Despite having to work through a myriad of typical technical challenges often associated with virtual meetings, the Fairplay Board of Trustees forged ahead April 20 to address a variety of items on a busy agenda.
“There were a few little glitches,” said Fairplay Mayor Frank Just. “But accolades go out to all the parties who worked to make the virtual meeting go as smoothly as possible.”
Topping the new business portion of the agenda was the swearing in of newly-elected officials, as well as the selection of a new mayor pro-tem.
Josh Voorhis was the only new trustee sworn in, as he joined trustees Eve Stapp, Todd Dodge and Cindy Bear on the board. Additionally, Dodge was selected as mayor pro-tem.
The board also reappointed Kim Wittbrodt as county treasurer, Tina Dara as town clerk and town administrator, Paul Wisor as town attorney and Brian Green as municipal court judge for additional two-year terms.
Perhaps the most pressing issue on the agenda was the discussion of upcoming summer events. On one hand, summer happenings in Fairplay represent an enormous annual shot in the arm for the local economy, and uncertainty regarding those events as the coronavirus ramps up with each passing day.
Conversely, the threat of supporting or hosting an event that poses a health risk to the public is, according to the mayor, even more daunting.
“We can find a way to make up for lost income due to the cancellation of these events,” Just said. “But when it comes putting lives at risk, or doing something that poses a health risk to the general public, we don’t have that luxury. I would hate to be a part of any decision that contributes to anything like that.”
Because of the ever-changing, day-to-day nature of coronavirus concerns, social distancing measures that Governor Polis is set to speak upon in the coming days, and the economic weight that summer events carry in Fairplay and Park County as a whole, Just insisted that the board wait until its May 4 meeting to make any final decisions.
“In two weeks we should have more facts about how the governor plans to handle social distancing measures, and rather than making hasty decisions, I think it’s best that we wait until May 4,” Just said.
“We are sitting in a position where we know what the financial impacts would be if we cancelled these events, but we don’t know what the health risks are. Planning for Burro Days usually begins in February, so I don’t think we can kick the can down the road past May 4. At that time, we will need to make some decisions.”
The board did announce the cancellation of Town Clean-up Days, as well as the annual Cemetery Clean-up Day. The board’s newest member, however, provided good news that somewhat softened the cacellation of those events.
“The Voorhis family has done some cleanup at Cohen Park, and at the Fairplay Beach, so I would just ask that everyone be mindful and pitch in where they can,” said new Trustee Josh Voorhis.