Pete Cowdin, who ran unopposed for mayor of Berthoud, abruptly announced his decision to resign the day he was supposed to be sworn into office. In a public letter Cowdin said incessant pressure from a newly elected trustee to appoint him mayor pro tem triggered a stress-related heart issue and Cowdin decided to resign based on his doctor’s recommendation.
While Cowdin had not mentioned the trustee in question, a subsequent letter from Jeff Hindman made it clear he was the culprit. Hindman wrote, “I feel I am most qualified to be mayor pro tem.” Changing his earlier assertion that he didn’t want to be mayor, Hindman later added, “In light of my experience and the results of the recent election, there is a case to be made for me to be appointed mayor as the next highest vote getter,” according to the Berthoud Surveyor.
Incumbent Mayor David Gregg has agreed to serve until a new mayor is seated. There are two options the Board can consider; they can appoint one of the trustees to serve as mayor, or the Town can hold a special election for the position.
It would be less complicated and expensive to appoint one of the two experienced trustee incumbents to fill the mayoral position (Chris Buckridge or Jennifer Baker) and add Lorna Greene to the Board as the next highest vote getter from the April 5 election. Some argue Cowdin was elected and the voters should choose the next mayor, although this is a pointless argument because Cowdin ran uncontested. The Board will likely make a decision on which path to follow at the next Board of Trustees meeting on April 26.