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2019 Year in Review – July

The following articles are a recap of various news events which have had an impact on residents of Prowers County this past year.

City Administrator, Sutherland, Announces Retirement

 

Lamar City Administrator, John Sutherland, announced his retirement plans to the Lamar City Council earlier this week. As it stands, Sutherland’s, last official day as Administrator will be Monday, July 29th.

Lamar Mayor, Roger Stagner, told The Prowers Journal, Sutherland will be missed. “He has been an excellent administrator for the City of Lamar and although we hate to see him go, we also understand that every person has a time when there’s a turning point in their career and John has found his,” Stagner stated, adding, “We certainly hope the best for him in years to come.” Stagner said he and the council are planning a public reception sometime next month, but there is nothing specific at this point.

Sutherland became City Administrator in August, 2012, having served in a similar capacity in two communities in New Mexico. The council will begin the process of developing a search for his replacement.

By Russ Baldwin

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Kirk Crespin, Announcement of Candidacy

Crespin Presents Opening Remarks as Mayor of Lamar

I am pleased to announce my candidacy for the Mayor of the City of Lamar in the November 2019 election.  I have served as your City Council member for Ward 1 over the past ten years, and as your Mayor-Pro Tem for the past five. During this time, I have had the opportunity to learn how our city government functions and have helped to negotiate and represent the city in various capacities. I believe these same opportunities have given me the knowledge and experience to be the best candidate for your Mayor.

I have been a resident of the City of Lamar for a large majority of my life. I grew up in Hasty, Colorado and am the son of longtime area residents, Ted and Alice Crespin. I graduated from McClave High School and am also a Lamar Community College Alumni. I have worked in Lamar for many years in various positions that include sales and information technology. For the past 11 years I have worked as the Information Technology and Security Officer at Community State Bank.

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Lodging Tax Panel Meeting with County over Funding Changes

While continuing to provide funding for mostly annual events in Prowers County, the Lodging Tax Panel is seeking a ruling from the county on developing a different marketing outlet for promoting tourism for the county at large.

The idea has received lengthier considerations over the past year in an effort to drive more tourists to the county beyond annually scheduled events, some of which are showing declining attendance while their costs and requests are well above a return on investment.

The Panel is considering hiring a marketing firm which would conduct a study in the county to find what points of interest would generate tourists all year long and not just for a specific event. A website would be developed highlighting those points as well as other new means of advertising such as social media and other tourist interests. The Panel and the county want to be on the same page about how their funds can be allocated and will meet July 23rd to discuss their options. The representative for the promotion firm, Vista Works, said grant funding is available to pay for some of these costs, but the window of opportunity closes in two weeks from the Panel’s last meeting held on July 16th.

By Russ Baldwin

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Melcher Appointed as Holly Mayor

Calvin Melcher, Mayor of Holly

Calvin Melcher’s single application for Mayor of Holly was unanimously approved by the Holly Trustees during their board meeting on Wednesday, July 17th. Melcher will serve the unfinished term of five months, replacing former Mayor Tony Garcia who resigned this past May. He will be eligible for two full terms at the start of the New Year. Interim, pro-tem mayor, Larry Sitts has been filling the seat during the vacancy. Prior to the announcement, Sitts said he was willing to do more as mayor, but he was limited by his job demands and municipal experience.   Melcher said he had some governmental experience in the past and was confident that his work relationship with the Trustees would help benefit of the community. He currently serves as an ARPA Board representative for Holly. His first official meeting as mayor will be Wednesday, August 7th.

By Russ Baldwin

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Lamar Council Notes Pedal the Plains Attendance Size, Sets Administrator Recruitment in Motion

The bikes are coming, and with them and their riders presenting the need for parking space in Lamar during the Pedal the Plains event September 13-15th. The organizing group received council permission to expand the originally approved parking area for RV’s for overnight camping on Park Street. Because of increased reservations, the organizers are asking that one block of Park Street between 6th and 7th, south of and parallel to Savage Stadium be added to accommodate the vehicles. Overflow parking will be directed to the Prowers County Fairgrounds. Angie Cue, Community Development Director, added that due to the proximity to the residential area, RV owners are being asked to shut down their generators by 11pm each evening. On a separate note, she told the council several local businesses from the Downtown Merchants group, planned to set up booths in the Centennial Building at this year’s Sand and Sage Fair August, 8-10th to inform the public of the benefits of shopping locally and several intend to hand out coupons.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer Issues

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