A recall election for Elizabeth Board of Trustees members June Jurczewsky and Rachel White has been scheduled for Dec. 17, after their protests against a recall petition filed by the We Are Not …
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A recall election for Elizabeth Board of Trustees members June Jurczewsky and Rachel White has been scheduled for Dec. 17, after their protests against a recall petition filed by the We Are Not Parker committee were found insufficient. Any citizen planning to run for either of the two open seats must submit petitions to get on the ballot by Nov. 1.
“For the two protests that were not sufficient there will be a recall election on Dec. 17,” said Michelle Oeser, Elizabeth town clerk. “Anyone who wants to take their position needs to go through regular election protocols to be on the ballot.”
Candidates must present 10 signed petitions to the clerk in order to be placed on the ballot. Petitions will be verified, and then a candidate will be placed on the ballot. According to Oeser, those elected in the recall election will have to run again in the April 2020 election.
The recall election came about after some residents of Elizabeth and unincorporated Elbert County expressed concern and anger over the town's proposed comprehensive plan addressing future growth in Elizabeth and western Elbert County. Some people inside the town limits of Elizabeth and in outlying unincorporated areas expressed concern that the town might annex outlying land, and claimed Elizabeth officials were ignoring citizen concerns.
The We Are Not Parker committee submitted enough signatures to Oeser from Elizabeth residents to trigger a recall election for Mayor Megan Vasquez and all six board members, but those petitions were deemed insufficient due to a notary issue. The committee resubmitted the petitions, which were declared sufficient, but Vasquez and board members filed protests against them. Jurczewsky's and White's protests were deemed insufficient due to a notary issue, prompting the recall election for their petitions.
The other five protests were declared sufficient, and a hearing date has been set for Oct. 18, at 9 a.m. at Elizabeth town hall. Oeser presented resolution 19R-46 at the Oct. 8 meeting of the board of trustees, requesting an outside hearing officer be appointed to handle the hearings.
“Due to the volatility and mistrust surrounding the recall, as Town Clerk I am requesting that the board appoint an outside recall officer to oversee the hearing process,” wrote Oeser.
Karen Goldman, a retired election clerk from the City of Aurora, who has no ties to Elizabeth or Elbert County, was designated to serve as the hearing officer. After hearing from protest filers, petition circulators and the We Are Not Parker committee, Goldman will determine whether the protests stand, or if the petitions are sufficient.
Elizabeth residents should watch for recall election ballots the first week of December, and they must be returned by 7 p.m. Dec. 17. Mailed ballots that are received after that Dec. 17 cutoff will not be counted.
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