All politics are local. Just ask the residents of Estes Park, CO., where an effort to recall the Mayor, Todd Jirsa, and a Trustee, Cody Walker, has been launched.
On November 14, 2017, the Estes Park Town Clerk received draft recall petitions for Jirsa and Walker. The submissions are the first step in a process that is required for a recall election.
A press release issued by a committee of local citizens known as “ACTNOW”, which stands for ‘Accountable, Civil, and Transparent’, whose function is to respond to the growth of disrespectful and often anonymous postings that personally attack residents and community leaders rather than focusing on the issues facing the Estes Valley, claims responsibility for the recall. The recall was undertaken, according to ACTNOW, because they claim there is a lack of transparency, a neglect of duty, and consistent examples of failure to follow the Town Board’s Code of Conduct.
Mayor Jirsa responded to the recall by asserting that ACTNOW and their action as remedy to their dissatisfaction contradicts their desire to restore civility to the issues and problems in the Estes Park area.
The opinion was echoed by Trustee Cody Walker, also under recall, who considers the effort to be an act of vengeance by members of the group called “Visit Estes Park”.
Over the past year the Visit Estes Park Board of Directors has had its share of problems, experiencing a substantial attrition in members – two board members were removed by a combination vote by the Estes Park Board of Trustees and the Larimer County Commissioners. The vote included Jirsa and Walker, who voted in favor of removing the board members.
A remaining member of Visit Estes Park and a board member of the League of Women Voters, Jean McGuire, acknowledged that she made a request for information on how to undertake a recall from the Estes Park Town Clerk’s Office recently, but claimed she did so as a private citizen on behalf of unnamed friends, not as an employee of Visit Estes Park or as a representative of the League of Women Voters, and asserted that she is not involved in the current recall effort.
Larimer County Commissioner Steve Johnson has made it known that he opposes the recall.
According to Colorado State Statute requirements the format of the draft petition must be validate by the Estes Park Clerk’s Office by a stated deadline. If the format is deemed invalid by The Clerk’s Office a new draft must be submitted.
Following approval of the format a specified number of signatures will be determined by The Clerk’s Office, and petitioners will have sixty days in which to return the completed petition. After receipt of the recall petition The Estes Park’s Clerk’s Office will have five days to certify the validity of the signatures provided: They must belong to registered voters in Estes Park, CO.
If the signatures are validated and the recall process occurs within 180 days of a scheduled election the recall vote must occur during the election.