Barrentine recall petition sufficient to launch election

Proposal for balloting will go before Englewood City Council on July 16

Posted 7/3/18

A petition to recall District 3 Englewood City Councilmember Laurett Barrentine has been deemed “valid and sufficient” by the city clerk's office, meaning enough signatures have been validated to …

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Barrentine recall petition sufficient to launch election

Proposal for balloting will go before Englewood City Council on July 16

Posted
A petition to recall District 3 Englewood City Councilmember Laurett Barrentine has been deemed “valid and sufficient” by the city clerk's office, meaning enough signatures have been validated to move forward with a recall election.
 
Barrentine said she's not surprised the petition garnered the few hundred necessary signatures out of all the district's registered voters, adding that the recall effort is a chance to discuss issues in the city.
 
"It's an amazing opportunity," she said. I "think people are realizing this is more about silencing me."
 
The petition was filed July 3, the clerk's office said. The group of petitioners included former Mayors Jim Woodward and Randy Penn and two other residents of District 3. Clearing the threshold by about 60 required signatures, the petition garnered 424 verified names, according to the city clerk.
 
Steve Yates, a former at-large councilmember, lives outside the district and couldn’t carry the petition but was involved in the effort to garner support. The recall movement wasn’t made “on a grudge,” he said.
 
“It’s meant to try to make a city be able to run efficiently at the lowest cost to citizens,” said Yates, who served on council alongside Barrentine. Council “is so involved in this grandstanding that they can’t take care of the daily business.”
 
Former mayors Penn, who served from 2011-15, and Woodward, who served from 2007-11, signed the affidavit to request the petition. The document accuses Barrentine, who was elected in 2015, of “bullying and unwarranted threats to fire City employees” and of “regular distortion of facts and outright lies.”
 
“Council Member Laurett Barrentine demonstrates conduct unbecoming of an elected official and creates a toxic, counterproductive dynamic on Englewood City Council, preventing Council from acting in Englewood's best interest,” the former mayors and District 3 residents wrote in the affidavit. It was received by the city April 17, and the city clerk’s office authorized the petition May 7.
 
The petition, as allowed by city law, included a statement of defense from Barrentine, which criticized the use of the recall process.
 
“It is a shame four people refuse to participate in the normal election cycle,” Barrentine wrote.
 
The group’s grievances are vague, Barrentine said in a previous interview, adding that she's “offended” by the idea that staff needs to be protected from council.
 
“It's just sad, all of this trying to stir the pot,” she said previously. I “think they're disappointed that council is getting along so well.”
 
Barrentine said on July 6 that she'd be "happy to debate" any of the concerns the petitioners raised.
 
To schedule the recall election, the clerk's office will bring a proposed resolution to set an election date at the July 16 council meeting. It will be the first city council recall election in Englewood in more than 20 years, and just the third in city history, according to a city document.
 
District 3 voters will have the chance to vote on whether Barrentine stays in office. If the majority votes in favor of the recall, voters in the district will then choose a new councilmember in a second election. District 3 includes roughly the southeast and middle parts of Englewood.
 
The petition needed valid signatures totaling 25 percent of the number of registered voters who voted in the race for Barrentine's office in the previous municipal election, according to the Englewood Home Rule Charter. Nearly 1,500 voted for the District 3 position in 2015, the last time the seat saw an election, so the threshold for petition success was 366 signatures in the district.
 
“I know my job, and I’m not going to stop doing my job,” Barrentine said.
 
For a map of the council districts, go to englewoodco.gov/inside-city-hall/city-council.

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