MONTE VISTA—Change is coming to Monte Vista. Marijuana is not. Candidates of the Monte Movement were all victorious and voters rejected allowing marijuana retail facilities and grow operations.
A contentious election cycle ended Tuesday night. Unofficial results show incumbent Matthew Martinez did not win re-election with 495 votes. Mayor-Elect Dale Becker won 851 votes of confidence. Councilor-elect Gary Johnson won 558 votes and Councilor-elect Victor Sigala received the most at 709 votes. The questions regarding marijuana facilities were split in favor of taxation but against allowing the retail sales and grow facilities. Voters approved taxation 535 to 428 votes. Sales and grow facilities were rejected 653 to 356 votes.
Marijuana was a major issue in the 2017 Monte Vista municipal elections. A local citizen approached the city council late last year seeking permission for a retail sales facility. The majority of the city council voted to place marijuana questions on the ballot. The council and planning and zoning commission also worked on regulations in case the voters would approve both questions.
Local citizens were dissatisfied with the council’s decision. The council’s decision and opposition to marijuana being allowed in Monte Vista was a major driving force in the final results.
Initiative 300 passed 599 to 390 votes giving the city authority to build and enter into contracts for fiber optics and other utilities.
Sargent will also largely have a new school board. With no incumbent seeking re-election Sargent voters chose their new board members. Board member elects are Tyler Mitchell, Michele Peterson and Tyler Kyffin.