BY FREDA MIKLIN
Katy Brown, who served on the Cherry Hills Village City Council for 10 years, including four years as Mayor Pro Tem, was elected to be its new mayor on Nov. 8. Brown received 46 percent of the vote, besting two-term incumbent Mayor Russell Stewart, who got 42 percent, and newcomer Jenn Diffendal, who received 12 percent of the 3,465 votes cast.
CHV has a total population of 6,353, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, of which 4,593 are old enough to vote. That translates to a 75 percent voter turnout in the mayoral race.
The term for mayor in CHV, unlike most cities in Colorado, is only two years long, and those elected are limited to three (consecutive) terms.
Also on the ballot in CHV were candidates for city council to represent CHV districts two, four and six.
In district two, Earl Hoellen defeated newcomer-to-politics, environmentalist and musical composer Tory Leviton by a decisive 41 points. Hoellen is an attorney who also holds a master’s degree and an undergraduate degree in nuclear engineering. He served on the city council representing district two from 2015 to 2019. After losing his re-election bid four years ago, he remained a constant fixture and contributor at city council meetings. He went on to serve on the planning and zoning committee and the Quincy Farm committee, beginning in 2019.
Susan Maguire, former executive director of the Cherry Hills Land Preserve, also an attorney who has worked in real estate and finance, was elected to represent CHV district four. She will replace Mike Gallagher, who was term-limited and endorsed Maguire for the position. Maguire defeated former federal prosecutor Mark Williams by 35 points. Although new to CHV government, Williams holds degrees in international affairs, political science and Russian, in addition to a law degree.
CHV district six City Council member-elect is Robert Eber, who grew up in CHV and is a longtime member of the city’s parks, trails and recreation commission. He also serves on the master plan revision citizen task group and has been a vocal advocate for open spaces. Eber is also a lawyer representing state government and corporate clients in environmental and natural resource matters. He overcame insurance executive, CPA and MBA holder Tom Conroy by a 17-point margin on Nov. 8. Eber will take the seat formerly held by Mayor elect-Katy Brown.
There were also two ballot issues solely for CHV voters on election day.
The first question was whether to change the language of the city’s sales tax ordinance to expand the definition of “engaged in business in the city,” to include making deliveries to city residents by remote sellers. The change would allow CHV to participate in the State of Colorado’s Sales and Use Tax System to ease the burden of collecting sales taxes for home rule cities by out-of-area sellers. Residents of cities that are not a part of that system have found retailers unwilling to sell to them because of the difficulty in collecting and remitting tax. The ballot measure passed 59 percent to 42 percent.
CHV voters also voted overwhelmingly to amend their Home Rule Charter to require voter approval “for the sale, vacation, or conveyance of any City property interest in any trail or open space” in CHV, with minor named exceptions. That vote was 82 percent to 18 percent.
The new members of the CHV City Council, including the mayor, will be sworn into office on Jan. 17, 2023.