The ease with which someone can make accusations about an elected official without having to produce any evidence before initiating a recall petition has angered Crawford's mayor, town council and staff. One staff member who wants to see the law in Colorado changed is town clerk Jackie Savage.
She is also resigning because of the law.
"It's a very bad law, the recall law. The law as it is written, the petitioners of a recall do not have to prove their grounds for recall. They can say anything they want to. They can change their story if they want to," Savage told the town council convened on Feb. 5. "Then it automatically assumes guilt on the person being recalled. To me that goes against my principles."
Savage noted that if there is a recall election and the party, in this case Mayor Susie Steckel, is not recalled, the Town of Crawford will have to pay for the legal fees if the mayor has incurred any.
"The petitioners are never required to prove anything and they are never required to pay for anything. So if you look at this down the road, any issue that comes in that might be heatedly debated — 'Well let's just get rid of council members and put people on.' It becomes very easy to do that, because in this town it only needs 21 signatures to do that because only 84 people voted. I am highly opposed to that and simply on my own personal beliefs will not stand on the side of wrong," Savage said.
It is the reason she has resigned as town clerk. She has given the Town of Crawford 90 days notice. The town will take resumes and letters of interest until March 19.
Savage has researched the recall petition law. Currently, House Bill 1164 wants to give clerks more than five days to verify petition signatures. Savage believes the bill doesn't go far enough, and wants the bill to make changes, especially for small towns, on how the petition process is done.
"Somebody needs to be monitoring or determining or requiring some proof as a grounds [to recall]," she said. She will not compromise her beliefs.
Asked if the recall petition fails would it change her mind about leaving as a member of town staff, Savage admitted, "I feel really torn. I love the council. I love the mayor. I love who I work with. I love this town. I do feel really torn, but I really need to stand up for what is right. And, I really hope I'm moving forward [with this issue] as well."
The council approved allowing Savage to recuse herself from being the hearing officer for protests to the recall petition. The county clerk will now serve as the hearing officer for any recall petition protest hearing.blog comments powered by Disqus