Castle Valley Comments
November 7, 2013

Eighty-nine Castle Valley residents went to the polls during the town’s municipal elections last Tuesday to decide the mayoral race between the incumbent mayor Dave Erley and write-in challenger Oscar Duncan. Duncan filed for election as a write-in candidate when it appeared that the mayor, as well as the two council candidates, were running unopposed.

Mayor Erley will retain his position as mayor by a 17-vote margin over the challenger. Erley received 53 votes compared to 36 votes for Duncan. Neither candidate campaigned or debated during the period leading up to the election. Tory Hill and Jazmine Duncan, Oscar Duncan’s sister, both ran unopposed for two of the three vacant council seats. They received 85 and 81 votes, respectively. The third council position will be made by appointment by the town council members.


Just as we were gearing up for nighttime road closures at mile marker 28 on state Route 128, just east of the Dewey Bridge, the closures were canceled for this week. A road project authorized by the Utah Department of Transportation will provide slope stabilization and shoulder improvements, which involves stabilizing the edge of the road and installing a guardrail. The work started Nov. 4 and is expected to continue until Jan. 30.

A news release from Double E Construction, Inc. stated: “Nightly road closures will be canceled this week, November 4 to the 10th. Work is able to progress during the day. It is required that we keep the road closure signs in place since the work may require road closures next week. We will update this notice at the end of the week.”


Faylene Roth, our local librarian, invites everyone to the first Castle Valley Library Movie Night on Friday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. at the Castle Valley Community Center. According to Roth, the Grand County Public Library is sponsoring the program in response to requests from the local community. Movies will be shown on a quarterly basis over the next year to determine the level of interest in the program.

The first movie, “Bless Me, Ultima,” based on the novel by Rudolfo Anaya, is a touching story of a young Hispanic boy growing up near Abiquiu, N.M., during the 1940s. The movie follows a year in his life during which he struggles with multiple cultural conflicts presented by his heritage, religion and spirituality, good and evil, and the local effects of World War II. His relationship with a native healer guides him through this turbulent year. The movie is rated PG-13.

Roth encourages the community to submit suggestions for the next movie, which will be shown in February. Movies will be shown on a large screen and attendance is free.


Thirty-five years ago this week, the first annual general meeting of the Castle Valley River Ranchos Property Owners Association was held at the Ramada Inn in Moab. The first members of the board of directors were Hersel Nokes, Fred Johnson, Ray Taylor, Tom Rees and Walt Cluff. The yearly dues of $40 were assessed for each lot, which generated a $17,800 budget for the POA. It was estimated that 72 families lived within the subdivision, a lot of growth considering that five years previous there were only four or five families living here.

Thirty years ago, the POA met for the fifth time in an annual general meeting with Grand County Commissioner Barbara Ing and Salt Lake City-based attorney Gerald Kinghorn in attendance. During the meeting, the POA took steps to turn Castle Valley Drive over to the county with Ing’s approval, and began discussions about forming a town to better control and hold water rights, at the suggestion of attorney Kinghorn. The attorney also agreed with the board to not pursue a lawsuit against the Carlsberg Corporation, the developer of the River Ranchos, for alleged shortcomings regarding the development of the subdivision. The board of directors that year included Curtis Halls, Roger Lowry, Mike Omana, George Ottinger and Don Tuft.

ByBy Ron Drake