The Town of Paonia is struggling to fill several vacancies on some boards that support and enhance the work of the town council and town staff. The planning commission, tree board and zoning board of adjustments each have vacancies, and have had vacancies for quite some time.
At the June 13 board of trustees meeting, Mayor Charles Stewart appointed Barbara Heck and Mary Backran to serve on the planning commission. He expressed thanks to the two women for volunteering. "It's very helpful and very much appreciated. This is a small town, and we really need people to volunteer," he said. The appointment of the two still leaves one opening on the planning commission.
In addition, there are four openings for the town's tree board. That board has had vacancies for at least seven years. Of the four openings, two of the seats are for two-year terms; the other two seats are for three-year terms. The tree board is open to any citizens in the Paonia area; they don't necessarily need to live within town limits. The tree board provides direction for healthy tree management within town, ensures that an annual Arbor Day celebration is held and maintains the town's status as a Tree City USA.
There are three open seats on the zoning board of adjustments, and all seats are three-year terms. Of the open seats, two must be filled by in-town residents. Those on the board of adjustments are responsible for hearing and deciding appeals from applicants regarding planning and zoning issues.
For all three boards, those citizens who are at least 18 years old are eligible to apply, and interested citizens must submit a letter of interest and an application to serve. The application is available on the town's website at www.TownOfPaonia.com.
Thanks to the efforts of state Rep. Millie Hamner, House District 61, Colorado State University plans to re-open the Rogers Mesa research site.
The facility was taken out of operation in 2011, due to budget cuts throughout the CSU system.