Elizabeth recall petitions on hold pending protest hearings

Movement stalls at least until April, when most trustee terms expire anyway

Tabatha Stewart
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 10/7/19

The ongoing attempt to recall Elizabeth Mayor Megan Vasquez and every member of the Elizabeth Board of Trustees is now back in the hands of Town Clerk Michelle Oeser. The We Are Not Parker committee …

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Elizabeth recall petitions on hold pending protest hearings

Movement stalls at least until April, when most trustee terms expire anyway

Posted

The ongoing attempt to recall Elizabeth Mayor Megan Vasquez and every member of the Elizabeth Board of Trustees is now back in the hands of Town Clerk Michelle Oeser. The We Are Not Parker committee behind the recall submitted amended petitions last week, and Oct. 3 was the deadline for anyone to file a protest against the petitions. According to Oeser, protests were filed.

“We received protests to the amended petitions,” said Oeser. “Now we will send out notices and set hearings in a timely manner as required by law.”

Notices will be sent to all board members, Vasquez, the recall committee and Elbert County officials. Oeser did not state what the protests were, or who filed the protests.

Colorado state law doesn't dictate how long Oeser has to send the notices, just that it must be done in a timely manner. Once the notices are mailed, hearings must be scheduled no less than five or more than 10 days from the date the letters are mailed.

The latest move of filing protests effectively shoots down an immediate recall election, instead forcing voters to wait until the April 2020 election. Five of the six trustees' terms expire in April.

The recall movement had its roots in anger and concern about Elizabeth's proposed comprehensive plan and fears about future growth in western Elbert County. Some residents of the area surrounding the town are afraid the town has an eye on annexing outlying land, despite the town's assertions that the fears are misplaced.

Brad Hamill, a volunteer with the We Are Not Parker committee, said Oeser has followed state law but has disregarded the residents of Elizabeth who signed the petition.

“They've stalled successfully,” said Hamill. “But they have disenfranchised Elizabeth residents who signed the petition.”

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