District C after his opponent, Janice Wilkin, resigned from the race.
    Wilkin gave her endorsement to Montoya, but she had never formally submitted a written resignation, according to Wendy Sarazen, designated election official for Weld Re-8.
    So when Wilkin received 55.16 percent of the vote Nov. 5, she became the next board member for the district.
    “She never did officially resign, so that was complicated because in order to actually resign from a position you have to write it in,” Sarazen said. “As of right now, we’re moving on forward as she was the winning candidate until she declines oath of office, she will be the one in that position.”
    Wilkin said she would take the oath of office and accept the position.
    She said she didn’t officially resign because she thought her absence from a candidate forum in October would ensure a win for Montoya.
    In fact, she said it was during a chance encounter with Montoya at a Brighton restaurant a day after the election when Wilkin found out she won — from Montoya himself.
    “I was shocked,” Wilkin said. “I was shocked that I got the most votes. I guess I was really expecting Gary to get it.”
    Wilkin said Montoya was gracious about the loss and encouraged Wilkin to take the seat.
    “He says to me, ‘Well, Janice,’ he says, ‘I really think this is something you ought to do,” Wilkin said.


• In the Ward II council race, Zo Hubbard won the uncontested seat with 456 votes.

• In the Ward III council race, Robert McWilliams won the uncontested seat with 370 votes.

• Fort Lupton Mayor Tommy Holton won re-election in the uncontested mayoral race, securing 1,114 votes.

• Ballot Question 2E, over whether to allow backyard bees, narrowly failed 50.1 percent (682 votes) to 49.8 percent (678 votes).

• Ballot Question 2F, over allowing backyard chickens, passed 51.8 percent (704 votes) to 48.1 percent (654 votes).
— Final unofficial Weld County results

Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email bwiebesiek@metrowestnewspapers.com.